Monday, September 03, 2007


I thought Ari Fleischer was long gone when he left the White House, but he has crawled out from under his rock with a new organization and $15 million to spend on an ad campaign featuring Iraq Vets and families who have lost a loved one in this so called Global War on Terror.

Freedom’s Watch is dedicated to educating individuals about and advancing public policies that protect America’s interests at home and abroad, foster economic prosperity, and strengthen families. Through outreach and education, communications to key members of Congress, and bold public awareness initiatives, Freedom’s Watch is fighting for the ideals and policies that keep America strong and prosperous. Their goal, simply is to capitalize on FEAR, a tool right from the Bush administration playbook, which shouldn't be a surprise considering the pedigree of people involved in this new organization. According to the Washington Post, Freedoms Watch leadership is Bradley A. Blakeman, Ari Fleischer, and Matthew Brooks. Donors are Mel Sembler, John Templeton Jr., Sheldon G. Adelson, Kevin E. Moley, Howard Leach, Anthony Gioia, Richard Fox, and Gary Erlbaum.

FREEDOM’S WATCH does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, timeliness or reliability of the material or data on this website. I'll say they don't. Freedom's Watch is yet another propaganda site made up of rich Republicans whose only connection to Iraq is to profit from the war. You won't see their family members fighting a war that they support but refuse to fight themselves. This glossy ad campaign implies that all Gold Star families support a victory in Iraq- whatever that means. It implies that voting to stop the war is for purely political reasons. No one should buy what this front group for the White House is selling. There are some who are betting this campaign will backfire on them; we can only hope.

I've thought about this alot. These Gold Star families, who have suffered with the loss of their loved one are telling their stories. They cannot bear the thought that their loved one died in vain. We should not fault them for whatever they believe that allows them to get up in the morning and face another day. They insist our country continue the mission because "Victory is America's only choice". I insist our country end this mission to save lives- of our military and the Iraqi civilians who are caught in the midst of this quagmire.

When I stood over the Arlington grave of my only child, Lt Ken Ballard, I vowed that I would not be silent and that people would know what it is like to lose a son in this war. Freedoms Watch and these families do not speak for this Gold Star mom. I know I am not alone.

Freedoms Watch also does not speak for my friends and fellow members of Gold Star Families Speak Out, Dante & Celeste Zappala who came up with a video of their own. "Bring Them Home, don't be fooled again"

This video should be seen by everyone in this country. The message "FUNDING THE WAR MEANS KILLING THE TROOPS" should be delivered to every member of Congress. Write a letter, pick up the phone; operators are standing by. If you don't do something now, what are you waiting for? How many more soldiers will die because you stood by and did nothing?

Dante posted a diary at the Daily Kos describing The truth about my dead brother

Sherwood was a soldier. At least for the last few months of his life, when his National Guard unit was activated. Politics is high stakes, especially for the ones who look beyond it to make the simple sacrifice of serving their country.

maggiemae over at the Daily Kos commented on Dante's diary and video We Native Americans believe as long as someone remembers you, and speaks your name, you are never gone. May the winds whisper the name of our brother, Sherwood Zappala, over all the earth for eternity.

There are so many names, it is no longer a whisper; we hear the names of Sherwood, Ken, Patrick, William, David, Neil, Bob, Adam, Jeremy, Sean, Jonathan, Jeffrey, Omead, Jon, Mike, Seamus, Seth, Jacob, Alex, Nick, Jamie, Steven, TJ, Edward, Darius, Phil, Ernest, Chris, Wes, Alan, Joseph, John and so many others. They will never be gone from our hearts.

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