News of the Wierd Recurring Theme

  1. I love News of the Wierd! One item that often pops up, is the 'Recurring Theme' retirement of some standard bizarre item that keeps recurring over and over in the news. Here's one that would get this funny column pulled from the US papers though, if they dared print it? That is the recurring theme of US military and police operations where the uniformed perps use Loud Music to annoy those who they hope to assassinate, or assault.

    Here it is one more time, this time in Fallujah, Iraq! It's part of the US program to help build democracy in Iraq and win the battle for hearts and minds, no doubt? lol. You know US troops are just bound to succeed with this technique! Maybe their CIC will send him a hit of some of his favorite Texas country tunes to play in Fallujah?
    :hatparty: NH
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    Troops Blast Music in Siege of Fallujah
    by JASON KEYSER, Associated Press
    April 16th, 2004

    FALLUJAH, Iraq - In Fallujah's darkened, empty streets, U.S. troops blast AC/DC's "Hell's Bells" and other rock music full volume from a huge speaker, hoping to grate on the nerves of this Sunni Muslim city's gunmen and give a laugh to Marines along the front line.

    Unable to advance farther into the city, an Army psychological operations team hopes a mix of heavy metal and insults shouted in Arabic-including, "You shoot like a goat herder"-will draw gunmen to step forward and attack. But no luck Thursday night.

    The loud music recalls the Army's use of rap and rock to help flush out Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega after the December 1989 invasion on his country, and the FBI's blaring progressively more irritating tunes in an attempt to end a standoff with armed members of the Branch Davidian cult in Waco, Texas in 1993.

    The Marines' psychological operations came as U.S. negotiators were pressing Fallujah representatives to get gunmen in the city to abide by a cease-fire.

    Six days after negotiations halted a U.S. offensive against insurgents in the city, the Marines continue carving out front line positions and hope for orders to push forward. Many are questioning the value of truce talks with an enemy who continues to launch attacks.

    "These guys don't have a centralized leader; they're just here to fight. I don't see what negotiations are going to do," said Capt. Shannon Johnson, a company commander for the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment. Word of truce talks last week forced his battalion to halt its plunge into the northeast section of the city just hours after arriving to back up other Marines.

    In the meantime, perhaps the fiercest enemy-everyone here seems to agree-is the boredom, and worst of all the flies that pepper this dusty Euphrates River city west of Baghdad. Marines burn them, using matches to turn cans of flammable bug spray into mini blow torches. They also try to kill them by sprinkling diesel fuel over fly colonies. They joke about calling in airstrikes.

    Fallujah's front lines remain dangerous.

    On Friday, insurgents fired several mortars at U.S. forces. One of the shells blasted a chunk out of a house where Marines are positioned, filling the building with dust and smoke. No one was injured.

    A short time later, an F-16 jet dropped a 2,000-pound bomb on the city, sending up a massive spray of dirt and smoke and destroying a building where Marines had spotted gunmen.

    "The longer we wait to push into the city, the more dangerous it's going to be," said Cpl. Miles Hill, 21, from Oklahoma, playing a game of chess with a fellow Marine in a house they control.

    "They (the insurgents) have time to set stuff up." He guesses the insurgents are likely rigging doors with explosives, knowing Marines will kick them in during searches if they sweep the city.

    Up on the roof, Pfc. James Cathcart, 18, kept watch from a sandbagged machine-gunner's nest Friday. His platoon commander passed along word that troops found a weapons cache that included a Soviet-made sniper rifle with a night-sight.

    "A night-sight, sir?" he said, surprised that insurgents had the technology. His commander told him to keep his head down. "Everyone here wants to push forward. Here, you're just a target," Cathcart said.

    The young Marine looked out over grim city blocks around a dusty soccer pitch and a trash-strewn lot, as a rain shower passed over. He said during the long hours of duty, he wonders what the insurgents are doing, how many there are and if they're watching him.

    Adding to the eery feeling up, he said, are the music and speeches in Arabic that come over mosque loudspeakers.

    Unable to advance farther, Marines holed up in front-line houses have linked the buildings by blasting or hammering holes through walls between them and laying planks across gaps between rooftops, a series of passageways they call the "rat line."

    Lying on his stomach on a rooftop and wearing goggles and earplugs, a Marine sniper keeps an eye to his rifle sight. His main task in recent days has been trying to hit the black-garbed gunmen who occasionally dash across the long street in front of him. To dodge his shots, one of the gunmen recently launched into a rolling dive across the street, a move that had the sniper and his buddies laughing.

    "I think I got him later. The same guy came back and tried to do a low crawl," said Lance Cpl. Khristopher Williams, 20, from Fort Myers, Fla.

    Others have run across the street, hiding behind children on bicycles, said the sniper. In his position-reachable only by scaling the outside ledge of a building-he sits for hours with his finger poised on the trigger of a rifle that fires 50-caliber armor-piercing bullets with such force that the muzzle flash and exiting gasses from the weapon have blackened the bricks around the gun.

    On the street in front of his position sits a car riddled with bullets, where the bloated, fly-infested bodies of three armed men have been left. The vehicle was shot up by Marine gunmen before the sniper set up his position.

    Along the front line, Marines have been firing warning shots to scare away dogs chewing on corpses. In some cases, the troops have wrapped bodies in blankets and buried them in shallow graves.

    At night, the psychological operations unit attached to the Marine battalion here sends out messages from a loudspeaker mounted on an armored Humvee. On Thursday night, the crew and its Arabic-language interpreter taunted fighters, saying, "May all the ambulances in Fallujah have enough fuel to pick up the bodies of the mujahadeen."

    The message was specially timed for an attack moments later by an AC-130 gunship that pounded targets in the city.

    Later, the team blasted Jimi Hendrix and other rock music, and afterward some sound effects like babies crying, men screaming, a symphony of cats and barking dogs and piercing screeches. They were unable to draw any gunmen to fight, and seemed disappointed.
    Last edit by NurseHardee on Apr 19, '04
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   pickledpepperRN
    Imagine being in your home. You were born in this town as were your parents and grandparents. You are the parent of young children.
    Tanks and nervous soldiers have come down your street. Your door was kicked in abd your home searched at gunpoint by soldiers with guns.
    You cannot go anywhere. The bridge over the Tigris is blocked by troops. That is the only way to get to the hospital so you pray yor fathers does not become SOB or develop chest pain.

    Snipers are on rooftops. Loud music and recorded insults are broadcast loudly.
    On the street are dead paople being chewed by dogs.

    You worry that if your children survive they will be so frightened, traumatized, and scarred by these experiences they become terrorists themselves.
    You pray.
  4. by   Jaaaman
    Quote from spacenurse
    Imagine being in your home. You were born in this town as were your parents and grandparents. You are the parent of young children.
    Tanks and nervous soldiers have come down your street. Your door was kicked in abd your home searched at gunpoint by soldiers with guns.
    You cannot go anywhere. The bridge over the Tigris is blocked by troops. That is the only way to get to the hospital so you pray yor fathers does not become SOB or develop chest pain.

    Snipers are on rooftops. Loud music and recorded insults are broadcast loudly.
    On the street are dead paople being chewed by dogs.

    You worry that if your children survive they will be so frightened, traumatized, and scarred by these experiences they become terrorists themselves.
    You pray.
    And it was not horrifying living under Saddams regime? We could probably insert "forces loyal to Saddam Hussien" into these paragraphs as it was when he was in power. Except when innocent Iraqies were imprisoned, they were tortured and beaten and sometimes killed.
  5. by   pickledpepperRN
    PLEASE!
    The fact that Saddam wad a tyrant does not make this war a good thing.
    I was attempting to put some understanding of WHY people who once were glad we ousted SH are now ready to take up arms against US. Thjey consider the US troops invaders in their land.
    Our troops are frightened all the time. In addition they are trained to shoot to kill the enemy. Who IS the enemy?
    They don't know. Cannot even trust a child. The people of Iraq and our troops are being terrorized by this war.
  6. by   NurseHardee
    What I find is so distressing in both our leaders and our soldiers, is the constant appearance that making war is some sort of game and joke done at other peoples' expense. So many people on this board have said that I have been offensive to them by insinuating that US troops have an inhumane outlook. They just don't believe that their friends and relatives in the military have a bad attitude at all, nor are they willing to consider that this attitude is reflective of the general bad attitude that most American civilians have towards other citizens of the world.

    What bad attitude am I talking about here? It is the beleif that US culture is God's ultimate gift to mankind, and that we have reached some incredible pinnacle of achievement that only Americans could achieve. This is truly a delusional attitude that unfortunately most Americans share with each other. And when these US troops go to invade and occupy other countries, they carry this arrogance, elitism, and racism with them.

    Nurse Hardee
  7. by   nekhismom
    It's bad all the way around. THe troops suffer. The natives suffer. THe children will be irreparably damaged. So I suggest that we pray. To whomever or whatever you believe in. Just pray.
  8. by   bukko
    On the subject of rock in Iraq, BBC Wold News showed a sad juxtaposition on the one-year anniversary of when Saddam's statue was pulled down. A U.S. Humvee with a .50-caliber machine gun loudspeakers on the top was rolling around the deserted Firdo Square, where the statue had been. It was broadcasting a message in Arabic that said "You will be killed if you set foot in here and we think you're carrying weapons." Then it switched to playing loud rock.
    In the background, viewers could hear chanting from the minarets. The reporter said the muzzein (Arabic word for the chanter) was wailing "Come donate blood and food for your brothers in Fallujah!" What a contrast -- their music is saying "Stand together against the Americans" and we're playing stuff that grates on their ears, like we're trying to scare crows off a cornfield.

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