Marines Fight Taliban With Metallica, Thin Lizzy, Offspring

Everyone knows how much the Taliban hates music – with some exceptions. As I wrote in the Village Voice way back in November 2001:

Afghan pop and musiqui (secular instrumental music...have become so proscribed that wary drivers took to jamming tapes of Taliban chants recounting the jihadic victories of Islamist martyrs into tape decks as they approached checkpoints. Since Koranic declamations and religious agitprop don't count as music so far as the Taliban is concerned, a healthy market exists for these echoing paeans. "Taliban, O Taliban, you're creating facilities, you're defeating enemies," goes one of their a cappella jeremiads, which are sometimes augmented with the sounds of rocket launchers and Kalashnikov fire.

Turns out the Marines are still fighting fire with, er, fire. In the latest story about US armed forces using pop music to torture and torment their enemies, the AFP news service reports that special forces in Marjah, Afghanistan, are cranking up Thin Lizzy, Metallica, Offspring, and other heavy metal wonders.

"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.

There we go again, winning the hearts and minds of peoples everywhere with our superior culture. It's probably not quite so annoying if you're high on opium, however.