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- Posted on Apr 8th 2010 8:15AM by Matt Glazebrook
US special forces in Marjah have hit upon the genius idea of blasting deafening Metallica, Thin Lizzy and Offspring tunes in the general direction of suspected insurgent strong-holds in a bid to root out hard rock-averse guerrillas. Only problem is, the civilians aren't exactly ecstatic about the constant barrage of 'Enter Sandman' and 'Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)' either.
Marines in Marjah, a farming community in the middle of Afghanistan's poppy belt, have rigged up an armoured vehicle with massive speakers that can be heard up to a mile away. "Taliban hate that music," explains one officer of a multiple-hour playlist that includes the aforementioned rockers interspersed with Afghan government propaganda and death threats.
The sergeant admits that "some locals complain" (children have reportedly been seen trying to cover the ears against the sonic assault) but argues that "it's a way to push them to choose [between the insurgents and occupying forces]."
It is not clear how the farming community is reacting to the choice between one group of people who threaten to behead them and another that plies them with ear-splitting renditions of 'Master of Puppets' -- but the commander in charge of the US troops in Marjah is certainly unimpressed. "It's inappropriate," Lieutenant Colonel Brian Christmas told AFP. "I'm going to ask this to stop right now."
This isn't the first time the US Army has been criticized for using loud music in its operations in the Middle East. Red Cross reports have found that interrogators at prison camps in Iraq and Afghanistan use a barrage of songs by Rage Against the Machine, Nine Inch Nails and others to cause sleep deprivation and stress in detainees. Rage's Tom Morello and NIN's Trent Reznor are among musicians who have subsequently signed up to campaigns opposing this form of music torture.