Julia Boutros sings “Shoot Mercilessly,” but at whom?

A new single off Lebanese singer Julia Boutros’ latest album, “Yawman Ma,” or “One Day” is stirring controversy because of its apparent support for the Syrian Army. This comes amid a marked upsurge in violence over the last week by security forces against anti-regime protesters.

The song, “Shoot Mercilessly,” was uploaded to YouTube on Sunday by the Sham News Network with a video featuring members of the Syrian Army going through extensive military exercises. It also features footage of dead troops and civilians killed during the uprising.

http://web.archive.org/web/20120703222826if_/http://www.youtube.com/embed/c2v9hVQPyLg

Here’s a quick translation of the song’s chorus:

Shoot and have no mercy
Your bullets, through your arms, have spoken
Your enemy came to us delusional
But he will die in our land or be defeated
Shoot and have no mercy

Boutros is known for putting brazen politics into her music. Back in 2006, she released a song called, “Ahibaii,” or “My loved ones.” The lyrics were adapted from a speech Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah gave to fighters during the July War between Lebanon and Israel.

Nowhere in “Shoot Mercilessly” does the singer mention Syria, but that hasn’t stopped fans and critics alike from making the comparison. Yesterday on Boutros’ official Facebook page, the singer even poses the question to her followers, asking for their thoughts on who the song is dedicated to. Most of the responses so far point to the Syrian Army.

I spoke with Boutros’ publicist by phone on Tuesday. She was adamant that the singer’s “work has always been dedicated to Lebanon and against Israel and nothing beyond that.” She added that “any song is subject to personal interpretation.”

I noted, however, the provocative nature of the Facebook post on Boutros’ page asking fans for their take on the song. The singer’s publicist said the post was related to a “small surprise happening at Julia’s concert” on February 4 at the Platea Theatre in Keserwan. She would not comment further.

My take: this reeks of devious intent.

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