Actor Richard Gere has spoken out in strong opposition to President George W. Bush’s policy toward Iraq, saying at the 53rd Berlin Film Festival that the administration’s “plans for war are a bizarre bad dream.”
Richard Gere (Courtesy: Hollywood.com)
According to a report at Ananova.com, several Hollywood celebrities were “eager to tout their anti-war sentiments” at the festival. Gere is in Berlin to promote his film “Chicago.”
“There doesn’t appear to be any sort of basis for any of this,” Gere said, according to the report.
Gere was skeptical of Bush’s motives.
“I have a feeling something hidden is at work here that will someday see the light of day,” he said.
“I keep asking myself where all this personal enmity between George Bush and Saddam Hussein comes from. It’s like the story of Captain Ahab and the great white whale from Moby Dick.”
According to the Ananova report, Gere, a Buddhist, added: “We have to say ‘stop.’ There’s no reason for a war. At the moment Hussein is not threatening anybody.
“It’d be different if he was staring somebody down with a loaded gun in his hand. But there doesn’t seem to be any indications whatsoever that this man poses an immediate threat to anybody.
“America has never paid any attention to other people, so it’s absurd for Bush to say that it’s all in the best interests of the Iraqi people.”
Gere suggested that the American people are not behind Bush’s potential plans to disarm Iraq.
“If the United States marches into Iraq without the backing of the United Nations, that will be done entirely without the backing of the American people,” he concluded.
Gere, who previously starred in films such as “American Gigolo,” “An Officer and a Gentleman” (playing a Navy flyer in training) and the biblical story “King David,” is the latest in a long list of anti-war Hollywood personalities who have come out swinging against Bush.
Mike Farrell, best known for his role of wise-cracking, martini-drinking M*A*S*H surgeon B.J. Hunnicut, describes the Bush administration’s stance against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein as “the height of arrogance” because it implies the U.S. has determined itself to be “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.”
Academy Award-winner Dustin Hoffman recently voiced his opposition to war with Iraq, accusing Bush of manipulating the post-Sept. 11 events to justify war.
“For me as an American, the most painful aspect of this is that I believe that the administration has taken the events of Sept. 11 and has manipulated the grief of the country, and I think that’s reprehensible,” Hoffman said Wednesday after accepting a lifetime achievement award at the Empire Film Awards in London.
“I believe – though I may be wrong because I am no expert – that this war is about what most wars are about: hegemony, money, power and oil,” he continued.
As WND reported, Hoffman and Gere are not the only Hollywood stars traveling to foreign countries and bad-mouthing American foreign policy while away. In December, actor Danny Glover, known for his “Lethal Weapon” roles with Mel Gibson, and singer Harry Belafonte, sounded similar criticism 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.”
Actor-director Sean Penn also made headlines in December by traveling to Baghdad to gain ”a deeper understanding of the conflict.”
“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.