Madonna and fellow celebs say no to Iraqi war. The Material Mom joins Sheryl Crow, Viggo Mortensen, and other stars who think the U.S. should give peace a chance

By Liane Bonin
Updated February 14, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST
Madonna: Illustration by Kirsten Ulve

War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing…well, except maybe publicity. Latest case in point: Madonna’s upcoming antiwar single, ”American Life,” features a runway fashion show of couture army fatigues that devolves into violence. Some early reports claim the video (due to air in mid-March) depicts battlefield casualties, including limbless victims and Iraqi children. Madonna rep Liz Rosenberg told the AP that the clip shows ”the catastrophic repercussions and horror of war” and adds that it’s meant to be ”thought-provoking” but isn’t ”specifically anti-Bush.”

But Madonna isn’t alone in questioning the wisdom of a war in Iraq. Here’s a rundown of stars who are speaking out.

Took a stand by… Donning a specially made ”War is not the answer” T-shirt at the American Music Awards
Why After accepting her award for best Pop-Rock Female Artist, Crow said, ”I think there’s a really vital, sweeping peace movement out there that’s not getting covered in the press, so I just kind of try to do my part.”

Took a stand by… Blasting President Bush for ”manipulating the [post-9/11] grief of the country” while accepting an award at the Empire Film Awards in London
Why Not surprisingly, the ”All the President’s Men” star is suspicious of his political leaders. ”I don’t think that the reasons we have been given for going to war are the honest reasons…. I believe, though I may be wrong because I am no expert, that this war is about what most wars are about: hegemony, money, power, and oil.”

Took a stand by… Making his own ”No blood for oil” T-shirt, which he wore during a visit to ”The Charlie Rose Show”
Why Mortensen is tired of people making comparisons between ”The Lord of the Rings” and America’s problems with Afghanistan and Iraq. ”The people who are terrified at Helms Deep [in ‘The Two Towers’]… that’s what we’re doing to these countries… and the idea is that the United States is like the good guys in our movie, and I think the opposite is true, unfortunately.”

Took a stand by… Fingering oil as Bush’s true motivation for war while promoting ”Gangs of New York” in London
Why He may make some gory movies, but he’s really (don’t tell De Niro) a big softie. ”I think it really has to come down to respecting how other people live,” he said. ”There’s got to be ways this can be worked out diplomatically. There simply has to be.”

Took a stand by… Visiting an Iraqi water-treatment facility, children’s hospital, and the nation’s foreign minister during a three-day trip
Why Penn was on a fact-finding mission. ”I am determined that if there is going to be blood on my hands, that I didn’t want that blood to be invisible. I wanted it to have the face of the people that I saw here.”