Santana – Incident At NeshaburOn-screen: Santana – INCIDENT AT NESHABUR. Santana’s tropical sound and the unrelenting Santana signature guitar sound early in INCIDENT AT NESHABUR seems to portend the desperation of America’s Southesast Asian “domino theory” DRIVEN foreign policy as it was violently played out in tropical South Vietnam. Santana’s rapid drumbeat captures the martial rhythm of the U.S. draft machine that moved GI’s through training and onto the ground in Vietnam.
Santana’s guitar riffs, midway through INCIDENT AT NESHABUR, and Santana’s intensity at that point, suggest a swarm of angry helicopters and rockets that instantaneously blast ground positions into enormous fireballs. The urgency of American troops in combat, hand to hand, or via flame-throwers and artillery, is matched to that of enduring emblems of the Vietnam War: street executions of Vietnamese and the nine-year old Vietnamese girl, Kim Phuc, fleeing naked in the aftermath of a napalm attack. With its intensity unabated, Santana’s guitar shifts to a pained tone as we see cargo-net lifts of Vietnamese and Vietcong dead. Relief from Santana’s instrumental frenzy arrives in the form of incredible aerial ballets over Vietnam by American planes spraying Agent Orange, and dropping propaganda leaflets and bombs.
The last melancholy notes play over a sweeping pan of Arlington National Cemetery and perfectly orchestrates the INCIDENT AT NESHABUR’s finale.
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