Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   3 comments
OpEdNews Op Eds

Is Freedom's Watch PNAC in Populist Drag?

By       Message Elizabeth Ferrari     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

Author 4508
Become a Fan
  (2 fans)
- Advertisement -

Is Freedom’s Watch PNAC in Populist Drag?

According to the Associated Press, Freedom’s Watch is new conservative group of “outsiders” who seek to influence a broad range of issues, unlike their close cousins, the Swiftboaters, who focused only on smearing John Kerry. But, the roster of PNACers involved in this project – L. Scooter Libby, Mary Maitlan, consultants from the so called “think tank” The American Enterprise Institute, as well as former White House officials Ari Fleisher and Bradley Blakeman, begs the question in what sense can this group be called “outsiders”. Outside of the West wing or, outside of the Bush Cabinet? Or, maybe only outside of public view?

- Advertisement -

This White House front group is dominated by people close to Dick Cheney, like Mel Sembler who also chaired the Libby defense fund and Kevin E. Moley who was a senior aide to Cheney’s 2000 campaign. It has been reported that the idea for the group resulted from a meeting of Florida Republicans where Cheney was the keynote speaker. The group was quickly welcomed to the conversation on Iraq by the neoconservative group Foundation for Defense of Democracies, led by Bill Kristol, Steve Forbes, Jeanne Kilpatrick, James Woolsey, Richard Perle, Charles Krauthammer -- indeed, the PNAC “A” team.

Freedom’s Watch has been selling itself as a grassroots organization although anyone who can read can determine very quickly that it isn’t. Their website exhibits none of the messiness of a working grassroots enterprise – in fact, it looks somewhat uninhabited. Their stated goals echo White House rhetoric, down to their favorite metaphor. As Glenn Greenwald has pointed out, our new enemy is Hitler, we are fighting another World War II and anyone who disagrees with their imperialism is Chamberlain. (They really need to come up with a new vehicle because this one is a dead giveaway.)

The group’s grassroots window dressing is being validated by the AP and also by the New York Times, who seem strangely unable to distinguish between real grassroots and neoconservative astroturf. Both outlets have compared Freedom’s Watch to MoveOn, a real grassroots group, repeatedly. Over this last weekend, AOL had a poll up comparing the two groups. The AP has referred to these two organizations as left and right “bookends” which is patently untrue. MoveOn has about 3.3 million members. It is unknown how many members Freedom’s Watch has besides the original 20 who could write million dollar checks.

The group’s first effort was an ad to rally support for Bush’s failed Iraq policy. The ad used the Administration’s strategy of conflating Iraq with 9/11. It deployed a veteran, (an amputee) as the mouthpiece for the message just as the Administration has from the outset used our service people as props for their public policy statements.

- Advertisement -

During the visit of the Iranian president, the group took out a big ad in the New York Times. The ad was a photograph of Ahmadinejad, the title was “TERRORIST!” and the ad ripped Columbia University. A complaint from Freedom’s Watch was also behind the Time’s apology for the MoveOn Petraeus ad. It’s ironic that the Times apologized for an ad critical of a general officer up to his chin in Bush propaganda but not for the ad that called out a visiting foreign head of state during an increasingly tense diplomatic moment.

Freedom’s Watch is planning a forum, in conjunction with AEI fellows, to develop a rationale and a PR campaign to sell a war on Iran. This is a private, not a public grassroots, gathering -- although there may be foie de gras and a few rounds of golf. If this isn’t PNAC in populist drag, we're looking at neocon twins separated at birth.

- Advertisement -


- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

Elizabeth Ferrari is a San Francisco author and activist.

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

After Haiti: A Conversation with John Perkins

History to Obama: Yes, we have made war on democracies

What the FBI Knows: For Bruce Ivins and For Us

Is Freedom's Watch PNAC in Populist Drag?

I Can't Believe It's Not Human Rights Watch!

To Mr. Obama From His Newly Gay Constituents