Hadji Girl: Politically Incorrect Music for a War

[29 June 2006]

By Jason Gross

What’s the most disturbing music news of the week?  Is it that EMI and Warner Brothers are trying to gobble each other up in a cannibalistic feeding frenzy that would make Axl Rose jealous?  Is it that after pinning their hopes on music downloads making up for declining CD sales, it may turn out that label-approved downloading is now in a slump itself? (thanks to the fact that people don’t dig copying restrictions and have already bought the music they want)  Nope, not even close…

The winner/loser this week for the most disturbing music news comes from the Center for Media and Demo-cray with this story: American Soldiers’ Hatred Breeds ’ Girl’ Song and Video. The song in question can be heard here at the the Council of American-Islamic relations website.

While some apologists might say this is just a joke and a military guy just fooling around and blowing off steam, it’s also a piece of media that’s floating around the Net. As such, it’s fuel for the fire of anyone who questions America’s presence in that region and the many others who already hate America. As any good officer could tell you, wars aren’t just won on the battlefield but also in a little region called ‘hearts and minds.’ If the impression is that American soldiers are insensitive jerks who think it’s a hoot to make fun of murdering civilians, how much better do they look than the insurgents that they’re battling then? Forgetting the wingnuts who actually salute “Hadji Girl” (I’m sure Ann Coulter has it on her i-Pod right after “They’re Coming To Take Me Away”), the message that such a song/video sends out about American troops (and Americans) is very damaging, much more so than the supposedly treasonous New York Times’ report on bank data being used to track terrorists (which was already public knowledge anyway).

Even if you opposed the Iraq war in the first place (WMD my fanny), the fact of the matter is that there are still thousands of troops there and they’ll be there for a while. While it’s coming out now that some atrocities were committed on civilians and to the Army’s credit, they’re taking steps to investigate and prosecute anyone involved, they should also realize that little “jokes” like Hadju Girl” do as much (maybe more) damage to their reputation.

So far, the military’s decided that they won’t crack down on the would-be singer/songwriter who did the song which is a shame because it then sends the message that this kind of behavior is acceptable. That might mean that we’ll have other would-be troubadours making politically incorrect songs about Muslims and getting the populace there and in the rest of the Arab world even angrier at America.

Believe me, I want the troops out of Iraq even more than John Murtha does but while they’re stuck there (thank you, GOP), I’d also hope that they don’t inflame all of the smouldering hatred that’s already leveled at the States, justified or otherwise.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/post/hadji-girl-politically-incorrect-music-for-a-war/