ACTION ALERT: Tell Biden and Congress, NO No-fly Zone

March 10th, 2022 - by Medea Benjamin / CODEPINK

ACTION: Tell Biden and Congress:
NO No-fly Zone, No US-Russia War

Medea Benjamin / CODEPINK

(March 9, 2022) — Some people, including members of Congress, seem not to know what a no-fly zone is, thinking that by pushing a button, a telekinetic invisible force field — think Star Wars, the movie — can be erected over Ukraine to repel Russian bombs.

Spoiler alert: That’s not how it works. A no-fly zone would mean US fighter jets shooting down Russian planes, which means a US-Russia war — possibly a nuclear one. Senator Marco Rubio, someone who CODEPINK rarely agrees with, said of a no-fly zone: “It means starting World War III.”

ACTION: Sign the petition to President Biden telling him to stand firm against a no-fly zone and contact your representatives in Congress to tell them not to advocate for WWIII. 

Last Sunday, people around the world, including many of you, gathered to protest for an end to the war in Ukraine and to oppose NATO expansion. Check out the pictures from rallies. 

A no-fly zone would mean the US Air Force would essentially become part of the Ukrainian military and would become directly involved in the war with Russia. Thankfully, President Biden has been firm so far that such an option is off the table. Secretary of State Blinken said on Sunday that the US is trying to “end this war in Ukraine, not start a larger one.” But the pressure is mounting. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is asking for one. Twenty-seven foreign policy hawks, including former top Pentagon and State Department officials and a former top NATO military commander, have signed a letter calling for a no-fly zone.

The Biden administration needs to make clear to the American people what a no-fly zone means. Tell the Biden administration to stay firm that a no-fly zone is a non-starter and tell Congress to back him.

There’s more. President Volodymyr Zelensky has asked Biden that if a no-fly zone is out, he wants NATO allies to donate their old Soviet fighter jets as these are the kinds of fighter jets the Ukrainian air force is trained to fly.

Biden responded by asking Poland to give Ukraine their MiG-29s jets and in return, the US will supply F-16s or other US jets. Transferring these weapons would not only line the coffers of Lockheed Martin, it would escalate the already horrific situation in Ukraine even further.

The only solution is a ceasefire, withdrawal of Russian troops, agreement not to expand NATO further and establishment of Ukraine as a neutral country. 

A war with Russia would likely begin with conventional missiles, but the chances of it escalating into a nuclear conflict would be appallingly high. We can’t allow that to happen.
Tell Biden and Congress to say NO to a no-fly zone. 

Global Online Rally: No War in Ukraine — No to NATO

ACTION: There’s more that you can do, including signing the following “Open Letter of Solidarity.”

An Open Letter in Solidarity with Russian Anti-war Protestors

Dear Russian anti-war protestors, 

We, women and other feminists (including men) of the world, express our solidarity with you as you protest the devastating invasion of Ukraine, and we join your call for Russian troops to immediately leave Ukraine. We are aware of the risks you face from police and civil authorities and thank you for your profound bravery and sacrifice. We are also moved by the tremendous courage of the Ukrainian people in the face of disaster, and our hearts ache as we bear witness to Ukrainian families huddling in bomb shelters and parking garages, or facing long lines at the border after being forced to flee their homes.

We have experience standing up to our own governments’ aggression. During the US/NATO invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, we took to the streets by the hundreds of thousands to oppose the horrific destruction of entire cities and the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Now, as Russian missiles mercilessly wipe out your neighbors’ homes, medical facilities, and schools in Ukraine, we see you take to the streets of Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other Russian cities in peaceful protest, and we are so deeply inspired and grateful.

As we oppose this brutal war being waged in your name, we are also aware of the role the US and NATO have played in stoking the geopolitical crisis that led to this war. We have opposed NATO’s expansion into Central and Eastern Europe, and we continue to oppose NATO expansion today. We steadfastly believe Ukraine should be a neutral country.

Today, as Putin has put your nuclear arsenal on high alert, we see the terrifying possibility of this conflict spinning out of control. The US and Russia are guilty of stockpiling 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons, putting the entire world at risk, and violating the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. As we organize today to stop this war, we must work together in the future to force our governments to join the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons so we can rid the world of this existential threat to survival on our beautiful planet.

The imposition of sanctions aimed to damage the Russian economy also concerns us. We have no problem with taking yachts and private jets from oligarchs, but sanctions that hurt millions of ordinary Russians like you and impact the entire global economy are cruel and counterproductive. We have seen the devastating results of sanctions in countries from Cuba to Iran to North Korea–such sanctions harm the civilian population, particularly women, children, and the elderly, and fail to change government policies.

Instead of indiscriminate sanctions and fanning the flames by pouring more weapons into Ukraine, we demand that Russia and Ukraine engage in serious negotiations, with all the compromises this would entail.

As women and other feminists, we have had enough of senseless wars that destroy lives and communities while lining the coffers of weapons manufacturers. We’ve seen too many attacks on civilians from Yemen to Gaza to Ethiopia to Ukraine, and we’ve watched in horror as precious resources are poured into wars while families’ basic needs for food, shelter, education, and healthcare go unmet and climate change threatens all life on our planet. A world of violence, hatred, and destruction is not the world we want for our children. With fire in our bellies and love in our hearts, we join with you — across borders — to demand an end to the bloodshed and the destruction.

Russian Troops Out of Ukraine! 
Ceasefire Now! 
No NATO expansion! 
Peace Talks NOW!

Towards peace and disarmament, 
Medea and the entire CODEPINK team: Ariel, Ann, Audrey, Clay, Danaka, Emily, Farida, Jodie, Justina, Kelly, Lauren, Leonardo, Marcy, Mark, Michelle, Nancy, Olivia, Paki, Presleigh, Samantha, Teri, Shea, and Suzie