As a new conservative front group located in Washington, DC, Freedom’s Watch identifies itself as an grassroots organization of American citizens who are dedicated to ensuring that the United States maintains a powerful national defense and continues to pursue terrorists, with an eye toward achieving a safe world. While the group only began its first major advertising campaign on 22 August 2007, the Freedom’s Watch has already begun to generate controversy among both political conservatives and liberals. Here is more about the stated purposes of Freedom’s Watch and a few of the criticisms that are being aimed at the group.
One of the key members and organizers of Freedom’s Watch is Ari Fleischer, a former White House press secretary under the administration of the incumbent president George W. Bush. Functioning as a board member and spokesperson for the group, Fleischer announced the roll out of the first major advertising campaign. In addition to articulating Freedoms Watch strong antiterrorism stance, Fleischer also was instrumental in drafting the group’s statement of support for continuing efforts in Iraq and other places around the world where terrorism is seen as a threat to the national security of the United States and its citizens.
Seeking to attract both Republicans and Democrats to their cause, Freedom’s Watch campaigns for government representatives who have supported the war effort in Iraq to continue to do so, and those who have not to take a second look at the situation. The advertising that is set to air in both print and electronic media in twenty states will include features of veterans of the war as well as statements from families who have lost a loved one during the conflict.
Some have criticized Freedom’s Watch, claiming they are engaging in the act of astroturfing, a phrase that is sometimes used to define an organization that claims to be a grassroots organization, but in fact is not. Others have pointed to the website for Freedom’s Watch, and note that membership and contributions are open to any resident or citizen in the United States, which is not in keeping with any type of exclusive effort. The claim that Freedom’s Watch is simply a conservative front group that will follow the lead of the current administration without exception has also been presented. However, Freedom’s Watch seems to most to be concerned more with creating an organized response to anti-war groups on the issues of the Iraq War and the fight against terrorism, without making any statements in support of other current policies of the Administration.
While sure to capture the interest of both supporters and detractors of the war and the United States’ fight against terrorism, the Freedom Watch group will no doubt continue to generate a great deal of discussion in the future. People who are interested in learning more about the stated purposes and mission of Freedom’s Watch can visit their web site. Critiques by groups that do not stand with Freedom’s Watch can also be found by doing a quick search on the Internet.