Skip to comments.US stars align in anti-Iraq war hunger strike
Posted on 07/03/2006 9:12:51 PM PDT by aceintx
US stars align in anti-Iraq war hunger strike Jul 03 6:34 PM US/Eastern Email this story
Star Hollywood actor-activists including Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon and anti-war campaigners led by bereaved mother Cindy Sheehan plan to launch a hunger strike, demanding the immediate return of US troops from Iraq.
As Americans get set to fire up barbeques in patriotic celebration of US Independence Day on July 4, anti-war protestors planned to savour a last meal outside the White House, before embarking on a 'Troops Home Fast' at midnight.
"We've marched, held vigils, lobbied Congress, camped out at Bush's ranch, we've even gone to jail, now it's time to do more," said Sheehan, who emerged as an anti-war icon after losing her 24-year-old son Casey in Iraq.
The hunger strike was the latest bid by the US anti-war movement to grab hold of American public opinion, after numerous marches, vigils and political campaigns.
Despite polls which show the Iraq war is unpopular and many Americans are skeptical of President George W. Bush's wartime leadership, peace protests have not hit the opinion-swaying critical mass seen during Vietnam War.
"We have been continually sheltered from the actual cost of war from the beginning," said Meredith Dearborn, of human rights group Global Exchange, explaining how anti-Iraq war protests have stuttered.
While 2,526 US soldiers have died since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, according to an AFP tally based on Pentagon figures, the impact of the deaths has rarely dominated headlines.
While it is not unusual to see an Iraq-war veteran or amputee in an airport for instance, or newspaper features on horrific injuries inflicted by roadside bombs in Iraq, the United States hardly feels like a nation at war.
Some protestors and experts in public opinion put that down to the absence of the Vietnam War style conscription draft, which means only professional soldiers or reservists can be sent off to war.
"We have done everything we could think of to end this war, we have protested, held marches, vigils ... lobbied, written letters to Congress," said Dearborn.
"Now it is time to bring the pain and suffering of war home. We are putting our bodies on the line for peace."
Perhaps the only time the anti-Iraq war movement captured lasting coverage was in August 2005, when Sheehan and supporters pitched camp outside Bush's Texas ranch, where the president habitually stays in high summer.
Even then, the fiercely partisan debate unleashed may have harmed Sheehan, who faced fierce fire from conservative groups and radio talk show hosts, as much as it hurt the Bush administration's image over Iraq.
The hunger strike will see at least four activists, Sheehan, veteran comedian and peace campaigner Dick Gregory, former army colonel Ann Wright and environmental campaigner Diane Wilson launch serious, long-term fasts.
"I don't know how long I can fast, but I am making this open-ended," said Wilson.
Other supporters, including Penn, Sarandon, novelist Alice Walker and actor Danny Glover will join a 'rolling" fast, a relay in which 2,700 activists pledge to refuse food for at least 24 hours, and then hand over to a comrade.
Though the anti-war movement is trying hard to puncture public perceptions, some experts believe such protests have little impact on how Americans view foreign wars.
Ohio State University professor John Mueller for example, argued in the Foreign Affairs journal in December, that only rising US casualties could be proven to erode public support for a conflict.
Anti-war movements during the Korean and Iraq wars have been comparitively invisible, but public support had eroded in a similar way to the Vietnam conflict, in which the peace movement played a dominant role, he wrote.
Recent polls reveal public scepticism over Iraq, and damage to Bush's personal ratings.
In a poll in Time magazine published Friday, only 33 percent of respondents approved of Bush's leadership on Iraq while 64 percent said they disapproved his handling of the campaign.
A Pew Research Center poll released on June 20, found that only 35 percent of Americans approved of Bush's handling of the Iraqi conflict -- though that was up five percent from a similar poll in February.
the only way she can get men to touch her is when security is dragging her out.
More disturbing is the way she is groping Jesse Jackson, what is she looking for kid #3 from yet another father?
They can't see the plain logic... that their words and actions have alienated people and turned most Americans against them, thus causing the exact opposite effect that they wanted.
But they just keep doing it, more and more. It's more foolish than their very beliefs sometimes.
You have to admit, SteveMcking....It is pretty entertaining aye??
A rolling fast is one of those wussy things leftists have come up.
It is as pointless to call it a fast as giving up dessert with dinner is to show solidarity with the world's starving poor.
In other words, a rolling fast means nobody is actually fasting, just as giving up dessert doesn't put food in the mouth of a single starving kid.
I haven't laughed this hard since Kerry voted for the 87 billion....before he voted against it!!!
Lets help their diet by boycotting any movie or television appearance they may make. They have no idea of starvation. lets give them the real picture!
We all need to start a rolling chow down....I'll start by eating an extra meal tomorrow....one of you can do it the next day and so on....
If you have a Ruth's Chris steakhouse nearby, now would be a good time to make a reservation for tomorrow. It's where Rush, Hannity and yours truly love to eat.
Coked up or ripped on meth, they will not miss the food.
What kinda crap is that?
Starve baby starve!
OK, I'm in....two pizza's coming up for me! Who's next?
I know that this is a sacrifice....but what the hell...it's for the troops.....
These people are all trying to cultivate a Gandhi complex.
Do they recall that the Mahatma's efforts were followed by the most horrendous bloodletting in modern Indian history?
Pacifists always assume that the world will follow their dreams if them only make these little sacrifices. Often exactly the opposite is true . It is far better to fight and fight hard until victory . Forget the meaningless platitudes
they are fond of spouting. They are all like chickens ,waiting with their necks on the chopping block.
Hey Mickie, she likes it!!
Talk about ego. I shouldn't be surprised but the depth of self centeredness these fools suffer from is breathtaking. "Look at me!!!I'm going to be a martyr for a day!" If I never see Sarandon, Penn, or Glover on TV or in the news, it will be too soon...unless their emaciated corpses are found. That would be news.
Where are the stars?
Are they foregoing self medication?
We ought to find out where this wimpy fast is happening and have a Big Texas style BBQ with plenty of gourmet fixings right next store.
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