Bush opponents team up to further Iraq war debate

LOS ANGELES: A Washington, DC nonprofit group opposed to President Bush's policy on Iraq is coordinating a PR program comprising celebrities and high-profile organizations to start a national debate on war.

LOS ANGELES: A Washington, DC nonprofit group opposed to President Bush's policy on Iraq is coordinating a PR program comprising celebrities and high-profile organizations to start a national debate on war.

The Iraq Policy Information Center (IPIC), founded in September by the DC-based Center for International Policy, "stands ready to assist like-minded organizations with public relations advice," according to its website.

That offer has been accepted by several groups, from the star-studded Artists United to Win Without War (AUWWW), to well-established groups such as the NAACP and the National Organization for Women.

Fenton Communications is handling the day-to-day operations of the IPIC, as well as PR for the groups that seek its help.

Last week, the IPIC helped more than two-dozen celebrities, including Monk's Tony Shalhoub, Ed Begley Jr., and Martin Sheen stage a press conference in Hollywood to announce AUWWW and release a letter signed by over 100 stars. Led by MASH actor Mike Farrell and producer Robert Greenwald, the stars spoke out against a first strike against Iraq, and promised to use their fame to encourage others to speak out.

In addition to help with messaging and logistics, the IPIC helped arrange for Iraq policy experts such as retired Rear Admiral Eugene Carroll to lend credibility.

"We are not experts. Whatever access celebrity provides, we are going to use that to get the word out," said Greenwald.

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