"What has always made the state a hell on earth has been precisely that man has tried to make it his heaven." ~ Friedrich Hoelderlin
An American Samurai: A Special Forces Warrior Speaks of War and Peace
a sense of justice and honesty, courage and contempt for death, self-control, sympathy towards all people, politeness and respect for etiquette, sincerity and respect for one's word of honour, absolute loyalty to one's superior, a duty to defend the honour of one's name and guild.
Bushido literally means "Way of the Warrior." The Code of Honour, and way of life of the Samurai, is composed of eight virtues, which A SAMURAI strives to attain.
Old soldiers never die, said General MacArthur, they just fade away. One such colorful old soldier with a helluva lot to say is Bo Gritz, 64, unfazed or faded after many years. The controversial, much-decorated Colonel consented to a dozen timely questions from an STR reporter. Like a Samurai warrior forced to serve his jaded or cynical masters, Colonel Gritz's personal Code of Honor survived in tatters but his verve and blunt-spokenness survived intact.
STR: In your biography and the open letter to George Bush, you come across as a disillusioned war hero. Do you feel the American soldier is pigeonholed into roles that were never meant for him?
BG: As in many instances of history, the American Fighting Man becomes a pawn in a high stakes economic game. General Tommy Franks plan was a massive field army to defeat Iraq militarily and occupy the country until Saddam was found and a western-style government was established. My friend, four-star general Wayne Downing, commander-in-chief of Special Operations Command, was called by Mini-Me Bush to the White House as a National Security advisor on how to take out Saddam. Downing had a simple plan to cut off the snake's head using only a small number of Special Operations ground and air assets. His plan was rejected and both he and Richard A. Clarke Resign eventually resigned. Now for my deep thoughts. I believe Junior-Bush ordered US forces into Iraq as a chess move to counter the threat of the EU and the Euro. If OPEC demanded payment in euros vs. Dollars, America, with our dependence on China and other Third-New World Order, slave-labor nations, could end up as a ghost nation. Mini-Me Bush may be emphasizing that the USA will take power wherever we might be threatened by politics.
STR: According to Colonel David Hackworth, "heads should roll," due to the Iraq war plan. Do you feel the USA should have entered this arena?
BG: DCI George Tenet said it right in the leaked memo to the Senate Intel Committee: There will be no more terrorism unless we go into Iraq and then there will be! Our seeking revenge against Al Qaeda/Osama in Afghanistan was perfectly OK by the Koran, as long as we didn't kill masses of innocent people. Our attack on Iraq was totally wrong. Saddam was no threat to the U.S. and had no weapons of mass destruction . . . . Now that we have brought down an Islamic government in Baghdad, the Koran demands that the U.S. government be brought down.
STR: And how do you see them accomplishing that?
BG: Since the Arab world has no international ballistic nuclear weapons to reach America, they will even the score using a SADM (Small Atomic Demolition Munition), aka "Suitcase Nuke" to take out Washington, D.C. The SADMs are already in America, placed there as Unconventional Warfare caches during the Kennedy-Kruschev years. Even as we planted SADMS throughout Europe awaiting Red Armies to overrun Special Forces which would emerge deep behind the lines to destroy Command, Control, and Communications with SADMS, leaving the advancing armies helpless, the USSR was prepared to do the same thing to America. All the first generation SADMs--I was a SADM Team Leader in the 7th Special Forces Group--were completely mechanical with unlimited shelf life. Each SADM is 5-KT, approximately one million pounds of TNT -- combined with surface burst radiation of intense fire. Islam waited 10 years for 9/11. How long will they wait before striking D.C.?
STR: Chilling scenario and very ironic acronym, SADM. Since you mentioned Special Forces, can you square your Christian beliefs with your duty? Is there a place for Christian ideals in world politics?
BG: As a Special Forces Commander, I have been many places to violate many international laws and agreements. SF, unlike conventional forces, are placed far from high ranking decision makers and administrative support, ergo enemy captives are necessarily killed since the small SF units can't risk leaving or taking captives with them -- there is no food, nor people to stay awake to secure and guard captives. Low ranking SF personnel must make huge decisions. One of the requisites for an SF Operator should be a firm personal belief and relationship with God -- and Jesus Christ. I must confess that, while I am a Christian and have reconciled myself spiritually with what happened both on the battlefield and after the war, maybe only a few Green Berets are tight with God, and even rarer is the good Christian. After the Viet Nam War, I went up on a mountain. My purpose was to review all that had happened, to see if my soul was savable -- if not, I had only one bullet in my Browning 9mm. I had a religious experience, and came down off the mountain having dedicated my life to God's purpose. What saved me was the fact that in examining more than 400 enemy deaths at my hand, I had never taken a life selfishly, just because I had the power. God forgave and forgot my sins of bloodshed just as He promises in the Scriptures as I claimed my kinship through the Blood of Jesus Christ under the New Covenant. Special Forces commandos lives so close to death that many put God away as they prepare to put themselves in harm's way. To believe in God humbles them at a time when they feel they need to dominate life--or die. I don't know the answer, I wish it was just the opposite, but unfortunately Special Forces soldiers, in my experience, distance themselves from spiritual matters which might detract from the concentration needed on mastering physical challenges.
STR: Having then seen so many abuses from a unique perspective--the 'violation of many international laws and agreements'--as you mentioned above, as a Special Forces soldier, how exactly would you conduct things differently as president? What policy changes would you have made?
BG: I ran for President as Populist in 1992. My platform was a single plank -- the U.S. Constitution. The President doesn't create law, but is responsible for enforcing law. As President, I would recognize publicly our dependence of God and following His Laws if we seek to progress as a nation. Above all I would require that every public official be required to tell the truth. Any lie under oath would carry a severe penalty. America must be given reason to again trust those in government. The US Marshals and FBI must not lie under oath just to win a case. Prosecutors must seek true justice and not use the enormity of the government just to gain guilty verdicts. We must not be a trained dog for Israel. We should recognize that American is a great Christian nation and it is because of that fact that people within our borders can believe as they choose. America was founded on free enterprise, which means fortunes can be made by citizens with initiative and zeal to work for themselves. The government was made to serve the people, not tax them to death. Welfare should be left to churches and great charities. I could go on, but you can see my course. America is a beacon for all the world. Let them follow us if they please, but we shouldn't have to join them.
STR: What's your opinion of American political leaders of the past quarter century?
BG: If the mouth of government is moving, it is most probably a lie. George Wallace said it best: "There's not a dime's worth of difference between a Democrat and a Republican." Jimmy Carter was well-meaning but his raid to rescue Americans from Iran was purposely derailed to allow Reagan to win the 1980 election. Reagan was shot less than 90-days after taking office and George Bush ruled for the next 12-years.
It is my observation--as a former Pentagon Army General Staff Officer and Congressional Relations Chief in OSD--that the Democrats are the stand-up comics of Washington politics, but they do hurt us as much as the big business organized Republicans. Bush Senior aided and abetted the trafficking of illegal narcotics as Director of Central Intelligence (DCI), Vice President and President. From 1975-77, I commanded Special Forces in Latin America. At that time, George Bush Senior was head of the CIA under Gerald Ford. Bush knew and met with Noriega. Also, Israeli Mossad and the CIA jointly ran huge amounts of cocaine into the USA from Colombia to Panama to the USA under Operation Watchtower-1. When I went into Burma (ordered by Vice President Bush's office) in November 1986 and met with General Khun Sa--indicted by the US Attorney General as the most heinous drug criminal in history--I received hard evidence that his best customers were rogue CIA who were Bush's top clandestine operatives.
STR: Okay---By contrast to those contemporary leaders, do you feel the Founding Fathers--Jefferson, Adams, Tom Paine and Washington would currently be pushing for US global empire, as the only remaining superpower?
BG: Get outa town!
STR: You mediated a tense stand-off at Ruby Ridge. Was the Randy Weaver case indicative of the heightened mood of harsh state confrontation?
BG: We are a nation of LAW. All citizens not actively engaged in the use of deadly force should be afforded a trial by jury, not a government firing squad! During the Ruby Ridge, Waco period our Justice Department ran amok, believing it was above the law. It is a fact that you cannot break the law to keep the law. The government needs to be kept in check by citizens willing to get involved, who realize that tyranny always dresses in uniforms with badges and guns. At Ruby Ridge, I intervened and was able to bring what was left of the Weaver Family down the mountain. I convinced Gerry Spence to defend Weaver and the US Justice Department ended up paying $3.2-million to the Weavers and $385,000 to Kevin Harris.
STR: According to your bio, you trained Afghan Freedom Fighters. I suppose you may have seen The Beast (1988), a little-known film of the Soviets' disastrous occupation of Afghanistan, ironically filmed in the desert of Israel? What is your opinion of the Afghans?
BG: Loved the Afghan Mujahadeen. They had a great sense of humor, were enthusiastic about killing Soviet invaders, prayed, ate, conducted themselves in accordance with their religion. The uneducated were much like children, thrilled at learning a new self-defense move, and awed by explosives. The educated Afghan wanted to be trained in medicine and aviation. The Afghan wants to fight against the Communists; whereas the Saudis will gladly pay foreigners to fight their battles!
BG: Of course the CIA keeps the world from knowing its secrets! Jim Jones had friends behind the veil of national security. Some of my own SF were used to sweep up survivors from Jonestown. One Sergeant was so upset that he wanted to write a book entitled ALL THE NIGGERS ARE DEAD. I dissuaded him. The fact that every one of Jones' people had to be exterminated to prevent the truth behind his religious cover, shows the importance of secrecy associated with CIA matters.
STR: Amazing admission, considering the CIA motto, "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." Lastly, sir, is there anything you would trade half your medals for? Any specific regrets?
BG: I would gladly return every medal, ribbon, Oak Leaf, Star, and V-device for the lives, limbs, and liberty of the young Americans who went to Vietnam and did what many feared and fled from. I witnessed the stupidity of rules over reason. The murder at My Lai of innocent women, children, infants, and old men by American soldiers was an awful disgrace! Creating "free fire zones" was criminal. In Vietnam, it was as if God had turned His back. We killed each other any way we could without mercy. "Body-count" was the biggest mistake of the war. It either promoted lying--inflation of kills--or killing anything not American so your monthly situation report (MOPSUM) was acceptable. I stopped believing in God; I just couldn't stand to see another maimed child. I blamed God for all the carnage and hurt of the innocent. I heard His voice for the first time in my life when he said: "I did not do this, you did. This is not my war, it is yours. It hurts me more than you." I renewed my faith and learned that God does not control all that we do here on earth. We are responsible for most of what happens -- not Him.