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Why are Senators Stabenow and Peters supporting military aid that could lead to war?

January 26, 2022

Last week, the US Senate proposed S.3488, a bill that would provide a significant amount of funding to Ukraine and NATO allies against Russia.

The language of the proposed funding states:

To counter the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine and Eastern European allies, to expedite security assistance to Ukraine to bolster Ukraine’s defense capabilities, and to impose sanctions relating to the actions of the Russian Federation with respect to Ukraine, and for other purposes.

A few days later, the US House of Representatives submitted their own proposal to provide funding that would lead to war.

According to a recent article in The Intercept:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told members on a caucus call Tuesday that she’s looking to skip marking up the bill and move it straight to the House floor, setting up the possibility of a vote as soon as early next week, two congressional sources told The Intercept. The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because they’re not authorized to talk to the press. Pelosi’s office did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

“This is how the space for nonmilitary options gets slowly closed off in Washington, without any real debate,” one of the sources, a senior Democratic aide, told The Intercept.

The Intercept article went on to state:

The legislation would send $500 million from the Foreign Military Financing program to Ukraine for 2022. That amount would have made Ukraine the third-largest recipient of funding from the State Department’s FMF account in 2020, surpassed only by $3.3 billion to Israel and $1.3 billion to Egypt. (That year, the FMF program gave Ukraine $248 million.)

Other sources of independent media have also been providing important information and analysis of why the US government’s rush to provide weapons and funding for Ukraine are a potentially catastrophic decision. Common Dreams reported: 

As the New York Times reported Tuesday, the U.S. “has authorized Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to send Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to Ukrainian forces, augmenting the Javelin anti-tank missile deliveries to Ukraine that Britain began this month.”

Such developments in recent days have intensified concerns that the U.S. is on the verge of embarking on yet another military intervention that could have devastating human consequences.

Warning against military action and pressing all parties to engage in diplomatic talks, Bridget Moix of the Friends Committee on National Legislation said Tuesday that “war represents a calamitous failure of governments to do their most basic job of keeping their people safe.”

Joseph Gerson, who is the President of the Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security, also provides important analysis in an opinion piece that was posted on Common Dreams on Monday:

This has been a totally unnecessary crisis, fueled in large measure by U.S. insistence on maintaining NATO’s “open door” policy, when the reality is that there is no way that France or Germany will agree to Ukraine becoming a NATO member state. Resolution of the crisis could be hastened were Biden or Blinken to state the obvious: “We understand there are deep insecurities on all sides. Given that our allies are in no hurry to welcome Ukraine into NATO, we propose a moratorium on new NATO memberships. Beyond that, we look forward to a range of constructive negotiations to establish an enduring Eurasian security framework for the 21st century.”

So why are US politicians, like Michigan Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, so quick to want to support militarism as a response to this potentially disastrous situation? Part of the issue is that the US weapons industry has been spending on average $100 Million a year since 2000, to lobby members of Congress, according to 

A second reason that the Congress is so quick to support military solutions, has to do with the long-standing role that weapons manufacturers play in campaign contributions. Again, according to, in the 2020 Election cycle alone, the top 20 weapons contracts contributed a little over $47 Million to political candidates. It is also important to acknowledge that this campaign funding from weapons contractors is bi-partisan, with Republicans holding an ever so slight edge on campaign contributions in the 2020 Election cycle.

When it comes to Michigan Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, we can see that they too have received lots of funding from US weapons manufacturers. This is especially the case when facing re-election. For example, in 2018, the last time that Senator Stabenow was up for re-election, she received $70,301 from weapons contractors. When Gary Peters was running for re-election in 2020, he was the recipient of $208,387 from companies that make weapons for the US military. None of this should come as a surprise to those who actually follow the money when it comes to politicians. 

What is always instructive is how the bi-partisan consensus on US militarism stands in stark contrast to the message of people like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Just days after the federal government celebrated to birthday of Dr. King, they jump at the chance to push more policies that essentially promote militarism and imperialism. Senator Peters, like so many members of Congress, posted a commemorative video for MLK Day, yet when it comes to actually honoring the legacy of Dr. King, Peters and most of his colleagues shit on his grave.

“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. 

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