When Would an Anti-War Activist Back Arms Sales? When He's Secretary of State

Is there any way that sending arms to the Ukrainian military doesn’t escalate regional hostilities? Who cares! It makes warmongers ‘feel better’

Remember when John Kerry was anti-war? Neither does he. (Photo: Andreas Gebert/dpa/Corbis)

ecretary of State John Kerry has to be the worst anti-war activist in recorded history. Is there a military action - save one - that he hasn’t supported since he came to national prominence as an anti-war activist in the early 1970s? In the the past decade and a half alone, he’s voted for the war in Iraq, strongly defended drone strikes, was the chief advocate for the bombing of Syria in 2013, and was by far the most hyperbolic cabinet member calling for a years-long, multi-country war against ISIS.

And now Kerry has been privately telling lawmakers that he supports the US entering into a proxy-war against Russia by sending lethal weaponry to the Ukrainian military, even though the Obama administration supposedly does not yet have an official position.

He’s hardly alone. The US conventional wisdom machine in the US government is now hurtling towards sending offensive weapons into another foreign conflict, without the slightest concern for the devastating consequences it might bring.


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Defense Secretary nominee Ashton Carter floated the idea that he was “strongly inclined” to arm the Ukraine government with US weapons against Russian-backed rebels in his confirmation hearing last week. Since then, as Bloomberg’s Josh Rogin reported Tuesday, “Vice President Joe Biden this weekend came very close to endorsing military aid for Ukraine when he pledged to continue to support Ukraine’s ‘security’ needs.” Ranking members of both parties on the House Armed Services Committee, Reps Adam Smith and Mac Thornberry, said this week that a bill calling for US weapons in Ukraine is imminent. (Gee, I wonder if US weapons manufacturers give Smith and Thornberry extraordinary amounts of campaign cash? Oh, look at that, they do.)

Of course, no US lawmaker has even attempted to explain why this won’t escalate the situation in Ukraine, rather than solve it.

Read the full article at The Guardian.

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Trevor Timm

Trevor Timm

Trevor Timm is a co-founder and the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. He is a writer, activist, and legal analyst who specializes in free speech and government transparency issues. He writes a weekly column for The Guardian and has also contributed to The Atlantic, Al Jazeera, Foreign Policy, Harvard Law and Policy Review, PBS MediaShift, and Politico. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorTimm

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