May 04, 2022
While reproductive rights advocates across the U.S. Tuesday called on the Democratic Party to do everything in its power to codify abortion rights into federal law, President Joe Biden called on Congress to approve more military aid for Ukraine after visiting a Lockheed Martin facility to praise its supply of weaponry.
Biden headed to Troy, Alabama to visit the factory where 600 workers have the capacity to produce more than 2,000 Javelin anti-tank missiles per year, applauding the facility for helping to defend "freedom and democracy itself" in Ukraine.
The U.S. has sent more than 5,000 Javelin missiles to Ukraine since Russian forces invaded the country in February, according to the White House.
"The weapons built here--now in the hands of Ukrainian heroes--are making all the difference," the president said.
\u201cToday, I visited a Lockheed Martin factory in Alabama that\u2019s building the Javelin missiles we\u2019re sending to Ukraine. The weapons built here \u2014 now in the hands of Ukrainian heroes \u2014 are making all the difference. That\u2019s something we can all be proud of.\u201d— President Biden (@President Biden) 1651619705
Critics said Biden's visit to Lockheed Martin--whose CEO suggested to investors in January that the coming conflict would strengthen the company's profits--offered a clear picture of the president's current priorities following the collapse of his domestic agenda, the Build Back Better Act and its anti-poverty and climate action provisions.
"Update on Biden's economic agenda. He's abandoned his Build Back Better agenda and is now openly praising war profiteering."
"Update on Biden's economic agenda," tweeted Stephen Semler of the Security Policy Reform Institute. "He's abandoned his Build Back Better agenda and is now openly praising war profiteering."
Following Biden's visit to Lockheed Martin, the president called on federal lawmakers to approve $33 billion in additional aid for Ukraine, including $20 billion in security and military assistance and funds to replenish the Pentagon's own stockpiles "to replace what we've sent to Ukraine."
The U.S. has sent more than $3 billion in military aid to Ukraine since the war began on February 24.
CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin demanded to know how Lockheed Martin's contributions are "saving civilization," as the president said during his tour of the factory.
"Is war-making really civilized, no matter which side?" she asked.
\u201cBiden told workers at Lockheed Martin who make missiles for Ukraine that they are \u201csaving civilization.\u201d Is war-making really civilized, no matter which side??? How civilized was the Lockheed bomb that killed 40 Yemeni school children? #codepink #PeaceInUkraine\u201d— Medea Benjamin (@Medea Benjamin) 1651605898
Progressive political strategist Peter Daou denounced Biden for visiting the weapons facility as women's rights in the U.S. apeared on the cusp of being effectively "gutted" following the leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion in which Justice Samuel Alito said Roe v. Wade "must be overruled."
Since the leak Monday night, progressives have been demanding that Biden push every Democrat in the Senate to support eliminating the filibuster in order to pass the Women's Health Protection Act, which would codify into federal law the right to obtain and provide abortion care. Right-wing Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) do not support filibuster reform.
Steven Thrasher, a professor at Northwestern University and author of The Viral Underclass, said Biden's visit demonstrated that "this is all the [Democrats] can deliver: war, policing, capital consolidation for warmongers, and more war."
\u201cBiden was starring in a Lockheed Martin ad for war. \n\nPelosi was in Ukraine stumping for war.\n\nThis is all the Dems can deliver: war, policing, capital consolidation for warmongers, and more war. \n\nThey've no $ for Covid.\n\nThey won't legislate on abortion.\n\nJust war, war, war.\u201d— Dr. Thrasher (@Dr. Thrasher) 1651609251
"They've no money for Covid. They won't legislate on abortion," Thrasher said. "Just war, war, war."
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