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Congressional progressives: Support for Ukraine military aid is a mistake

Statement by Anti-War Committee |
November 17, 2022
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Fight Back News Service is circulating this November 16 statement from the MN Anti-War Committee. 

The elections are over, and fortunately, the worst right-wing candidates did not prevail in most races. However, the Anti-War Committee remains concerned with the lack of meaningful debate over the Biden administration’s policies that are fueling the war in Ukraine, with no end in sight and a growing risk of escalation. In the weeks leading up to Election Day, the Congressional Progressive Caucus issued a letter calling for a negotiated ceasefire in Ukraine. The letter was a small step, but in the right direction. Facing repercussions from Democratic Party leaders, caucus members quickly retracted it and reaffirmed their support for funding and supplying the war indefinitely.

The anti-war movement is progressive. We march in the streets, not only against imperialist US foreign policy, but also against racist killer cops, anti-union employers, the destruction of the climate, discrimination against LGBTQ people, cruel immigration policies, attacks on reproductive rights, and more. Progressives in Congress did a disservice to the movement they claim to represent by uniting in support of Biden’s Ukraine war policies. We’ve even seen some of our representatives try to imply that the anti-war position is aligned with Trump and his bigoted followers.

In reality, we know that Trump and his supporters have no credibility to claim to be anti-war. During his presidency, Trump violated the Iran nuclear deal in order to impose cruel “maximum pressure” sanctions that caused humanitarian shortages during the worst phase of the pandemic. Trump attempted regime change in Venezuela and Bolivia, and kidnapped Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab. Trump gave speeches about pulling US troops out of Syria and Afghanistan, but ultimately never did so, instead increasing airstrikes in both countries and declaring a “keep the oil” policy of blatant theft. For Palestine, Trump didn’t even pretend to be anti-intervention; his administration provided unprecedented support for Israel, moving the US embassy to occupied Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and cutting aid to Palestinians. He also presided over the Israeli annexation of Syria’s Golan Heights region. 

Sadly, Biden’s administration has followed in Trump’s footsteps and exacerbated US military intervention abroad. Biden has kept sanctions in place around the world, continued to imprison Alex Saab, and pivoted even further away from diplomacy with Iran. Biden withdrew from Afghanistan, but in the most disgraceful way imaginable, seizing billions in the country’s sovereign assets despite a looming humanitarian crisis. Biden has kept the troops in place illegally occupying Syria’s oil fields. In occupied Palestine, Biden has re-pledged absolute US support for Israel’s oppressive “military edge” over Palestinians and other regional targets.

This year, after helping provoke the war in Ukraine with brinkmanship and NATO expansionism, the Biden administration has settled on a policy of open-ended, indefinite military aid to Ukraine, which, coupled with a lack of diplomacy, has solidified exactly the type of “forever war” that Biden once campaigned on stopping. Prolonging this conflict creates more refugees and costs more Ukrainian lives. It floods an already unstable region with more and more weapons, empowers right-wing extremist groups, and continues to risk escalation into a potentially nuclear world war.

Our progressive supporters want to see the billions in US military aid end now, along with the imperialist institutions like NATO that helped spark the war in the first place. We see our responsibility as standing up to our government’s role in the violence. We know from the wars the US helped wage in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere, that US interventions are systemically incapable of bringing freedom or peace. It’s time for Congressional progressives to stand firm for real anti-war values.

Money for human needs, not for war!

No proxy war with Russia in Ukraine!

Disband NATO!

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