Dustin Hoffman Calls Bush Manipulative

updated 02/06/2003 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/06/2003 01:00PM

Dustin Hoffman, in London to pick up a lifetime achievement award Wednesday at the Sony Ericsson Empire Awards, has joined the growing list of celebrities voicing opposition to war against Iraq.

"I don't think, like many others, that these are the honest reasons that we are going into the war," the star, 65, told PEOPLE on the same day that Colin Powell presented his arguments to the United Nations for taking up arms against Saddam Hussein.

"They're saying things about Iraq having biological weapons. They might have nuclear weapons, and that gives us the liberty to preempt a strike because we think they may hit us. Then what prevents Pakistan from attacking India? What prevents India from attacking Pakistan? What prevents us from going into North Korea, which also has biological weapons."

Hoffman also acknowledged that Iraq is not the only country to hold nuclear weapons.

"Let's face it," he said, "the superpowers after (World War II) started producing biological weapons, including my country."

On his view of wars in general: "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."

He also accuses the Bush administration of having had "manipulated the grief of the country" after the events of Sept. 11.

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