Best Defense

Pashtun hard-core rap: A report on the messages carried in Taliban chants

While Tom Ricks is away from his blog, he has selected a few of his favorite posts to re-run. We will be posting a few every day until he returns. This originally ran on March 9, 2011. There’s an interesting article on Taliban chants in the new issue of Small Wars and Insurgenciesby Thomas Johnson and Ahmed Waheed ...

MOHAMMAD BASHIR/AFP/Getty Images
MOHAMMAD BASHIR/AFP/Getty Images

While Tom Ricks is away from his blog, he has selected a few of his favorite posts to re-run. We will be posting a few every day until he returns. This originally ran on March 9, 2011.

There’s an interesting article on Taliban chants in the new issue of Small Wars and Insurgenciesby Thomas Johnson and Ahmed Waheed of the Naval Postgraduate School. It’s kind of Pashtun rap. Some have even been posted on the YouTube, they say.

One, which reminds me of Peter Tosh’s old Downpressor, kicks off this way:

Oh Western dragon! Where will you go when we shut all the ways? 
Oh Western dragon! Where will you go when we shut all the ways? 
Oh Western dragon! You have an opportunity to run away now. 
Hurry and get out of Kabul so that you don’t regret when you are captured.

There’s also some surprising content: In this one, which I take as a response to American counterinsurgency efforts, the Taliban also take on fire worshippers.

The enemies have come in the shape of friends. They look like human beings but they are wild animals. The act of disuniting people stays in their blood and their messages are look like flowers but they are full of poison. They have come under the banner of the friends but they are murderers.

The enemies have come in the shape of friends. They look like human beings 
but they are wild animals. I have always made the destiny of this country. I 
have brought happiness and beauty to my country. They have come under the 
name of sympathy but they are muggers. They have come under the name of 
sympathy but they are muggers.

The enemies have come in a shape of friends. They look like human beings but 
they are wild animals. They are Jewish but half of them are idolaters. They are 
fire worshippers who came from East and West.

When we have intelligence officers who routinely listen to this sort of thing, we will actually be able to operate in Afghanistan with effectiveness.

 

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com.

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