Ukraine Needs Diplomacy, De-escalation and Aid
Cole Harrison / Massachusetts Peace Action
(March 8, 2022) — As Russia continues its aggression in Ukraine, it is our responsibility to advocate for a peaceful solution to this crisis that will quickly stop the senseless loss of life in Ukraine and prevent this conflict from escalating beyond control.
Ratcheting up military aid to Ukraine, whether through deploying American troops, supplying American weaponry, or American intelligence cooperation, is not a solution to this conflict. It is the direct opposite. This war cannot be ended through more war.
United States policy did much to provoke the conflict by offering Ukraine membership in NATO, supporting a coup in 2014, and pushing NATO up to Russia’s borders, and now we need to walk that back. Ukraine can’t be secure unless Russia is also secure.
President Biden has asked Congress for $10 billion in supplemental funding for Ukraine, including $5.4 billion for military purposes. This military aid is to be used to deploy US troops to Eastern Europe, replace weapons already provided to Ukraine, and as direct aid to the militaries of Ukraine and other Eastern European countries. $91 million is to be used to enforce sanctions on Russia.
Congress is looking to pass this $5.4 billion in military spending by including it in an omnibus spending package which must pass by this Friday. And down the road, we will only see an increasing push to ramp up US military spending and escalate further competition with both Russia and China.
Click here to tell your representatives that you oppose escalating the crises in Ukraine and deadly competition with Russia and China. Congress must make the following steps to support the victims in Ukraine and to avoid a much larger catastrophe:
Provide emergency funding for Ukraine for the sole purpose of protecting Ukrainian civilians, including humanitarian aid as well as refugee assistance and resettlement – not troops or weapons that would draw the U.S. into the war.
- Oppose sustained, broad-based sanctions that cause serious humanitarian damage to Russian civilians. Such sanctions are NOT an act of diplomacy, but an act of economic violence against the Russian people, many of whom are bravely protesting the war themselves.
- Hold Russian leadership accountable for their attack via targeted economic penalties and assets that DO NOT punish the entire Russian public for the crimes of their leaders.
- Call for urgent diplomacy to enact an immediate cease fire, the withdrawal of Russian troops, revitalization of the Minsk II agreement, and a moratorium on NATO expansion to address Russian security concerns.
- Welcome Ukrainian refugees into the US as we should for all refugees from across the world fleeing violent occupation and war.
- Allocate these billions of dollars in funds towards healthcare, not warfare, in order to work towards peaceful purposes rather than military confrontation.
- Speak out and vote to oppose military contractors and the Pentagon from using this crisis to grow the already bloated military budget. Oppose the further escalation of this catastrophe to promote Peace, not the military-industrial complex.
We must unite for peace in this dangerous hour.
Cole Harrison is the Executive Director of MPA.