Americans Against Escalation in Iraq
|This article is part of the SourceWatch coverage of MoveOn.|
Americans Against Escalation in Iraq (AAEI)—a Democratic Party-oriented coalition of groups that includes MoveOn.org Political Action, SEIU, USAction, Campaign for America's Future, Win Without War, VoteVets.org, United States Student Association, and Center for American Progress Action Fund—launched a campaign in a January 11, 2007, press conference held at the National Press Club to "oppose escalation of the war in Iraq". AAEI is a "major, multi-million dollar national campaign that opposed the President's proposal to escalate the war in Iraq by sending more than 20,000 additional troops into the violent civil war between Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias," its website states.
- 1 February, 2008, $20 Million Dollar Iraq/Recession Campaign
- 2 Brief History of AAEI 2007-2008
- 3 Press Contacts for AAEI
- 4 Personnel
- 5 Coalition members
- 6 Campaign to Defend America, Inc.
- 7 Contact Info and Website
- 8 Resources
February, 2008, $20 Million Dollar Iraq/Recession Campaign
On February 25, 2008, AAEI announced the launch of a twenty-million dollar Iraq/Recession Campaign in a news release stating, "The $20 million campaign will include paid advertisements, lobbying Congress not to pass blank check funding bills, urging Congressional action to bar President Bush from making a long term commitment to Iraq that could tie the hands of the next president, and campaigning in key Senate states and House districts. The Iraq/Recession campaign is a joint venture of MoveOn.org, the Service Employees International Union, VoteVets.org, USAction, the Center for American Progress and Americans United for Change." 
Brief History of AAEI 2007-2008
Despite spending millions of dollars, Americans Against Escalation In Iraq failed in its objective when, in May 2007, the Democratic-controlled Congress gave President Bush the full funding he requested for the US war in Iraq.
On January 17, 2008, Ryan Grim reported on Politico.com that the Americans Against Escalation in Iraq coalition was no longer advocating that Congress end the war. In 2008 "the groups instead will lower their sights and push for legislation to prevent President Bush from entering into a long-term agreement with the Iraqi government that could keep significant numbers of troops in Iraq for years to come. ... The groups believe this switch in strategy can draw contrasts with Republicans that will help Democrats gain ground in November..." 
In a February 9, 2008, blog posting on The Nation's website, professor and activist Tom Hayden wrote: "Tom Matzzie,leader of America's most well-financed anti-Iraq [war] organization, has resigned his position and dissolved the organization, Americans Against Escalation in Iraq." However,after posting this blog Hayden the wrote: "Minutes after this story was posted, Matzzie sent an e-mail to me claiming 'the story is wrong.' He said, 'We haven't quit,' but are in transition. But the story is based on Mattzie's own February 7 e-mail response to a question from me: 'I've essentially quit anti-war organizing and gone into politics.' "  In fact, Matzzie now runs the AAEI spin-off Campaign to Defend America which is using the issue of the war to help Democrats win elections in 2008 and is run, funded and supported by the same organizations and money behind AAEI.
In February, 2008 journalist Matt Taibbi analyzed how the MoveOn-led AAEI has become "a political tool for the Democrats — one operated from inside the Beltway and devoted primarily to targeting Republicans. ... At the forefront of the groups are [former MoveOn lobbyist] Tom Matzzie and Brad Woodhouse... [M]uch of the anti-war group's leadership hails from a consulting firm called Hildebrand Tewes Consulting — whose partners Steve Hildebrand and Paul Tewes served as staffers for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. ... This is the kind of conflict of interest that would normally be an embarrassment in the activist community. ... The really tragic thing about the Democratic surrender on Iraq is that it's now all but guaranteed that the war will be off the table during the presidential campaign. Once again — it happened in 2002, 2004 and 2006 — the Democrats have essentially decided to rely on the voters to give them credit for being anti-war, despite the fact that, for all the noise they've made to the contrary, in the end they've done nothing but vote for war and cough up every dime they've been asked to give, every step of the way." 
Press Contacts for AAEI
- Moira Mack, with Hildebrand Tewes Consulting
- 202-261-2383; 703-416-9188
- Brad Woodhouse, who is also communications director for USAction and President of Americans United for Change.
- 202 251-5669
AAEI personnel include:
- Tom Matzzie,Campaign Director on loan from MoveOn, also running Campaign to Defend America.
- Brad Woodhouse
- Moira Mack, with Hildebrand Tewes Consulting
- John Bruhns, left the organization in October 2007 over a disagreement with the organization's methodology.  As of March, 2008, he is with United for Peace and Justice.
- Americans United for Change
- Campaign for America's Future
- Campus Progress Action
- Center for American Progress Action Fund
- MoveOn.org Political Action
- SEIU (web)
- USAction (web)
- United States Student Association, USSA
- Win Without War
- Working Assets
Campaign to Defend America, Inc., registered in 2006 with the State of Washington (Registration #23820) under "Charities and Trusts".
"Iraq Summer" 2007
"Iraq Summer is a nationwide, 10-week long campaign with nearly 100 organizers in 15 states and 40 congressional districts to turn up the heat on members of Congress who have opposed setting a timeline to bring a safe and responsible end to the war in Iraq. The effort will culminate with a national 'Take a Stand' day on August 28th, when Members of Congress will have the opportunity to explain their stance on the war to their constituents in a town hall setting," according to an August 27, 2007, press release.
- September 7, 2007: "New hard-hitting ad hitting on the reality of what Susan Collins and her GOP colleagues have gotten us into -- an intractable, endless civil war. Versions of this ad ran in Kentucky against [Mitch] McConnell, in Minnesota against [Norman] Coleman and in New Mexico against [Pete] Domenici."
- "Iraq Summer": "'Troop Reduction?' Do they really mean it this time?" posted on YouTube.
Contact Info and Website
1825 K Street NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20006
Phone: 202 454-6200
Fax: 202 263-4530
Email: info AT iraqcampaign.org
Related SourceWatch articles
- Campaign to Defend America
- Democracy Alliance
- Exit Strategy from Iraq
- Freedom's Watch
- Iraq Veterans Against the War
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Patriot Project
- Peace and Security Funders Group
- Tom Matzzie
- troop surge in Iraq
- Veterans for America
- Veterans for Common Sense
- Vets for Freedom
- "IRAQ: Americans Against Escalation 1/11 Press Conference," PoliticsTV.com, January 11, 2007.
- NoIraqEscalation.com website.
- "Iraq summer," NoIraqEscalation.org.
- Press Release: "Multi-Million Dollar National Campaign Against Escalation of War to be Announced Today – Effort to Include Advertising, Grassroots Pressure," Americans Against Escalation in Iraq, January 11, 2007.
- John Bruhns, "The anti-war phonies", Philly.com, November 19, 2007.
- Mike Soraghan, "Anti-war veteran criticizes groups opposed to Iraq war", The Hill, November 28, 2007.
- Charitable Solicitations Program Charity Profile Report, State of Washington.
- "Americans Against Escalation in Iraq: Iowa ‘Iraq Summer’ Campaign Comes to a Crescendo With Flurry of Grassroots Activity," IraqSummer.org (Iowa Politics), August 27, 2007.
- Joe Sudbay, "So, should we just start training our kids for the Iraq war now?" AMERICAblog, September 7, 2007.
- The video can also be seen at "Media Campaign Goes After Four GOP Senators for Their Iraq Support," AlterNet, September 7, 2007.
- John Stauber, The Progressive Movement is a PR Front for Rich Democrats, March 15, 2013, CounterPunch.
- John Stauber, How Obama Took Over the Peace Movement, PRWatch.org, March 27, 2009.
- Jeremy Scahill, Rahm Emanuel's Think Tankers Enforce 'Message Discipline' Among 'Liberals', RebelReports.com, April 9, 2009.
- PRWatch.org, War, What Is it Good For? Electing Democrats in '08, January 17, 2008.
- Will Evans, Peter Overby The Money Behind the Anti-McCain Ad, Center for Investigative Reporting, March 6, 2008.
- Isaiah J. Poole, "'Hell, No' To The Surge," TomPaine.com, January 10, 2007.
- "New coalition, Americans Against Escalation in Iraq," Kuwait News Agency, January 12, 2007.
- Joel Barkin, "Over 20 States Introduce Resolutions Against The Escalation in Iraq," The Huffington Post, February 5, 2007.
- AAEI, "Greenberg Poll: Voters Want Troops Out Safely By Early 2008. Iraq Issue Will Hobble Republicans in 2008," Common Dreams, March 8, 2007.
- Tim Starks, The Anti-War Movement's Aggressive New Battle Plan, CQ Weekly, April 16, 2007.
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- John Stauber, "Iraq: The 'Gift' That Keeps on Bleeding,", PRWatch, August 20, 2007.
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- "Media failed to resolve question of which members of Congress Freedom's Watch ads are targeting," Media Matters for America, August 24, 2007.
- Faiz Shakir, "Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA): White House Will ‘Tweak’ The ‘Petraeus Report’," Think Progress, August 24, 2007.
- Steven Lee Myers, "A familiar U.S. strategy to help stay the course in Iraq," International Herald Tribune, August 27, 2007.
- "'Iraq Summer' Fizzles. Ten Reasons Why Fringe Group’s Political Attacks Lack Legitimacy and Credibility/Ten Reasons Not to Trust the Americans Against Escalation in Iraq (AAEI)," National Republican Congressional Committee, August 27, 2007.
- Mark Murray and Domenico Montanaro, "First Thoughts," First Read/MSNBC, August 28, 2007. Scroll down to "Between Iraq And A Hard Place".
- Domico Montanaro, "Iraq," First Read/MSNBC, August 28, 2007.
- John Bruhns, "Take a Stand," The Huffington Post, August 28, 2007.
- "Take a Stand," Think Progress, August 28, 2007.
- Joe Sudbay, AMERICAblog, August 28, 2007:
- mcjoan, "Take a Stand Day," The Daily Kos, August 28, 2007.
- Lillian Kafka, "Meeting urges end to Iraq war," Potomac News (Iowa Politics), August 29, 2007.
- Jackie Kucinich, "GOP centrists mulled Iraq options over recess," The Hill, August 29, 2007.
- Christine Bowman, "Taking a Stand on Iraq: Anti-war Agitation," BuzzFlash, August 29, 2007.
- Jonathan D. Salant, "Air War: Iraq Ads Target Vulnerable U.S. Lawmakers in Campaigns," Bloomberg News, August 30, 2007.
- Monisha Bansal, "MoveOn Pressures Congress With Anti-War Vigils," Cybercast News Service, August 30, 2007.
- Mike Soraghan, "After 12,000 miles, talking points intact," The Hill, September 4, 2007.
- Katharine Q. Seelye, "The Ad Campaign; Battle Over Iraq Strategy," New York Times, September 5, 2007.
- "Group Targets GOP With Anti-War Ads," Associated Press, September 6, 2007.
- Josh Kraushaar, "New Anti-Iraq War Ads Up Against Vulnerable Senators," The Politico (CBS News), September 6, 2007.
- Michael Shaw, "Reading the Pictures: Nancy's Pull to Give In," The Huffington Post, September 7, 2007.
- Staff, "Media Campaign Goes After Four GOP Senators for Their Iraq Support" [Video], AlterNet, September 7, 2007.
- Michael Crowley, "Can Lobbyists Stop the War?" New York Times, September 9, 2007.
- Barb Kucera, "Minnesota unions to lead anti-war rally," Workday Minnesota, September 10, 2007.
- Media Mouse, "Iraq Summer: Where do we go from here?," Mediamouse.org, September 10, 2007.
- Andrew Rasiej and Micah L. Sifry, "MoveOn's 'Betray Us' ad a smart move," The Politico, September 12, 2007.
- John Stauber, "Democracy Now Looks at Pro-War PR, From Freedom's Watch to Petraeus," PRWatch, September 13, 2007. See YouTube "Lies Americans believe about the war in Iraq" video.
- Tim Graham, "AP Digs to Find GOP Ad Donors, But They Ignore the MoveOn Left's Donors," NewsBusters, September 14, 2007.
- Michael Luo and Jeff Zeleny, "Behind an Antiwar Ad, a Powerful Liberal Group," New York Times, September 15, 2007.
- Katharine Q. Seelye, "Antiwar Ad Prompts Dispute," New York Times, September 15, 2007.
- Marc Fisher, "Live from the Mall: Why Huge Crowds Didn't Show Up," Raw Fisher/Washington Post, September 15, 2007.
- Jack Brammer and Ryan Alessi, "Beshear promises to stay aggressive. Fletcher Gets Fiery at Danville Festival," Lexington Herald-Leader/Kentucky.com, September 16, 2007.
- Jake Tapper, "Left-handed discount?" Political Punch Blog/ABC News, September 18, 2007.