Oct 21, 2022 • 48M

Why are US Progressives Pro-War?

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Appears in this episode

Aaron Maté
Katie Halper
Useful Idiots is an informative and irreverent politics podcast with journalist Matt Taibbi and podcaster/writer Katie Halper. Episodes feature on-the-road coverage of the 2020 campaign and exclusive interviews, with humor, commentary and dissection of the politics news of the week. Join Matt and Katie as they examine important stories that have slipped through the cracks and what the media got wrong – and laugh about whatever is left to laugh about.
Episode details

Click here for the full episode, including the extended interview with Medea Benjamin on the AOC protest and the benefits of activism.

With AOC (and the Squad by extension) being recently heckled for their support of sending weapons to Ukraine and prolonging the proxy war, Useful Idiots had anti-war activist Medea Benjamin on to explore the question: when did US progressives become pro-war?

Benjamin, known for such bold acts as announcing “Here comes the war criminal!” as Donald Rumsfeld entered the White House Correspondents Dinner, is the founder of Code Pink, a women-led grassroots organization working to end U.S. wars and militarism.

She discusses how building an anti-war movement was easier during the Iraq War, while the left now has become more divided and often in support of proxy wars like Ukraine. This, she explains, stems from US demoralization efforts:

“During the Iraq War, we were able to build a movement that got hundreds of thousands of people out into the street. The problem is, that did not change Bush’s decision to invade Iraq, and so many people were demoralized. It made people question putting their energies in front of this war machine.”

But Benjamin urges us not to give up hope.

“We have to recognize that it is our absolute responsibility right now. And I do feel as I travel around the country that there are many people recognizing the need to go in front of the offices of their representatives and protest, to educate their friends and families, I think we are in the midst of building up again.”

And, importantly, we need to “keep the pressure up on the Biden administration.”

To educate yourself, your friends, and family, Medea Benjamin’s book and short video are great learning tools. And follow Code Pink to support their activism and their coalition Peace in Ukraine.

Plus, this week we announced two new features:

  • Thursday Throwdowns: Our new mini-episodes premiering each Thursday to get your exclusive dose of midweek media madness. This week, we watched the Tapper/Biden interview.

  • The Absurd Arena: The Useful Idiots discussion board for people who think you can talk back to a podcast. Share your opinions and get your questions and comments read on the show.

It’s all this, and more, on this week’s episode of Useful Idiots. Check it out.