Grandmother may know best, but for a group of feisty grannies leading US protests against the war in Afghanistan, the problem is that no one''s listening.

The Granny Peace Brigade is not just the most colorful anti-war group in the United States today -- it''s one of the only ones.

"It''s pretty pathetic," said Joan Pleune, 70, one of seven grandmothers aged 65 to 90 who went to court Tuesday in New York to face disorderly conduct charges.

"We''ve done all these symbolic actions. We get arrested here and there, but it''s symbolic," grey-haired Pleune said. "We need masses in the street."

The absence of those masses reflects significant change in the United States, where the occupation of Iraq drew fierce opposition, but the escalating deployment in Afghanistan retains broad support.

Iraq fatally tarnished the presidency of George W. Bush. In contrast, Barack Obama won the White House promising to win in Afghanistan, something he soon backed up by ordering a 50 percent increase in US troop levels to 59,000.

Political science professor Robert Shapiro said Afghanistan, unlike Iraq, is widely seen as a "justifiable war" because the Taliban sheltered Al Qaeda prior to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.