US actors, activists protest military action against Iraq
AFP WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2002
LOS ANGELES: About 100 US television and film stars
including Matt Damon, Anjelica Huston and Martin Sheen
signed a peition released Tuesday against a possible US-led
war against Iraq, saying "war talk in Washington is
alarming and unnecessary."
Samuel L. Jackson, Mia Farrow, Kim Basinger, Uma Thurman,
Tim Robbins and rockers REM also put their names on the
list of those opposed to such a US-led strike.
"A preemptive military invasion of Iraq will harm American
national interests. Such a war will increase human
suffering, arouse animosity toward our country, increase
the likelihood of terrorist attacks, damage the economy,
and undermine our moral standing in the world," the
"The valid US and UN objective of disarming Saddam Hussein
can be achieved through legal diplomatic means. There is no
need for war," it added.
Stars delivered the petition to the press at a Hollywood
restaurant frequented by stars; on hand was Martin Sheen,
who plays a fictional US president on the NBC television
series "The West Wing."
In Washington "they made up their minds a long time ago
about going to war. (It's a) personal feud, that's part of
it," said Sheen alluding to the Gulf War under then
President George Bush, father of the incumbent, which did
not bring down Iraqi President Sadam Hussein.
Foremer M.A.S.H current NBC television star Mike Farrell
said "a tendency of this administration is to imply that
anyone who opposes them is somehow less loyal and
patriotic. That's not right."
Meanwhile in Washington some 300 people, rallied by a dozen
Washington-area churches, gathered near the White House
Tuesday to protest any eventual military action against
"This war will be disastrous," said one of the
demonstrators, Pat Elder. "Violence is not the answer to
violence. Peace can only be attained through justice."
The demonstration, which marked the 54th anniversary of the
signing of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, later
to move to the center of the capital under police
Another protester, Washington University instructor Karen
Pomeranz, criticized both Democrats and Republicans for
having favored US military budgets at the expense of
bettering public social programs.
"They spent the last 20 years gutting public health,
housing, welfare, education and other programs that give us
real security," she said.