America is staring down the barrel of another loaded gun today, still answering for the sins and promises of our fathers and father’s fathers. That is ultimately what it means to be America, it means finding a way to uphold the morals, beliefs and integrity that our founding fathers built the country upon even though the world has changed and become a much more complicated minefield to navigate.
A chunk of desert in the middle east and America’s unending promise to help bring and enforce peace has once again brought us to the point where another war in another far away land seems to be just over the horizon, ready to rise like the morning sun. Like all of the wars that this generation have faced, it is far off, distant, alien and over issues that might not make a lot of sense to the average person. Sometimes to be the peace keeper, you need to do things that are seen as extreme, dangerous and morally in the grey area. It can also mean ruin, as we watch the United States begin to lose its grip on the world economy, sinking into debt and creating less and less while chasing its own white whale that is peace in the middle east.
What is clear is that the blood that greases the wheels of history is spilled and drawn from the hands of the few that believe in the fundamentals and the passion of the abstract concept of peace. Those few are willing to put their own lives on the line in the name of the abstract. These people are willing to place their families, their careers, their lives on hold just because they can. Tim Kennedy is one of those people, and as a looming conflict begins to brew between the holy land of Israel and the shadowy nation of Iran, it looks like Tim might have to make yet more sacrifices in the name of peace which will be misunderstood by many and appreciated by few.
We saw your tweet, where you said you may have to retire if this situation with Iran doesn't work out soon, and you would have to be redeployed in the middle east. What's your current situation in the military, and what's your take with the developing situation in the middle east? So, I'm still 18 Bravo with the 19th special forces group, and I'm still a Green Beret Special Forces qualified sniper with the national guard. So, if war broke out, unquestionably I not only would want to go back, I have to go back. I'm not sure if you're keeping up with what's going on right now, but recently the supreme leader of Iran has said that if the US supports Israel in any way, then the consequences will be tenfold upon us for what whatever we supported Israel with. And now, China and Russia are pretty much backing Iran, so it could get really, really ugly, really, really fast. Now, of course, let's hope that doesn't happen, but if it does, I think the only right thing to do would be to go back to my old job.
Is the US caught up in another unfortunate situation where we have to police the world here? Or does something preemptive need to happen? We have in the past fifty years become a policing country and a policing state and is that what I think we should be? Well absolutely not, but is that what we are? Kinda, it is. With that said, and this is just with speculation on my part, if this is Iran wanting or needing to act right now and on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons, I think that something very serious can happen. Now we have talks in the coming weeks with Iran on the nuclear subject but the timing of this happening is scary and not coincidental (sighs). Should we be a policing state? No, of course we shouldn't be, but it's kind of what we are and I don't think this so much has to do with policing, but more so be the foreshadowing of something horrible which is Iran having nuclear weapons. They don't care if you're a black gay man in San Francisco, you are an infidel and they want to kill you. They want to kill all three hundred million of us. It's not my position to say what we as a nation should or shouldn't do, it's my job to be a soldier and carry out what my commander in chief tells me to do.
It's just unfortunate that we are tied to this situation, if not policing then, peace keeping. We as a nation are going to have to go over there and clean things up. Yeah, if we go in and clean it up, that's Russia China and Iran. That's not a pretty clean up.
Is it your connection with your brothers in arms that makes you ready and willing to go back into battle or do you feel like you're compelled by patriotic duty? I consider myself a very patriotic person and I love my country and I love liberty and the constitution, but the reason I fight wars, and I hate war. War is terrible, I hate it. War is evil and disgusting. The things I've seen I don't want anyone to see ever. But, I do it because I know the dude sitting next to me, I know his wife, I know his kids I know his dogs and they are the greatest men I've ever known in my life. The first time I was ever in combat I was a Sergent with helicopters coming in and we are browned out from the helicopters coming in. So we start receiving machine gun fire in the helicopter so I hop out and start sprinting towards the gunfire, now I'm a baby, a Sergeant in the army and new to the special forces but next to me are all twelve of my dudes doing the same thing I was doing and that solidified conclusively that that was exactly where I was supposed to be and I'm just a run of the mill normal dude surrounded by some of the greatest warriors on the planet. So yeah, for me personally it's about standing next to the greatest warriors ever and we've been in a war for ten years now on two fronts fighting two different types of wars and they are just the greatest guys in the world.
And that's an incredible and beautiful notion, but I really hope that it doesn't come down to us having to go out there again. Well do you want a nuclear bomb blowing up here?
Our hands are tied. Yeah, but we have the most elite guys that have volunteered to go in the Airborne, Infantry Rangers then volunteered to the special forces. They chose this job and it may be the worst job in the world, and it may be and it may be that they see worse things than any other human sees in their lives, but we and them get paid and volunteer to do it. They relish in the sacrifice of saving three hundred million people, if they have to go over there and die, go over there and bleed or lose their legs... I hate saying for the greater good, but they know it. I would rather go over there than have my family fight here. My family lives in California near a nuclear power plant. That would be a great place to blow up you know? One off there, New York or LA. I would much rather spend my life fighting over there than here. Damned if I do, damned if I don't.
Naturally we will have to step in? Well we don't have to do anything and who knows what we are going to do. Do we have to? No. Will we? I don't know.
It's very obtuse for me to bring my mind to a place where you sacrifice it all for the better good. I'm willing to admit that. Is it a moment of clarity that comes to someone like you, or have you always been, what seems like an altruistic person? No I was in grad school, no wait, I finished my last year. An undergrad, and I was going to grad school and I was a fighter...then 9/11 happened and that gave me a real (pauses) moment of reflection on what I was doing with my life and what sacrifices I had made. I realized I hadn't sacrificed anything. Pro fighter, had everything I wanted... being an idiot. That moment of perspective made me realize I was a complete waste of life. So I walked into a recruiters office and asked how I could go? That was the beginning of a ten year career. So, yes, there was a very clear moment where I knew I had to do vastly more important than what I had already done in my life.
So then with this news swirling, lets drastically shift gears and ask how your fighting career fits into this future? Are their fights coming up, are you on stand by? Fightwise, I'm training my butt off. I'm supposed to fight Luke Rockhold when his hand is better. I would fight him next week if his hand was better. I'm training as if I have a fight in two months, even though I know he just got his cast off. Is my focus going to be shifting? Uh, not yet. It may be a little premature. I'm still going to be training a lot with my unit. I'm still working on a lot. But no. Day to day not much will change, it's just always going to be on mind as to what I'm doing with my time.
Battlefield is still better than COD, man... (Chuckles) Yeah...right.
Have you been at the COD lately? I hurt my toe a few weeks ago and my doctor was really serious about me keeping off it for at least a week. Keeping it elevated, and not have any weight on it, you know. So in seven days I prestiged twice, haha. I think I was putting in like five hours a day at least. I would still work out, but I was doing bench press and handbikes. Complete muscle head workouts. So from ten in the morning until my little man came home from school around four I was playing videogames. It was a very nice week.
We really appreciate you talking about all of these heavy issues and videogames with us sir. Is there anything else you would want to say? You know, so many people think I'm this war monger, so many haters, I hate war. I hate killing people, but I'm a sniper and I would suck at my job if I couldn't do that, I hate war, I don't love it but I have to do this. People are getting so wrapped up here, and when I say here, I mean the United States, with like the GOP nominations and the whole bunch of idiots. Occupy this or that, when there are riots in Egypt and Syria, the world is big, there are a lot of horrible things. People need to start reading and start opening their minds and start understanding how big of a place this is.
Well we appreciate the sacrifices you are making for us. Hey, while I have you, what do you think about a Cooking With Tim TV show? I got some cool stuff brewing in Hollywood, I'm getting real sick of this MMA scene right now. Waiting around for fights and the politics between Strikeforce and Showtime and the UFC and Zuffa. I'm just kind of getting over it, man. I miss the simplicity of life as a soldier. So, I don't know. I don't know what I want to do. I have some extreme survival and athlete type shows possibly going and, so, I don't know, man, I don't know. It's going to be a curious year. I haven't fought in... months. Now it will be a year before my next fight. A year lay off, and not by choice. I was out two weeks with an injury in a twelve month time frame? It's shenanigans. If my job is to fight and I only get a fight once every twelve months I can't afford to keep fighting. I gotta do something else, I have to figure it out.
Then, hypothetically speaking, you beat Luke Rockhold. Are you retiring? Just retire as champ? Unless I hear a UFC title bout, you know, like a Jake Shields or Henderson fight, maybe one fight then fight for the title. Unless it's something like that, yeah, I beat Luke and unless I can beat their next best guy on the planet, yeah I think I'd be done.
This has been a really intense interview man. I'm a very intense person! No I'm not. I hate trying to express sarcasm in 140 characters for example...geez relax hahaha