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Thread: Music & Small Wars (a broad theme)

  1. #1
    Council Member Tc2642's Avatar
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    Default Islamic hip-hop artists are accused of indoctrinating young against the West

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...448891,00.html

    HIP-HOP and rap artists are teaching young Muslims the ideology of radical Islamism through songs about the war in Iraq, the oppression of Muslims and the creation of an Islamic state governed by Sharia, or religious law.
    Intelligence agencies have identified music as a “tool for indoctrination”. The phenomenon began with an American group called Soldiers of Allah. The group has since disbanded but its music and lyrics remain popular on the internet. Other groups in Britain, France and the US have been identified as giving cause for concern. Many use the derogatory term “kufur” to describe non-Muslims.

    Madeleine Gruen, an American intelligence analyst, highlighted the lyrics of a British group called Blakstone as a possible gateway to extremist politics.

    Blakstone website

    http://www.blak-stone.com/

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    Default Music & Small Wars (a broad theme)

    The role of music in resistance movements, insurgency and rebellion is something i've been thinking about a bit lately and noticed there doesn't seem to be much written on the topic, at least for Iraq and Afghanistan (perhaps because insurgents in those places are often hostile to music to begin with).

    I grew up listening to Irish rebel music (the Wolfetones are still my favorite), so I have some understanding of music as a force for cohesion and influence in resistance movements. Even though the troubles in Northern Ireland are essentially over (for the time being at least), rebel music remains as part of Irish culture and identity.

    More recently, I've been listening to some great North-African-based music which has similar roots in resistance. Tinariwen is one of the better-known groups, but there are others, many of which can be found through links to music groups on myspace. Through Tinariwen's myspace page, one can find all sorts of acts - many of which are North African "rebel music" acts. This is yet another demonstration of the power of social networking.

    So a question I have, is there anything we can do with music to further our COIN strategy, or is this something we should steer away from? My experience with Irish music tells me that attempts to ban or otherwise discourage certain bands/songs/themes are most-likely counterproductive. Beyond that, it seems to me the hostility toward most music by elements in the Taliban, takfiri and other movements we are opposing presents an opportunity to attack their ideas and ideology through music. Thoughts?

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    Council Member Danny's Avatar
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    Default Well ...

    There is that one instance I blogged about a while back where U.S. forces used loud rock music over the course of six days (AC/DC's "Back in Black") to drown out the sound of approaching mechanized equipment (armored vehicles).

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/10/02/news/afghan.php

    Not what you're looking for, huh? Something a little more sophisticated?

    On a more serious note (pardon the pun), given that one thing the Taliban do immediately upon entering an area to "Talibanize" it is to kill the entertainers, ban music and ban women in public, I have doubts about your plan.

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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi Entropy,

    Quote Originally Posted by Entropy View Post
    So a question I have, is there anything we can do with music to further our COIN strategy, or is this something we should steer away from? My experience with Irish music tells me that attempts to ban or otherwise discourage certain bands/songs/themes are most-likely counterproductive. Beyond that, it seems to me the hostility toward most music by elements in the Taliban, takfiri and other movements we are opposing presents an opportunity to attack their ideas and ideology through music. Thoughts?
    A question near and dear to me heart!

    Yes, it could be worked into our current COIN strategy. The trick is to act behind the scenes to support specific types of music. You might want to take a look at Heavy Metal Islam by Mark Levine for some examples...
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
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    http://marctyrrell.com/

  5. #5
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Entropy,

    You might want to take a look at Singing Songs with Radovan Karadzic over at the CT Lab.
    Karadzic the poet? The Bosnian Serb militia as purveyor and preserver of medieval cultures? Paul Pawlikowski (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0667734/)’s 1992 film on the role of gusle music, Serbian Epics, presents a very different take on the Balkan conflict, highlighting the inter-relation and mutual trajectories of culture and violence that lie so close to the heart of modern ethnic wars.
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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    Having spent my early political activist days as an organizer of music/protest gigs, I'm fully convinced of the ability of music to assist in protest and political mobilization. That being said, it depends a great deal on who is selling what message to whom, and very easy to do it badly. I'm doubtful, moreover, that outsiders have the "street cred" to design and market an effective message.

    On a much less serious note, over the years students in my civil war simulation have written and recorded a number of songs set in our fictional simulation universe ("Brynania")—and some of them are damn good:

    Kings of the Jungle (Rise up Zaharia)—a song supporting the "Popular Front for the Liberation of Zaharia"

    Berri-Degoa—the singer reflects, while on a long train ride, on the righteous cause of the Zaharian separatists. One of the band also went on to a real-life career at the State Department!

    Rebels Won't Succeed—a pro-government song, criticizing rebel attacks. Damn catchy too.

    The Movement—a very polished French/English bilingual appeal for support for the hardline Zaharian People's Front.

    Uqamistan—the anthem of revolutionary Uqamistan.
    They mostly come at night. Mostly.


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    Thanks for the replies - interesting stuff.

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    Default JAM jams

    Entropy, excellent question. In Iraq I went through quite a few Shi'a militia CDs in Iraq, and the music was actually pretty good (unfortunately the accompanying video was sometimes enough to make you want to go out and kick some butt, even they were injects from the movie Blackhawk Down). You can probably find their material on u-tube. The question was is it effective? I don't know, but the music was popular. Effective would mean it compells passive or active support.

    I enjoyed the protest music in the 60s and 70s, but I wasn't compelled to passively or activity support the anti-war protestors; however, if you were so inclined I suspect the music would stiffen your spine a little. Listening to our national anthem always reinforces my spine and spirit, because I have been programed that way since being a young boy. Bands used to accompany troops into battle (obviously hard to do when troops are dispersed as they are now) to provied additional motivation. Nothing like good martial music to make you think you're 10 feet tall and untouchable. Just like playing hard rock in the gym to get through a heavy lifting session. It works.

    Landsdale, an American advisor who worked with the Philippine government assisting them with their insurgency against the Huks, was famous for visiting villages with his guitar and singing folk songs to warm the people to his message.

    I think if we researched it we would find a number of instances where insurgents/reistance movements effectively used money to motivate and raise money.

    Great question, and it is probably an area we can exploit better.

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    Council Member Sergeant T's Avatar
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    Default Heavy Metal Islam

    Wanted to second Marct's recommendation. Finished it a few days ago. I would have never thought an all girl thrash metal band could/would give a command performance at the royal palace in Morocco. Worth the read and LeVine has an interesting resume. When you piggyback this with the region's youth bulge I think you get a much more effective game changer than anything the government could do. One interesting aspect of the book: People decrying the cultural imperialism....of the Saudis.

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    The Guess Who...Share The Land....kinda classic Marxist undertones.....they gave great great concerts anyway



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLQJ4toj-JY

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    But, The Lady that really taught everybody how to do it...... Joan Baez.....from 1969 "We Want Our Freedom Now and We Shall Overcome".

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6TZS...eature=related

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    http://www.heavymetalinbaghdad.com/

    Not sure that the band had any real impact but it is interesting nonetheless.

  13. #13
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default Sunday night Jams

    Yo...Homegirl can sing!!! from 1971 Freda Payne' "Bring The Boys Home"


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKb4e...eature=related


    Here is the original version.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OU0qdbcHmpw
    Last edited by slapout9; 07-20-2009 at 02:46 AM. Reason: add stuff

  14. #14
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Default North Africa's Hip Hop Protest Music

    In the midst of the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt and the protests elsewhere in North Africa and the Middle East, a group of Libyan exiles who run a website called Khalas noticed one surprising common thread in the voicing of discontent … rap music. Across the region rap artists were providing the soundtrack to protests in the streets. So Khalas decided to contribute by releasing a mixtape of their own. Khalas co-founder Abdulla Darrat talks about the influence of hip hop in this latest round of protests.
    http://www.onthemedia.org/transcripts/2011/02/11/02

    Transcripts will be available Monday afternoon.
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    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Default Music as a motivator for rebellion

    Placed here, as Art usually goes hand-in-hand with the Social Sciences.

    I haven't seen this addressed anywhere here, even after some reasonable googling and yet I can remember discussing the potential impact with Dave D. 15 years ago.

    The political and military chaos in Libya is about to enter its sixth month. As the rebels wage war against Muammar Gaddafi from their capital in Benghazi, and NATO air strikes continue to target his forces, subtler forms of protest that don't make headlines are sustaining the rebel cause.

    Libyans are writing their own musical soundtrack to the war, expressing themselves in ways forbidden under the regime, and painting anti-Gaddafi murals and cartoons. These are important gestures of freedom in one of the Arab world's most totalitarian countries.
    http://www.studio360.org/2011/jul/01...ck-revolution/


    Since December, musicians have been responding to — and provoking — the protests in countries like Egypt and Tunisia, and much of the music being made about these movements is hip-hop. Some of these songs have played a direct role in popular uprisings, while others have helped galvanize international support. Songs are rapped in both English and Arabic, and international collaborations have helped to spread the music over the Internet, via Facebook and YouTube.

    Hear Five Of The Best
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/therecord/2...he-arab-spring


    In 2009, in response to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s first speech to the United Nations, a group of Libyan exiles created an organization called Khalas, which means “enough,” the goal, to bring awareness of the struggles again Libya’s dictatorial regime not only to other Libyans in the western world but to the English-speaking world at large. In the wake of revolution in Tunisia and Egypt and protests elsewhere in North Africa and the Middle East, the Khalas team recognized one surprising common thread in the voices of discontent, rap music. Across the region, rap artists were providing the soundtrack to protests in the street. Khalas has curated a mixtape of some of the best new protest music and is now hosting the mix on its website, Enoughgaddafi.com. Abdulla Darrat is one of the founders of Khalas.
    http://www.onthemedia.org/2011/feb/1...ic/transcript/

    See also
    http://rebelfrequencies.blogspot.com...t-gaddafi.html
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    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    I took an entire PhD course on Music and civil disobedience. US centric labor songs like "Joe Hill" by Robeson is a good example (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8Kxq9uFDes). Of course Robeson is an interesting figure. The interaction between populism and music is increasingly interesting as folk songs (contrary to commercial) have significant impact on political change.
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    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    You say you want a revolution? You're going to need music to fuel the fervor. And that's exactly what emerged across North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula this year.

    On Wednesday, All Things Considered host Robert Siegel checked in with a Greek music critic about protest music there. On Thursday, Russian musician, producer and activist Vasily Shumov shared the soundtrack of dissent in Russia. Today, Hani Almadhoun, the blogger behind Hot Arabic Music, lists songs that were a huge part of the Arab Spring protests. You can listen to the conversation by clicking the audio link above, and hear the songs they discuss below.
    http://www.npr.org/2011/12/30/144477...he-arab-spring
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default Revolutionary Music

    Deleted
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 09-05-2013 at 08:49 PM. Reason: Author's request

  19. #19
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default Trying To Fix Revolutionary Music

    OK, I am trying this once again. For what ever reason I could not edit the original post for some reason it said I did not have the authority to edit the post! I don't know what is up with that but it would not let me do anything despite following the instructions.


    So here is a link to an interesting post from Fabius Maximus on the subject of reform in America and the use music. As the first SWJ/SWC self appointed unconventional warfare music and Video Disk Jockey expert I was very interested in the posted experts opinion and analysis of the subject.

    http://fabiusmaximus.com/2013/09/03/...a-music-54559/
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 09-05-2013 at 08:49 PM. Reason: stuff. More stuff

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    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Might as well drop this here -

    1) Reading music
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgSkpRhP5nI

    2) Stuff to read

    "Kalachnikov Love," a song by Ivorian reggae star Alpha Blondy that came out in 1986. It was being played everywhere across West Africa — taxis, bars, the stands of cassette sellers. After the death of Kalashnikov was announced on Monday, one former CIA officer commented that the AK-47 was the “easiest assault rifle to fall in love with.”
    Carl Krendel is an academic who wrote a paper with the heady title “Alpha Blondy’s Musical Nullification of Race, Class and Cultural Boundaries.” Krendel wrote that “'Kalashnikov Love,' performed with the Wailers [yes, Bob Marley’s band - eds.] and to the base riff of Marley’s 'Stir It Up,' is a sarcastic criticism of violence and the commercialization of the AK-47 in Africa." (You can hear the song below).
    http://pri.org/stories/2013-12-27/mi...ak-47-take-bow
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
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