Midwest Heroes ad

February 13, 2006

Power Line has a nice takedown of Nick Coleman’s attack on Progress for America’s Midwest Heroes ad (link via Instapundit).

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3 Responses to “Midwest Heroes ad”

  1. Chris Mankey Says:

    Nick Coleman huh? How dare he “attack” an ad filled falsehoods? I guess people outside of the republican twilight zone would call that being “responsible”.

  2. Jake Savage Says:

    Chris,

    I have no problem with someone criticizing falsehoods in this or any other advertisement. Unfortunately, Coleman spends the majority of his article questioning the ad’s motivations and funding rather than its content. The few factual claims he makes don’t hold up, in my opinion:

    Claim 1:
    The war in Iraq is not against the terrorists of 9/11, given the fact that it was billed as a war against Saddam Hussein.

    9/11 was conducted by Al Qaeda operatives. One of the groups of terrorists we are now fighting is “Al Qaeda in Iraq.” Where is the problem in suggesting that the two are connected, and what does the “billing” of the war have to do with it? There were many reasons given for why we should go to war with Iraq. In fact, a common liberal complaint is that Bush “lied” us into war by connecting the War in Iraq to the attacks of 9/11. Now Coleman wants to claim that the war was billed solely as against Saddam Hussein? The ad does not argue that we went to Iraq to fight Al Qaeda, only that we are doing so now. I don’t see how the ad’s statements about the enemy in Iraq can be seen as “falsehoods.”

    Claim 2:
    The war is not going “swimmingly,” as can be seen from the number of troop deaths (2,267 – almost 1,800 since Bush said “Mission Accomplished.”).

    Strawman argument. No one in the ad is saying the war is going “swimmingly.” “Making real progress” is a very different statement, and cannot be contradicted by a count of troop deaths, even if that count weren’t extremely low by historical standards. Incidentally, if you’re looking for falsehoods, you may want to start with the “Mission Accomplished” canard and read the actual text of Bush’s speech. Ending major combat operations is not the same as declaring complete victory.

    Claim 3:
    Paul Rieckhoff, founder of the non-partisan Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), says the troops “do not overwhelmingly support the president in Iraq,” citing polls that put the troops approval level in the low 50s.

    IAVA may be non-partisan, but they certainly seem to have an ax to grind. The specific polls to which Rieckhoff is referring aren’t mentioned, but the way the statement is phrased (“support the president in Iraq”), I would guess that they ask whether troops support President Bush’s “strategy” in Iraq or if they believe the president sent enough troops, or if we should have gone to war in the first place, etc. This is a valid argument in general, but not against this particular ad, since the ad does not claim that the troops support the “president,” but rather that they overwhelmingly support the “mission,” which is a very different thing.

    I wouldn’t claim that the ad is completely free from spin. It chooses its words very carefully and some statements are probably stronger than I would be willing to make (e.g. the American media doesn’t “only report the bad news;” this is hyperbole. Of course the media reports some good news – like the elections – but they do seem to dwell on the negative aspects of the war to the exclusion of more positive stories). However, this is not the same as being “filled [with] falsehoods.” I’d be willing to listen to arguments to the contrary, but not to conspiracy theories like the ones on which Coleman spends most of his time.

    Jake


  3. Midwest Heroes ad – comment

    A commenter responds to my post on Progress for America’s Midwest Heroes ad: Nick Coleman huh? How dare he attack an ad filled falsehoods? I guess people outside of the republican twilight zone would call that being responsible. Aside from

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