[pjw] INFO: Peace Advocates Blast Biden's Ask for More Ukraine Aid (Commondreams 4/28)

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Tue May 3 15:57:22 EDT 2022

PJW supporters
A member of the Iraq Affinity Group sent me an article today about a 
Republican congressperson who introduced a bill to give authorization for 
the president to use military action if Russia uses WMDs in Ukraine.


That article in turn linked to the piece below in CommonDreams which 
reports on peace activists' reaction to the proposal to send billions of 
dollars more weapons to Ukraine. I'm not sure I'd have used the word 
"blast" to support the work of peace activism, but that's ok.

In any case, the $33 Billion package is tied up by people trying to add or 
subtract things to it. Aid groups are saying not enough of the package ($3 
B) is going to humanitarian needs.


So there's time for people to let the powers that be know that we don't 
want to throw more fuel on the fire. Diplomacy, humanitarian aid yes. 
Ramping up WW III, depriving people in this nation of funds needed to keep 
them from dying unnecessariy, no.
dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

'A Down Payment on World War III': Peace Advocates Blast Biden's Ask for More
Ukraine Aid

    "Biden's call for an enormous $33 billion for Ukraine is over half the
    entire budget for the State Department and USAID," noted CodePink's
    Medea Benjamin. "We need diplomacy, not billions more in weapons!"

    Brett Wilkins
    April 28, 2022

    Peace advocates reacted to Thursday's request by U.S. President Joe
    Biden for $33 billion in additional aid to Ukraine by warning against
    what they called a dangerous escalation and by accusing the
    administration of misplaced priorities.

    "How can this not lead to escalation?"

    Biden is asking Congress for additional funding for war-ravaged
    Ukraine, including more than $20 billion in "security and military
    assistance," $8.5 billion in economic aid, and $3 billion in
    "humanitarian assistance."

    "It's not cheap. But caving to aggression is going to be more costly if
    we allow it to happen," said Biden. "We either back the Ukrainian
    people as they defend their country, or we stand by as the Russians
    continue their atrocities and aggression in Ukraine every day."

    The president's appeal for additional funds comes on top of the $4.6
    billion in security assistance the U.S. has given Ukraine since January
    2021, including $3.7 billion since Russian forces invaded the country
    in February.

    Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the women-led peace group CodePink,
    called Biden's request "a down payment on World War III."

    "Biden's call for an enormous $33 billion for Ukraine is over half the
    entire budget for the State Department and USAID," she tweeted,
    referring to the United States Agency for International Development.
    "We need diplomacy, not billions more in weapons!"

    Benjamin also noted that the Biden administration--which refuses to
    unfreeze Afghanistan's central bank reserves--"won't fill the $2
    billion shortfall in the urgent U.N. appeal for the desperately poor
    people of Afghanistan."

    Jennifer Briney, host of the Congressional Dish podcast, tweeted: "How
    can the U.S. possibly maintain the already-pretty-clear-fiction that we
    aren't 'in' the Ukraine-Russia war if we inject $33 billion into it?
    How can this not lead to escalation?"

    Ben Freeman, a research fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible
    Statecraft, pointed out that "the $20 billion military assistance
    package is more than the total defense budgets of all but 13 countries
    in the world."

    Others commented on what they implied are the administration's
    misplaced priorities amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, worsening
    economic inequality, and the climate emergency.

    "Biden's $33 billion 'emergency' military aid package for Ukraine is
    three times the size of the EPA's entire budget for 2022," tweeted
    CounterPunch editor Jeffrey St. Clair, referring to the U.S.
    Environmental Protection Agency.

    Writer and activist Margaret Kimberly bemoaned that "Biden is asking
    struggling Americans who lost their child tax credit for $33 billion
    after his Ukraine police blew up in his face."

    Ben Cohen, co-founder of the ice cream company Ben & Jerry's, wondered
    why Biden is "asking for an extra $33 billion to help Ukraine and not
    an extra $33 billion to replace every single lead pipe in America" when
    "we have at least 1.2 million children suffering from lead poisoning
    here and now."

    Jay Befaunt, an LGBTQ+ activist and co-host of the Revolutionary
    Blackout Network, tweeted: "Again? When Black and Brown countries need
    aid, you either never hear about it or it's very little. But when it's
    Ukraine, Biden is acting like he's Ukraine's sugar daddy. And don't get
    me started on we citizens who need our material needs met. We don't get
    diddly squat!"

    Asserting that "we need healthcare, not warfare," Benjamin lamented
    that Biden's "initial ask of $22 billion for Covid has been slashed to
    $10 billion, cutting support to poor countries" even as "one million
    Americans died of Covid," and more than six million people have
    perished worldwide.

    "Can we just start calling Americans Ukrainians," quipped
    Oscar-nominated filmmaker Josh Fox, "and work Medicare for All into
    this package?"

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