SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain (AP) _ Filmmaker Oliver Stone blasted U.S. President George W. Bush Thursday, saying he has "set America back 10 years."
Stone added that he is "ashamed for my country" over the war in Iraq and the U.S. policies in response to the attacks of Sept. 11.
"We have destroyed the world in the name of security," Stone told journalists at the San Sebastian International Film Festival prior to a screening of his latest movie, "World Trade Center." The film tells the true story of the survival and rescue of two policemen who were trapped in the rubble of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, after they went to help people escape.
"From Sept. 12 on, the incident (the attacks) was politicized and it has polarized the entire world," said Stone. "It is a shame because it is a waste of energy to see that the entire world five years later is still convulsed in the grip of 9-11."
"It’s a waste of energy away from things that do matter which is poverty, death, disease, the planet itself and fixing things in our own homes rather than fighting wars with others. Mr. Bush has set America back 10 years, maybe more."
The director of blockbusters such as "Platoon," and "JFK" said the U.S. reaction to the attacks was out of proportion.
"If there had been a better sense of preparation, if we had a leadership that was more mature," he said. "We did not fight back in the same way that the British fought the IRA or the Spanish government fought the Basques here. Terrorism is a manageable action. It can be lived with," said Stone.
Stone rejected allegations that U.S. authorities may have known about the attacks in advance and said the real conspiracy came after.
"I think that conspiracy-mongering on 9-11 is a waste of time," he said. "The far greater conspiracy occurred after 9-11 when basically a neo-cabal inside our government hijacked policy and went to war. That was as broad a conspiracy as we can get and it was about 20, 30 people. That’s all, they took over and all these books are coming out and they are pointing it out," said Stone.
"This war on Iraq is a disaster. I’m disgraced. I’m ashamed for my country," he said. "I’m also ashamed that America has attacked itself with its constitutional breakdowns. I’m deeply ashamed."
In the United States’ favour, Stone posited that it’s not responsible for all the world’s problems.
"You can’t see that the United States is responsible for all the evil in the world because you can see so many dictators and so many bestial acts all over the world now. … There is something in the human heart, the international human heart, that is evil," said Stone.
"That’s the evil that turns its mind and ears on humanity and is able to say ‘I can kill a person in the name of God or religion.’ This is not a human being, this a fanatic. And I fear that fanaticism is the result of our overreaction to 9-11," said Stone.