U.S. opposition to a war on Iraq
See the ad itself at
I’ve also attached some news coverage of the ad below, which
describes the ad in some detail.
This ad is part of our campaign to communicate the depth and
breadth of opposition to an Iraq War, in the U.S. Although
the polls show very thin support for war, until now the media
has not widely reported this.
Our biggest surprise is how many members of the media around
the world are interested in this story. Apparently, the
American public is widely seen as moving lock-step behind the
most extremist members of the Bush administration. Journalists
around the world seem surprised by the strength of opposition
in the U.S.
Please help us spread the word. If you know any members of
the press in your country who should know about our efforts,
please pass this note on to them.
We’ve posted our press release regarding the ad, still images,
audio, and video suitable for broadcast in our press room at:
As a follow-on, this coming Tuesday, more than 7,000 MoveOn
members will be visiting their senators and members of congress
in more than 400 local offices across the nation, asking them
to „Let the Inspections Work.“ Opposition to war in Iraq is
broad and deep in the U.S. and worldwide. Let’s let everyone
January 17th, 2002
P.S. I’ve also attached our recent alert to our U.S. audience
with more details on the campaign below. Our „Let the Inspection
Work“ petition has more than 300,000 signatories world-wide.
If you’d like to add your name and comment, go to:
Dear MoveOn member,
Today’s the day. Today we’re launching a hard-hitting TV ad across
the nation to underline our key message: „Let the Inspections Work.“
In December, we asked members to contribute $27,000 for a print
ad in the New York Times. Within days, we had more than $400,000
committed to our ad campaign. This allowed us to do several print
ads, including an ad in USA Today. To follow up, we ran a radio
ad created by Betsey Binet, one of our members. But once we saw
the avalanche of support, we knew it was time to go to TV.
Over the holidays, we worked on the spot you’ll see today. Our
goal is to underline the risk of war and we’ve created a piece
intended to provoke discussion and controversy. Without further
ado, you can view the ad on the main page of our website at:
The ad is airing on TV stations in Washington, DC, Los Angeles,
San Francisco, Philadelphia, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Boston,
Minneapolis, Phoenix, Cleveland, Portland and Seattle. The ad
buy is largely on cable networks, and will show heavily on public
interest shows on channels such as CNN and MSNBC for the next week.
At 10am today in each of these media markets, MoveOn volunteers
will be running press conferences for the local media.
The press has already shown a great deal of interest in this
story. Dan Rather broke the story last night, and Eli will be
appearing on Good Morning America this morning. I’ve attached
below an Associated Press story that’s just hit the wire.
The big story that’s gathering steam is just how mainstream and
broad the opposition to war is, as highlighted today in a Boston
Globe article I’ve also excerpted below. That’s exactly our intent
with this ad. And just to drive the point home, more than 7,000
MoveOn members will be visiting more than 500 congressional offices
across the county next Tuesday.
Please stay tuned. And thanks everyone,
– The MoveOn Team
Carrie, Eli, Joan, Peter, Randall, Wes and Zack
January 16th, 2002
P.S. By the way, for the congressional meetings this coming
Tuesday we asked for your help to get another 30,000 signatures
and hit the 200,000 mark. In 24 hours, you’ve given us three
times what we asked for — we’ve gotten another 90,000, putting
us well over a quarter-million. You don’t just hit our goals,
you shatter them. Thanks.
Excerpt from AP article
ANTI-WAR GROUP REVIVES „DAISY“ AD CAMPAIGN
January 15, 2003
By IAN STEWART
Associated Press Writer
Revisiting one of the most effective television commercials in
the annals of U.S. politics, a grassroots anti-war group has
produced a remake of the „Daisy“ ad, warning that a war against
Iraq could spark nuclear Armageddon.
The provocative 30-second commercial – released to the media
Wednesday and appearing in 12 major U.S. cities on Thursday
at a cost of $400,000, was prepared with the help of thousands
of donations to the Internet-based group MoveOn.org.
The original Daisy ad aired only once, during the 1964
presidential race. Produced by the campaign of incumbent
Lyndon B. Johnson, it depicted a 6-year-old girl plucking petals
from a daisy – along with a missile launch countdown and then a
nuclear mushroom cloud. The suggestion was that if elected
president, Republican Barry Goldwater might lead the United
States to a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. Goldwater lost
by a wide margin.
The 2003 version follows the same format, with an added montage
of scenes of military escalation: burning oil wells, tanks in
the battlefield, wounded soldiers, chaotic protests in a foreign
city and an ambulance racing through U.S. streets. Then, a similar
mushroom cloud, and the screen goes to black, with a dire warning:
„War with Iraq. Maybe it will end quickly. Maybe not. Maybe it
will spread. Maybe extremists will take over countries with
nuclear weapons. Maybe the unthinkable.“
Then, another „10… 9… 8…,“ countdown, and a final message:
„Maybe that’s why the overwhelming majority of Americans say to
President Bush: let the inspections work.“
MoveOn.org’s leaders hope the ad will enliven the debate on
the specter of war – and persuade Americans to oppose a
military solution in Iraq.
„We’re playing with matches in a tinderbox,“ Eli Pariser,
MoveOn.org’s international campaign director said. „We wanted
to run an ad that would highlight that very real possibility
and help encourage a national discussion about the consequences
Excerpts from today’s Boston Globe
FOES OF A WAR IN IRAQ SPREAD THEIR MESSAGE
January 16, 2003
By Robert Schlesinger, Globe Staff
WASHINGTON – The ad starts with a little girl pulling petals off
a daisy and ends with a mushroom cloud – a startling image
underscoring an appeal for peace. In an updated version of an
infamous 1964 political spot, modern-day activists are trying
to urge mainstream Americans to join the movement against
war with Iraq.
The 30-second television spot, which is scheduled to start running
today in 13 cities including Boston, is illustrative of a preemptive
peace movement that has been organizing against a war that hasn’t
started. The movement’s leaders are using 21st-century tactics to
spread their message beyond the traditional ranks of the antiwar
„Our members don’t really consider themselves activists,“ said Eli
Pariser, international campaigns director for MoveOn.org, the group
that funded and produced the ad. „It’s the first time they’ve been
involved in political issues. So getting out in the street for them
is a scary thought, but making contributions and helping pay for
an ad is something they’re only too willing to do.“
To produce and air the ad, MoveOn.org raised more than $400,000
over the Internet from more than 14,000 members between Dec. 5
and Dec. 7, according to the group, which came into existence
in 1998 to advocate against impeaching then-president Bill Clinton.
The group raised more than $26,000 from 1,000 donors in Massachusetts.
„On Saturday, you will see many, many people in Washington, D.C.,
and some of them will be our members,“ said Pariser. “But what’s
exciting about this is we can get people who are housewives in
Arkansas or plumbers in Ohio also involved in the same political
push. I don’t think it’s a change in tactics necessarily,
[so much as] adding new tactics that haven’t been available in
the past to reach more mainstream audiences.“
The television ad is calculated to get this movement noticed by
mainstream America. Starting with the girl and the daisy, the
images shift to what peace activists say could result from a war
in Iraq: burning oil wells, wounded soldiers, angry crowds.
„War with Iraq. Maybe it will end quickly. Maybe not. Maybe
extremists will take over countries with nuclear weapons,“ a
The image returns to the little girl before flashing to a nuclear
explosion. The final message in white letters over a black
background is: „Let the inspections work,“ referring to what
the UN weapons inspectors currently assessing Iraq’s efforts
to develop weapons of mass destruction.
The ad mirrors the television spot „Daisy,“ which then-president
Lyndon B. Johnson’s campaign ran against Republian challenger
Barry Goldwater, suggesting that Goldwater was too dangerous to
have control of the US nuclear arsenal. That ad ran only once
before being pulled, but it has been rerun countless times as
a classic of negative political advertising.
The new ad may mirror the old in more than just its theme:
MoveOn.org spent the relatively small sum of $185,000 on air
time, apparently hoping just a short run would generate media
„The ‚Daisy‘ ad was this ad about the danger that we face as a
country and about the choices we have to make sure the worst
doesn’t happen,“ Pariser said. „We felt like we’re in a very
similar situation right now. With the prospect of this war
in Iraq, we are playing with matches in a tinderbox.“
MoveOn.org is part of the Win Without War coalition, one of
several groups trying to organize a peace movement that
encompasses people who have in the past been slow to join.
David Cortright, the founder and staff coordinator of Win Without
War, recalled that the group’s genesis came during the October
antiwar protest in Washington. The rally, said Cortright,
„was all over the map politically and not very appealing to a
mainstream perspective.“ At dinner that night, he and a few others
discussed forming a coalition that would be „more welcoming to
„We wanted to project a more mainstream, patriotic message.
We feel that the number-one concern about this whole policy is
that it’s going to harm our country,“ Cortright said. „We don’t
go off and start wars, at least that’s our tradition.“
The Win Without War group, announced last month as a group of
„patriotic Americans who share the belief that Saddam Hussein
cannot be allowed to possess weapons of mass destruction“ but
which also opposes a military solution, was the result. The
coalition includes groups ranging from the National Organization
of Women to the National Council of Churches.
„It’s an attempt to recognize that it’s not just the liberal
left or the theological left or the political left that is
organizing,“ said Dr. Bob Edgar, a former House Democrat from
Pennsylvania who is now the general secretary for the National
Council on Churches. „It’s just average, ordinary, common people
who don’t normally get excited about issues of war and peace,
but on this issue they believe that the administration has not
made its case.“