Tony Bennett tells it like he sees it. That makes a lot of people mad. Recently, the celebrated singer told a story on the Howard Stern Show (to be clear: Howard Stern is a knucklehead) about meeting George W. Bush at an awards ceremony. Bennett says Bush admitted to him that the Iraq War was a mistake. “He told me personally that night, he says, ‘I think I made a mistake."
Now, understandably, Bennett is under fire. Conservatives are in an uproar. Not surprisingly, a spokesman for Bush denies the claim. Many are accusing Bennett of being unpatriotic.
Bennett, who fought in Germany during World War II but considers himself a pacifist, believes America’s foreign policy led directly to the attacks on 9/11.
“But who are the terrorists?" Bennett asks. "Are we the terrorists or are they the terrorists? Two wrongs don’t make a right." After Stern questions him, Bennett says, “They flew the plane in, but we caused it. Because we were bombing them and they told us to stop.”
In response to the uproar following his remarks, Bennett issued this statement on Facebook:
“I am so grateful to be an American and as a World War II veteran. I was proud to fight to protect our values, which have made America the greatest country on the planet. There is simply no excuse for terrorism and the murder of the nearly 3,000 innocent victims of the 9/11 attacks on our country. My life experiences — ranging from the Battle of the Bulge to marching with Martin Luther King — made me a life-long humanist and pacifist, and reinforced my belief that violence begets violence and that war is the lowest form of human behavior. I am sorry if my statements suggested anything other than an expression of my love for my country, my hope for humanity and my desire for peace throughout the world.”
Tony Bennett's new album, Duets II, features a song with the late Amy Winehouse. Bennett spoke to The Daily Mail about his drug use early in his career. "Back then everybody was rampant with drugs, everyone was doing it … I was the Amy Winehouse of my day," Bennett said.
Whatever you may think of his views, you've got to admire his honesty.
Music video by Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse performing Body And Soul. (C) 2011 Sony Music Entertainment