Published June 14, 2006
JACKSONVILLE, N.C. – A Marine corporal seen in a video singing about killing members of an Iraqi family says the song was a joke.
"It's a song that I made up and it was nothing more than something supposed to be funny, based off a catchy line of a movie," Cpl. Joshua Belile said in Wednesday's Daily News of Jacksonville.
In a four-minute video called "Hadji Girl," a singer who appears to be a Marine tells a cheering audience about gunning down members of an Iraqi woman's family after they confront him with automatic weapons.
Belile, 23, apologized and said the song was not tied in any way to allegations that Marines killed as many as two dozen unarmed civilians in Haditha last year.
A Marine spokesman said Tuesday that officers were investigating.
Lt. Col. Scott Fazekas said the Marine Corps didn't know the identity of the singer or whether he is in the military. He calling the song "inappropriate and contrary to the high standards expected of all Marines."
Neither Belile nor officials at his base in Cherry Point immediately returned calls Wednesday from The Associated Press. Neither did officials at Camp Lejeune, the Corps' major base on the Atlantic coast.
The song tells a story of a Marine who falls in love with an Iraqi girl and is taken to meet her family. The girl's family shoots her and then attacks the Marine, who uses her younger sister as a shield and watches blood spray from her head.
He then sings about blowing the father and brother "to eternity."
"I think it was a joke that is trying to be taken seriously," said Belile, who learned the video was on the Internet after he returned from Iraq in March.
Belile said he wrote the song in September while in Iraq. He said his buddies pushed him on stage with his guitar. Someone taped the performance and posted it on the Internet, but it has since been removed.
"I will never perform this song again, and I will remove all video and text in relation to this that I have control of," he said.
Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said in light of recent allegations of atrocities committed by Marines in Haditha and other towns in Iraq, the video should be investigated by the Pentagon and Congress.
"The inappropriate actions of a few individuals should not be allowed to tarnish the reputation of all American military personnel," Awad said.