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.
i hope they all starve.
"the impact of the deaths has rarely dominated headlines"_____ The impact of the deaths of our troops is that they are mourned by their families and the nation. They are honored as the heroes that they are. They are never forgotten. They join the ranks of the best of us who enable the rest of us to live as we do._____To the media and their headlines, they are just a number to be used against us.
What these actors don't understand is that Islamic radicals find the Hollywood culture repugnant and blasphemous and would cut off the head of every overrated, overpaid American "star" if they got the chance. I dread another terrorist attack on the U.S. but if it has to come I wish they'd hit the Academy Awards presentations.
I will starve!
Judging from a picture in another thread, I think Kiera Knightly has been fasting for a fortnight already.
If you don't believe I'll starve, look at this.
I HAVE HELP STARVING.
A real hunger fast has one of two endings.
You get what you want.
Or you die.
They won't get what they want.
And they'll buy a big Mac or eat a Tofu burger before dying.
When the frauds actually do anything more then throw a publicized tantrum let me know. Until then they are full of nothing but hot air. No real conviction. Only childish petulence.
A Fast, from Hollyweird? Does this mean they will go without their favored Evian (naive spelled backwards) water and maybe, lose some weight?
Do they honestly believe anyone cares what they do?
Apparently, this one is way ahead of the hellyweird crowd...
Better have the emergency medical teams standing by.
One thing I think we need to keep in mind is that words do not have the same meaning to these clowns that they do for the rest of us. For example, Gay used to mean happy, joyus.
Now look at what it means. So when they say they are going to "starve" think how many of us have said, "I haven't had anything to eat since breakfast, and here it is noon and I am "starved".
a classic lefty -- HUNGER STRIKE*
*for 24 hours
that is not a hunger strike...its a fast...
i guess some need to loose a few pounds for the next movie...i suppose this is better then an atkins diet.
They can starve to friggin' death for all that I care.
Useless eaters anyway.
Only 24 hours.
Hunger strike Saddam style apparently.
The DOD doesn't consider it a hunger strike unless it lasts 3 days.
By the Way I thought the article said stars.... not has beens...
Actually, the reason for these 'stars' joining the Sheehan slumber party is not because of their own devotion to her cause.
It is because their AGENT has sent them to do this.
AGENT's don't make money unless their stars do.
So, when not working, they hook them up with some 'cause', to keep them in the limelight.
The worse the 'stars' popularity, the worse 'cause' they get.
Now you know why these stars are going to help Cindy.
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