The business of pro-war propaganda is booming as "Freedom's Watch" joins Vets for Freedom, Move America Forward and other pro-war advocates for a stepped up war in Iraq in line with the Bush/Cheney Global War on Terror.
Ari Fleischer, former White House PR flack who jumped ship into the private sector shortly after the 2003 US invasion, is the public face and a founding board member of Freedom's Watch, which is being rolled out this week with emotional advertisements featuring wounded veterans imploring Americans to keep the money flowing for the occupation.
One such advertisement is up on YouTube. Once again the war in Iraq is being falsely linked to and justified by the terror attacks of 9/11, one of the Bush Administration's Big Lies that was was used to mislead America into war. In the Freedom's Watch advertisment on YouTube a war vet with prosthetic legs beseeches:
“Congress was right to vote to fight terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan. I re-enlisted after Sept. 11 because I don’t want my sons to see what I saw. I want them to be free and safe. I know what I lost. I also know that if we pull out now, everything I’ve given and the sacrifices will mean nothing. They attacked us, and they will again. [Image of World Trade Towers being struck by a jet on 9/11.] They won’t stop in Iraq. We are winning on the ground and making real progress. It’s no time to quit. It’s no time for politics.”
Besides Fleischer, some of the known funders and PR operatives behind Freedom's Watch include Mel Sembler, a former US Ambassador to Italy; Bradley A. Blakeman, a lobbyist with Park Strategies LLC and a Senior Advisor to Gordon C. James Public Relations; and William P. Weidner, the CEO of a Las Vegas casino and a major Republican donor.
Fleisher told the New York Times that Freedom's Watch is "rolling out television, radio and Internet advertisements in more than 20 states and 60 Congressional districts", spending "$15 million on the effort [to] encourage voters to put pressure on their representatives for continued support of the war."