NEW YORK -- The American public is picking up where the U.S. military left off -- using rock-and-roll to ridicule the country's latest foe, Saddam Hussein.
Last year, U.S. soldiers tried to flush out Panamanian strongman Manuel Antonio Noriega from the Vatican mission in Panama City, where he had taken refuge by playing earsplitting rock music nonstop. The beleaguered dictator gave up, but not because of the music.
This year disc jockeys at New York radio station WHTZ are using rock-and-roll to try to blast Saddam out of his palace.
"Iraqety-Raq (Don't Shoot Back)" is the title of one rock parody on the station.
It is played regularly along with such new favorites as "Blame It on Hussein" and "Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bah, Bah, Bah, Iraq."
Americans are pulling out every facet of their popular culture to attack Iraq on the airwaves and at the T-shirt stand, much the same way they did to Iran during the hostage crisis there.
If some of the parodies have a familiar ring, it is because they were used first against Iran.
You can buy a "Bomb Iraq" T-shirt or one with President Bush dressed up as an "Iraq-Buster" along the lines of the hit "Ghostbusters" films. "Who You Gonna Call?" Well, you could call on a George Bush dressed up as a Ninja Turtle warrior.
Ross Brittain on WHTZ says his audience loves the Iraq parodies, including one called "Lifestyles of the Rich and Fascist."
Brittain says that because of copyright and royalty problems, the station's rock parodies cannot be marketed.
But country and western stars who make up new songs for all occasions have no such problem.
Polygram Mercury Records says it plans to ship a record in early September by country veteran Johnny Cash called "Goin' by the Book," which relates current events in the Middle East to the battle of Armageddon prophesied in the Bible.
Cash calls it "a very timely song, considering the unrest in the world today and especially in the Middle East. It's a prophetic song ... prophecy being fulfilled."
One typical verse: "There's war after war and rumors of war from the East/ There's a rumblin' in the ground and they're talkin' about the beast."
Already out is an anti-Iraq song by country star Hank Williams Jr. called "Don't Give Us a Reason," which was rushed to radio stations last week.
Publicists say Williams got mad about Iraq's holding hostages and wrote upbeat twangy macho lyrics on his private Cessna jet while he flew to a concert. It was hastily recorded and went to No. 1 on several stations.
Hollywood sources say it is too early for a film about Iraq because producers would want to see how things come out first.