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Penn's trip into the heart of enemy territory disgusted many Americans and won him the nickname "Baghdad Sean," a takeoff on the "Hanoi Jane" moniker Jane Fonda earned by visiting North Vietnam in 1971.
Good for Sean. It tooks guts for him to go to Iraq and I commend him for it. Shame on Iraq for screwing it up.

I first met Sean in 1991 or so when I was associate to the executive producer for the movie, Indian Runner which Sean Penn directed. The movie did OK at Canne, but ended up not doing well in the box office. The movie was a lot of fun starring people like David Morse, Viggo Mortensen, Charles Bronson, Dennis Hopper, Patricia Arquette, and Valeria Golino. It was my first and last job on a movie set, but I learned a lot and had a lot of fun. Later, when we were promoting the movie in Japan, I also took care of Sean in Tokyo and acted as his interpreter. I found Sean to be a really funny and very intelligent guy who I now greatly respect. He also introduced me to Heather, a good friend of Winona Ryder's, who was living in Tokyo at the time and who I still keep in touch with.

Anyway... I think this took a lot of guts and makes my previous entry about my fear of criticism seem quite trivial.

16 Comments

I agree. Sean was right on. Many are comparing him to Jane Fonda, but such comparisons are way out of line. Americans are being asked to pay in taxes and maybe with their lives to fight this war with Iraq. Under such conditions, any thinking person would want to go check out the "enemy" for themselves as opposed to being spoonfed the sensationalized, "made for TV" version from the American media.

I also agree. Just going to Iraq under any circumstances would take a tremendous amount of courage, and Sean did this knowing ahead of time the flack he would get. In a small way Sean is telling us all to see the little man behind the green curtain.

I also agree I didn't think hardly anybody in mindless Hollywood now has the courage to put his ideas forward and risk everything he has worked for.
Mr.Penn I might not like all your work but you have made me admire you very much for standing by the US constitution and getting involved.
Steve

Sean Penn is the best actor of his (and my) generation. Okay, that's subjective, but he's my favorite. His trip to Baghdad and thoughtful observations of his trip and the current situation just serve to underscore the character of the man. It took guts, and there are so many opportunities to screw up, to say one wrong word that might be misinterpreted, etc. He did the intelligent thing and took great care to explain himself and his findings very carefully. Comparisons to Jane Fonda are absurd, uninformed jibberish. Just when I thought I couldn't respect Mr. Penn any more, I do.

Sean Penn should take time to think about his actions. He would rather stand up for a country and a leader who has been proven to kill innocent people than stand up for the country that gives him the freedoms necessary to express himself in his movies and push him into stardom? Why doesn't he worry about the people here in the U.S. who are homeless, poor, hungry & sick rather than worry about a known dictator who has billions of dollars? Sean is a superstar who could do so much good for the unfortunate people in this country yet he chooses to place his energy elsewhere. Why Sean?

If you'd like my opinion about the trip to Iraq. I think Mr. Penn did a great dis-service to the men and women who are puting their lives on the line every day, so that people at home can have a safe and happy life. What he did will cost the lives of American Citizens and is no less a crime than Treason. In the days of our countries youth, a traitor would be put to death by public execution. When will "Hollywood" learn that all they are there for is to entertain us, not give us their political views. If they want to run for office, more power to them. Things like Jane Fonda's trip to Vietnam, which cost the lives of American POW's when she told their captors what an upraised middle finger meant in a photograph, are the absolute worst these "Stars" have to offer. If they want to earn my respect, put on BDU's and pick up a rifle. Would they be willing to die for the sake of freedom. I think not. If Mr. Penn likes Iraq so much, why doesn't he go there and get a job. I'm sure he'll make the same millions of dollars acting in the movies there.
Wake up people. These are times in which America needs to pull together, instead of trying to tear itself apart at the seams.
Sincerely,

Reverend Richard Bell
(Husband, Lt. in the military reserves and civilian police officer)

we dont need jeff spicoli in occupied territory, he is a great actor not a human sheild, 3000 died on sept 11th for going to work. i was almost one of them . a precedent needs to be set, it could rear an ugly head but we do not need another vietnam. these people need to be put in place

we dont need jeff spicoli in occupied territory, he is a great actor not a human sheild, 3000 died on sept 11th for going to work. i was almost one of them . a precedent needs to be set, it could rear an ugly head but we do not need another vietnam. these people need to be put in place

I think going to Iraq was an act of good faith for the american people. I for one feel our media is merely propaganda for OUR corperate DICTATORSHIP. People who judge Sean for persuing his own curiousity about a nation that our media tells us to hate, are sheep.
Cmon people this is supposed to be a democracy, it sounds anti american to hear you blast someone for thinking for themselves.
As far as the spicoli in Iraq thing, spicoli is in our white house. spicoli for prez? lets let florida and spicoli's brother decide.

I agree totally with the reverend if Sean cares so much about Iraq and likes it so much why don;t he go back there for good. This war will effect my children's generation also but if we don't stand up for ourseleves and disarm Iraq our children may not have a future I don't think Saddam is gonna have all those weapon for nothing he has plans for them remember the towers I know Bin Laden was the mastermind but if you have any brain at all you know Saddam was for it and probably involved. I support our president 150% I am scared to think of this happening with Cllinton in office God help us all he would just bandaid it like he always done with everything else he was too busy with personal issues to deal with our countries conflicts. Pres. Bush tried for over a year to resolve this in other fashion he gave Saddam many chances and he wouldn't dissarm so if you ask me Saddam is the one that asked for this War!! It is the president's and the militaries duty to protect our country our people & our freedoms and they are doing just that!!!! I don't know what Sean Penn is thinking he is doing but he couln't find out the whole story by going to Iraq there are confidentail matters that we don't hear about i don't care how many movies you made you will not hear about that classified info in Iraq or USA. Wake up Sean Pres Bush and his counsel do their jobs day in and day out they don't just make a couple movies and then think I am such a big shot I am going to Iraq to end this whole thing right now.. You just suceeded at making yourself look like an ass that's ALL you did to your country and to Iraq. President Bush is doing a Great job may god be with him! What did you accomplish by going to Iraq anyway WOW you say their people whyo are hungry and poor well guess what you have those in your own country If you wanted to see whose blood was gonna be on your hands why didn't you go take a trip to a military base nd visit the soldiers and thank them for putting their lives on the line for people like you who forgot what the phrase proud to be American stands for all you done is told Saddam that you don't have faith in your president or government and you want to see things for yourself well did you seee did Saddam reveal all those weapons of mass to you so what did you see that the news didn't show you that's what I thought Your actions sicken me and I hope you never consider POlitics!!!!!!!

I agree totally with the reverend if Sean cares so much about Iraq and likes it so much why don;t he go back there for good. This war will effect my children's generation also but if we don't stand up for ourseleves and disarm Iraq our children may not have a future I don't think Saddam is gonna have all those weapon for nothing he has plans for them remember the towers I know Bin Laden was the mastermind but if you have any brain at all you know Saddam was for it and probably involved. I support our president 150% I am scared to think of this happening with Cllinton in office God help us all he would just bandaid it like he always done with everything else he was too busy with personal issues to deal with our countries conflicts. Pres. Bush tried for over a year to resolve this in other fashion he gave Saddam many chances and he wouldn't dissarm so if you ask me Saddam is the one that asked for this War!! It is the president's and the militaries duty to protect our country our people & our freedoms and they are doing just that!!!! I don't know what Sean Penn is thinking he is doing but he couln't find out the whole story by going to Iraq there are confidentail matters that we don't hear about i don't care how many movies you made you will not hear about that classified info in Iraq or USA. Wake up Sean Pres Bush and his counsel do their jobs day in and day out they don't just make a couple movies and then think I am such a big shot I am going to Iraq to end this whole thing right now.. You just suceeded at making yourself look like an ass that's ALL you did to your country and to Iraq. President Bush is doing a Great job may God be with him! What did you accomplish by going to Iraq anyway. WOW!! you say their people are hungry and poor well guess what you have those in your own country. If you wanted to see whose blood was gonna be on your hands why didn't you go take a trip to a military base and visit the soldiers and thank them for putting their lives on the line for people like you who forgot what the phrase proud to be American stands for. All you done is told Saddam that you don't have faith in your president or government and you want to see things for yourself well did you seee did Saddam reveal all those weapons of mass destruction to you What did you see that the news didn't show you...... That's what I thought. Your actions sicken me and I hope you never consider POlitics!!!!!!!

I agree totally with the reverend if Sean cares so much about Iraq and likes it so much why don;t he go back there for good. This war will effect my children's generation also but if we don't stand up for ourseleves and disarm Iraq our children may not have a future I don't think Saddam is gonna have all those weapon for nothing he has plans for them remember the towers I know Bin Laden was the mastermind but if you have any brain at all you know Saddam was for it and probably involved. I support our president 150% I am scared to think of this happening with Cllinton in office God help us all he would just bandaid it like he always done with everything else he was too busy with personal issues to deal with our countries conflicts. Pres. Bush tried for over a year to resolve this in other fashion he gave Saddam many chances and he wouldn't dissarm so if you ask me Saddam is the one that asked for this War!! It is the president's and the militaries duty to protect our country our people & our freedoms and they are doing just that!!!! I don't know what Sean Penn is thinking he is doing but he couln't find out the whole story by going to Iraq there are confidentail matters that we don't hear about i don't care how many movies you made you will not hear about that classified info in Iraq or USA. Wake up Sean Pres Bush and his counsel do their jobs day in and day out they don't just make a couple movies and then think I am such a big shot I am going to Iraq to end this whole thing right now.. You just suceeded at making yourself look like an ass that's ALL you did to your country and to Iraq. President Bush is doing a Great job may God be with him! What did you accomplish by going to Iraq anyway. WOW!! you say their people are hungry and poor well guess what you have those in your own country. If you wanted to see whose blood was gonna be on your hands why didn't you go take a trip to a military base and visit the soldiers and thank them for putting their lives on the line for people like you who forgot what the phrase proud to be American stands for. All you done is told Saddam that you don't have faith in your president or government and you want to see things for yourself well did you seee did Saddam reveal all those weapons of mass destruction to you What did you see that the news didn't show you...... That's what I thought. Your actions sicken me and I hope you never consider POlitics!!!!!!!

sean penn lmfao this bozo had two hand guns in his car he had stolen. oh and im sure he takes it in the azz

If we went to Iraq to liberate the people from Saddam Hussein, why would Sean Penn be a traitor for visiting those same about-to-be-liberated people before we went? The people who express anger at Sean Penn and compare him to Jane Fonda reveal their own sub-conscious anti-Semitism against the Iraqi people. (Yes, I said anti-Semitism. Look it up in a dictionary). The Iraqis aren't the enemy, are they? Isn't it big bad guy Hussein? Fonda visited the NORTH Vietnamese Army and some Viet Cong, by the way, our chosen enemies. Penn did not visit Hussein or his troops.

SEAN PENN IS A TREASONOUS, FLAMING COMMIE BASTARD. DEPORT HIM!

Sean Penn is a traitor and knows nothing about the iraqi's. Yeah let him walk around Bagdad for awhile until the insurgents grab the little whimp and cut his head off. The Iraqi's are sub-human animals and could care less about being civilized. As bad as Saddam was, he was the only one who could keep those animals in line by the same barbarism they use on everyone else. The next president of Iraq has to be like Saddam but must be able to be controlled by the U.S. By the way I don't recall ever hearing about Sean Penn ever serving his country by being in the military, I say draft the peckerhead and throw him in the front lines, I'll guarantee he'll come back with a different attitude, better yet throw him out of this nice cushey country he enjoys all his freedoms in and let him live with the animal Iraqi's. He's no better than Hanoi Jane and neither deserve the protection this great country, based on the blood of its freedom fighters throughout history, to enjoy the protection of.

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