In his Chicago Tribune op-ed (‘If we don’t approve more aid for Ukraine, the conflict in Europe will grow), Illinois 5th District Congressman Mike Quigley offered every national security state trope for squandering an additional $61 billion in weapons for Ukraine’s lost war with Russia.
The title offers the first one with Quigley’s false claim that lack of US aid will fuel growing conflict in Europe. That is nonsense. Any credible political scientist would school Quigley that Russia’s aims are limited to keeping Ukraine neutral and out of NATO, in addition to ending Kyiv destruction of the largely Russian cultured populous of Donbas. That is it.
Quigley claims no further aid will derail Ukraine’s war progress. Bunk. There is none. Ukraine is running out of troops and time. A negotiated settlement is inevitable but only if the US ends its weapons giveaway and promotes negotiations to end the war.
Such a settlement does not hand Putin a victory. It ends the conflict weakening both countries which is a victory for all, Ukraine, Russia and Western Europe, which can then resume a peaceful, productive regional relationship free from US meddling. The US will not allow that regardless of how many Ukrainians die in the conflict.
Quigley relies on the fantasy of a European version of the thoroughly discredited ‘Domino Theory’ by stating unequivocally Russia is determined to “reconstitute the Soviet Union.” That scare tactic is beyond the pale.
Comparing the sacrifice of nearly a half million dead Americans in WWII to defeat Nazism to the urgency of funneling endless billions in weapons to a lost cause having no connection to American national interests, demeans that noble WWII sacrifice.
Quigley claims “It is only a matter of time before we face the greatest conflict in Eastern Europe since World War II, requiring direct engagement by the United States to defend our NATO allies.” That is due not to Russia, but to US meddling which torpedoed the imminent peace agreement Putin and Zelensky were ready to sign in the war’s first month.
No surprise that Quigley pitched the $67 billion more for Ukraine as a good US jobs creator. Those jobs should be created to address a myriad of domestic problems, not further perpetual war.
Quigley saved his most glaring error promoting senseless perpetual war in Ukraine by quoting NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg:
“We have the capability and the strength to address different challenges at the same time. We don’t have the luxury of choosing only one threat and one challenge.”
Quigley uses this vague talking point to support his claim we can afford the $105 billion Biden seeks for arming Israel and Taiwan as well as Ukraine. How did Quigley miss Stoltenberg’s more sensible quote five months before the invasion on how the Russo-Ukraine war become inevitable from US lust for Ukraine NATO membership.
“Putin sent a draft treaty that they wanted NATO to sign, to promise no more NATO enlargement. That… was a pre-condition for not invading Ukraine. When we didn’t sign that… he went to war to prevent NATO, more NATO, close to his borders. President Putin invaded a European country to prevent more NATO.”
Stoltenberg mentioned nothing about Russia destroying Ukraine, nothing about reconstituting the Soviet Union, nothing about aggression in NATO countries for a simple reason. None of that was true.
Sadly, none of Rep. Mike Quigley’s hyperbolic promoting of squandering another $61 billion in Ukraine is true either. Tribune readers deserve to hear the other side of the Ukraine war funding debate.
Walt Zlotow became involved in antiwar activities upon entering University of Chicago in 1963. He is current president of the West Suburban Peace Coalition based in the Chicago western suburbs. He blogs daily on antiwar and other issues at www.heartlandprogressive.blogspot.com.