Gulf War Essays

And had he not died unexpectedly in December 2002, he would most likely be among the anti-G8 activists today.All that goes some way to explaining why the Arab musician Rachid Taha recorded the only successful cover version of a punk song in Arabic: "Rock el Casbah".Among the blight-killed eucalypts, among trees and bushes rusted by Christmas frosts, the yards and hillsides exhausted by five years of drought, certain airy white blossoms punctually reappeared, and dense clusters of pale pink, dark pink— a delicate abundance.

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The British punk band "The Clash" stormed the charts 25 years ago with the legendary "Rock the Casbah".

But Joe Strummer, the band’s cult singer, would never have imagined that his song could become the anthem of the Gulf War soldiers.

Essay text: As Iraq's complaints against Kuwait grew increasingly harsh, Iraq began to mobilize its troops near Kuwaiti border.

Kuwait decided not to call on the United States or other non-Arab powers for support.

In fact it is down to Joe Strummer’s unusual biography that a punk band ever came up with such unorthodox sounds and lyrics.

Born in the Turkish capital of Ankara, the son of a diplomat grew up in India and Mexico, later visiting Teheran after moving to London.To some of us, the dejected landscape consorted well with our shame and bitterness.Skies ever-blue, daily sunshine, disgusted us like smile-buttons.No humanity in fanaticism It was the strict ban on western disco music that inspired Joe Strummer’s lyrics.With "Rock the Casbah" he wanted to express that "there’s no tenderness or humanity in fanaticism," he said.All this begs the question of what the song – peppered with Arabic, Indian and Persian words – really is about.Bombs between the minarets Surprisingly, "Rock the Casbah" comes across as very light-hearted and humorous: the shareef, the fundamentalist king of an unnamed Islamic dictatorship, is angered by a sudden outbreak of raga dancing, in the end even ordering jet fighters to put a stop to the spreading chaos – and drop their bombs between the minarets.But the jet pilots are not immune to the lure of the music and soon join in the chorus of "Rock The Casbah!" It all fits in so well with the past and present political climate: Ayatollah Khomeini dethroned the despotic Shah in 1979; even then, the newly declared "Islamic Republic of Iran" had no time for fun and games, and launched a wide-ranging cultural revolution.As a result, the Clash’s songs are an early combination of British rudeboy attitude, reggae, folk and Oriental sounds.After the untimely end of the Clash in 1985, Strummer confirmed his standing as a political activist and advocate of multiculturalism, exerting a clear influence on world music writers and performers such as Manu Chao.


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