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From The Corner, Bruce Willis and Michael Yon on Iraq, the media, and a possible movie version of the Deuce-Four story. The two appeared on MSNBC's "Rita Cosby: Live and Direct" - I've added hyperlinks to the transcript below.
COSBY: Getting stories out of Iraq is not easy. Bruce Willis found that out firsthand when he went over to visit U.S. troops serving in Armed Forces.Willis spoke at the Deuce-Four's redeployment, an event Yon has promised will be covered soon on his blog.
Tonight, we are rejoined by an independent blogger who is bringing back some amazing pictures and stories from Iraq, Michael Yon. And also again with us is actor Bruce Willis, who is back with us on the phone.
It's great to have both of you here. You know, Bruce, I want to start with you. Last night, we talked a little bit about what's happening over in Iraq. You said the media isn't covering the full story. What are we missing?
BRUCE WILLIS, ACTOR: I am baffled to understand why the things that I saw happening in Iraq, really good things happening in Iraq, are not being reported on.
Michael has been over there, was embedded with the members of the Deuce Four, you know, the battalion that actually won the battle for Mosul, that -- Michael, correct me if I'm wrong -- these are the guys who allowed the election to take place, the election that happened just, you know, a couple months ago, to take place, which is, you know, just a monumental thing. And it's not being reported on.
COSBY: You know, Bruce, you know, let's face it. A lot of celebrities have not been over there. A lot of folks in Hollywood have been very critical of what's happening in the war. Do you think, if a lot of your colleagues in Hollywood went over there, saw it for themselves, they'd have a different opinion?
WILLIS: I absolutely think that. I think we live in a global world. And I think that -- I think America is just too isolationist.
And a lot of big choices are being made. You know, to say this is not our fight, when this is the same fight that this country fought 60 years ago and the entire world fought 60 years ago, for the same kind of terrorism, the same kind of thing.
This is not a new war. This is not a new kind of fighting. This is the same fight. And it's back. And it's time for it to stop.
COSBY: You know, we've seen some of these amazing pictures that we're showing here.
You know, Michael, there's a photo I want to show of a soldier and a baby girl, in particular. Here it is. Why is this photo so meaningful, Michael?
MICHAEL YON, EMBEDDED BLOGGER: Well, I shot that photo on a day when a suicide or homicide car bomber ran into one of our Stryker vehicles, injured a couple of our soldiers, and, unfortunately, there were a lot of children who had crowded around to wave at our people.
And the attackers had every opportunity to just wait a couple of blocks and attack our guys later, without the children being around, but instead chose to attack straight through the children.
And Major Bieger, who is in the photo, found the little girl -- her name is Farah -- and decided he wanted to get her to the hospital as quickly as possible.
And so he picked her up, wrapped her in a blanket, and loaded her into one of our vehicles and started to take her to the hospital as fast as possible. And unfortunately, little Farah died en route.
We went back to that neighborhood the next day, and the people there actually welcomed us with open arms. They welcomed us into their homes.
We got into a firefight there again the next day. And the people in that part of the city began to give us more and more information about the terrorists until it got to the point where -- it's very dangerous to be a terrorist now in Mosul, because...
COSBY: You know, it's incredible to hear these stories, Michael. I mean, it's amazing what you went through firsthand.
And, you know, Bruce, you know, as you're hearing these stories from Michael, I understand why your jaw just dropped when you saw these pictures.
Are you thinking, maybe at some point, you know, playing a role with the Deuce Four? Is that something maybe you'd consider?
WILLIS: We are talking about that right now. But it's not really about the film. It's about these guys.
It's about these guys who do what they are asked to do for very little money to defend and fight for what they consider to be freedom.
And it's not just for this country. It's for the world. It is time for terrorism to stop. And the United States is the country that can stop it. And that's what they're doing over there.
And there is -- I have no idea why this country is not getting the information that Michael Yon has, you know, access to, is, you know, showing people. It's just not getting out, and it's baffling.
COSBY: You know, Bruce, in 2003, you admirably offered $1 million for the capture of Saddam. I have to ask you, because just last night we had on our show so many of those pictures, those horrific pictures of what happened in Jordan.
And right now, we've got three thorns in our side. We've got Zawahiri, of course, who is Osama bin Laden`s right-hand guy. You've got Osama bin Laden himself. And then you've got al-Zarqawi, the Iraqi who everyone believes is behind the mastermind of the attack, just those horrible attacks on three hotels just last night.
Are you prepared even right now to maybe offer $1 million for one of them?
WILLIS: Well, that was a conversation I was having with members of the military. I've since been told that military men and women cannot accept any reward for the job that they're doing. It was more about my passion for trying to stop Saddam Hussein.
COSBY: Would you offer that if somebody else, let's say a civilian, is willing to turn one of them in and finally put this to an end?
WILLIS: Yes, I would. Yes, I would.
I want to live in a world, and so do the Iraqi people want to live in a world, where they can move from their homes to the market and not have to fear being killed. And, I mean, doesn't everybody want that? Who doesn't want that?
COSBY: You bet.
And, Michael, I'm going to give you just a few seconds. What are you most proud of? I mean, your pictures just really show the heart and soul there.
YON: I'd actually like to say something about Bruce Willis. He's one of the men who has had the courageous to stand behind the troops. And the troops absolutely respect and love Bruce Willis.
He came out to the Deuce Four redeployment ball in Seattle. And I wonder if he realizes just how much they appreciated that. And it's just so good to see a man of his stature throwing his entire weight behind our people who are in harm's way.
COSBY: It's terrific.
WILLIS: Thank you so much, Michael.
COSBY: And hats off to both of you guys, not just Bruce. And, Bruce, thank you so much for being with us.
And, Michael, keep up the great work you're doing. Those pictures are amazing. And please come back, both of you, anytime. Thank you.
WILLIS: Thanks very much. Keep it up, Mike.
YON: Thanks, Bruce.
WILLIS: OK, buddy.
COSBY: Thank you guys very much.
YON: Bye, Rita.
COSBY: Thank you.
Bruce's script is already done; just comile Yon's postings and you have it. It would be nice to see a movie that is not 'based on a true story' but 'this IS a true story'.
I think Bruce would be extremely nervous playing Kurilla, though; Kurilla has more guts and toughness in real-life than all the fictional role Bruce has ever played combined. DEFINITELY has more smarts as well :)Posted by Mike O at November 13, 2005 06:36 PM
Other than Bruce Willis, Mel Gibson (WE WERE SOLDIERS) Donald Bellasario (JAG, NCIS) Hollywood is completely out of touch with what the American public wants to see on its film and TV screens. We LOVE heroes!
What are you doing after the war, guys? Why not team up with the best storytellers among you and the most visually gifted and start telling true tales that we the American people are dying to see?
Money? Robert Rodriguez (SIN CITY, DESPERADO) who made his first film for $9,000. wrote a book called "REBEL WITHOUT A CREW" which will teach you more than I learned in a year at a prestigious film school.
Hollywood so drove RR nuts that he finally said he'd do business with anyone who let him work from home (Austin, Texas). Free from expensive Hollywood union rules, RR makes movies cheaply, expertly and entertainingly.
After World War I, lots of former warriors went into the film business. Time to do so again.
Please email me if I can help with any further suggestions.
Love you guys,
Sandra ;-)Posted by Sandra at November 13, 2005 09:52 PM
Super post. Super that Bruce Willis and Rita (now, at least) have a clue.
But, jeeeeez, I wonder up what bodily cavity these MSM/Hollywood types have had their crania inserted to be able to be so GOD-AWFULLY IGNORANT of some of the good things going on over in Iraq.Posted by gunjam at November 14, 2005 03:41 AM
The acknowledgement that many good things are happening in Iraq IN NO WAY negates my justified criticisms of the many things that the Bush/Dumbsfeld team is doing wrong -- some of which (e.g., the absurd catch-and-release of terrorists, the ludicrous prohibition that prevents our troops from turning capture terrorists over to the Iraqi police for "serious" questioning, to name two issues) are clearly spelled out in Yon's blog.
The amazing thing is that so much good going on over their despite Dumbsfeld's gross mismangement of Iraq post-invasion.
By the way: Dummy needs to go: NOW! And we need to QUIT charging soldiers every time they rough up a detainee or pull a weapon on one.
And we need to pressure Pres. Bush PRE-EMPTIVELY to pardon the five Rangers just charged with "being mean" to detainess!
We didn't win WWII by micromanaging how our troops treated prisoners: We are not going to win this (wider) war against Islamokazifascism that way either.
I wish more people in here would get their backs up agains the politically correct BS that the Pentagon has been foisting on the troops!Posted by gunjam at November 14, 2005 03:50 AM
Yes, I certainly think it is healthy to find ways to criticise the government, even if you're relatively happy with the way important policies (like Iraq) are going. They're probably never going to get everything right at the same time.
However, I suggest calling them names like "Dumsfeld" doesn't do much for your credibility. I think you have to respect Rumsfeld, even if you think he's made bad decisions. However many bad decisions he may have made, he's made some good ones too.
WWII was more than 60 years ago. Times have changed. (Although with the "Death to the Jews and Death to America" schtick, you would never be able to tell, it's as if the Nazis are still around except they're in power in Iran now).
I think if someone's done something really bad, they should be charged, but there needs to be some leeway. I definitely think there is mismanagement, but I wouldn't place all the blame on Rummy.
They probably hate playing this PC game, too, but they realize that it's important to keep certain people on our side, at least for now. I guess it's called "Realpolitick".
Personally, I see serious issues which are not being addressed, but neither are they getting any real attention. All the attention is on stupid stuff. Well, that's the fault of the idiots in political opposition and the media I suppose - they're playing for political gain, rather than actually attempting to do anything moral or constructive. Until they stop doing that, we'll probably be spending all our energy fighting their ridiculous accusations rather than bringing attention to issues where it belongs.
Which brings us back to the topic of this post. I think it's a good thing that these straight talking guys are getting some attention. Let's hear more about the REAL issues! Let's have constructive debate, and not cloud the issues with distortions, lies and people who are "stuck on stupid".
Oh well, it will probably never happen, but we can hope...