Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ari Fleischer didn't even know the name of the Iraq vet in his ad

Joe Sudbay (DC) : Ari Fleischer comes from the GOP school of "support the troops." In their world, the troops are only good as campaign props and for sloganeering. Fleischer proved that tonight. Fleischer is the spokesperson for a Bush-backed pro-Iraq war that's attacking Republicans. If you haven't read Tom Matzzie's open letter to Ari, check it out. Last night on Hardball, Ari could not even name the vet featured in the negative ads. Think Progress has the video and the outraged response from Paul Rieckhoff:

Later in the program, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America executive director Paul Rieckhoff ripped into Fleischer’s offensive ignorance. “What bothered me the most is that Ari Fleischer didn’t even know the guy’s name.” said Rieckhoff. “He’s willing to run a multi-million dollar campaign, utilizing the personal story of a soldier, and he couldn’t tell you on national TV what that soldier’s name is.”Rieckhoff described it as part of “a problematic trend” that Freedom’s Watch is using the soldier’s “personal story” as “a backdrop for political rhetoric”.

People on both sides of the aisle, but especially the president and this administration, have continued to use troops as a political prop. As a backdrop for political rhetoric. It’s why the president gave such an impassionate speech today in front of the VFW. It’s why this ad carries so much weight on a visceral level. And it really bothers me because our troops are not political props and they’re not chew toys.

The Bush team doesn't see the troops as real people. That's why they never gave them the right equipment. That's why Walter Reed was such a disaster. That's why Bush has no problem keeping our soldiers in an endless war. And, that's why Ari Fleischer couldn't be bothered to know the name of the man in his ads.

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