The morning after the country observed Veterans Day, newspaper readers in seven cities woke up to full page ads blasting their local Democratic representative over the war in Iraq. "Stop the politics," the ads charge, and "fund the troops."
After two relatively quiet months, Freedom's Watch is back. The ads running today target Speaker Nancy Pelosi and seven freshman House Democrats, and mirror a $15 million television ad campaign launched this past summer.
They are timed, a Freedom's Watch spokesman said, to pressure the House members to vote against upcoming legislation that would set a goal for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq.
"Freedom's Watch believes members in these districts need to be held accountable for their upcoming vote on funding our troops," said spokesman Matt David in an e-mail to the Huffington Post. "Constituents in these districts deserve more than partisan politics when it comes to funding our troops. It is time for Congress to show resolve, to put aside politics and to unite behind victory."
Like earlier Freedom's Watch TV commercials, the print ads feature a dour Marine Sgt. Andrew Robinson, who is a paraplegic after falling victim to a June 2006 improvised explosive device attack in Iraq.
The ads feature an open letter claiming that "Violence is dropping dramatically, casualties are way down, and stability is becoming a reality" to argue that the U.S. should continue fighting.
In fact, as the non-partisan Government Accountability Office reported to Congress in October, recent reports of reductions in violence in Iraq are "not taking into consideration that there might be fewer attacks because you have ethnically cleansed neighborhoods."
Additionally, news reports last week indicated that US fatalities in 2007 had reached an all time high, although US forces experienced the third lowest fatality count of the war during October.
Finally, political stability continues to be elusive. As an example, the State Department's Iraq Weekly Status Report for November 7 reported that the Iraqi government had "accused the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of subverting hydrocarbons legislation after the KRG signed several new oil exploration deals with foreign companies this week." The report warned that this move "threatened national reconciliation."
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee slammed the ads for being inaccurate.
"We expect these kind of misleading attacks distorting Democrats' records early and often from national groups who are aligned with George Bush and do the anemic NRCC's bidding," said Communications Director Jennifer Crider. "No amount of spin can change our support for the troops and the fact the American people strongly support responsibly redeploying our troops from Iraq."
The full ad can be seen after the jump. It ran in the districts of Reps. Nancy Boyda (KS), Chris Carney (PA), Brad Ellsworth (IN), Tim Mahoney (FL), Harry Mitchell (AZ), Jerry McNerney (CA), and Zach Space (OH).
A version of this ad ran in the following papers on Tuesday morning: The Arizona Republic, The Sacramento Bee, The Palm Beach Post, Evansville Courier & Press, Topeka Capital-Journal, The Columbus Dispatch, The [Scranton] Times-Tribune.