From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
A $25 million spin campaign is on to win the public relations battle ahead of the mid-September Iraq progress report. Two groups on opposite sides of the ideological debate on whether or not to withdraw troops from Iraq have launched a massive television campaign to frame the debate.
Freedom's Watch, with whom former Bush White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer is working, today launched $15 million worth of ads with anecdotal accounts of injured veterans and families of those who have lost relatives who advocate for staying in Iraq.
The ads are largely in response to $10 million worth of ads already running, which are paid for by Americans Against Escalation in Iraq, a coalition of groups that want troops to begin to be withdrawn from Iraq.
Freedom's Watch's new ads will run in more than 20 congressional districts and urge viewers to call an 800-number to tell their representatives "not to surrender to terror," according to a Freedom's Watch press release.
"The mission of Freedom's Watch is to ensure a strong national defense and a powerful effort to confront and defeat global terror, especially in Iraq," Bradley A. Blakeman, President of Freedom's Watch, said in a statement. "Those who want to quit while victory is possible have dominated the public debate about terror and Iraq since the 2004 election. Freedom's Watch is going to change that."
Here are links to four of Freedom's Watch ads, "Veteran," "Travis," "Robinson" and "Jesse." The last line from "Jesse," spoken by a family member of a soldier who died in Iraq, is: "We already had one 9/11, we don't need another."