Kevin Mazur / WireImage 1 / 9
Kevin Mazur / WireImage 1 / 9

By Wonderwall Editors

Tony Bennett appeared on "Howard Stern" Monday to discuss his new album, "Duets II," but the conversation quickly turned toward politics and war. And after inciting criticism for what some deemed to be unpatriotic or insensitive comments, Bennett issued an apology on his Facebook page.

A veteran of World War II, the 85-year-old singer told the satellite radio show host that he became a pacifist "the first time I saw a dead German."

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He went on to call the war in Iraq "a tremendous, tremendous mistake internationally," and claimed that former President George W. Bush agreed with him. Recounting a run-in with Bush at the 2005 Kennedy Center Honors, Bennett said the pair discussed the war. "He told me personally that night, he says, 'I think I made a mistake,'" Bennett said.

(A representative for Bush later rebutted, telling NBC News that "President Bush never said that to Tony Bennett or anyone else.")

Regarding the World Trade Center attacks, Bennett asked, "But who are the terrorists? Are we the terrorists or are they the terrorists? Two wrongs don't make a right ... They flew the plane in, but we caused it, because we were bombing them and they told us to stop."

On Tuesday, the singer posted a statement on his Facebook wall.

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"I am so grateful to be an American and as a World War II veteran, I was proud to fight to protect our values, which have made America the greatest country on the planet," he wrote.

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"There is simply no excuse for terrorism and the murder of the nearly 3,000 innocent victims of the 9/11 attacks on our country. My life experiences - ranging from the Battle of the Bulge to marching with Martin Luther King -- made me a life-long humanist and pacifist, and reinforced my belief that violence begets violence and that war is the lowest form of human behavior. I am sorry if my statements suggested anything other than an expression of my love for my country, my hope for humanity and my desire for peace throughout the world."

Bennett's new album, featuring duets with Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga and others, lands in stores Wednesday.