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The open letter signed by actors Mike Farrell, Martin Sheen and more than 100 of their Tinsel Town pals asking President Bush to back down on Iraq, angered one North Carolina woman so much that she launched an online petition to counter their influence and to let Sheen know that he’s not the commander in chief,
even though he plays one on TV.
Lori Bardsley, a stay-at-home mother of three, accuses Hollywood celebrity “pundits,” as she calls
them, of using their celebrity to interfere with the defense of the country.
“Anti-war activism is hip but Sept. 11th was real,” said Bardsley. “On Sept. 11th our children were threatened. We expect President Bush to take whatever measures necessary to keep us safe,” she added.
Bardsley feels the celebrities don’t speak for most Americans. Indeed, one week after she quietly
posted her online petition entitled “Citizens Against Celebrity ‘Pundits,'” she reports more than a thousand visitors have added their signatures.
“We support President Bush in his efforts to defend our homeland, to defend democracy, and to take
any measures to end the threat of terrorism,” the petition reads. “We do not claim to know more than anyone, especially President Bush. We elect a President who we can trust to make proper decisions based on facts available to him and not available to the rest of us.”
Actor Mike Farrell
Last week, a group called Artists United To Win Without War released a statement asserting war with Iraq would cost $200 billion and send tens of thousands of men and women into danger. Farrell, best known for his role of wise-cracking, martini-drinking MASH surgeon B.J. Hunnicut, co-founded the group. In an interview with Fox News Channel’s Hannity & Colmes, the
human rights advocate explained his opposition to any U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
“It is not only unprecedented, and it is not only not democratic it’s theological. This determines that we are the chosen people of the world who can determine for themselves who are good, who are bad, who are right, and who are wrong, and smite them when we choose. This seems to be the height of arrogance. And I think it is the kind of thing that rachets up the anger and the frustration in the mind’s eye of the people who then turn to terrorism,” Farrell said.
“What we have to do is allow the inspection team charged by the United Nations Security Council to do its work to determine if there are any weapons,” Farrell continued. “We ought to let them do their job, as the inspections team that was in there from 1991 to 1998 did, which was to dismantle and disarm 95
percent of the weapons that were in existence at that time. If, in fact, there are weapons of mass destruction, which by definition is nuclear weapons, in that region, they need to be dismantled and
Actor-director Sean Penn has also added more than his two cents worth to the debate. In October, he paid for a $56,000 ad in The Washington Post that accused Bush of stifling debate on Iraq and “promoting fear through unsubstantiated rhetoric.”
As WorldNetDaily reported, Penn flew to Iraq last week determined to gain ”a deeper understanding of the conflict.” Footage of the Oscar nominee touring a hospital and other sites in Baghad with his camera filled television airwaves during his three-day visit.
“If there’s going to be blood on the hands of the United States, whether some people feel it’s justified or not, that blood is going to be on my hands, too. And I’m determined that it’s not going to be invisible blood,” Penn declared.
Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz welcomed Penn and encouraged others to follow.
As WorldNetDaily reported Monday, Penn is
not the only Hollywood star traveling to foreign countries and bad-mouthing American foreign policy while away. Last week, actor Danny Glover, known for his “Lethal Weapon” roles with Mel Gibson, and singer Harry Belafonte, were even more critical of U.S. policies in Iraq than Penn while visiting a Cuban film festival. Belafonte accused the Bush administration of using the Sept. 11 terror attacks “to extend its imperialist, economic and political domination all over the planet.”
Bardsley thinks stars abuse their status by making their own personal issues known while other citizens would never have the resources to speak out, and even possibly influence U.S. policy. Admitting having grown up heavily under the influence of Hollywood, Bardsley expresses particular concern for
teenagers who soak up television 24 hours a day and see the world as she did, through Phil Donahue glasses.
“I remember cheering in front of the television as I watched Gloria Steinem and her Hollywood friends march in D.C. for choice. It would be many years later that I would have three abortions in place of birth control and end up with complicated pregnancies as a result of my choice,” she said.
“Hollywood celebrities are beautiful, wealthy, live in extravagant mansions, drive expensive cars and own the admiration of most American youth. They are well aware of their influence and choose to use it to forward their own agenda,” she added.
Bardsley has company holding this opinion. In a recent WorldNetDaily poll, 34
percent of the 8,500 respondents said the high-profile entertainers’ bad-mouthing of America was because “Their wealthy, hedonistic lifestyles have made them ‘out of touch.'” Thirty-one percent chose, “They’re socialists and communists at heart” and 13 percent answered, “Many are traitors actively trying to bring down America.”
Just two percent felt America was “worthy of being bad-mouthed” and the entertainers were “patriots
trying to improve America.”
One respondent suggested Hollywood was a tool of the Democratic National Committee.
“If a liberal was in office they would be saying that America is a grand and wonderful country and truly a place that will feed and cloth [sic] the poor people of the entire planet,” the writer posted on WND’s message board.
On her website, Bardsley also includes a link to WND columnist Michael Medved’s arguments to common anti-war themes like “War doesn’t solve anything” and “We have no right to attack Saddam because our aid made him powerful.”
Bardsley plans to make the results of the petition public, and send them to Farrell and Sheen.
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