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So Chicago’s New Single Is About Afghanistan and Allah and Stuff

Don't look at me. I keep thinking they broke up.

by
Kathy Shaidle

Bio

January 17, 2014 - 1:30 pm

naked_in_the_garden_of_allah300

Not long ago, I expressed incredulity when Chicago released a nakedly patriotic single that sounded like a South Park parody of a patriotic single by Chicago.

The veteran band’s latest single, however, seems to mark a change of heart. I guess. You can listen to “Naked In The Garden of Allah” here.

The impetus for this track, available for purchase next week via iTunes, goes back to the immediate aftermath of Desert Storm in the early 1990s — something telegraphed by the title but also the Middle Eastern-imbued flourishes at the beginning and ending of “Naked in the Garden of Allah.” Lamm later added lyrics in the wake of the Afghanistan troop surge in 2011. He began putting down tracks for the tune the following year, which has been bolstered here by a blast of Chicago’s signature brass.

Following as it does the fiery earlier advance track “America,” “Allah” seems to signal a return to more politicized songcraft for Chicago — which, primarily through the songwriting pen of Lamm, often dotted its early albums with topical asides like “Dialogue (Part I & II)” and “Harry Truman.”

Lamm, for his part, has previously described “Naked in the Garden of Allah” as a “very edgy commentary about this past 10 years we’ve spent in the Middle East, screwing everything up. So I may get some blowback from that one, I don’t know.”

Well, Chicago might “get some blowback “for this song but that presumes people outside their core fandom even know they’re still around.

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(KATHY SHAIDLE is a blogging pioneer who runs FiveFeetOfFury, now in its 14th year. She's been called "one of the great virtuoso polemicists of our time," by MARK STEYN. Her NEW book is Confessions of A Failed Slut (Thought Catalog, 2014).

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Top Rated Comments   
I'd say our failing was the belief that we could bring a savage culture into civilization by doing everything BUT bombing it.

Here's how WW2 worked: The US leveled Germany and Japan. Both nations surrendered unconditionally. THEN they spent billions of their own money to rebuild both nations. Now they are doing great and pose no military threat to the US or pretty much anyone else.

For the last decade, we have been trying to do a Marshall Plan before surrender, not after. Building schools for people with no history of literacy or an advanced written language, etc.

Here's what should have happened in 2001:

No later than 2pm ET on Sept 11, President Bush should have ordered the use of tactical nuclear weapons on Bora Bora, then explained to the Saudis that they needed to take some responsibility for the attacks on NY etc or they too would be nuked, oil or no oil.

If they didn't respond before the deadline, tactical nuclear weapons would be employed on some Saudi target. They likely would have surrendered. After which time, the US could have followed Ann Coulter's advice and invaded the Saudis and seized their oil reserves.

Not a perfect plan but could it be any worse than what really happened?
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Only in third world countries who don't even have the so-called "free speech" that the Western world has. Here, at least, Muslims don't get to "own" words -- for now it's only African-Americans who can do that.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (12)
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my buddy's ex-wife makes $81 hourly on the laptop . She has been fired for nine months but last month her payment was $18458 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Visit Website.....W­W­­­W­.J­­O­B­­S­8­­4.C­­­O­M
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Dear Robert Lamm:

I hate to be the one to break this to you, but Chicago is a nostalgia band. NOBODY at your concerts wants to hear anything you've written in the past 30 years. If you play ANY Chicago song newer than "Look Away," your aging fans will get bored and start heading to the snack bars or the bathrooms.

Have the decency to stick to your old stuff. The crowd just wants to hear "Color My World," "If You Leave Me Now," and "Saturday in the Park" and then race to get home before the babysitters' rates go up.

You're not relevant any more, and your fans don't want you to be. Sha Na Na don't try to write modern-day protest songs, do they? Same principle. Chicago is now as contemporary as Sha Na Na.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is what happens when an old band gets Alzheimer's
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Lamm, for his part, has previously described “Naked in the Garden of Allah” as a “very edgy commentary about this past 10 years we’ve spent in the Middle East, screwing everything up. "

10 years? Ummm. The Middle East was screwed up and in a perpetual war with itself 2000 years before the United States came into existence.

Our failing was in the belief that we could bring a savage culture into civilization by bombing it. At least the defense industry has done well and government is now in possession of a whole new generation of weapons and "security measures" that can be turned against us. Wait. What?...

I hear a knock at the door. BRB
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'd say our failing was the belief that we could bring a savage culture into civilization by doing everything BUT bombing it.

Here's how WW2 worked: The US leveled Germany and Japan. Both nations surrendered unconditionally. THEN they spent billions of their own money to rebuild both nations. Now they are doing great and pose no military threat to the US or pretty much anyone else.

For the last decade, we have been trying to do a Marshall Plan before surrender, not after. Building schools for people with no history of literacy or an advanced written language, etc.

Here's what should have happened in 2001:

No later than 2pm ET on Sept 11, President Bush should have ordered the use of tactical nuclear weapons on Bora Bora, then explained to the Saudis that they needed to take some responsibility for the attacks on NY etc or they too would be nuked, oil or no oil.

If they didn't respond before the deadline, tactical nuclear weapons would be employed on some Saudi target. They likely would have surrendered. After which time, the US could have followed Ann Coulter's advice and invaded the Saudis and seized their oil reserves.

Not a perfect plan but could it be any worse than what really happened?
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
You miss one important factor regarding WWII which should have been applied to our involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq. We understood the ideology of our enemies (Nazism/fascism) and at the end of the war, when we were in the nation- democracy- building stage, the Allies initiated an intensive program of de-Nazification. i.e. removing former Nazis from positions of authority and cleansing the system of all remnants of fascism.

There were only two legitimate actions to take in Iraq and Afghanistan:

1. Nation/Democracy-building, which implies dismantling non-democratic factors (similar to deNazification)
2. Bomb the C*R*A*P out of the countries, eliminating festering jihad training camps as well as weakening the countries' armed forces. i.e. removing their fangs.

Our government tried to do option #1 without recognizing the anti-democratic ideology that needed to be removed (Islam). Instead, the constitutions of both Iraq and Afghanistan enshrined Islam/Sharia. In a move that was just the opposite of WWII de-Nazification, we made it impossible for democracy to take root. Thus the "war on terrorism" was destined for failure.

Too bad we didn't just recognize that we could not possibly turn these stone-aged fascist states into modern democracies, and just bombed the heck out of them and thoroughly weakened then and gotten out.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh, honey! Where you been all my life.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
I like the new picture
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
This could turn out quite bad for Chicago. It wasn't that long ago that some Christians in a Muslim country got into trouble with the authorities for referring to the God of Israel as "Allah." How dare these infidels use the name of the Most Merciful, Most Compassionate, Most Sociopathic?
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Malaysia, and the issue was, Allah was being used as their word for God, period. So people sued saying that they're using Allah to describe a god that is not of Islam and a judge agreed. It's a bit of a linguistic and logical mess.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Only in third world countries who don't even have the so-called "free speech" that the Western world has. Here, at least, Muslims don't get to "own" words -- for now it's only African-Americans who can do that.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
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