Target (market): Afghanistan

“Attention Taliban! You are condemned. Did you know that? The instant the terrorists you support took over our planes, you sentenced yourselves to death…”
Such begins another broadcast day on “Information Radio,” the U.S. military’s psychological operations arm of the so-called “war on terrorism” in Afghanistan.
Now that the military campaign is in full seek-and-destroy mode, a specially-equipped plane from the Pennsylvania Air National Guard is making daily flights over Afghanistan, broadcasting music and messages for 10 hours a day on at least two AM frequencies (864 and 1107 kHz). A shortwave station, probably located in the neighboring former Soviet republic of Turkmenistan, also relays the programming on 8700 kHz. Continue reading “Target (market): Afghanistan”

The Radio War in Afghanistan

America’s new so-called “war on terrorism” has some interesting radio wrinkles running through it. In fact, “pirate radio” may play a role in the outcome of the current action in Afghanistan.
To tell the truth, since the Taliban took control of the country in 1996, what media there was in Afghanistan was all but destroyed. As part of its rigid imposition of ultra-strict religious law, the Taliban went on a seek-and-destroy mission against all television sets in the country; turned the country’s central TV station into a military boarding house; and established dominance over all radio outlets.
More than a dozen radio stations are active in Afghanistan, all part of the Taliban-controlled “Voice of Shari’ah” (Islamic Law) network, broadcasting mostly on AM and shortwave.
It shouldn’t have come as a surprise, then, that the radio voice of the Taliban was one of the first targets hit when America began dropping bombs. Continue reading “The Radio War in Afghanistan”

Give Me Pirate Radio

The following is the (heavily) edited text of the microradio “mass turn-on” proposal/presentation given by Tom Ness of the Michigan Music is World Class Campaign to a packed house at the Metro Detroit Area Green Party Clearinghouse on September 19, 2001.
Tom lays out an exciting and potentially powerful vision for the future of microradio in America. It will take more organization then has ever been seen before to pull it off – but it IS possible.
Dare to dream….If you would like a copy of the full text, simply Tom and he’ll be happy to send a copy your way.
If you can control what people think — or even what they think about — you don’t need expensive and messy armies. If you can control what people think, you’ve no need for police because people will happily do what you want — and think all along it is their idea. That is the power of the media, and why this subject is so acutely important. Continue reading “Give Me Pirate Radio”

Tit for Tat

In the wake of the recent terror attacks on the United States, paranoia among both the people and the powers-that-be remains significantly heightened.
The Federal Communications Commission has not been immune to this paranoia. Shortly after the strikes in New York and Washington, FCC Amateur Radio Enforcement Director Riley Hollingsworth issued a public plea to the nation’s ham radio community, asking it to scan all radio bands and keep an ear out for suspicious activity, making tapes if possible. As Hollingsworth put it, “You never know.”
FCC agents have also been spotted on the streets of Nashville, Tennessee within the last week reportedly looking for two separate unlicensed outlets. Continue reading “Tit for Tat”