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Saturday, June 13, 2015

Can A Song Take Down ISIS?

A few months ago the New York Times ran an article about the USA's struggle to combat ISIS as a brand. It emphasized the failure to coordinate communication effectively, but I didn't see that either as the problem or the cure.
To me it's a matter of military strategy, and policy.
I would blow their freaking heads off.
There was a lot of debate in the comments section. Some people blamed the U.S. for creating the problem in the first place. Others thought the communication actually did play a role. Here's what one person had to say (excerpt):
The Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications would do best to contract with small groups of nimble marketers and hackers: recent college grads who wear baseball caps and hoodies and who are perpetually two steps ahead of social media.
It is precisely such American young people, who watch and intelligently criticize "Girls" for its waning significance, that can take down the incompetent goons of ISIS Public Relations. I'd match the wits of our motley band of digitally-obsessed American youth, with their coffee and pizza, against the motley stooges called ISIS any day.
Perhaps coincidentally, today the Drudge Report had a headline about this anti-ISIS anthem, "Revolution," from Kurdish pop singer Helly Luv. I watched the video and thought to myself - "Blumenthal, maybe you're wrong after all!!"
Maybe communication can be the beginning of the answer, even if it's not the answer in and of itself.
The AFP reports that Luv is "the most popular cheerleader for the Iraqi Kurds' war against jihadists."
Her music video is powerful because it "hits on many themes that the peshmerga have sought to emphasise since the anti-IS conflict began last June, showing them as the brave, secular defenders of the innocent threatened by jihadist brutality."
Her message is simple: End war.
I had never heard of this singer, but her video and lyrics sure inspired me. She shows in stark terms how these violent animals are invading the lives of peaceful people and destroying them. Her words are stirring, and she repeats them over and over to drive the message home:
Stand up, we are united
Together we can survive it
Darkness will never take us
Long live to every nation
Rise up cause we're so much stronger as one
Breaking the silence as loud as a gun
Brothers and sisters we all come from one
Different religions we share the same blood.
Here are some screenshots from her video, via Vevo.
These are two people enjoying a cup of tea, before ISIS invades.
This is a young boy screaming when the bombing breaks out, the ISIS trucks roll in and they start shooting.
This is the singer standing before a bombed-out scene, in front of a car spray-painted with the word "peace."
Here she imagines herself leading an army to defeat these killers.
She visualizes the nations of the world uniting to do what is right.
I hope that you will watch the song and help bring views to 3 billion -- the number of people in the world with an Internet connection.
Maybe this would help us all gain some strategic clarity about the need to eliminate these villains -- wherever they came from, no matter whose fault it is --  from the face of Planet Earth.
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All opinions are my own and do not reflect those of my agency or the federal government as a whole. Photo of Helly Luv visiting Kurdish Peshmerga troops in Dohuk, July 5, 2014 via Wikimedia (Creative Commons). Photo credit: G2musicgroup.