Home > Articles of interest > Way to win over the local population – not.

Way to win over the local population – not.

The more I read the news this week the more I think the US military has a bit of a Lord of the Flies problem going on out there in the field.  This isn’t as significant or awful as other things that have come to light recently, but still…

When insurgents open fire in Marjah, an armoured vehicle wired up to powerful speakers blasts out country, heavy metal and rock music so loudly it can be heard up to two kilometres (one mile) away.

The playlist has been hand-selected to “piss off the Taliban”, according to one US special forces officer.

“Taliban hate that music,” said the sergeant involved in covert psychological operations, or “psy ops”, in the area in Helmand province.

“Some locals complain but it’s a way to push them to choose. It’s motivating Marines as well,” he added after one deafening round of several hours including tracks from The Offspring, Metallica and Thin Lizzy.

The officer said they also broadcast messages from the Afghan government, as well as threats to the Taliban – there are no obscenities, “but we tell them they’re gonna die”, he smiled.

How effective the method is in sending the Taliban running for cover is difficult to tell, but local children certainly don’t like it – many of them cover their ears from the onslaught of loud bass guitars and drums.

Lieutenant Colonel Brian Christmas – the commander of US Marines in northern Marjah – said he was unaware of the musical psy ops.

“It’s inappropriate,” he told AFP, mindful that a major part of the counter-insurgency plan is focused on winning over Afghans from the insurgents.

“I’m going to ask this to stop right now.”


Categories: Articles of interest
  1. Robert Hoskins
    04/07/2010 at 1:34 am

    Speaking as an old US Army Special Forces officer, surely an American SF officer isn’t dumb enough to think that the “Apocalypse Now” approach actually works, as quoted above. Just what are they teaching these guys at Fort Bragg these days?

    The Marine LTC Christmas has figured it out, I guess.


    • Leah Farrall, Australia
      04/07/2010 at 1:59 am

      You’d think so, though I heard similar stories from Iraq too.

  2. Seth
    04/07/2010 at 3:53 am

    Lord of the Flies is an appropriate metaphor for America’s narcoleptic imperialism generally — No Adult Supervision.

  3. Paladin
    04/08/2010 at 12:26 am

    The best way to win over the culturally and spiritually delicate sense of honor of the Afghani people is surely none other than the ultimate excrescence of contemporary nihilistic Western decadence, (Satanic-Crowleyan-Laveyan) DEATH METAL ROCK. The contrast between an integral culture and culture in decline couldn’t better be epitomized.

    Pure genius on the part of the American “Special Forces” community, true spearheads against all evil-minded insurgents.

  4. Roberto Paladdino
    04/08/2010 at 4:46 am

    Hello folks. My (biological) brother above (“Paladin”) is into anti-terrorist studies (not my thing), but he mentioned to me in passing this particular phenomenon of US troops blasting heavy metal on duty (a sad reoccurence of a previous problem, as I shall show below) & I thought I would add my own 2 cents, as a 30-something American ex-combat-soldier & veteran of the Gulf War–

    I can testify, with the support of direct empirical experience, that this sort of behavior (namely, blasting brutal Western heavy metal music against foreign forces) is absolutely counterproductive, idiotic & probably Immoral. Some geniuses during the Gulf War also had this idea, and blasted evil-sounding heavy metal bands like Slayer (a dissonant-sounding, screaming satanist-lyric-spouting thrash-metal American group) to supposedly confuse & “demoralize” the enemy. Slayer’s dissonant riffs were directed against the enemy almost constantly. I was personally witness to this “tactic”, & let me tell you, the only time our unit experienced returning hostile fire & suffered (though slight) casualties was when Slayer was being blasted! I cannot doubt it was Karmic revenge–

    You see, even though I reject Arabic-Islamic sensibilities & I am no Arab-phile or Islamophile, I recognize the truths of social psychology– The Middle Eastern Arabic-Islamic cultural area’s sensibilities are extremely sensitive, & when Western & American troops throw the vulgar, crass products of our “materialistic cultural nihilism” (as I’ve heard others phrase it) into their collective faces, there is Karmic hell to pay. Such cultural affronts probably cost more American soldiers’ lives, due to the effects of social psychology, than purely military combat operations.

    In terms of pure militaristic logic, such actions are severely costly in terms of provoking anti-troop sentiments & feed into the misguidedness of resistance movements who feverishly seek (for propagandistic purposes), not only for signs of military weakness within our troops, but for confirmatory signs of the “Islamo-terrorist/insurgent metanarrative” of a cultural-civilizational conspiracy on the part of (godless-decadent-nihilistic) Westerners to infect their homelands with what they consider our own dissolutive cultural & moral corruption–

    That this purely moronic rowdy, gangsterlike behavior can (still) pass off nowadays, with impunity from higher officers, as some sort of “psy-ops” is–apparently & tragically–an indication of an ongoing overall professional & ethical degeneration of the American military & intelligence leadership class, whose most recent policy seems to be to let the lesser-ranks go pretty much wild & even encourage general wildness.

    One doesn’t have to be an anti-American anti-Western fanatic to recognize the reality of Karma & its laws…

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