Report: Heavy Metal Is American Army's Latest Weapon Against Iraqi Insurgents

Lane DeGregory of The St. Petersburg Times reports: As tanks geared up to trample Fallujah and American troops started circling the city, special operations officers rifled through their CD cases, searching for a sound track to spur the assault.

What would irk Iraqi insurgents more: Barking dogs or bluegrass? Screaming babies or shrieking feedback?

Heavy metal. The Army's latest weapon.

"It's not the music so much as the sound," said Ben Abel, spokesman for the Army's psychological operations command at Fort Bragg, N.C. "It's like throwing a smoke bomb. The aim is to disorient and confuse the enemy to gain a tactical advantage."

"If you can bother the enemy through the night, it degrades their ability to fight," Abel explained. "Western music is not the Iraqis' thing. So our guys have been getting really creative in finding sounds they think would make the enemy upset.

"These harassment missions work especially well in urban settings like Fallujah," he said. "The sounds just keep reverberating off the walls."

Heavy metal that tortures Iraqis' ears also can help homesick Americans. For a 19-year-old Marine who has been coiled in a tent for weeks, ready to strike, METALLICA's "Enter Sandman" might be more inspiring than any officer's pep talk. Read more.


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