Thursday, September 13, 2007

Freedom's Watch sells the connection between 9/11 and the war in Iraq

On August 22nd, Freedom's Watch was launched. Its message: “Victory is America’s Only Choice.”

As reported in the September 12th Washington Post article, 9/11 Linked to Iraq, in Politics if Not in Fact, Freedom’s Watch is airing four spots in 60 congressional districts in 20 states. “The commercials urge Congress to stick with the president's strategy in Iraq. The most poignant of them stars a soldier identified as John Kriesel, who was wounded on Dec. 2, 2006, and is shown walking with two artificial legs….’They attacked us,’ he says as the screen turns to an image of the second hijacked airplane heading toward the smoking World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. ‘And they will again. They won't stop in Iraq.’” You can watch the commercial here.

Ari Fleischer, former Bush White house press secretary and one of the group’s founders, has stated that it doesn’t matter that the Iraqis didn’t attack us on 9/11 because some of the same sorts of people who did are now fighting U.S. forces in Iraq.

According to Juan Cole, who posted Who is the US Fighting in Iraq? on August 27, “Self-identified al-Qaeda are only 1,800 of the 24,000 in captivity, about 7 percent. (Of course, most of these fighters are not really al-Qaeda in the sense of pledging fealty to Usama Bin Laden or being part of his organization; they are using "al-Qaeda" to mean ’bogeyman’ i.e., 'be afraid of me'.)”

As early as September of 2005, we’ve known that only 4 to 10 percent of the insurgents are foreigners, as reported in the Christian Science Monitor, The "Myth" of Iraq's Foreign Fighters.

The right-wing think tank, the Cato Institute, published a report on January 31st of this year, The Myth of an al-Qaeda Takeover of Iraq: “Even the U.S. government concedes that there are fewer than 2,000 al Qaeda fighters in Iraq, and the Iraq Study Group put the figure at only 1,300.

“Indeed, foreign fighters make up a relatively small component of the Sunni insurgency against the U.S. and British occupation forces. It strains credulity to imagine 1,300 fighters (and foreigners at that) dominating a country of 26 million people….

At best, al Qaeda could hope for a tenuous presence in predominantly Sunni areas of the country while being incessantly stalked and harassed by government forces -- and probably hostile Iraqi Sunnis as well. That doesn't exactly sound like a reliable base of operations for attacks on America.” [bolding mine]

According to the Washington Post article, 9/11 Linked to Iraq, in Politics if Not in Fact, the Freedom's Watch ad featuring John Kriesel is “…part of a new $15 million media blitz launched by an advocacy group allied with the White House, [and] may be the most overt attempt during the current debate in Congress over the war to link the attacks with Iraq."

(photo from Media Matters)


Shaw Kenawe said...

Great post. I found your blog by hunting down information on Alexis Debat and Michael Ledeen.

I had a blog (no longer) in which I profiled Ledeen and named him one of the most dangerous people in the world.

Ever hear of the blog "Eschaton?"

You'd fit in there really well.

Lots of Californians and female lawyers "of a certain age" post there.

Weedgardener said...

I checked out the Freedom's Watch ads. Is this the best they can come up with? They're mighty lame.

Gail Jonas said...

I too consider Ldeen one of the most dangerous people in the world. I've asked numerous well-informed people if they know who he is and have been surprised that many have never heard of him.

I used to check Eschaton daily, but ran into so many "threads" and didn't have the requisite skills to know what to do with them so I moved on to the blogs of Glenn Greenwald, Scott Horton, and Scott Clemons. Of course, they don't encourage participation as does Eschaton and the Daily Kos.

I'll check Eschaton again even though I suspect I'm a little older than those female lawyers "of a certain age."

Gail Jonas said...

The ads may be "tame," but using wounded soldiers to carry the message of the need for "victory" is emotionally impactful, especially to people who get most of their news from Fox.