Southern Religion

A minority view on Afghanistan

Levellers blogger Michael Westmoreland-White is an academic theologian who is an adherent of Christian pacifism. He argues by way of video “that Obama’s heroes would not approve of his war in Afghanistan.”


Westmoreland-White notes in a comment below that the video is the work of Derrick Crowe, who is part of the Rethink Afghanistan project.

October 24, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Actually, this is not my video, but, as I said on my blog, is Derrick Crowe’s. He is part of the Rethink Afghanistan project which, far from involving just pacifists, includes many military and national security experts who believe the counterinsurgency is completely counterproductive.

    Now, pacifism–Christian or otherwise–is, unfortunately, a very small minority in this country. But the view that we should not keep escalating troops in Afghanistan, but should forge and exit strategy, timeline for withdrawal, and find non-military ways to help rebuild Afghanistan, is growing. Recent polls show that only 48% of Americans (and only 39% of Democrats) believe we should continue on this path in Afghanistan.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | October 24, 2009

    • Yes, pacifism is a minority view. You and the following commenter are straining at a nonexistent point here with regard to the headline. We don’t say a single word about polling data. We refer to your pacifism, which we neither defend nor attack. Moreover there is nothing about polling data in either the video or in your post about it, to which we link.

      Comment by baptistplanet | October 24, 2009

  2. Just to reinforce Michael’s point here, the title of this post is highly misleading. Here’s the most recent poll I can find on the issue:

    “Would you favor or oppose sending more troops to Afghanistan?”

    Favor: 39
    Oppose: 59
    Unsure 2

    Here’s the breakout of people’s preferred ways forward:
    Withdraw all troops: 28
    Reduce: 21
    Keep the same number: 8
    Send more troops: 39
    Unsure: 3

    If you combine the “reduce” and “withdraw all” responses, you get 49 percent who want at least a reduction in troops. Another recent poll also shows that a plurality of people believe the war wasn’t worth fighting.

    Here’s a good resource for tracking public opinion on this:

    Comment by dcrowe | October 24, 2009

    • There is nothing misleading about the headline.
      Pacifism is in fact a minority view, and it is clearly pacifism to which we refer.
      That’s why we mention it in the text.
      Moreover, Obama’s admiration for pacifists is the subject of the video. It in fact attempts to explore their pacifism.
      We say not one single word about either polling data or the relative popularity of the war. Nor does the video.
      You have imported that issue, as has Michael.
      Your attempt to use our headline as a hook for your discussion of public opinion with regard to Afghanistan illogical at best.

      Comment by baptistplanet | October 24, 2009

  3. I misunderstood your headline, then. Apologies. I wasn’t attempting to use your headline as a hook for anything, actually. I just misunderstood what you mean by “a minority view” and proceeded from there.

    Comment by dcrowe | October 25, 2009

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