Whether it is to psych themselves up or break prisoners down, American troops and law-enforcement agents have a somewhat discordant record of deploying music for martial ends.
|SONG OR ARTIST||USED BY||GOAL||RESULT||INSIDE DOPE|
|“Ride of the Valkyries” by Richard Wagner||U.S. infantry, Ramidi, Iraq, June 21, 2003||Get pumped up Apocalypse Now-style before a raid||Raised specter of Vietnam-type quagmire||And we thought only fictional GIs liked the Ring cycle.|
|Themes to Barney, Sesame Street; “Enter Sandman” by Metallica||U.S. Army Psy-Ops Company, Iraq, June 2003||Interrogate prisoners about the whereabouts of WMDs||WMDs still MIA||It’s not easy being fedayeen.|
|Celine Dion, Sheryl Crow, Dixie Chicks||U.S.”Commando Solo” planes, broadcasting tunes and propaganda into Iraq, spring 2003||Persuade Iraqis they had “nothing to fear” from U.S. invasion||Society unprepared for assault of Titanic theme song devolves into looting||“I’m sure she would be happy to do anything to help,” said Dion’s spokesperson. Crow, Chicks less sure.|
|“Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses, as well as Hendrix, Quiet Riot, etc.||4th Psy-Ops Group, Vatican Embassy, Panama City, December 1989||Force Manuel Noriega to leave Vatican Embassy, where he’d taken refuge||A lifelong opera lover, the Pineapple surrenders.||“We received a note from the nuncio protesting either the loudness of the music or the quality, I’m not sure which,” a U.S. official said.|
|“These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” by Nancy Sinatra, “Achy Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray Cyrus||FBI, Waco, Texas, March 19, 1993||Get David Koresh and his followers to leave Waco compound||FBI later admits sleep-deprived Davidians may actually have been more susceptible to Koresh as a result.||Koresh’s own recordings, like “Sheshonahim,” more in singer/songwriter/ megalomaniac mode|
|“Rock the Casbah” by The Clash||U.S. Armed Forces Radio, Saudi Arabia, 1990||Kickoff to Gulf War I||GIs proceed to rock Iraq and roll into Kuwait.||Still asking ourselves, Should we stay or should we go?|