Friday, April 17, 2009

Grannies’ Protests Against Afghan War Falls on Deaf Ears

Where have all the flower children gone? What happened to all those ‘60s wannabes who accused the American president of being in league with the devil and were all too ready to believe that our servicemen and women were mass-murdering psychopaths?

Since the inauguration of President Barack Obama, the once-notable antiwar movement has all but dissolved. Sure, there are still a few peaceniks left, but they are quickly finding themselves on the brink of irrelevancy. Mainstream liberal groups such as, which spent eight years slamming the war policies of George W. Bush, have zipped up their collective lips as our new president draws down American forces in Iraq and increases their presence in Afghanistan. The few remaining antiwar groups are beginning to realize that silence is not so golden after all.

Take the Granny Peace Brigade for instance. This group made news a couple years back when 11 of its members pulled a publicity stunt by attempting to enlist in the U.S. military, not realizing that they could have gotten in if they had only waited a few months. According to Sebastian Smith of Yahoo! News, the grannies are now trying to organize protests against the Afghan war.

Unfortunately for them, no one is listening.

"It's pretty pathetic," said Joan Pleune, one of the grandmothers. "We've done all these symbolic actions. We get arrested here and there, but it's symbolic. We need masses in the street."

“The absence of those masses reflects significant change in the United States, where the occupation of Iraq drew fierce opposition, but the escalating deployment in Afghanistan retains broad support,” Smith writes. “Iraq fatally tarnished the presidency of George W. Bush. In contrast, Barack Obama won the White House promising to win in Afghanistan, something he soon backed up by ordering a 50 percent increase in US troop levels to 59,000.”

Well this makes sense. After all, the terrorists who planned and carried out the 9/11 attacks in the US were being harbored in Afghanistan by the Taliban regime. People like the Code Pinkers and these grannies need to realize that while you may look noble to many people when you oppose an unjust war, you look stupid when you oppose a war against a nation that actually aided an attack on America.

Of course, all of this could change if things go badly in Afghanistan and Obama takes the blame for it. Until then, the grannies will have to be content with the silent treatment.


  1. These Code Pink people seem to be the same ones who turn up at every event. I mean, don't they have jobs? Do they have families and do they own things that require their attention?

  2. Welcome back, dude, I thought you'd gone on vacation or something!

    I think it means that Americans are capable of discriminating between the BS and the right stuff. We aren't against war in and of itself, but only the wrong kind of war perpetrated for the wrong reasons - at least according to our own opinions. Get enough of us together, and the guys in power just naturally have to listen.

    There ARE the odd crackpots, but we kind of smile behind our hands and ignore them, while shaking our heads at the real loonies.

  3. Great points made by Harrison and Robert. I'm glad you mentioned the Code Pinkers-God, they're annoying. Getting back to the article; it is refreshing to see that the American public is able to differentiate between the BS and a valid use of our military. As much as I hate to see our young men and women in harm's way; we have to remember that there is no draft anymore. They chose to be soldiers and are doing their jobs. This is in no way an attempt to trivilize their efforts-I think and pray for them every day. Fantastic piece Mark!

  4. Although I am liberal I am disturbed by the number of left-wingers who argue we should leave Afghanistan because it costs too much. Just how much do 3000+ dead cost? How can they forget that? We may not win in Afghanistan because of Bush's stupidity, but we can tie up Al Qaeda in knots while we are losing. That, in itself, might be a good thing. The Taliban, however, is a horse of a different color and threaten us by their current program to take over Pakistan and acquire nukes in the process. Anyone who can't see that is blind.

  5. Thanks for the comments y'all. The Afghan war has become an interesting way to determine who is really against illegitimate wars like the one waged in Iraq and who is against war period - or i should say war waged by the US. I have reservations about what we're doing in Afghanistan and believe it could come to a bad end, but nobody knows what will ultimately happen and people with sense at least know we can't walk away from this thing. But my real problem with these grannies and code pinkers is not that i disagree with them, it's that they are NOT putting forth realistic alternatives. They're just shouting.

  6. The Europeans, except for the Brits, are a bunch of losers in Afghanistan. They say the mission call sign for them - ISAF or International Security Assistance Force - stands for: I See Americans Fight.

  7. @Harrison-Very, very, very well said. Just a case of "same old, same old".

  8. ISAF Force Strength:
    United States - 26,215
    United Kingdom - 8,300
    Germany - 3,465
    Italy - 2,350
    Canada - 2,830
    France - 2,780
    Netherlands - 1,770
    Poland - 1,590
    Australia - 1,090
    Romania - 860
    Spain - 780
    Denmark - 700
    Turkey - 660
    Bulgaria - 820
    Czech Republic - 580
    Croatia - 280
    Norway - 490
    Belgium - 450

    ISAF Force Deaths:
    USA: 605-612*
    UK: 152
    Canada: 118*
    Germany: 31
    France: 27
    Spain: 25
    Denmark: 23
    Netherlands: 19
    Italy: 14
    Australia: 10
    Romania: 11
    Poland: 9
    Czech Republic: 3
    Estonia: 3
    Norway: 4
    Hungary: 2
    Portugal: 2
    South Korea: 2
    Sweden: 2
    Finland: 1
    Latvia: 1
    Lithuania: 1

    ISAF force deaths as a percentage of force strength:

    Canada: 4.17%
    Denmark: 3.28%
    Spain: 3.21%

    United States: 2.33%
    Great Britain: 1.83%
    Netherlands: 1.07%
    Germany: .89%
    France: .97%
    Italy: 0.595%

    Looks like we are ALL shirkers compared to the Canadians, Danes and Spanish. Why is it that the right wing just makes up shit? Do a little work for a change and actually research the shit you sling.

  9. Animal, ANY war can come to a bad end. That is, at the core of it, the nature of war. It is chaotic, unpredictable and just plain nasty.

    Harrison, I am not enamored of the European reluctance to get involved in actual fighting either. But one HAS to see the history behind their feelings.

    Many of the current generation of leaders there were children in WWII.

    They saw their whole world dissolve into chaos, lost loved ones - sometimes whole families - and spent years starving and afraid. I have photos of my wife (born in 1951 in Germany) standing in front of a bombed out building across the street from her home. She was about four at the time. It took almost a decade and a half for Europe to dig itself out of that mess, and in some respects - mainly psychological - are still digging!

    I cannot blame them for not wanting to inflict that experience on others.

    In this case, they have stepped up and agreed to take over the very important civilian aid activities that are needed to advance our cause in Afghanistan. It will be neither cheap nor easy, and while their people may not be "fighting", they WILL lose people to enemy action. And most of those people will NOT be armed!

    I'd say that takes a certain amount of courage.

  10. "Animal, ANY war can come to a bad end. That is, at the core of it, the nature of war. It is chaotic, unpredictable and just plain nasty."

    No shit, Sherlock! :) Didn't I say "Nobody knows what will ultimately happen"? You just repeated the point i was making.

  11. But I said it more elegantly! [nose in the air...]

  12. That is the stupidest thing I have ever read. By your "logic" had all 450 Belgian troops been killed it would have been "as bad" as if all 26,215 American troops died because they both equal 100%. You must be working on the budget with Obama.

    Yes... we all know of the difficult past of Europe... no excuses.

  13. "But I said it more elegantly! [nose in the air...]"

    Yes, you did. Well put. Touche!

  14. Actually, Harrison, your comments are the stupidest thing ever read - and the usual right wing chest-beating fake-flag-waving bullshit. Your obviously haven't put any time into your european-bashing bullcrap or you would have noted that all 25 Spaniards died in one plane crash. As far as I'm concerned, NATO is way off base being anywhere near Afghanistan - Afghanistan is OUR fight. We are the aggrieved party and any help Europe wants to give us is appreciated. But in your self-centered jingoistic ranting frenzy, you are unable to see anything but yourself and some vision of heroic Americans bearing the brunt of battle alone. I can assure you that if we were helping the Europeans out in a war and we had lost a higher percentage of our men when compared to their losses, you'd still be beating the same old same old drum.

  15. Wow that's a lot of big words there. The Europeans, except for the Brits, are in the North where it is far safer than the South. Those are facts. Germany has a military of 200,000 people and you say 3,465 troops there. That's a fact.

    You seem to have a lot of issues but I'd bet few of them are related to the topic at hand.

    And last time we "helped" the Europeans out in "their war" it was in 1944. Of course, you could argue that after they once again dithered for years over Bosnia it took action by the U.S. to put a stop to it but those would be inconvenient facts for you.

    And your percentage "argument" makes no sense as I illustrated.

  16. You didn't illustrate a damn thing Harrison. Except your genetic ignorance. By your idiotic standards, we did nothing in WWII because our casualties were way below those of the other Allied nations involved. The Soviet Union, for instance, lost an estimated 10,700,000 military casualties compared to 416,800 American military casualties. Great Britain lost 382,700 with a population a little over a third of ours.
    Military deaths in the Soviet Union comprised about 65% of Allied military casualties, China contributed 23%, Yugoslavia 3%, USA 2%, UK 2%

    By any standards, absolute or relative, we did not contribute as much in casualties as these other countries did to WWII. Using that as a measure of our contribution would be false just as your logic is false when applied to NATO contributions to Afghanistan.

  17. Active personnel in the American Military: 1,444,553
    Number committed to Afghanistan: 26,215 as of Jan 2009
    %: 1.8%

    Active personnel in the German Military per Harrison: 200,000
    German: 3,465 as of Jan 2009
    %: 1.7%

    Amazing, eh?

    You need to make up better figures, Harrison. Just do what the right wing usually does. Make up stuff to support your fake agenda.

  18. "Yes... we all know of the difficult past of Europe... no excuses."


    This just shows that you have no sense of history, and do not understand what motivates people, either individually or en mass.

    An entire continent that spent probably the last five thousand years in a state of constant warfare has a right to put the brakes on, especially when it isn't their war. It is to their credit that they have seen the worst side of war and refuse to inflict it on others when not absolutely required of them.

    Afghanistan IS outside of NATO's jurisdiction, and Europe has had every right to refuse to go along. Their agreement to take over the civilian side of that conflict takes that burden off OUR shoulders and out of our pockets, at least to an extent.

    If you have not been reading the very public debate about this, then you have been keeping your head in the sand - or just in Fox news...

  19. It is important for people to recognize that destroying Afghanistan with bombs and military actions willl not do anything to diminish the AlQuaeda terrorists. To say that they were from Afghanistan and that therefore we must kill people there is illogical. They are a moving target and will go where we cannot reach them. Furthermore, it was mostly Saudi Arabians who were responsible for 9-11, but I don't see us invading that country. Be that as it may, in view of the history of other attempts by other nations to defeat the Afghans in their own country, the extreme difficulties of the terrain, and our lack of knowledge of their language and culture, it is highly doubtful we can win any sort of authentic victory there. The resultant death toll of our own American military and the Afghan people will be horrendous. We grannies in the Granny Peace Brigade, in our wisdom of many years, recognize the dangers of this policy and protest against it. Perhaps our numbers are small now, but protesters of the Iraq war were few in the beginning, also. Our voices combined with others helped bring the truth that the Iraq was based on lies and was a huge mistake. Our voices will begin to be heard on the Afghan debacle also.

    Joan Wile, Granny Peace Brigade

  20. Your voices will be heard ONLY because Americans have short attention spans and even shorter memories. Every now and then they have to be reminded why we are there. Apparently no amount of reminding will convince your kind. You Grannies have no real solutions at all. Just whines.

  21. You percentage argument is full of holes and absurd.

  22. LOL! Harrison. Spoken like a true right winger. It's something about in genetics of the right wing that, when confronted with facts, they roll up into little balls of manure and fade away.

  23. Joan,

    Your comment about the past difficulties of invaders of Afghanistan illustrate very well why you have no clear understanding of what we are doing there.

    If we were invaders, trying to take control of the country away from them and rule as conquerers, you would have a point.

    But we are not. We came as essentially, liberators, as the Afghani people had grown as tired of their Taliban oppressors as we were angry with them for harboring Al Qaeda. We lifted the onerous Sharia law that they had so strictly enforced, and the Afghani people welcomed us and did not consider us as invaders.

    That does not, of course, make our task at fighting the Taliban or Al Qaeda any easier, since the terrain and nature of the countryside still make our task difficult. But we HAVE discovered, both in Vietnam and since, that an insurgency, to be fully successful, MUST have the support of the indigenous people. As long as we can divert that support away from the Taliban and Al Qaeda, we can thwart their schemes.

    Now that Obama has obtained the agreement of the major European nations to assist in that endeavor, we have a chance to achieve some measure of success. Especially since we now have a POTUS that even realizes that is necessary!

    Yes, Al Qaeda is a moving target, but in their world, success breeds support, but failure can be ruinous to one's reputation, especially since their religion's superstition looks at failure as a sign of allah's displeasure!

    Let us hope that they continue to suffer that displeasure!



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