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Kurdish Singer Helly Luv Delivers One-Woman Counter-Offensive Against ISIS

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Published on: June 19, 2015

When I saw there was an “anti-ISIS pop music video” on the internet, I immediately wondered what courageous American entertainer had finally broken the boundaries of Islamic intimidation.

Not surprisingly, it wasn’t an American, but Kurdish pop-star Helly Luv, a woman who – despite numerous previous death threats for her song “Risk It All” – has pushed the envelope even further with the release of her new hit, “Revolution.”

The entire video for “Revolution” was filmed less than two miles from the frontline where Peshmerga fighters were battling ISIS. The video ends as nearby gunfire causes Luv to duck.

While much is being written about Luv, the Peshmerga fighters, and the Kurds – I would like to focus on why Luv’s video is so important.

First, it shines a glaring light on the fact that no singers or other celebrities in the United States have the guts to stand up and speak against the Islamic terror threat…using their talents as musicians, entertainers, or actors as a springboard to do something useful. Instead, we get people like Prince singing about “Baltimore” and headlines declaring that “Ferguson came to the Grammies.”

The American tempest continues to be stirred from within, distracting and disabling us. It reminds me of the now politically incorrect children’s book, “Little Black Sambo.” It tells the story of an Indian boy who throws his clothes and belongings to four hungry tigers. The tigers wear the fine clothes; each is vainer than the other, and they end up chasing each other around a tree until they melt into butter. Sambo scooped up the butter and took it to Black Mumbo to make pancakes. The story tells us:

“And she fried them in the melted butter which the tigers had made, and (the pancakes) were just as yellow and brown as the little tigers.”

Scandals being created, fomented, and exploited in America are whipping us into butter, and the Islamists are waiting for the right time to come scoop up what’s left of us.

Watching Luv’s video… in which no shots are staged or faked…should force us to face these stark realities:

  1. The Peshmerga fighters were our first line of defense against ISIS, but thanks to Obama, they are grossly incapable of staving them off for long.
  2. Airstrikes might have helped save some of the trapped Yazidis last year, but it was too little too late; we only abandoned them again. Indeed, the in-and-out style of the U.S. led airstrikes were similar to airstrikes in 1996 which the leader of the Kurds referred to as “just part of Bill Clinton’s election campaign.”
  3. Due to the lack of real leadership in the United States, other countries are not doing enough to back the Kurds fight against ISIS either. Just days ago, the Wall Street Journal ran a piece titled, “Kurdish Peshmerga Say They Need Weapons After ISIS Seizes Iraqi Arsenal…Forces worry they cannot hold defensive lines.”

Helly Luv‘s “Revolution” video isn’t only good for the morale of the Peshmerga fighters; it’s sending an SOS to the entire world. The video’s high number of hits on Vevo and YouTube are also a much needed counter-offensive to ISIS “powerful propaganda machine” that is attracting young people on social media.

In WWII, such songs and visual images, which many uninformed Americans now deride as “propaganda,” were the very things that helped inspire our soldiers and boost support among the masses. Propaganda in the hands of bad people can be deadly; propaganda in the hands of good people can save lives. One consists of lying or exaggerating in order to further a despicable cause; the other is simply spreading information in order to open people’s eyes to the truth. Luv’s video does the latter. The fact that she chose to film it practically in the crosshairs of her enemies demands the kind of respect rarely earned by a non-combatant.

With Luv telling the world that no one is doing enough to help the Kurds, and calling attention to their 1.5 million refugees, I doubt she will be invited to the White House very soon. Those invitations are reserved for those who continue to stir the tempest from within.

Susan D. Harris can be reached at

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