August 22nd, 2007
10:45 AM ET
14 years ago

Advocates for the Iraq war seek congressional support

Fleischer's advocacy group is pressuring Congress to support the Iraq war.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new political advocacy group, tied to former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, is launching a new effort to pressure Congress to support the Iraq war.

The organization, Freedom's Watch, also unveiled new pro-war internet ads on its website and and will spend $15 million to air these commercials between now and mid-September on both television and radio.

The group's purpose is "to rally the country and encourage Congress to fully fund the troops in Iraq," Fleischer, a former spokesman for President Bush, said in an email Wednesday to CNN. Fleischer is the group's spokesman.

Freedom's Watch's web site also encourages grassroots action, calling on supporters to lobby their members of Congress to support the war in Iraq and "to protect America against the global war on terror."

- CNN's Adam Levine

Filed under: Iraq
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Karen, Orlando, Fl.

    The war in Iraq and the war on global terrorism are two entirely different wars. These Iraq war advocates try to tie the two together as though they are the same.....uh we're not buying into that.
    If we weren't fighting this war (civil) in Iraq, we would have a lot more resources to fight the GLOBAL war against terrorism.
    "Protect America by supporting the war in Iraq"- nice try fear mongers>..

    August 22, 2007 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  2. J.B. Oak Lawn IL

    Pathetic. They should save up that $15 million and try to brainwash American voters into believing the war never happened.

    August 22, 2007 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  3. REG; Chandler, AZ

    Ari Fleischer, again with abundant financing, seems reminiscent of those who came out of the woodwork against McCain (2000), against Kerry (2004), against AARP (2005) and whenever Bush needs help. I think it should be insightful to check who is really and greatly (financially) benefiting from the Iraq War and then understand who really supports these kind of efforts.

    August 22, 2007 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  4. Chip Celina OH

    What a waste of dough! That money would pay off my house and 99 others of equal value. Or, provide 1000 people an efficient small car. Probably pay for really good health insurance for 2500 families. Think of all the uses this cash could have, I bet we could think of more uses than there are for Handi-Wipes!

    What are they gonna do with it? Urge Congress to do, what in effect, it already is doing!

    Not that I begrudge this group their right to spend cash however they like to, after all, it's theirs.

    But, c'mon!

    Have a good day!


    August 22, 2007 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  5. Karl Rove, Crawford Texas

    he got paid $15 million to do that

    August 22, 2007 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  6. Mike, Staatsburg, NY

    I've got an idea, Ari – JOIN THE ARMY!

    Oh, wait, I'm sorry – people like you only support the war when it's someone else's butt on the line.

    August 22, 2007 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  7. ReadBtwthlins

    Its a sad day when $15 million dollars has to be spent to get Congress to support the work of our troops. Especially when we all see progress being made..

    August 22, 2007 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  8. spinstopper

    Freedom in Iraq is bad for the Democratic party.

    August 22, 2007 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  9. RightyTighty

    Just another reason this Congress has the lowest ratings in history. Congradulations Harry and Nancy..

    August 22, 2007 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  10. Craig, D-town, TX

    New Slogan – "To protect America against the global war on terror, attack soveriegn nations and make them havens for terrorist activity"...

    August 22, 2007 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. David, Salinas, CA

    Interesting that they want “to protect America against the global war on terror." Is this a typo, or a Freudian slip?

    Being as the so-called war has cost us half a trillion dollars we don’t have, thousands of lives that will never be replaced, and the respect of the rest of the civilized world, the “war on terror” would seem to be exactly what we need protection from.

    The worst mistake in the aftermath of 9/11 was the idea that the attack was a declaration of war. It wasn’t. It was a crime. Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda don’t represent an enemy nation. (Certainly they didn’t represent Saddam Hussein, who was a secular strong man we set up in the first place). Al Qaeda isn’t a country. It’s a bunch of criminals. (Admittedly some new crop of super-criminals like something out of a James Bond movie, but criminals nonetheless). Bin Laden and the terrorists aren’t a nation, they’re a gang of thugs. We were justified to hunt them down in Afghanistan, and we should be hunting them in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and Sudan or wherever they're hiding right now. But they didn’t start a war with us because they don’t have that right or that power.

    9/11 was a tragedy. 9/11 was a crime. We should chase down the criminals to the ends of the earth. But we shouldn’t be at war. All that’s doing is helping the criminals recruit more criminals.

    August 22, 2007 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  12. VanReuter NY NY

    They could spend 25 BILLION and it wouldn't convince anyone. All they can try to do is put 25 million dollars worth of lipstick on this pig of a war.


    August 22, 2007 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  13. Arkay, MI

    Chip from OH,

    It is not 'their dough' as you think.

    It is the tax payers' money paid through no-bid contracts to Halliburton, Blackwater etc. which in turn gets funnelled to lobbying groups like these to help to keep the war going and the coffers of these companies replenished.

    It is 'our money'

    August 22, 2007 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  14. Roger, Conway SC

    If they want to show support for the bush/cheney/rove war & be apart of the Freedmon's Watch a requirement should be that they serve or have served in the armed services. I'll bet the members of the Freedom's Watch will deminish rather quickly, what branch did Ari serve.....same as cheney and rove....what a waste

    August 22, 2007 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  15. Tim, Wooster, OH

    It looks like most of the Left's talking points were hit by the comments. Liberals love to spend other people's money, think Bush/Rove invented political hitmen, and that the Iraq war is bad.
    I would much rather we fight Al-Quaida on foreign soil than on American. I hate to see our brave soldiers have to sacrifice so much because Islamo-terrorists, but would hate it more if it wasn't just limited to our military.

    August 22, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  16. Mstessyrue, Seattle, Washington

    Annual Cost of Improving the World
    • $19 billion: Eliminates starvation and malnutrition globally.
    • $12 billion: Provides education for every kid on earth.
    • $15 billion: Provides access to water and sanitation.
    • $23 billion: Reverses the spread of AIDS and Malaria.
    US costs in Perspective
    • $522 billion: U.S. Military budget this year.
    • $340 billion: Cost of Iraq War thus far.

    August 22, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  17. Ted, Long Beach, CA

    No they are trying to urge the American people and congress to grow a spine and finish what they started. We have gone from being a country that finished what it started to one that bails out when it gets too hard.

    They all signed on for this mission and when the going got tough they turned into a bunch of whiney babies who are only capable of claiming Bush tricked them.

    Chip it is not the governments job to bail people out when they make poor financial decisions. It isn't that hard to realize that a home loan at 3% you can barely afford isn't any more affordable at 6%. Unfortunately the American people have come to expect that since the government has it's hands in everything.

    August 22, 2007 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  18. C

    Just another high paid private mercenary fighting the "war on terror".

    August 22, 2007 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  19. SP, Phoenix AZ

    Isn't this guy just a glorified cheerleader?

    It's no surprise he's the public face of this organization, he lied to us right along with all the rest of them about this war. He's also got his fingerprints all over the Valerie Plame scandal.

    August 22, 2007 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  20. Veronica Feinstein, Stamford, CT

    Glad to see Ari's still willing to lie for the Bush Crime Cabal. Except now he's spending $15,000,000 of what is ultimately taxpayer dollars to do it.

    August 22, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  21. Roger Smith, Sydney, Australia

    These war mongerers have nothing to loose even if the congress abruptly stopped funding. This campaign of $15M peanuts must be funded by the group of industries who already have profited billions. It is obvious that with the support of this corrupt administration, they want to continue the war in the name of terror and fear as many years as possible. Their attitude is who cares about this country, and about the deaths of americans and Iraqis. Their agenda must go on! American people are stupid anyway to elect another republican who will follow Bush's path.

    August 22, 2007 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  22. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca


    It's so easy for everyone to Monday-Morning quarterback this effort in Iraq. Call it whatever you want "lies", "illegitamtie war", "War for oil" – labels change nothing.

    WE'RE THERE. And we need a solution. If most reasonable adults were being intellectually honest this is what we would hear:

    1. The topling of Saddam was a easy
    2. The aftermath has been a mess
    3. Our soldiers are doing everything they can to win friends, defend themselves against attacks, and kill terrorists/al qaeda/insurgents bent on killing American soldiers
    4. Iraq is made up of waring sects – primarily rivalry between Sunni and Shiites that historically use violence to settle differences

    Someone (on the blog) once asked – what is a WIN for us over there?

    Here is my view:

    1. Stablize the country and help form a representative government.

    2. Assist in training/equiping an organized police force to support law & order

    3. Get the hell out as soon as 1 & 2 can be reasonably accomplished.

    4. And yes – give the Iraqi leadership a hard time-table of when we will begin reducing forces. This should NOT be public knowledge nor a political football.

    Instead of hearing all the labels – I would LOVE to hear others (democrats?) address the current situation and their solutions.

    August 22, 2007 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  23. Hoosier Values

    Dear, Tim, Wooster, OH,

    Oh, please. Why does the right need to spend $15 Million on commercials to support the war. Do they need an outlet for all their tax returns? This tactic is just part of the right's play book to stop dissent by yelling over it. When you have $15 Million, that's a pretty big bull horn.

    August 22, 2007 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  24. David, Salinas, CA

    Tim of Wooster, OH writes: “Liberals love to spend other people's money”

    Please spare us the economics lecture, Tom. Your numbers just don’t add up.

    The last Democratic administration left this country with a balanced budget.

    The current administration spent like a drunken sailor on a reckless war and tax-cuts for their rich cronies. Our grandchildren will be paying the trillion dollar bills run up by you so-called “conservatives”.

    Republicans have lost all credibility on fiscal responsibility.

    August 22, 2007 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  25. Arnold, Washington, DC

    Fund the troops? We should be funding the private contractors so that they can continue to provide much-needed services to our government during this time of war.

    August 22, 2007 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
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