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Inside Politics

Oliver Stone brings his passion to anti-war ad

Story Highlights

• Oliver Stone directed new ad attacking Bush's policy in Iraq
• Ad features an Iraq war veteran whose tour ended in 2004
• Stone fought in Vietnam, compares it to conflict to Iraq
• Ad was created for the political action group MoveOn.org
From Matt Carey
CNN
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LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- From "JFK" to "Natural Born Killers," director Oliver Stone's films have made him a lightning rod for controversy -- and his latest project is unlikely to change that.

Stone directed a new television ad that takes direct aim at the Bush administration's policy in Iraq.

Stone said the ad's message is simple:

"Support the troops. Listen to them. Bring them home," he told CNN. "Give them a life, not death." (Watch Oliver Stone explain why he's been angry for years Video)

Stone's ad, created for the political action group MoveOn.org, features John Bruhns, an Iraq war veteran whose tour ended in 2004.

"What I'm hoping people will see with this ad is that there are veterans that are coming home from this war that are very patriotic but are not going to blindly follow this president and this failed policy continually," Bruhns said.

Stone fought in Vietnam, an experience he turned into the Oscar-winning film "Platoon."

"Like in Vietnam," Stone said, "we are reaping a harvest of death and shame around the world."

"I get passionate sometimes about it," he said. "In my lifetime, I had two wars. What's going to be next?"

Stone and Bruhns are equally critical of President Bush for vetoing the supplemental appropriation bill that would have set a timetable for the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. (Full story)

"I don't think he has any excuse at all to veto this bill," the Iraq veteran said.

"By vetoing it, he has said a defiant 'To hell with you' to the American people," said Stone.

Speaking later on CNN, Stone disagreed with administration officials who say Iraq would descend into chaos if American troops were to pull out.

"If we would get out of there, there would be less pressure and they [the Iraqis] would seek to solve their own problems," he said.

"It is pretty bad right now. People are being killed every day in huge numbers. You can't be a civilian there. ... It's not a livable situation. We brought that havoc there. What could be worse?"

Stone acknowledged that "bloodshed could go up" immediately after an American withdrawal. But, he noted, "they said the same thing about Vietnam."

Given his opposition to the war and pessimism about its accomplishments, the director said that none of the soldiers who have died in Iraq died in vain.

"No man dies in vain," he said. "You die because you believe in something. You hope that the cause is worth it. ... You should be remembered for your sacrifice. That's not to say the war was right, but you honor the men who fought in the war."

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