A letter from Josh Belile, the Marine who wrote “Hadji Girl”
It’s good to be able to breathe again. I have had a lot of support since this all began, and I want everyone to know that I’ve read every e-mail, and every message that came my way, and out of nearly 1300 messages, I had one single message that was negative. I can definitely say that this could have been a blessing in disguise. Before this all began, not many people knew of my band, The Sweater Kittenz… and we just played a concert at the largest venue in my local area this past Friday.
Judging from the many e-mails I recieved over the past week and a half, many people seem to have felt that I didn’t have alot of support coming from the upper brass on the “Hadji Girl” situation. I can definitely say that I had plenty of supporters, military and civilian. Although I was reprimanded for performing such a song while in uniform, my rights as an American, to include the first ammendment, have not been compromised, and as long as I am not performing as a U.S. military representative… to put it bluntly, I can sing whatever I want. I told Chris Mazzolini (spelling?) from the Jacksonville Daily news that I was sorry for any feelings hurt in the Muslim community, and that fact remains true…My intentions were never to hurt or offend anyone, but as an entertainer, and songwriter…I now know that I am perfectly within my legal rights to compose and perform my thoughts as long as I am not doing so in a fashion that would represent the thoughts or opinions of the U.S. military, or our government.
I want to thank each and every person who has supported me during this… there are far too many people to list, you know who you are. If you sent me a message, I read it, and I am appreciative. I am leaving my myspace site open and viewable by the public, if you want to share your thoughts, good or bad, please feel free at www.myspace.com/zelph99. I am planning on recording and releasing a professionally produced and engineered version of “Hadji Girl” which will be aired on the Mike Church show, and will be available for sale through their web site within the coming weeks. I have decided to take this step to show that I am in full support of every American’s right his or her own freedom of speech, military or civilian… to include my own. As long as I am representing only myself and my thoughts and opinions I am within my legal rights as an American.
If you don’t want to listen to my music, I’m sure your volume knob works as well as mine.
Does this mean we can stop replaying that little wmv we have on our servers soon?