ShareThis Page
News Columnists

War just a distraction from real menace

| Thursday, Feb. 27, 2003

They say truth is the first casualty in war, especially when stereotyping takes on a life of its own. Some of America's warmongers imply that those of us opposed to attacking Iraq are anti-American peace weenies.

There are those on the left's outer fringes who probably fit that stereotype, but there are so many more mainstream Americans -- principled and articulate -- who are speaking out against President Bush's misguided Middle East meddling.

Some are willing to risk alienating the very fans they hope will watch their TV shows and films.

Mike Farrell, actor, producer and director, is the co-founder of Artists United to Win Without War -- http://www.artistsunitedwww.org. It's an organization that opposes launching a first strike on Iraq.

You might know Farrell better as veterinarian Jim Hansen in the NBC series "Providence" or Capt. B.J. Hunnicut in the CBS series "M*A*S*H." He also produced the film "Dominick and Eugene," made in Pittsburgh in 1987.

Now, Farrell has a prominent role in the ultimate reality show.

"Political advantage is being taken by Bush and his advisers to propel their own political agenda under the guise of anti-terrorism," says Farrell.

Every other reference to pre-emptive war had to do with terrorism. They have virtually said the 9/11 attacks have been linked to Saddam Hussein. They have had to retreat from every claim. It is not even yet demonstrated that Saddam has weapons of mass destruction, he says.

"This is sleight-of-hand because (the Bush administration) failed to get Osama bin Laden. It removed him from the scene by not mentioning his name and replacing it with Saddam, because we know where he is."

Some superpatriots have been trying to silence the opposition by calling on them -- constantly.

"We have been getting a barrage of hate phone calls because of the press announcement about the virtual march on Washington," says Kate McArdle, Artists United executive director. The "march" gave an opportunity for people who could not make it to a demonstration to express their opposition online Wednesday.

She has been trying not to answer her office phone, letting calls roll over to voice mail so she can call back the legitimate ones. Supporters have not been able to leave messages sometimes because her mailbox is full of venom from those who probably consider themselves defenders of American values.

If truth is the first casualty in war, free speech is a close second. In this instance, it's being killed by friendly fire.

"We are being lied to," Farrell insists. "There are real problems that face us. The threat terrorism possesses is a huge one that must be dealt with seriously. The pre-emptive war on Iraq is a diversion from that pursuit. And it will waste energy, resources, lives and a huge amount of money."

He believes Americans eventually will see that the premeditated attack against Iraq was laid out by a right-wing cabal. "That fact alone makes clear it was not spontaneous," he says.

As evidence, Farrell points to England's Sunday Herald newspaper, available online at http://www.sundayherald.com/27735, which alleges Bush and his confidants were plotting a regime change in Iraq even before Bush formally assumed power in January 2001.

They also say truth is stranger than fiction.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me