Do not... regard the critics as questionable patriots. What were Washington and Jefferson and Adams but profound critics of the colonial status quo? ~Adlai Stevenson
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.
~Albert Einstein, The World As I See It, 1934
Tony Bennett, 85, known more for his velvety voice and gentlemanly demeanor has been called an American icon.
Recently the crooner spoke about his military duty and how being on the front lines seeing scared young boys none of whom wanted to shoot anyone or be shot - on both sides - made him a lifetime pacifists.
Quoted in some media reports as an "admitted" pacifist, as if he were admitting to having committed a crime or some vile offense...Bennett said: “I’m anti-war. It’s the lowest form of human behavior.”
Drafted by the U.S. Army in November 1944, Bennett served as an infantryman in Europe, moving across France, and later into Germany.
“The first time I saw a dead German, that’s when I became a pacifist,” he said.
He told Stern that he was left forever shaken by the sight of death.
“It was a nightmare that’s permanent,” he said. “I just said, ‘This is not life. This is not life.’”
“To start a war in Iraq was a tremendous, tremendous mistake internationally,” he said.
Howard Stern who was interviewing the crooner about his new album then asked Bennett about how America should deal with terrorists, specifically those responsible for the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center.
“But who are the terrorists? Are we the terrorists or are they the terrorists? Two wrongs don’t make a right,” Bennett said.
Stern asked if he was "one of those conspiracy theorists who claim the US flew the planes." Bennett said no, and in a soft-spoken voice, said, "No. They flew the plane in, but we caused it,” Bennett responded. “Because we were bombing them and they told us to stop.”
Following seconds of silence, Stern said that his guest was “making some good points.”
Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn't. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide against your conviction is to be an unqualified and excusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may.
Benett was blasted for his comments and felt the necessity to issue a formal apology stating:
"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," Bennett said in the statement. "My life experiences -- ranging from the Battle of the Bulge to marching with Martin Luther King -- made me a lifelong 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."
Why do progressives always have to apologize for our views. Why was he called and "admitted" pacifist? If he were a Quaker or a Christian or a Jew would he be an admitted one? Is Bill Cosby an "admiited" Black man? Is Rush Limbaugh an "admitted" conservative? Only progressives are labeled this way, and Gays, who are often identified as "openly" gay which amounts to the same thing as if all heterosexuals are closeted about ther sexuality. I mean, I don't see Charlie Sheen being called an "admitted" whore master!
I was an outspoken opponent of the war in VietNam which we were not even supposed to call a war at the time. It had some other softer term like boms and missles and missions do. We were dirty hippies; we were anti-American...even Commies...for expressing our opinion in a land in whch wars are fought to protect our right to free speech, for God's sake!
I continue to be a pacifist and anti-war. I continue to be berated for my opinion. I am accused of not supporting our troops when I sport buttons and bumper stickers that clearly say: "Defend our troops - bring them home."
Who are the real Anti-Americans? Those who dare to speak out, or those who try to shut us up?
Calling anti-war protesters anti-American is truly the pot calling the kettle black. It brings back memories of the racist names I and others were called when we marched for civil rights.
There is nothing, in my opinion, more American than exercising our right to free speech and demonstration. I applaud the estimated 3000 sitting in right now in Zuccotti Park in Wall Street, New York for 12 days and counting! BRAVO to them! THIS is patriotism in action! If I were younger, I'd be right there with them!
Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it. .... You'll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race.
~ George Bernard Shaw
He is a poor patriot whose patriotism does not enable him to understand how all men everywhere feel about their altars and their hearthstones, their flag and their fatherland.
~Harry Emerson Fosdick
Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong.
We need a type of patriotism that recognizes the virtues of those who are opposed to us..... The old "manifest destiny" idea ought to be modified so that each nation has the manifest destiny to do the best it can - and that without cant, without the assumption of self-righteousness and with a desire to learn to the uttermost from other nations.
~Francis John McConnell
Patriotism, the virtue of the vicious.
Patriotism, the virtue of the vicious.
Patriotism is a kind of religion; it is the egg from which wars are hatched. ~Guy de Maupassant