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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Tin ear

NPR carried a piece today about the release in Baghdad of hundreds of Sunni prisoners held by the US. The reporter described the scene at the airbase: the men are seated, squinting against the harsh sunlight, dressed in "new white shirts" provided by the US Army, listening while "a military band plays." My attention was caught. The sound of the music was brought up. I wondered how an Arab song might sound played by an army band. It took about three notes for me to recognize the melody. "Onward Christian Soldiers!" What were they thinking? It's unlikely, of course, that any of the prisoners realized what they were hearing. The reporter didn't even comment on it. What an amazing insult, though...

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