Freedom’s Watch has produced a series of television commercials supporting our efforts in Iraq, and urging Congress not to pull the plug on our troops. You can watch them here; this is a sample:
The ads are good, with a simple message that the war in Iraq is important, and there is no acceptable substitute for success. They will be, I hope, a useful antidote to the far larger number of ads that have been paid for by antiwar groups. In its article about the ads, however, ABC News didn’t see them that way. The network’s hostile tone is striking; ABC begins by focusing, not on the content of the ads, but on the fact that they were paid for by Republicans:
A sort of shadow White House communications shop has emerged to help the beleaguered president sell his unpopular war to the American people.
Just in case you’d forgotten which side you’re supposed to be on. ABC continues:
Freedom’s Watch was formed by former White House and Bush administration officials and funded by Republican big-money donors. Today it began airing $15 million worth of ads — featuring veterans and their families — aimed at influencing wavering members of Congress.
Who do they think is paying for the antiwar ads? Poor people?
Now, on to the ads’ content. After quoting two of the ads:
The ads also link the war with Sept. 11, despite no reliable evidence Iraq played any role in those attacks.
In the ad, Kriesel says, “They attacked us, and they will again. They won’t stop in Iraq.”
Will this dumb liberal talking point ever be put to rest? ABC says there is no reliable evidence that “Iraq played any role in those attacks.” Of course there is no evidence that Saddam’s government was involved (or not much, anyway). But we are not now fighting Saddam’s government in Iraq. Saddam is dead, and his regime no longer exists. We are fighting, in large part, al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. They unquestionably did attack us, and, as John Kriesel says, they have no intention of limiting their war against us to Iraq.
ABC may believe that it is nevertheless unnecessary or unwise for us to fight al Qaeda in Iraq and the other hostile groups there. But for the network to advance this view in the guise of a news story is inappropriate, and for them to suggest that veteran John Kriesel is somehow misleading listeners about our enemy in Iraq is simply false.
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