27 Dec. 2002
Baghdad, Iraq - Republic of
Sean Penn's visit to Baghdad earlier this month probably wasn't what
the Bush administration had in mind when it reached out to Hollywood
for help with the war against terrorism. Officially, the State Dept.
was mum on its opinion of Penn's antiwar trek, just as it has tried to
ignore a growing chorus of Hollywood celebs opposed to an American
invasion of Iraq. Problem for Washington is that many Americans are
starstruck, so that when Penn or Susan Sarandon or Robert Redford takes
to the airwaves to blast Bush administration hawks, people take notice.
Actor Sean Penn walks past a picture of President Saddam Hussein during
his visit to al-Mansour children hospital in Baghdad, in this December
13, 2002 file photo. Penn was on a three-day visit to Baghdad.