The anti-war group Code Pink, which rose to prominence with high-profile protests against the Iraq and Afghanistan wars over the past seven years, is softening its stance against the war in Afghanistan over concerns that a troop withdrawal could harm women’s rights in the country.
“We would leave with the same parameters of an exit strategy but we might perhaps be more flexible about a timeline,” Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin told the Christian Science Monitor. “That’s where we have opened ourselves … to some other possibilities. We have been feeling a sense of fear of the people of the return of the Taliban. So many people are saying that, ‘If the US troops left the country, would collapse. We’d go into civil war.’ A palpable sense of fear that is making us start to reconsider that.”
The apparent shift in policy comes in the wake of a week-long trip to Afghanistan by Code Pink members, where activists were surprised to find a lot of support among women’s rights activists for maintaining the US and NATO presence in the country.
Some observers have been pointing out for years that the Western troop presence in Afghanistan is the principal reason that women in the country are now able to get an education, and that there is now at least a modicum of gender equality in Afghanistan. Many observers fear that the withdrawal of troops could allow the return of severe discrepancies between women’s rights and men’s rights in Afghanistan, as well as widespread violence against women.
“In the current situation of terrorism, we cannot say troops should be withdrawn,” said Shinkai Karokhail, an Afghan member of Parliament and a women’s rights activist, at a meeting of international rights groups. “International troop presence here is a guarantee for my safety.”
Code Pink told the CSM the group would continue to oppose any increase in troop levels in Afghanistan.
“With President Obama weighing Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s call for 40,000 more US troops, the White House, often decried by Republicans as a hotbed of liberalism, could find itself with more allies on the right on this issue than on the left,” writes Johanna Neuman at the Los Angeles Times. “But Code Pink’s latest think could suggest that Democrats will give Obama a bit of room to maneuver on the issue.”
With Code Pink’s announcement, some conservative commentators have accused the anti-war movement of hypocrisy.
Describing the movement as a “sham,” blogger Strieff at RedState.com writes:
If there was ever any doubt that the anti-war movement was nothing more or less than an adjunct of the Democrat party, that doubt has been swept away. One would think that with the war in Afghanistan at a critical stage … that the anti-war movement would have been in fine form. If there was ever a time when their presence might have actually made a policy difference this was it.
The anti-war movement we were afflicted with over the past eight years was essentially a rent-a-mob that never had any larger objective than damaging President Bush.
And the Gateway Pundit blog asks half-jokingly: “So does this mean that Code Pink is now to the right of the Obama Administration?”
WATCH: Arizona man throws tantrum about masks — and his son has to pick him up and carry him out of the store
Video posted online purports to show a man being carried out of a store in Tucson, Arizona after a loud rant against wearing masks.
"People won't learn, these people won't learn," a man in a blue shirt, shorts and sunglasses is heard saying, to nobody in particular.
"You're a bunch of idiots wearing masks, you know it's not real," he shouted.
"Look at you fools, you got a f*cking doily on your face. You ret*rd, you look like you f*cking got it off your mom's countertop," he continued.
At thq5 point, a much larger man with a mask over his beard approached the anti-mask activist.
Trump campaign dispatches Pence to shore up Mormon support — after harsh criticism from Mitt Romney and Jeff Flake: report
The president's 2020 election campaign continues to play defense in Arizona, a once reliably-Republican state.
"President Donald Trump's reelection campaign is looking to shore up support among a specific population of Arizonans: members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," the Arizona Republica reported Monday. "Vice President Mike Pence is coming to Mesa Tuesday to help launch a 'Latter-day Saints for Trump' coalition in what appears to be a late-in-the-game play to win over LDS voters, who tend to vote Republican but hold values that clash with some of the president's."
Here’s how Trump created a ‘significant threat’ to his re-election by failing on coronavirus stimulus
Politico on Monday reported on how Donald Trump may have imperiled his 2020 presidential campaign by failing to reach a deal with Congress on the next round of stimulus.
"After a spring and summer bolstered by cash infusions from the federal government of more than $3 trillion, the U.S. economy may have to sink or swim this fall with a relative trickle of support — presenting a significant threat to President Donald Trump’s standing as he heads into a compressed reelection campaign already trailing in the polls," Politico's Ben White reported.