Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

36 hours left in this Mid-Year Campaign. This is our hour of need.
If you value independent journalism, please support Common Dreams.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

Thousands turned out to march for peace in Ukraine on February 6, 2022 in central London

Thousands turned out to march for peace in Ukraine on February 6, 2022 in central London. (Photo: Kristian Buus/In Pictures via Getty Images)

Peace Advocates Sound Warnings as Progressive Lawmakers Go All-In for $40 Billion Ukraine War Package

"Russia's invasion of Ukraine must be condemned," says one activist. "But the administration has been telegraphing for weeks that its war aims now go well beyond defending Ukraine."

Brett Wilkins

The U.S. Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly voted to approve $40 billion in emergency military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine amid both Russia's ongoing invasion and warnings from peace advocates that prolonging the war makes the world a more dangerous, not safer, place.

"This war must be settled at the negotiating table, not on the battlefield!"

The Senate voted 86-11 in favor of H.R. 7619, a supplemental appropriations bill authorizing $7 billion more aid than requested by President Joe Biden. The package now goes to the president's desk for what is expected to be his swift approval.

Mirroring the measure's May 10 House vote—a 368-57 affair in which every dissenter was a Republican—all 11 "no" votes were cast by GOP senators.

Every member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus—99 House lawmakers plus Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)—voted in favor of a measure that critics claim will not only prolong the war, but also dangerously provoke the world's other nuclear superpower and divert funds that could be better spent on programs of social uplift.

After U.S. officials last month pledged $700 million in military aid for Ukraine—less than 2% of the new package—Russian President Vladimir Putin's top diplomat accused NATO countries of "pouring oil on the fire" in Ukraine by "in essence, going to war with Russia through a proxy."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov—ignoring his country's brutal invasion of its sovereign neighbor—added that the risk of nuclear war is "serious" and "should not be underestimated," adding that "under no circumstances should a Third World War be allowed to happen."

Writing for Common Dreams after the House vote, Massachusetts Peace Action executive director Cole Harrison warned that "the danger of nuclear war has risen substantially during the Ukraine crisis, and escalations on the U.S. side are pushing us closer to the brink."

"Russia's invasion of Ukraine must be condemned. But the administration has been telegraphing for weeks that its war aims now go well beyond defending Ukraine," Harrison continued. "President Biden said that President Putin cannot remain in power. Secretary of Defense Austin said the U.S. seeks to weaken Russia. And Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that we are fighting until 'victory.'"

Cameron University political science instructor Stuart J. Hooper acknowledged in a Common Dreams opinion piece this week that "Russia should not have invaded Ukraine, and immediately lost any moral high ground it may have had upon doing so, and the Ukrainians had a right to defend themselves and seek help."

"But this situation is qualitatively different with its potential to ignite World War III," he cautioned. "With Russian forces clearly on the ropes after weeks in a stalemate, why was there not a significant effort to push for a peaceful withdrawal and resolution to the conflict?"

Hooper added: "Where was the Western attempt to seek compromise? Putin was willing to talk with French President Emmanuel Macron, why not use that line of communication to broker a way out? This is what an ethical hegemon, concerned with peace and stability, would do."

Noting that "in the face of war's atrocities, the tyranny of the immediate can be overwhelming and, for groups that have long opposed America's wars (and sometimes war in general), confusing," journalist Nan Levinson wrote this week that she hopes "there's more diplomacy going on behind the scenes than is now being reported and that realistic compromises on all sides, even hard-to-swallow ones, which will satisfy nobody, are being considered."

As Harrison stressed, "This war must be settled at the negotiating table, not on the battlefield!"


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Just ONE DAY left in our crucial Mid-Year Campaign and we might not make it without your help.
Who funds our independent journalism? Readers like you who believe in our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. No corporate advertisers. No billionaire founder. Our non-partisan, nonprofit media model has only one source of revenue: The people who read and value this work and our mission. That's it.
And the model is simple: If everyone just gives whatever amount they can afford and think is reasonable—$3, $9, $29, or more—we can continue. If not enough do, we go dark.

All the small gifts add up to something otherwise impossible. Please join us today. Donate to Common Dreams. This is crunch time. We need you now.

'We Will Fight! We Will Win!': Nearly 200 Abortion Rights Defenders Arrested in DC

"If people don't see the rage," said one woman at the protest, "nothing changes."

Jon Queally ·


Federal Abortion Ban Desired by GOP Would Increase Maternal Deaths by 24%: Study

"Pregnancy shouldn't kill people—in fact, in other rich countries it very rarely does," said the lead author of the new analysis.

Jake Johnson ·


Naomi Klein: The US Is in the Midst of a 'Shock-and-Awe Judicial Coup'

"The rolling judicial coup coming from this court is by no means over," warned the author of "The Shock Doctrine."

Jake Johnson ·


Markey, Bowman Join Climate Coalition in Urging SCOTUS Expansion

"We cannot sit idly by," said Markey, "as extremists on the Supreme Court eviscerate the authorities that the government has had for decades to combat climate change and reduce pollution."

Brett Wilkins ·


Ocasio-Cortez Says US 'Witnessing a Judicial Coup in Process'

"It is our duty to check the Court's gross overreach of power in violating people's inalienable rights and seizing for itself the powers of Congress and the president."

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo