rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Anti-war movement (finally) stirring in the 'belly of the beast'

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca for as little as $5 per month!

At long last, the U.S. anti-war movement is stirring. Yesterday Democracy Now! featured a great interview with Norman Solomon of the Institute for Public Accuracy, who just returned from a delegation to Afghanistan. Solomon is worth quoting at some length:

"I found in Kabul, the capital of the country, a deteriorating situation, in any human terms, and a reality that’s much worse on the ground than what we get through the news media or even from Capitol Hill among people who are now portrayed as dissenters.

We just heard Nancy Pelosi talking about metrics, which is a new sort of buzzword in politics in Washington dealing with Afghanistan. I’ve got a few metrics for the Speaker of the House and the people of this country. When you have only ten percent of the money from the US government that is for non-military activities flowing into Afghanistan, you have upwards of $150 million a day going there, while the US is widely and increasingly resented for killing civilians, often from the air. You have, as I met at a refugee camp, 700 families in Kabul displaced, and that’s just one of the refugee      camps, displaced from US bombing efforts in southern Helmand, including a seven-year-old girl who now has one arm courtesy of US taxpayers. So we have a lot of metrics.

And here’s one more. The latest CIA fact book tells us that out of a thousand live births in Afghanistan, there are 154 deaths among infants below age one. That’s a death rate among infants of more than 15 percent in Afghanistan. That’s the metric that we should be taking on. This administration and the US government is waving the white flag against the biggest enemy in Afghanistan, which is poverty."

We haven't been hearing about these metrics on CBC's The National, either.

As an Obama supporter and delegate during the Democratic Party leadership race, Solomon was asked whether he was yet disillusioned by President Obama:

"You know, I haven’t met a progressive yet who would just as soon have John McCain as president. That said, we always choose from the choices that we’re facing at a particular time. And while, as I said a year ago, the best way not to become disillusioned is to not have illusions in the first place, my somewhat low expectations from President Obama have not been met. This guy has rushed into the arms of what Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex.

And I would say that, whether it’s Obama or even the voices such as now being heard from Capitol Hill from some Democrats, like Nancy Pelosi, we depend on them for a sane foreign policy at our peril and the peril of people in Afghanistan and elsewhere. We’re going to have to do it from the grassroots. That’s always been the case. The warfare state perpetuates itself. We need to pursue a different vision. And we will be able to do that effectively, if we stick to the grassroots work and do the organizing effectively."

Solomon was on DN! to introduce a new anti-war initiative together with the irrepressible Medea Benjamin of Codepink. They are calling for a "near-term withdrawal from Afghanistan." It's short of a call for an immediate pull-out, thus it might win the support of Liberal senator Colin Kenny, who recently kick-started a more serious discussion on the war -- at least amongst Canada's establishment -- with an op-ed last week.



Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.