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U.S. Faith Leaders Call for Xmas Truce in Ukraine as Zelensky Visits D.C. Seeking More Arms & Money

Democracy Now 22 Dec 22,

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has wrapped up a one-day visit to Washington, D.C., where he called on the Biden administration and lawmakers to provide more military and financial aid to Ukraine in its fight against Russia. This was Zelensky’s first overseas trip in nearly a year, since the war began. Ahead of the trip, over 1,000 faith leaders in the United States called for a Christmas truce in Ukraine. For more on the war and hopes for peace, we speak with CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin, theologian Cornel West and Reverend Graylan Scott Hagler, senior adviser to the Fellowship of Reconciliation……………………

AMY GOODMAN: During his speech to a joint session of Congress later in the day, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said aid to Ukraine should be viewed as investment, not charity.

AMY GOODMAN: Ahead of President Zelensky’s trip to Washington, over a thousand faith leaders in the United States called for a Christmas truce in Ukraine. The signatories included the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Bishop William Barber and members of the Russian Orthodox Church. The letter was initiated by the Fellowship of Reconciliation, CodePink and the National Council of Elders. The groups also released this short video featuring some of the signatories.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re joined now by three guests involved in this call by over a thousand faith leaders for a Christmas truce in Ukraine.- Reverend Graylan Scott Hagler….. Cornel West … Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CodePink………………..

MEDEA BENJAMIN: We feel that this war is not going to be won on the battlefield. This is something that the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley said. We see that the head of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, who has been so hawkish on this, was asked his greatest fear; he said, “Spinning out of control. If it goes wrong, it could go horribly wrong.” We see us no longer marching towards a nuclear Armageddon with their eyes closed; it’s with our eyes opened. There will not be a military victory. There must be negotiations.

And we don’t want the moral center questioning this war to be coming from people like Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Donald Trump or Tucker Carlson, who are the people now questioning this war. We want it to come from the moral center of this country. That means the faith-based community, who understands that we have to protect all of God’s creations and that our moral obligation is to stop the killing, stop the fighting, stop the war. And that’s why we have called for this Christmas truce.

CORNEL WEST: ……………………… we have to be willing to have a moral witness that keeps track of the organized greed, of the routinized hatred, of the manipulated fear and the chronic hypocrisy of the wounded Russian empire and the American empire, that is, of course, 800 — has 800 military troops units around the world and doesn’t want to be honest about its own role. We know that if there were missiles in Canada or Mexico or Venezuela or Cuba, the U.S. military would blow them to smithereens. So we have no moral authority when it comes to dealing with the gangster activity of Putin. We have American gangster activity in our military-industrial complex tied to the White House.

…………….. AMY GOODMAN: And, Reverend Graylan Hagler, if you can talk about what this truce would mean, as a minister in Washington, D.C., and senior adviser to the Fellowship of Conciliation? It seems that in the United States — this is unlike even the media in France, for example, and Germany — that negotiation is viewed as capitulation. In other places, it’s viewed as how to save the planet. But talk about what it would look like here and what your response was to yesterday’s joint session of Congress, to the plea that President Zelensky made, with his people under fire across Ukraine, what it means for President Biden to agree to send this Patriot missile system. Clearly, Zelensky, to laughter, has said he’ll be asking for more.

REV. GRAYLAN SCOTT HAGLER:………………………………………….. What we’re looking at is, in 1914, on Christmas Eve, in World War I, people came out of the trenches, combatants, and celebrated for a moment an atmosphere of peace. And we’re saying that that history is speaking to us right now and calling upon us right now to create an atmosphere where we can begin the road towards peace and reconciliation, because the issue is, is weapons are not going to take us there, and combatants are not going to take us there. It’s only when we sit down and say, “Enough is enough, and we need to reason from the heart and the spirit of justice.”

…………………..MEDEA BENJAMIN: Well, I think it’s important to understand that Angela Merkel, in her interview, also said, “Why would Putin ever trust the West in peace negotiations?” Basically, using those peace negotiations not to stop the inflow of weapons into Ukraine, but to start pouring them in even more. And so, there is no trust on any side at this point.

But there is a need for negotiations. Both sides have staked out their positions, maximalist positions on each side, Zelensky now saying they want every inch of Donbas and all of Crimea back, and the Russians saying they now control and owned these four regions of Ukraine that they can’t even control on the battlefield. But these are positions for negotiations. But the call for negotiations has to come from Biden. And it is not happening. We see that after he met with Macron, the head of France, Macron said there are legitimate security interests of Russia that have to be taken into account. So that all has to be dealt with at the peace table.

And so, what we are saying with this Christmas truce call is that let’s be realistic with the American people. We keep pouring more money. Now it will be another $45 billion that will be approved by the end of this week. That’s over $100 billion, without a year going by, that could have been used for so many essential needs here in this country, and instead poured into a war that is not winnable on the battlefield. 

So, we need to be honest about this. And that’s why we have this call for a Christmas truce. That’s why Reverend Barber will be giving a Christmas Eve sermon on the moral imperative of a truce. That’s why we’re having a week of protests, starting January 13th; February 19th, the Libertarian Party and the People’s Party calling for a protest in Washington, D.C.; March 8th, International Women’s Day, an international call of women to say, “Stop this war, and end all wars.” That’s what we need to do.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to turn to two clips of President Biden. This was the joint news conference that he held with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky yesterday afternoon at the White House.

…………… (Biden – ) the United States is committed to ensuring that the brave Ukrainian people can continue, continue to defend their country against Russian aggressions as long as it takes.

AMY GOODMAN: And Biden went on to indicate he would let Zelensky set the timetable for any negotiated settlement with Russia.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: It can succeed in the battlefield with our help, and the help of our European allies and others, so that if and when President Zelensky is ready to talk with the Russians, he will be able to succeed, as well, because he will have won on the battlefield……………………..

AMY GOODMAN: ………………………………….There’s also discussion that this moment that President Biden and President Zelensky have seized for Zelensky’s joint session of Congress address is right before the House changes hands to Republicans, because a number of Republicans — not clear if the House speaker will be McCarthy — are demanding that this money and weapons flow stop. How do you feel as a progressive antiwar activist — two things — being allied with far-right Republicans and, secondly, being called by some a Russian apologist?

MEDEA BENJAMIN: I feel that if I were in Russia, I would be in jail for protesting this war. I also feel terrible that my congresspeople in the Progressive Caucus were cowed and silenced. I think the 30 who signed on that letter, in their heart of hearts, probably believe that negotiations is the only way. And we have to pressure them more to come out and say that their original stance was right………………. So, it’s our job to put the pressure on our members of Congress, whether they’re Republican or Democrat, to come out with the only rational position right now.

The U.S., unfortunately, and the Biden administration, has been against negotiations, nixed the negotiations that were going on in late March, early April, and told the Ukrainians, basically, “You don’t have to negotiate, because we’re going to keep pouring more weapons in.” This is only helping the weapons companies, who actually were the sponsors of a reception at the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, D.C., on December 8th, brought to you by Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon. They are the ones who are getting rich in this. The Ukrainians are suffering. ………. …………………………………more


December 25, 2022 - Posted by | politics, Religion and ethics, USA, weapons and war

1 Comment »

  1. The US, is perhaps the darkest culture, to have ever existed. The greed, the lust, the poisons, the lies, the carnage
    The Usa, is headed to a bipartisan authoritarian and police state. That is the real story. A large part of the 1.7 trillion budget, is to hire large numbers of the most ignorant, brutal, uneducated,  Low life, low standard, cretinous, pedophilic and  racist police recruits on earth, build more jails , more and bigger prisons. Further militarize the police. A great deal of funding for more surveillance. It’s what the rightwing fascist, trumpbutts want.  Its what the rightwing corporatist democrats and  their brainwashed minions  want. Those are the only 2 party’s. The economy is trashed. People can’t afford housing, food, or fuel. The solution is for the politician parasites, to sell out and clamp down. That’s what trumpers and republicans want right? Stronger authority and clamping down.  Especially on the the poor and the black expendibles.
    The bidenites have a bipartisan compromise for that. The brainwashed Biden followers, want to take down Russia, China and the rest of the world at any cost so their corporate sponsors can make as much money as possible , even at the cost of most Americans starving in the streets.  Not being able to feed their children.
    It will all be over in a few years for most anyway.  That’s what crazy pronuke fuk James Hansen says. He is sane enough about climate change, to be somewhat right about that. I wish there was an easy way out.

    What do the French think Dun?


    Dun renard

    December 26, 2022 at 7:01 am

    That we are shouldering the costs of this American war by proxy, our european countries are suffering economically the consequences of the US sanctions àon Russia. The average joe cannot afford anymore the prices incraeses here consequence of the energy price increase,our people are now suffering. our governments are but puppets of the US, licking the american government’s ass, while US is profiting from this war, selling weapons and shale gas more than ever. How long Europe and Europeans will go along with this madness?

    The radionuclides

    There is radiation coming from Ukraine There was Zaprozhia. There have been reports of radionuclide leaks from nuclear waste casks in Ukraine for years. There was an incident after fukushima, where a large hi level, nuclear waste storage site and joint munitions storage facility, had an explosion. There was the original unsafe and clumsy takedown of chernobyl,  by the Russians. There is the ongoing release of radionuclides at chernobyl and from the Chernobyl exclusion zone.. One can go many places along the Baltic sea and find super dangerous levels of cesium 137, from chernobyl today. Busby did it,  a few years ago, with a Gamma spectrometer. Most of Europe was poisoned by Chernobyl. Especially Germany and Belarus. Reindeer and lichen in northen Scandinavia, continue to be contaminated by cesium 137, several years later.

    One cannot imagine a more insane and stupid war than this, except the openly nuclear war, it is leading too. Europeans know about Chernobyl. They know about the initial and ongoing, spewing of radionuclides from Ukraine. They have access to the internet to see the history and hidden stories. How can they allow this madness to continue? Are they that repressed ? What is going on?

    In the usa, most people are just screwed, barely making it. Working poor taxed to death and hungry. The poor, hungry , cold. Many people homeless or close to it. Many people per apt. Rent unaffordable. Millions of real homeless. Many of those working. Homeless people died in the streets, in this Arctic climate change anomaly.. The media don’t care.. The media lies about everything.. The media lies about real caues of homelessness.. It is mostly not affordable rent . Medical debt, INflation MAKING IT SO PEOPLE ARE not affording anything. NOT PAID ENOUGH. THERE IS WAGE THEFT. The rich and middle classes are all IN, for this  proxy war.l
    They are complicit and compliant with a rancid lying news media. The most fake,
    fuked up country possible. Billionaires pay no taxes.. The rest taxed to death with no relief or way to feed thir children..It is getting as bad as the great depression. It is similar to a time,  before the French revolution

    Comment by Toothpaste | December 27, 2022 | Reply

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