THE BLOG

You're Wrong, Senator Coleman, Iraq IS a Major Issue!

Many of us were puzzled when a newspaper reporter covering Republican Senator Norm Coleman wrote that it seems "Minnesotans" minds are on matters ...other than Iraq." So a bunch of us, not realizing this was just another GOP talking point, decided to go right up to the front door of Coleman's yellow colonial house located on a beautiful residential street in St. Paul that just happens to be lined with red "Support the troops--End the war" yard signs. Apparently his neighbors' yard signs weren't doing the trick in getting the message across to the Senator that Minnesotans ARE concerned about the terrible costs of the ongoing occupation of Iraq so we thought we'd communicate that message a little more clearly. 2007-09-25-PeaceatNormColemans.JPG We rang the Senator's doorbell and someone even banged a drum for a while but no one came out. Then shortly after taking this picture, who turns up in the back alley? Norm Coleman himself. With police and bodyguard accompanying him, he confidently strode to his front yard to address our peace group. Here's Coleman's silvery-tongued, continued insistence that he's not hearing much about Iraq, that even though he'd like to bring the troops home, he has to believe Al Qaeda when Al Qaeda says that Iraq is the central front (in the war on terror). The quick translation of all his slick, double talk indicated to us that Coleman was inclined to simply stay with Bush's (disastrous) course. But at least we got it on tape so we can listen again. It certainly furnishes an idea of how concerned citizens can question their congresspersons (like Pennsylvanian Republican Rep. John Peterson for instance), when they pull out the same GOP talking point.

In any event, it remains to be seen how confident of his doubletalk Norm Coleman will remain, now that the month-long, 15 million dollar ad campaign (prepared and paid for by the shadowy White House front group "Freedom's Watch" which Ari Fleischer helped produce) is coming to an end. Mercifully, their $15 million worth of air time has finally run its course. Minnesotans were literally bombarded with this pro-war propaganda linking 9-11 to Iraq with almost no one daring to point out the deceptive nature of this false advertising. Actually, it wasn't because we didn't try to point it out. I've actually heard from so many people whose letters to the editor and complaints about the ads were not published, that I'm starting to think Ari Fleischer might have imposed the same GOP talking points on our mainstream media.

But probably with the Republican National Convention in St. Paul less than a year away, it's just due to the fact that no mainstream media wants to do or say anything to offend. It turns out the leadership of the national pro-war groups who have been most instrumental in producing these latest terrible ads (as well as those last election cycle when Minnesota was their "test state"); who have engaged in other swiftboating efforts against those who don't agree with Bush's war; and who have staged such supportive activities as handing Bush his "veto pen" a few months ago are already well entrenched in Minnesota! Kevin Diaz wrote a glowing article this last weekend that characterized Coleman's double-talk as "middle ground" and mentioned that the two national war-backing groups, "Vets for Freedom" and "Families United for Our Troops and Their Mission" are led by Minnesotans. One might well ask, "What mission?" when Bush said the mission was accomplished 4 ½ years ago. But that's the kind of petty detail these groups don't let get in their way of launching their swiftboat attacks under the guidance and tutelage of our district's right wing Republican Representative John Kline. By the way, Bush team wordsmithers seem to have pitched in with a new and improved euphemistic term for all these swiftboaters and warhawks. They now call themselves "pro-victory" instead of "pro-war". This immediately fools the likes of reporters like Kevin Diaz who take the path of least resistance and publish the newest GOP talking point, apparently without asking questions.

So with the RNC on the horizon, Minnesota has become ground zero in the debate about Bush's ill-begotten war turned bloody occupation turned quagmire. It's obvious we peace proponents are up against millions and millions of war profit-derived money.

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We only have our handpainted and other relatively inexpensive ways right now to express it, but we are trying to inform people that this country stands to lose everything--its military strength; its infrastructure and even its civil liberties and constitutional rule of law--if the deceptive ad campaigns prevail of the war mongers and war profiteers who are determined to stay Bush's disastrous course.