Michael Moore, the documentary filmmaker who was booed at the Academy Awards ceremony for criticizing President Bush, said in a recent interview that he likes the U.S. “to some extent” and believes that “only a handful of people have the power to control the country.”

Michael Moore and wife Kathleen Glynn (photo: Oscar.com)

Winning an Oscar last month for his anti-gun film “Bowling for Columbine,” Moore told the star-studded crowd that “we live in a time with fictitious election results that elect fictitious presidents. We live in a time when we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons.”

Moore went on to exclaim, “We are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you! Shame on you!”

His comments were greeted by a chorus of loud boos from the audience of 3,500.

In an interview with the Japanese Shukan Post, Moore was asked: “You do not seem to like the U.S., do you?”

Moore responded, “I like America to some extent. … Americans are simple and clear. They are charming people. You will understand how good an individual American is. What I am not satisfied with America is that the nation cannot control the government and economy. Only a handful of people have the power to control the country.”

In the interview, Moore also blasted Bush’s policy toward Iraq, saying the president started the war for religious reasons.

“The only legacy the war with Iraq will bring is hatred throughout the world for the U.S.,” Moore told the paper. “Under President Clinton, the U.S. was not alienated from the world. The Clinton administration did not take a hard-line policy toward the Middle East; rather, he tried to establish peace in the region.

“President Bush, however, has destroyed it. He identified his military forces as crusaders and started the war with Iraq as a mission of God. When I look at his face when he makes such speeches, I feel that the U.S. has become a fearful country.”

The filmmaker claims the war was begun only to make it easier for U.S. corporations to do business in other countries.

“The U.S. government claims to bring democracy to Iraq,” Moore said. “However, no country in the world takes such an assertion seriously. It is an illusion.”

Sounding strangely similar to an anti-government-schools free-market advocate, Moore declared that the U.S. public-school system had failed, as he explained why he thought the American people don’t understand how the 9-11 attacks “affected the world.”

Moore told the Shukan Post: “The U.S. public education system has problems. Students are released into society without learning enough. According to a survey conducted by National Geographic using samples of youths aged from 18 to 25 years old, 85 percent of them did not know where Iran or Iraq were. Surprisingly enough, 11 percent of them could not point correctly where the U.S. was on map. Can you believe it? It is just difficult for these ignorant youths to understand international politics.”

True to form, Moore called Bush “a puppet” of “neo-conservative aides such as Rumsfeld or Cheney,” who he claims are controlling the president.

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