Biden, Congress stoke war on all fronts with $95.3 billion package

On April 20, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a $95.3 billion aid package for Washington’s proxies in Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan. Included in the package were provisions for imposing sanctions on China, Russia, and Iran, and a requirement that TikTok’s Chinese parent company sell its stake within one year or be banned in the U.S. 

One third of U.S. adults use TikTok, including a majority of those under 30. A majority of teens use the platform. The potential ban would certainly curtail people’s ability to freely access information and communicate. Importantly, it would limit people’s ability to access global perspectives. 

The so-called “liberal” media is even portraying far-right House Speaker Mike Johnson as a sensible “adult in the room” for working to get the bill passed. They also said that Trump had become more “presidential” after he greenlit the assassination of popular Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in 2020. 

Some House Republicans had held up the bill by attaching it to demands for intensifying repression of immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border and other reactionary policies. Some of the Republicans do have misgivings about Ukraine funding, but only because the ruling class is divided on where exactly to focus its attacks. These Republicans are not anti-war. They have never flinched when it comes to arming Israel throughout this genocide. 

Both parties are totally united on the goal of continuing U.S. imperialist supremacy at any cost. There are no peace-loving doves leading these parties of war-mongers. 

Following the House, the Senate quickly passed the bill on April 23 with a 79-18 vote. Biden signed the bill the very next day. He stated: “In the next few hours — literally, a few hours — we’re going to begin sending in equipment to Ukraine,” and that “it’s going to make the world safer.” 

Given that Washington has repeatedly blocked United Nations ceasefire resolutions to end the genocide in Gaza, all the while pumping money and weapons into Israel (the administration found ways to keep the flow steady while the funding bills were tied up), there is no indication that Biden is interested in making the world safer. Quite the opposite.  

As for Ukraine, it is Washington that set the stage for the current war, orchestrating the fascist Maidan coup in 2014 on behalf of U.S. capitalists and International Monetary Fund creditors who demanded extreme austerity. It is Washington that funded the coup regime for eight years as it cracked down on domestic dissent (namely the left and trade unions), while attacking and killing some 14,000 people in the Donbass region. 

After Biden signed this funding bill on April 24, the Pentagon jumped to send the first $1 billion delivery to Ukraine. The weapons include shoulder-fired Stinger surface-to-air missiles, cluster munitions, Javelin anti-tank guided missiles, and more. 

According to Forbes, in late 2022, the U.S. had already sent 8,500 Javelins. Citing the army’s 2023 missile procurement budget, they said that these missiles cost $197,884 each. Eight thousand five hundred times that unit price would come to $1.7 billion. That’s just the cost of one class of weapon by the end of 2022. This is undoubtedly good for the shareholders of Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, the companies that together manufacture the Javelin.

Biden chides student protesters 

With the majority of Washington behind him – especially the Pentagon – Biden is stoking war on all fronts. The blood of the 32,000+ dead in Gaza is on his hands just as much as it is on Netanyahu’s. And yet, when he finally decided to comment on the student protestors who are acting as the conscience of the country (the same young people he wants to come out and vote for him in November), he scolded them! 

“Vandalism, trespassing, breaking windows, shutting down campuses, forcing the cancellation of classes and graduation — none of this is a peaceful protest,” he said. 

First of all, in every location, it has been the police who have violently attacked the student protesters. The students have been brutalized by the police, and there is no doubt that approval is coming from the top.

We have all spent months watching horrific videos of dead, mutilated children being pulled from rubble, killed by weapons Biden has paid for with our tax money. We could be forgiven for being more outraged by that than by a proverbial broken window. Biden’s audacity in talking about peace is astonishing. 

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said this 57 years ago in his “Beyond Vietnam” speech, at a time when U.S. imperialism was murdering millions in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.

We can imagine what King would say today if he were alive to witness the absurdity of this military spending compared with the increasing immiseration of the population in the United States, the richest country in the world. 

Right now, the same Supreme Court that took away women’s and other people’s right to reproductive autonomy – the same unelected Supreme Court being exposed for their lavish, free resort stays and wine tastings – is hearing a case about how easy it should be to throw homeless people in jail. The case started because the city of Grants Pass, Oregon wants free rein to fine and jail the homeless. But municipalities across the country are attempting to do the same thing. Instead of the government addressing the housing crisis this is what we get. 

In January 2023, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development counted 653,104 homeless people in their annual Point-In-Time Homeless Assessment Report. That is about 1 out of every 500 people experiencing homelessness, up 22% from the year before. People are suffering from soaring food, housing, medical, and other costs. 

The federal government spent $700 billion in 2008 to bail out the “too big to fail” for-profit banks. It is spending many billions to wage wars on behalf of shareholders. But it will not bail out the working class. It is obvious where the government’s priorities lie, and it is not helping the people.

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