In an interview on The Howard Stern Show, legendary crooner Tony Bennett said America was the primary cause of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and that former President George W. Bush admitted he made a mistake about the Iraq War.
Bennett was on the show to promote his new album, "Duets II," but he and Stern also discussed how the singer's World War II service made him a pacifist as well as why he believes America's foreign policy instigated the terrorist attacks.
Bennett was drafted by the U.S. Army in November 1944 and served as an infantryman. However, the experience changed his way of thinking for life.
"First time I saw a dead German, that's when I became a pacifist," Bennett said.
Bennett said he also dealt with racism while in the military when a sergeant punished him by making him exhume graves of dead American soldiers for being friends with a black soldier.
He said, "It eliminated all bigotry from my life as a result of that," the famous singer said. "It's a premise of my life that I think one of the most ignorant things is that people can be bigoted of other people."
"Everybody that lives in America loves America - rightfully so," Bennett said, and so did the rest of the world, but recent foreign policy shifts have changed that, the singer claimed.
"To start a war in Iraq was a tremendous, tremendous mistake," Bennett said.
Stern asked Bennett how he would deal with problems like terrorism.
"You just eliminate all the weapons," Bennett responded. “Just melt them."
"But what about the terrorists?" Stern said.
"But who are the terrorists? Are we the terrorists or are they the terrorists? Two wrongs don't make a right," Bennett said.
"They flew the plane in, but we caused it," Bennett added. "Because we were bombing them and they told us to stop."
Stern changed the topic to lighter fare, by asking Bennett about his wild party days as a famous singer on top of his game, how Bob Hope gave Bennett, whose birth name is "Anthony Dominick Benedetto," his stage name, and how he moved to Britain after Columbia Records tried to persuade him to make a rock album because his style of music was not popular.
Instead of a rock album that "wasn't [his] thing," Bennett made music in Britain. "It was the best music I made in my life,” he said.
But politics crept back into the interview one more time when Bennett said that during an event at the Kennedy Center in 2005, then-President George W. Bush told him his opinion of the Iraq War that was in full throttle at the time.
"He told me personally that night... he said, 'I think I made a mistake,'"Bennett said.