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Sunday, August 26, 2007 

'Freedom's Watch' Pro-Surge Commercials Paid For By Bush Supporters

Ari Fleischer's misleading message - "They Attacked Us!"

Freedom's Watch, the former press secretary's new pro-Iraq war group, has little to do with veterans and everything to do with politics.
By Joe Conason
From salon.com

If you happen to reside in the district of a Republican member of Congress whose support of the Iraq war is wavering, or in a state where a Republican senator is facing reelection next year, you may soon see a moving commercial. Featuring the voice and image of a veteran who lost both legs in Iraq, it delivers a familiar message: "They attacked us before" -- on 9/11 -- "and they will attack us again" if we don't fight on until "victory."

Nobody would want to argue with John Kriesel, the veteran who appears in this ad and whose sacrifices are all too obvious. When he gazes out from the screen to admonish us that "it's no time for politics," he is surely sincere. So are the other veterans and family members of deceased vets who are appearing in similar ads urging Congress to stay the course (although that phrase is no longer operative). They too tell us, no doubt believing every word, that we are winning the war, that we invaded Iraq to fight the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11, and that to withdraw now would dishonor those who have been killed and wounded there -- and they insist that anyone who disagrees is motivated by "politics." But the same degree of misguided sincerity should not necessarily be attributed to Freedom's Watch, the new right-wing organization financing those ads. [...]

But the manipulative style of the Freedom's Watch ads -- and the apparent decision to air them against wavering Republicans -- signals desperation, not strength. This campaign is aimed at the base, not the broader public that despises Bush and wants the troops brought home. Launching such an effort now may hold a few votes for the White House in the upcoming congressional struggles over the war, but it is cheapening the emotional currency that Republican strategists have relied on during the past three election cycles and will undoubtedly seek to exploit again next year.

That's all the Republicans have left--fear. They have no legacy; Bush squandered that. They have no news that's good. The economy is bad; mortgage foreclosures are up by 90% in some states. Lender nations like China could play further havoc with the dollar.

On the other hand, the fortunes of the Democrats are rising. Mr. and Mrs. America are turning away from the GOP and the Christian right in record numbers and you can't even give away yellow ribbons. Even harmless yellow ribbons have become such a sore point with the US public.

Then there's the controversy of the proposed Bush Library at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Faculty, alumni and the governors of SMU are riven on the issue.
Alumni are threatening to pull back continuing funds to the university if it goes ahead. Imagine--a university's endowment shrinking because of a fratboy failure of a president.
The word president is not capitalised because Bush doesn't deserve it. Same goes for pm Harper.

Don't get me started.

I do find some comfort in Conason's belief that this strategy "signals desperation, not strength."

Justin Raimondo has a good commentary on the ads. He also has a list of some of the main funders.
His post can be found on my blog at:
or at antiwar.com.

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