Gene Simmons/Jon Voight On Current Events
Normally I am not big on celebrities and their P.OV. on political matters, but I appreciate those people who go against the grain and take the less popular stance. I don’t agree with everything the men have to say, but I thought that it was interesting.
Here are excerpts from their interviews:
I’m guessing you’re not in favor of the Iraq troop withdrawal bills being proposed right now in Congress.
It’s not the policies and the bills; it’s how we treat our military. It’s how we treat our young men or women who go out there, at 18 years old, and risk their lives. There’s no fame, they’re certainly not getting rich, and a lot of them are dying, simply for something they believe. By the way, it’s a volunteer army, all volunteer. The fact that anybody would have a fucking thing to say about that is astonishing. And the VA hospital that Sophie and I went to, it’s about an hour and a half down the road from Malibu. These morons can’t get up off their asses and out of their $10 million homes, get into their SUVs, and drive down to the VA hospital just to say, “Hey, what you do matters.” Doesn’t matter what they think of President Bush. It matters that 18-year-olds are getting out there and risking their lives. I didn’t see a single person there. That’s the most embarrassing thing. I’m furious at Hollywood.
No visitors at all?
No. Of course, if it means getting on a jet and going to Washington, D.C., to get in front of media, they’re all there. But they won’t get into a car where there’s no media and just go and shake the hand of a vet. And we met, as you know, Vietnam vets and Korean vets and Iraqi vets, and it just breaks your heart.
Do you think the troops in Iraq don’t get the respect they deserve?
I think it’s worse than ever. Because it’s never talked about. It’s just never talked about. We used to have a dialogue. I mean, there were peace marches, and people forget this, but the Vietnam vets that came back were spat at. Now, it’s just apathy.
But it seems like these people are protesting the war, not protesting the troops.
I don’t see the difference. Aid and comfort to the enemy is when you do it through media and there are big headlines like “We’ve Lost the War” and things like that. What makes you think that any graduate of any madrassa in the Middle East doesn’t blow that up? In other words, make a big copy of it and show it to everybody.
You recently visited with wounded troops at Walter Reed. What were your impressions?
I was deeply impressed by them. Most I spoke to were young people, around 20 years old. And they were really very eloquent, very positive, very respectful. You have to be proud of the children we’re turning out from looking at this group of people. For me, I would much rather hear from these guys than the people who are presenting the news on television on a daily basis.
Were you able to gauge the mood among the troopsâ€”have they lost a sense of mission?
These guys say, well, it’s possible to win it. And I’ll tell you one thing they said that was very remarkable: the increase in troops that has been recommended by the president, they say anybody who’s over there knows the value of backup and we should be behind this. When you’re out in that situation in danger, you want to know you’ve got backup. Only one guy said he wasn’t going back to Iraq, and he had been wounded a couple times. But all the other guys wanted to go back. One young woman, a very attractive young woman, had her leg amputated. But she says she’s going to find a way to get back into it. She just reupped and she said they would find something for her to do.
Do you think it’s possible to win the Iraq War?
Here’s what I think: this is a real war, extended beyond the borders of Iraq.
As in the more general war on terror?
The war on terror is real. People would have you believe it’s not real. This is not Vietnam. This particular situation is not the same wherein we can walk away and just leave destruction behind us. No, we can’t. Anyone who has paid attention to what [Iranian President] Ahmadinejad is saying, what all the mullahs are saying in this country and in England, and in all of the Arab world, this is seriousâ€”they’re calling for the destruction of America and all democracy and that’s what’s going on. We could lose this war.
Was the Iraq war part of the war on terror before we got there?
I’m interested in talking about this, but it’s been so politicized, it’s very disturbing, very dangerous. My view of it is this: they say our president lied to us. Well, he didn’t lie to us, everybody else had the information he had, and they voted for that tactic. And the idea of weapons of mass destruction, whether they were in fact removed to other places, to Lebanon, to Syria, that’s still in play, we don’t know the full answer of where all that stuff went, because they had it, they have the pieces. Now, whether someone else has them or whether we’re playing a careful game not to reveal that we know where things are, that’s another big aspect of it. The Administration’s in a tough spot, because if they say they know where these pieces are, and they can’t get at them, they’re alerting other energies to know where they are.
So you think the Administration might know where the WMDs are?
We’ve got to be careful here. I want to have a conversation with a citizen who is trustworthy. I don’t want to be talking to somebody who’s going to use what I say to cause a sensation and make a few bucks.
This is a question and answer interview, so we’re not going to take anything you say out of context.
I’ve got to know what your intentions are, what your purposes are. Because people call me up about my family matters and stuff like that, and they’re only interested in selling a newspaper, they want to make things sensational, they don’t give a damn about my well-being, or my family’s well-being, or anything, and I don’t like it. And these considerations, when I’m talking about our United States, this is serious business, and people are continuously using this stuff for nonsenseâ€”people are politicizing this stuff for their own ends. It’s one of the biggest dangers we have right now. The irresponsible use of innuendo and falsehoods. It’s a very big danger.