Mike Eberhart | April 9, 2003
This is a great letter written by Richard Roeper to the anti-war celebrity establishment. It's a little long, but a good read.

"BY RICHARD ROEPER SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST

TO: Jennifer Aniston, George Clooney, Sheryl Crow, David Duchovny, Janeane Garofalo, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Woody Harrelson, Jessica Lange, Michael Moore, Edward Norton, Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Martin Sheen, Eddie Vedder, et al.

RE: Operation Iraqi Freedom

Dear Celebrity Anti-War Activist: Over the last several weeks and months, you have used your status as a person of fame to tell the world you're against the war with Iraq, which you believe to be unwarranted, unethical, unconstitutional and un-American. Some of you have said you "hate" President George W. Bush (hello, Jessica Lange!), while others have expressed mere contempt for the president and his policies.

Even though you are among the luckiest and best-rewarded human beings in the history of civilization, you have moaned long and loud about life in the oppressive United States of America. And you have complained that free speech is practically an endangered species--though it's not as if you've been kidnapped, bound and gagged for expressing your views.

You have talked about how ashamed you are to be an American. You have said you believe this is a war for oil conducted by a power-hungry simpleton in the White House.

You have given speeches at awards ceremonies. You've marched in the streets and held forth at anti-war rallies. You've gone on talk shows and you've written op-ed pieces and you've signed letters and you've flashed the peace sign every time you've gone out in public.

Even after the fighting began and U.S. troops started risking their lives to fight for the very freedoms you've been enjoying--including the right to speak out against government policies--you refused to let the drumbeats of war drown out your voices of dissent.

Fine. You've made your point. And if you want to keep on with the the marching and the protesting and the grandstanding and the speech-making, well God bless America, that's your right.

But I'm just wondering: If you're such a crusader for kindness and decency and the rules of fair play, when are you going to say something about the atrocities committed by Iraqis since this war broke out?

Stop right there. I can already hear you launching into your well-practiced diatribe about how none of these things would be happening in the first place if not for that warmonger Bush--but that doesn't answer my question. My question is, why are you not condemning the unconscionable acts of terrorism committed by Iraqis?

Since the fighting began, American troops have conducted themselves with much honor and courage and have engaged in the traditional rules of war. We've seen story after story about U.S. troops coming to the aid of wounded enemy soldiers, image after image of Americans comforting Iraqi children, quote after quote from American troops expressing deep regret after killing soldiers and civilians who would not surrender or kept charging, even after repeated warnings.

On the other side, some Iraqi soldiers have posed as civilians and faked surrender in order to ambush allied forces. Then there are the suicide terrorists, like the noncommissioned Iraqi officer in civilian clothes who pretended to be a taxi driver and waved to U.S. soldiers for help--only to blow himself up and take four American soldiers with him. We've also seen American POWs mistreated on Iraq TV.

The Fedayeen have been known to use civilians, even children, as human shields. They stage military operations from hospitals. In one incident, Iraqi soldiers fired at a U.S. helicopter that was evacuating wounded Iraqis.

Even if you believe we have no business being in Iraq, you can't possibly endorse any of the tactics used by a significant percentage of Iraqis. They are cowards and they are scum and they are war criminals.

So, Ms. Garofalo and Mr. Sheen and Mr. Moore and Mr. Robbins: Why not hold a press conference to condemn these acts? How about taking out ads in USA Today and the New York Times so you can sign your names to a petition expressing your outrage at this behavior? How about donating your talents to a fund-raiser for the families of fallen American soldiers? At the very least you can update your anti-war speeches to include words of praise for the likes of Jessica Lynch, and words of protest against the Iraqi thugs.

I'm not asking you to march in the streets of Baghdad to protest these atrocities. You can make your point from the comfort and safety of your home turf--the same launching point for all your verbal missiles against the American government.

It won't mean you're against the war. It'll just mean you have a sense of perspective and honor, and that your hatred and contempt isn't reserved exclusively for the president of the United States.

War criminals need loathing, too. Don't be afraid to say it.

Sincerely,

Richard Roeper"

Mike Eberhart | April 9, 2003
I emailed Richard Roeper and thanked him for writing this letter to the Hollywood anti-war crowd. At least he can give us, the little people, some kind of voice against them. I personnally have declared a boycott against any tv show, movies, or anything else that these actors are in. I have already sold off some of my DVD's that contain a few of these anti-war celebrities. So, what do you all think? That's just my opinion on it.Mike

Scott Hardie | April 9, 2003
I've always liked Richard Roeper. He's smart and humble. And he looks a bit like you, Mike. :-) I appreciate him not resorting to the ridiculous old clichés that liberals want to "join hands and sing Kumbaya" and "place a daisy in every gun barrel." My only contention with the above letter: What does the current mission undertaken by our troops in Iraq have to do with freedom of expression here in the U.S.? That's another bullshit cliché, that any fighting done anywhere by U.S. troops is always to defend the first amendment.

My opinion on the outspoken celebrities: Honestly, who cares what they think? They only seem to be getting reactions from people who are pro-this-war (thanks again Erik). I'm not aware of anybody anti-this-war or anybody neutral paying the celebrities much attention. You know, I am anti-this-war, but if I was a celebrity, I'd keep my mouth shut. It's not about not wanting to wind up like the Dixie Chicks, it's about recognizing that my opinion doesn't matter to the general public. The exception: When they're making comments on their own turf. Barbra Streisand's famously anti-Bush web site is her own domain and there, she can say what she wants (much as I do here), but walking up to a microphone on national television to present an Academy Award is not an appropriate time.

Scott Hardie | April 9, 2003
You know, this has me thinking: What are other clichés about pro-war people and anti-war people?

And how about just wartime clichés in general? I for one am getting sick of hearing that "our thoughts and prayers are with the family of" so-and-so deceased. Yeah, sure they are. For about one minute.

Erik Bates | April 10, 2003
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Scott Hardie | April 10, 2003
In the news today:

Rupert Murdoch's New York Post carries a "Page Six" item today (Thursday) headlined "The high cost of Bush-bashing" and suggesting that celebrities who opposed the war in Iraq could find themselves without jobs. Murdoch and his newspapers have been ardent supporters of the war. Today's "Page Six" column takes note of a boycott campaign being organized against the sponsors of Janeane Garofalo's upcoming ABC sitcom Slice O'Life. It cited a column by MSNBC.com gossip columnist Jeannette Walls, which published email notes to ABC from protesters, including one reading, "We do not wish to see the faces of liberal Hollywood, particularly those that provided aid and comfort to Saddam Hussein." The Post also indicated that a Brisk Tea spot filmed by the Dixie Chicks may never air because of the controversy over lead singer Natalie Maines' recent anti-war comments. Also on Wednesday, the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY canceled an April 2-27 celebration of the 15th anniversary of Bull Durham because of anti-war remarks made by stars Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon. Hall President Dale Petroskey said that the actors' comments "could put our troops in even more danger." Robbins fired off a letter to Petroskey telling him that he belongs "with the cowards and ideologues in a hall of infamy and shame."

Scott Hardie | April 10, 2003
And more.

Jackie Mason | April 11, 2003
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Mike Eberhart | April 16, 2003
Jackie, I wouldn't really call it a boycott, I'm not going around telling other people not to watch, or buy. I'm just personally not doing that. As far as I'm concerned, I'm not going to give those actors one more $ of my money. They are all overpaid, and they do nothing but whine about it. I'm sick of them. My only real fear is that I will find out that an anti-war actor is one of the cast members of 24. That would really suck!!.

Jackie Mason | April 16, 2003
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Erik Bates | April 17, 2003
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Mike Eberhart | April 18, 2003
Have you ever been in the military? I have, and when someone like Tim Robbins starts bad mouthing the country, it really pisses me off. So much to the point that I will stop buying their movies, or watching them on TV. Tim Robbins & Susan Surrandon can't stand our government or our country. Tim Robbins called the USA a "rogue state". What the hell is that? If they don't like it so much, then get the hell out. So, if the only thing I can do to show my dislike for these people is to stop supporting them, then that's what I'm going to do. They only understand money, and when it's not coming in, they start to listen.Mike

Erik Bates | April 18, 2003
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Jackie Mason | April 18, 2003
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Scott Hardie | April 19, 2003
Turnaround?

Jeff Flom | April 26, 2003
It seems that Mr. Roeper's main problem with the celebrities is not what they say but instead that they don't acknowledge the "terrorism" conducted by the Iraqis. To Mr. Roeper I would say who cares. Let the Bush Administration make the case against Iraq; those who are opposed to the war are only required to explain to people why they are opposed to the war. Think about it like a trial, the prosecution does not have to say that the defendent is a really nice guy who gives billions of dollars to charity every day, that's the defenses job. The prosecutions only job is to paint the defendent as an evil villian. So it is in a public debate.
Since I am new to the forum I would like to stress that I am not and never will pick on anyone for anything, I only disagree. One thing I disagree with is the notion that people who "hate" America should leave. For 200 years plus our political society has grown, changed, and adapted. People used to hate the fact that in America a person could own another person. Should they have left?
Politics is a dish that is best served cold. Do not allow your disagreement with people to influence your decisions.

Jackie Mason | April 26, 2003
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