Actor and anti-war activist Tim Robbins says the United States is now viewed by much of the world as the Soviet Union once was, “as a rogue state.”
Anti-war activists Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon (photo: Scotsman.com)
“In the 19 months since 9-11, we have seen our democracy compromised by fear and hatred,” Robbins said yesterday in a speech to the National Press Club.
“Basic inalienable rights, due process, the sanctity of the home have been quickly compromised in a climate of fear. A unified American public has grown bitterly divided, and a world population that had profound sympathy and support for us has grown contemptuous and distrustful, viewing us as we once viewed the Soviet Union, as a rogue state.”
Robbins had been invited to speak on his opposition to the war with Iraq, but many of his comments addressed the furor which has erupted from the cancellation of the 15th anniversary celebration for his “Bull Durham” film due to his outspoken criticism of President Bush.
“A chill wind is blowing in this nation,” said Robbins. “A message is being sent through the White House and its allies in talk radio … and Cooperstown. If you oppose this administration, there can and will be ramifications.
“Every day, the airwaves are filled with warnings, veiled and unveiled threats, spewed invective and hatred directed at any voice of dissent. And the public, like so many relatives and friends that I saw this weekend, sit in mute opposition and fear.”
As WorldNetDaily previously reported, HBO is now looking to re-create the “Bull Durham” event in an upcoming episode of “On The Record” with Bob Costas.
Robbins, whose other films include “The Shawshank Redemption,” “The Hudsucker Proxy” and “I.Q.,” also lashed into the notion that most people in the movie industry opposed the conflict with Iraq.
“I am sick of hearing about Hollywood being against this war,” he said. “Hollywood’s heavy hitters, the real power brokers and cover-of-the-magazine stars, have been largely silent on this issue. But Hollywood, the concept, has always been a popular target.”
The actor is also taking on radio talk-show hosts, alleging hypocrisy for their own previous assaults on Bill Clinton during his military action in the Balkans war.
“The same radio patriots that call us traitors today engaged in daily personal attacks on their president during the war in Kosovo.”
Rush Limbaugh, the most listened to radio host in America, called portions of Robbins’ speech absurd.
“These are the people that are spewing the invective at George Bush. These are the people comparing Bush to Hitler,” said Limbaugh.
He rhetorically addressed Robbins directly regarding the actor’s comment that the world now views America as a Soviet-style rogue state.
“You looked at the Soviet Union as a dream,” Limbaugh said. “You looked at the Soviet Union as a freaking paradise. Now don’t sit here and tell us you looked at the Soviet Union as a rogue state. …
“[The world population has] a newfound respect for us, Tim. And maybe some people around the world ought to be frightened of us. Maybe there ought to be a little fear of the United States of America in some hearts in some countries in this world.”