Freedom's Watch/Selling the war in Iran
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|This article is part of SourceWatch coverage of Freedom's Watch|
"It looks like the campaign of Freedom's Watch is directed at preparing Western populations for what is coming: a military confrontation with Iran. Just as it was with the run-up to the Iraq war, this preparatory propaganda is the non-military beginning of the war," Daan de Wit wrote October 9, 2007, in the Atlantic Free Press.
"Then the physical war ignites, after which whitewash operations, such as was the case with Iraq, will attempt to cover up the spin. Because the original plan for an attack on Iran couldn't be 'sold', the strategy of the White House has changed, according to [Seymour M.] Hersh. He talks about this with Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former National Security Advisor for President [Jimmy] Carter: 'The Bush Administration, by charging that Iran was interfering in Iraq, was aiming to paint it as 'We're responding to what is an intolerable situation, Brzezinski said. 'This time, unlike the attack in Iraq, we're going to play the victim. The name of our game seems to be to get the Iranians to overplay their hand'," de Wit wrote.
Iran forum planned for October 2007
In October 2007, Freedom's Watch "will sponsor a private forum of 20 experts on radical Islam that is expected to make the case that Iran poses a direct threat to the security of the United States, according to several benefactors of the group," Don Van Natta Jr. reported September 30, 2007, in the New York Times.
"Although the group declined to identify the experts, several were invited from the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington research group with close ties to the White House. Some institute scholars have advocated a more confrontational policy to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, including keeping military action as an option," Van Natta wrote.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's controversial visit to New York City
On Monday, September 24, 2007, Freedom's Watch was to roll out a new full-page ad in the New York Times that "blasts" New York's Columbia University for allowing "terrorist" Ahmadinejad "to speak on campus while barring ROTC. ... 'People who support killing Americans are welcome. But the military that defends them is not,' says the new ad by Freedom's Watch. ... Ahmadinejad 'should be treated like the terrorist that he is' and 'Columbia should be ashamed of its actions.'" Ahmadenijad is coming to New York to address the United Nations General Assembly.
- "Freedom's Watch could not sit back and allow a terrorist to come to America masquerading as a world leader. We have an obligation to warn the world of the dangers of a nuclear Iran and to uncover the true intent, that being, the destruction of the United States and the State of Israel. Let's be clear, Iran today kills American soldiers in Iraq and they will not stop there."
A participant in a November 2007 focus group apparently funded by Freedom's Watch described the session as: "The basis of the whole thing was, 'we're going to go into Iran and what do we have to do to get you guys to go along with it.'" Participant Laura Sonnenmark, described by Mother Jones magazine as a "focus group regular," remarked of the session, "I've never seen a moderator who was so persistent in manipulating and leading the participants." The moderator "used lots of catch phrases, like 'victory' and 'failure is not an option,'" Sonnenmark said. 
The final questions of the focus group session were: "How would you feel if Hillary [Clinton] bombed Iran? How would you feel if George Bush bombed Iran? And how would you feel if Israel bombed Iran?" Neither the firm involved, Martin Focus Groups, nor Freedom's Watch would confirm that the organization funded the focus group. But focus group participants were handed a flier with a Freedom's Watch logo, according to Sonnenmark. 
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Dann de Wit, "Attack on Iran: the question is only when and in what form," Atlantic Free Press, October 9, 2007.
- ↑ Daan de Wit, "Truth about Iraq war slowly becomes clear - part 1. Despite whitewashing operation," deepjournal, February 25, 2004.
- ↑ Seymour M. Hersh, "Shifting Targets. The Administration’s plan for Iran," The New Yorker, October 8, 2007 (issue).
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2
- ↑ See Ray McGovern, "Helping Israel Die," TomPaine.com (Common Dreams), February 9, 2007; also posted at Consortiumnews.com, February 12, 2007.
- ↑ "NYers in Rage Over 'Tehran'ting Lunatic," New York Post, September 22, 2007.
- ↑ "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Leaves for Controversial NYC Visit," Fox News, September 23, 2007.
- ↑ Freedom's Watch, "Freedom's Watch Announces New Print Advertisement in New York Times on Ahmadinejad's Visit," PRNewswire-USNewswire, September 21, 2007.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Laura Rozen, "Freedom's Watch Focus Groups War with Iran," Mother Jones, November 19, 2007.