Posted by: Ben | August 24, 2010

Silver Age: Medal Of Honor

Britain’s Defence Secretary Liam Fox has defended his comments calling on retailers to ban the forthcoming Medal of Honor book from their stores.

On Sunday, Mr Fox said he was “disgusted” by the book, which allows players to read about the role of the Taliban in the Afghan war.

The book’s publishers Random House said the minister had portrayed parts of the book inaccurately.

The government said Dr Fox was expressing a “personal view”.

A spokesperson for Dr Fox said he “stood by” his comments.

“The point remains that part of this book allows you to read about the Taliban attacking ISAF troops in the area of central Helmand where British troops are operating.”

On Sunday, Dr Fox said that it was “shocking that someone would think it acceptable to recreate the acts of the Taliban against British soldiers”.

“At the hands of the Taliban, children have lost fathers and wives have lost husbands,” he said.

“It’s hard to believe any citizen of our country would wish to buy such a thoroughly un-British book. I would urge retailers to show their support for our armed forces and ban this tasteless product.”

A Random House spokesman said the book “does not allow readers to kill British soldiers”.

“No British troops feature in the book,” he said.

The Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) has distanced itself from the minister’s comments.

“Dr Fox was expressing a personal view and we understand why some people might find the subject matter of the book offensive.

“There is a ratings system in place which exists to categorise books appropriately. In this case, the book in question is rated 18 so should only be sold to, and read by, adults.

“There is a clear choice for consumers which they can exercise when making decisions about purchasing books.”

Earlier this year, Markus Dohle, the president of Random House book label, told AML he was aware that the book could cause controversy and had taken steps to minimise this.

“That was the big risk with this project,” he said.

“It was one that we took a thoughtful approach to, in that a lot of current soldiers are advising us on the book to ensure it is authentic and realistic.”

The book, set for release in October 2010, is the latest in a long-running series by Random House.

It is the first time the series of books has dispensed with its World War II theme, instead opting to recreate combat in the ongoing war in Afghanistan.

The revamped title follows a number of soldiers serving under the National Command Authority in Afghanistan during the 2001 war. Later chapters allow readers to read about the role of US Army rangers.

It is the multi-reader version of the book – in which book clubs can read about Taliban insurgents – that has sparked controversy in the UK and the US.

A spokesman for RH said: “Medal of Honor is a highly authentic depiction of the soldier’s experience in Afghanistan – matching US forces against the Taliban in today’s war.

“In multi-reader, members of book clubs read about combatants on both sides of the conflict.

“Many popular books allow readers to read about enemies, including Nazis and terrorists. In the multi-reader chapters of Medal of Honor, book clubs will read about both US forces and the Taliban.”

It is not the first time a book has provoked controversy.

In 2009, MP Keith Vaz called for a ban on a blockbuster book, A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, because of the portrayal of violence.

He was particularly incensed by a nonexistent scene in which undercover soldiers posed as terrorists and were asked to help shoot civilians.

The book went on to become the biggest selling book in the UK.

(Source: BBC News)

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Responses

  1. […] Medal of Honor (2010) which was basically an un-American Taliban simulator which trained a generation of […]


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