Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Afghanistan: the weakest link in their system

The supposed 'good war' is increasingly being rejected by the American public. A new CNN poll reveals domestic support for the US-led occupation of Afghanistan at an all-time low. Only 39% declared support, with 58% opposed to the NATO mission. Support is particularly low among Democrats supporters - only 23% support a key policy of a Democratic President.

It is astonishing to consider the gulf that has opened up, in this area, between Barack Obama and many of those who voted and campaigned for him. Even the Obama stamp of approval makes no difference: the great majority of his supporters reject war and occupation, in Afghanistan ('good war' in Obama's view) as well as in Iraq ('bad war' for Obama).

The US anti-war movement is, unsurprisingly, now reviving. Organisations and networks that have previously avoided opposing Obama are now gearing up for demonstrations. The honeymoon is ending sooner than many anticipated. Many are realising that - whoever is in the White House - there's a great deal of continuity in the imperialist system. And that system is finding Afghanistan to be very fragile indeed, in military terms but also politically.

In this country, too, there's growing activism against the occupation. The landmark event will be the 24 October national demonstration, which we in Tyneside are now building - just as Stop the War groups throughout the country are doing. We have a public meeting in Newcastle on 6 October - I'll be posting details in the next few days.

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