Monday, March 3
Hoffman blasts Bush's war plans, February 6, 2003

Dustin Hoffman accused the Bush administration of "manipulating the grief of the country" after the events of September 11.

The president's real motives for going to war are power and oil, he said.

He spoke out after receiving a lifetime achievement accolade at the Empire Film Awards in London.

"For me as an American, the most painful aspect of this is that I believe that administration has taken the events of 9/11 and has manipulated the grief of the country and I think that's reprehensible," he said.

"I don't think, like many of us, that the reasons we have been given for going to war are the honest reasons.

"If they are saying it's about the fact they have biological weapons and might have nuclear weapons and that gives us the liberty to pre-empt and strike because we think they might hit us, then what prevents Pakistan from attacking India, what prevents India from attacking Pakistan, what prevents us from going into North Korea? [...]

Allies bomb key Iraqi targets
Nicholas Watt, Richard Norton-Taylor, and Suzanne Goldenberg in Baghdad, The Guardian, March 3, 2003

· 'Undeclared war' enters new phase
· Missile systems hit
· Rocket launchers destroyed

Britain and the United States have all but fired the first shots of the second Gulf war by dramatically extending the range of targets in the "no-fly zones" over Iraq to soften up the country for an allied ground invasion.

As Baghdad threatened to stop destroying its Samoud 2 missiles if the US presses ahead with its invasion plans, allied pilots have attacked surface-to-surface missile systems and are understood to have hit multiple-launch rockets.

Targets hit in recent days include the Ababil-100, a Soviet-designed surface-to-air missile system adapted to hit targets on the ground, and the Astros 2 ground rocket launcher with a range of up to 56 miles. These would be used to defend Iraq in the event of an invasion or to attack allied troops stationed in Kuwait.

Britain and the US insist publicly that the rules for enforcing the no-fly zones over the north and south of Iraq have not changed - that pilots only open fire if they are targeted. But privately defence officials admit that there has been an aggressive upping of the ante in recent weeks to weaken Iraqi defences ahead of a ground invasion.

Analysts confirm there has been an intensification of what is known as "the undeclared war".
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