Madonna, Sensitive to War, Scraps Video

04/01/2003 AT 01:00 PM EST

Only days before it was set to premiere on VH1, Madonna has decided to scrap her controversial "American Life" music video out of "sensitivity and respect" for armed forces in Iraq, "who I support and pray for," she said in a statement released Monday night.

"I have decided not to release my new video," explained Madonna, 44.

"It was filmed before the war started, and I do not believe it is appropriate to air it at this time."

Besides her sensitivity to how those in the military may react, the singer cited "the volatile state of the world" as her reason for withdrawing the clip.

"I do not want to risk offending anyone who might misinterpret the meaning of this video," she said. Earlier, when news of the video's content was sparking some initial controversy, Madonna had said that she was not anti-war but "pro-peace."

The video, which included scenes of war and was shot in Los Angeles in February, reportedly featured Madonna in military garb on a fashion runway alongside camouflage-clad dancers. The clip concluded with her lobbing a hand grenade.

The "American Life" single is due for release on April 14, while the album of the same name will be out on April 22.

Following her statement, USA Today asked Madonna what she stands for.

"I'll tell you what I'm against," she replied. "I'm against widows and orphans."
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