Should we withdraw our troops from Afghanistan, whatever the consequences?Â That was the question that Bill O’Reilly posed last night to Medea Benjamin, the pro-Castro co-founder of the radical left-wing organization Code Pink.
O’Reilly treated Benjamin as though she were a naive schoolgirl, mocking her for thinking that her opinion regarding General McChrystal’s request for 40,000 more troops in Afghanistan carried any weight. His point was that no matter how sincere or well-intentioned Code PinkÂ may beÂ in believing that we should pull our troops out of Afghanistan, Ms. Benjamin was both uninformed and oblivious to the consequences — especially to women — of a possible return to power by the Taliban.Â O’Reilly’s tone was one of a patient teacher trying to get his stubborn pupil to understand where she went wrong.
Mockery andÂ condescension are one way to diminishÂ an opponent in a debate about serious issues. ButÂ in my opinion, Code Pink deserves more than the light touch that O’Reilly dispensed. It is a dangerous organization with extensive left-wing ties that form part of President Obama’s left-wing anti-war base, which helped him get elected. His decision on Afghanistan will no doubt be influenced to some extent by this base.Â
I would like to have heard Ms. Benamin answer some questions like the following:
- Why did Code Pink, along with Global ExchangeÂ and Families for Peace, attempt to donate a combined $600,000 in medical supplies and cash to the families of the terrorist insurgents who were fighting American troops in Fallujah, Iraq?
- What exactly did you mean when you said, after your 2006 visit with Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez that:
- Â Â Do you agree with your Code Pink co-founder Jodie Evans‘s opinion of Chavez:
â€œHe was a doll. Generous, open, passionate, excited, stimulated by the requests and happy to be planning with us.”
- Do youÂ care whetherÂ women in AfghanistanÂ will live under the same oppressed conditions that they did prior to 9/11 when the Taliban were in power, and when there were no foreign troops there to blame for their plight as you do today?
- Will your organization hold up signs outside of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where many U.S.Â soldiers wounded in combat are treated, as Code Pink did during the Bush administration saying that AmericanÂ soldiers were being sent overseas to “die for a lie”?
- Do you still think that the U.S. war on terror, rather than the terrorists themselves, poses “grave dangers to the people of the world”"
- Do you still believe that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has vowed Israel’s destruction and cracked down on the peaceful protesters in his own country upset by his fraudulent reelection as president, is worth visiting again — as you visited him back in 2008?
I could go on and on, but the point is that Code Pink is more dangerous now than it was during the Bush administration because Obama has to listen to his anti-war baseÂ if he wants to be re-elected.Â Therefore,Â Code Pink and its sister organizationsÂ need to be confronted at every turn, not treated with kid gloves.