| As conservatives ramp up opposition to Ukraine war Dems dodge The Grayzone | MR Online

As conservatives ramp up opposition to Ukraine war, Dems dodge The Grayzone

Originally published: The Grayzone on September 29, 2023 by Liam Cosgrove (more by The Grayzone)  | (Posted Oct 12, 2023)

When the U.S. House of Representatives passed a stopgap funding measure Tuesday evening, the lone Republican no-vote against it was cast by Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene.

The rules package brought four appropriations bills to the floor, two of which would provide additional funding for the Ukrainian government.

Green and fellow Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz succeeded in convincing House GOP Speaker Kevin McCarthy to separate Ukraine funding from the Department of Defense Appropriations bill. The Ukraine funding bill passed by a healthy majority, with 117 GOP representatives and zero Democrats voting against the bill.

When approached for comment, Greene said her lone vote against Tuesday’s rules package was motivated by her militant opposition to the war, describing herself as pro-peace and concerned about military escalation with the world’s foremost nuclear power.

“I refuse to use my voting card to inch us closer to a potential nuclear conflict,” the congresswoman told The Grayzone after the vote on Tuesday.

While the DC establishment and their war machine donors see no problem in marching us straight into World War Three, I find it unacceptable to vote in favor of anything other than legislation that exacts a peaceful solution to the conflict in Ukraine.

Earlier in the day, Greene delivered a speech on the Capitol steps, flanked by supporters carrying signs that read, “Peace not war in Ukraine” and “Ukraine is not the 51st State.”

The congresswoman told The Grayzone she would prefer funding be allocated to fix crises within the U.S. and urged her fellow members to vote accordingly.

Instead of funding Ukraine, “I’m asking the House to take care of our own people here at home, who are being systematically victimized by Joe Biden’s border catastrophe,” Greene said.

The people of Lahaina, East Palestine, and our border communities need relief, and it saddens me that I seem to be the only voice trying to offer it to them.

Congress is expected to vote on at least some of the appropriations bills before the potential government shutdown on October 1.

The stopgap measure adopted in the House came on the heels of a controversial standing ovation given to a former Nazi SS officer by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday. After the vote, The Grayzone pressed Democratic members of Congress on whether they found the celebration of the ex-Nazi concerning.

New York Congressman Jamaal Bowman refused to condemn the ceremony, grumbling:

I’m good man. I’m not talking.

When The Grayzone approached Bowman’s fellow New Yorker and “Squad” member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for comment, she appeared to begin a half-hearted condemnation but trailed off incoherently.

“Well, I mean, I think any, any situation like that…” she mumbled when questioned by The Grayzone, before hopping into a car and quickly closing the door.

As the Ukrainian proxy war has dragged on, supposedly anti-war progressives in the House and Senate have so far declined to request an end to the tens of billions of dollars in U.S. weaponry being shipped to Eastern Europe.

In a video published by The Grayzone in June, Bowman admitted that he was unfamiliar with “Crimea” and “the Donbas,” but insisted he still supported sending more U.S. tax dollars to Ukraine. Bowman subsequently informed The Grayzone that his refusal to speak with the outlet was due to the publication of that unedited video.

In October 2022, the Congressional Progressive Caucus released a letter calling on President Biden to pursue the path of diplomacy in an effort to bring an end to hostilities. Less than 24 hours later, the lawmakers retracted the letter after facing the wrath of Democratic Party leadership.

Pro-Trump conservatives oppose U.S. military “advisors” inside Ukraine

So far, the only significant resistance to legislation allocating billions to the Zelensky government has come from right-wing Republicans, who oppose sending cash and weapons to Ukraine on the grounds that such a policy is both needlessly escalatory and financially irresponsible.

Following the insistence by Foreign Affairs magazine that the Biden administration send U.S. military advisors to Ukraine, a number of Republican lawmakers have warned Raytheon-executive-turned-Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin that any such deployment would be “one more step towards a dangerous, unnecessary war between the United States and Russia.”

“A military adviser mission to Ukraine would run a significant escalatory risk with Russia,” a Sept. 26 letter by Senator J.D. Vance (R-ID) and Reps. Chip Roy (R-TX) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL) cautioned.

“It would mean placing additional “boots on the ground” in the midst of a direct and bloody conflict with Russia,” they added, noting: “Harm to our personnel under such a mission would be a tragedy, and could easily trigger Article IV consultations or even an Article V collective security declaration by our NATO Allies under the Washington Treaty.”

That same day, in a widely-viewed exchange with Noah Rothman, a neoconservative writer at the National Review, Vance blasted the neoconservatives now seeking to antagonize Russia as the “same idiots” who pushed the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Vance, Roy, and Gaetz have requested that Sec. Austin clarify “whether the U.S. government plans now, or in the future, to deploy an adviser mission to Ukraine, either U.S. direct hire personnel or contractors,” by October 3.

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