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A TV ad that makes an emotional appeal for viewers to back Bush’s war in Iraq is running in some 20 states. A veteran who lost both legs in that war is featured, and he closes with this powerful plea: “It’s no time for politics.”
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But the ad loses all of its punch when you learn that this is not a message from a veteran’s group, but a blatant political pitch orchestrated and funded by a new front group run by old Bush political hacks. Masquerading as a grassroots outfit under the name “Freedom’s Watch,” this bunch of White House insiders is headed by Ari Fleischer, George W’s former PR flack, who was salesman-in-chief for pushing America into this disastrous war of occupation. Millions of dollars have been put into this promotional blitz by about a dozen Bush fundraisers, including shopping mall magnate Mel Sembler, macaroni manufacturer Anthony Gioia, Grocery baron Howard Leach, and Sands casino chief Sheldon Adelson.
The group is targeting Republican members of congress whose support for Bush’s war is wavering. Using Karl Rovian, thuggish tactics, the group questions the patriotism of all who stand up to Bush. Such dissenters are accused of wanting “to cut and run.”
While the wounded vet in their ad says “It’s no time for politics,” Freedom’s Watch is nothing but politics. In its ads, viewers are urged to “Call your Congressman,” and a toll-free number is provided. Only – the number doesn’t connect you to congress. Instead, a Freedom’s Watch operator answers and immediately asks if you support Bush’s rationales for his war. If you say no, the operator politely refers you to the group’s website… and hangs up on you! Only people who agree with Bush are connected to congress.
Freedom’s Watch is not about freedom at all – it’s about Bush propaganda and political manipulation. Is that what our soldiers are fighting for in Iraq?
“Freedom’s Watch,” www.sourcewatch.org
“Ari Fleischer’s misleading message,” www.salon.com, August 24, 2007
“In latest twist, former Bush spokesman blames Carter for Iran,” www.rawstory.com, August 23, 2007
“Pro-War group launches $15 million ad blitz,” www.politico.com, August 22, 2007
“Welcome to Freedom’s Watch,” www.freedomswatch.org/