Trigger Warning for those who love books, this diary contains a rather inflammatory image.
I found the blog of the soldier tasked with the duty of disposing of garbage at a remote outpost in Afghanistan. I'm going to let him speak for himself:
Some jerk sent us two boxes of this awful book (SPOILER ALERT: George Washington - Patriot; George Soros - Pinhead) instead of anything soldiers at a remote outpost in Afghanistan might need, like, say, food or soap. Just burned the whole lot of them on my Commander’s orders.
I’ve read people’s squeamishness about setting books ablaze. I hear you. The motivation behind the order to burn them was not political. As mentioned in the original post, we are in an extraordinarily remote location. We don’t have a post office here, so sending them back wasn’t an option. Extra space is scarce and alternatives that a few mentioned, like recycling, are nonexistent. All waste is burned on the base and in town; wood and paper goes in that barrel. I was getting rid of a bunch of cardboard boxes and the books were in the burn pile. There were 20 of them. I saved one for the bookshelf. I’m aware of the historical implications of book-burning. I won’t say I didn’t take pleasure in removing a few copies of this bigoted twerp’s writings from circulation, but the reason for doing so was military necessity.
I've been trying to find a way to do transcripts and stills of Colbert's segment. If someone knows of an easy way, please send me a message.
Here's Colbert's video with a partial transcript below.
COLBERT: Nation, with the war in Afghanistan stretching into its eleventh year, it can be easy to forget to thank the people working so hard to protect our country. I'm talking of course about Bill O'Reilly. For years Papa-bear has been supporting our troops, by sending them what they most desperately need on the battlefield: his book.
It is a perfect gift for these warriors. I know reading his book always makes me want to kill somebody.
He ended his segment by saying:
Soldier, there are plenty of ways Papa Bear’s books can be useful on the front line. You can use them as sandbags, or as armor for a humvee, or you know, you guys always need toilet paper. I am sure Bill would be honored.
The soldier's response to all the attention?
O’Reilly book bonfire featured on The Colbert Report. This is getting crazy.
He also had people asking for his APO, so they could send his unit things they actually did need, like food and soap. He said he couldn't give it out over the internet for security reasons.
My suggestion for sending things to the troops? Bacon salt.
The few guys I know who were overseas couldn't get enough of the stuff, and it really does turn inedible food into something somewhat tastier. Next time you make up a shoebox for the troops, I suggest bacon salt.
And remember, soldiers have limited space. If you send them a box of books, make sure they're not all the same book, or else this could end up happening to you.
The right-wing made a stink when it happened to a stack of pashtun bibles that some idiots wanted the soldiers to distribute. Nevermind that this would the terrorists to paint the soldiers as crusaders, and that the distribution of bibles would have helped the Taliban's argument and hurt pretty much everyone.
I also suggest you check out this soldier's blog over at Everqueer.
Of course, the attention has brought out the crazies:
In the interest of fairness, I just thought everyone should read a reasoned, thoughtful objection to the burning of these books:hippieslayer:
This is why I don’t support faggots in the military. Bunch of whiny, shit-eating, vindictive idiots who are also raging hypocrites. You want a bigot? Look in the fucking mirror, asshole!
And I am NOT “shutting the hell up” and thanking you for your “service” as you’re likely sexually harassing every other man in your unit, which is something that’s par for the course when it comes to you stupid, disgusting degenerates.
I think I am going to go and burn a bunch of queer history books or something. That should even things out.
Because as we all know, even history books can choose to be gay.