Travis Youngblood was a Marine on patrol in Iraq when an improvised explosive device went off in 2005 and burned his lungs, killing him. Now his widow Laura says CNBC and MSNBC are denying her the same First Amendment rights he died to protect.
“Who are they to judge what the American public wants to hear?” Youngblood says. “I don’t understand why they are discriminating against veterans. These are the roots of America. The people who serve are protecting their First Amendment rights.”
Laura Youngblood is featured in ads being run by Freedom’s Watch, a new conservative group that has more funding than MoveOn.org and other George Soros operations.
The group is spending $15 million over five weeks to run ads saying that pulling out of Iraq quickly is not an option.
While Fox and CNN have been running the ads, Ari Fleischer, a board member of Freedom’s Watch, reported that NBC’s two cable outlets refused to run them. NBC told Fleischer that it is network policy to deny access to groups that sponsor advertising on “controversial issues.”
Brad Blakeman, a former Bush White House aide who is president and CEO of Freedom’s Watch, wrote a letter to the network protesting the decision and citing other controversial ads run by the NBC cable networks. One ad, sponsored by Move America Forward, was titled “Shameless Politicians.” It advocated support for the war on terror. Another, sponsored by the American Medical Association, focused on controversial health care issues.
Besides Laura Youngblood, the Freedom’s Watch ads—which can be viewed at FreedomsWatch.org — feature soldiers who have fought in Iraq. In addition to losing her husband in the war, Youngblood had an uncle who was a fireman and lost his life responding to the 9/11 attack.
Youngblood, also a Marine, recalls that her husband wrote to her just before he died and said how proud he was to serve in Iraq.
“Maybe if people hear our story, maybe then they’ll realize that my husband was willing to sacrifice his life knowing that he will never see his unborn child or his family again that he loved, but was willing to do that to protect his country,” Youngblood says. “Maybe if they see it from his point of view, as someone who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country, then maybe they can understand that it’s not time to give up. It’s time to stand up and fight for this country. It’s time to put a stand down and say we are not running from terrorism.”
If the U.S. quits in Iraq, it will send a message to terrorists that we are vulnerable, Youngblood says.
“Al Qaida’s in Iraq now,” she says. “If we don’t protect ourselves from the terrorists, they will attack us again. This is America. We stand up and we protect ourselves. We do not run. We face fear in the face. We fight it. This is a strong country with honorable men and women who are willing to sacrifice their lives for the safety of fellow Americans.”
When her husband decided to go to Iraq, Laura was pregnant with their second child.
“He wanted to go to Iraq because—he sat me down and told me—that he wanted to take care of his children,” she says. “He would fight this war so his children could be safe. He went to protect us.”
On left-wing blogs, Laura Youngblood and others like Vicki Strong who appear in the ads are being attacked. One entry said Laura Youngblood is “completely incapable of telling the truth” and is “devoid of a soul.” Another entry made fun of her for having a seven-year-old son who appears to be overweight.
A third entry said Vicki Strong’s son Jesse, a Marine who was killed in Iraq, is “spinning in his grave” because there was no connection between the Iraq war and 9/11.
As Fran Townsend, the White House's chief of counterterrorism, has told me, a quick withdrawal from Iraq could lead to devastating casualties within the U.S. from al-Qaida attacks.
“What you don’t hear is the same people [who want a quick withdrawal] talk about the consequences of bringing them home,” Townsend said. “The consequences could very well be dead Americans inside the United States if Iraq becomes a safe haven.”
Says Youngblood, “It’s going to take time to win. These people took their time when they attacked us. They thought about the process of attacking America for years. We’re going to face them, and we’re going to win.”
Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of NewsMax.com. View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via e-mail. Go here now.
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