Khe Sanh and Beyond: Col. (ret) Joseph Abodeely Interview

By Gerald D. Swick
8/26/2010 • HistoryNet Interviews

HN: Unlike most bloggers and talk show hosts, you’re not easy to pigeonhole. In one blog on your Website you say, "Our World War II veterans are heroes, but our Vietnam Veterans are our heroes, too, and our country needs to say so, often." In another, written during the last presidential election, you wrote, "George W. Bush and his co-conspirators must be held accountable for their crimes in either a U.S. tribunal or an international tribunal or both." You express strong opinions, but they don’t seem to toe any ideological line. Comments?

JA: I don’t even know what liberal and conservative mean anymore. I’m pragmatic. Some people would think I’m a bleeding-heart liberal and others think I’m a right-wing nut case.

I believe in war but pick and choose your wars. Do it when you really need to do it.

HN: Given your background in law and law enforcement—you were a state prosecuting attorney in Arizona for 15 years and later a defense attorney—we have to ask: What’s your take on the current immigration law controversy in Arizona?

JA: I think it’s purely political. There is no immigration problem. I live in a rural area where there used to be a jalapeno field. I used to see trucks going out there, immigrants picking jalapenos in 120-degree heat. Our people aren’t going to do that.

Our crime rate (in Arizona) is going down. Yes, there are immigration violations, but that is an administrative, not criminal, violation.

HN: Colonel, thanks for talking with HistoryNet. Anything you’d like to add in closing?

JA: I love this country and I’m concerned about where it’s going because a lot of people are uninformed. They can’t think critically. They often vote against their best interests. They need to put their religious and ethnic differences aside.

My religion is the Constitution. That’s what I believe in, and a lot of people are trying to take it apart.

Click here to read Col. Abodeely’s personal account of the week his platoon spent fighting their way through to Khe Sanh, Breaking the Siege at Khe Sanh, from the October 2010 Vietnam magazine.

To see a slideshow of displays in the Arizona Military Museum, see Peter Suciu’s article, "Arizona Military Museum: More Than Cowboys in the Military History of the South West," on our partner site,

Gerald D. Swick is senior Web editor for,, and

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