The television commercials are attention-grabbing: Newly found Iraqi documents show that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, including anthrax and mustard gas, and had “extensive ties” to al Qaeda. The discoveries are being covered up by those “willing to undermine support for the war on terrorism to selfishly advance their shameless political ambitions.”
The hard-hitting spots are part of a recent public-relations barrage aimed at reversing a decline in public support for President Bush’s handling of Iraq. But these advertisements aren’t paid for by the Republican National Committee or other established White House allies. Instead, they are sponsored by Move America Forward, a media-savvy outside advocacy group that has become one of the loudest — and most controversial — voices in the Iraq debate.
My hunch is that this is just a tiny first hint of what’s coming, and by summer we aren’t even going to recognize this country — as much as we even recognize it today. Bush might still be at 40% next year, but they’ll have everyone else down to 10% — that’s how they do it. Set us against each other and tear us into little pieces. I suspect we’ll be about as effective against what’s coming as we were against the Swift Boat smears.