Bi-Partisan Convergence Emerging in the U.S. against NATO’s War

The great fear of the U.S. war hawks — that a “left-right” convergence against NATO’s war against Russia will occur — is being realized, triggered by the Biden administration’s decision to ship cluster munitions to Ukraine. In a vote last week in the U.S. House of Representatives, 49 Democrats joined with 98 Republicans to support an amendment opposing the sending of cluster munitions to Ukraine. That was not enough to pass, as 276 members voted against.

However, the alliance of members of the Progressive Caucus, which is considered to be left-wing Democrats, with the Republicans’ Freedom Caucus, attacked as “far right” by its critics, is symptomatic of a realignment which defies simplistic left-right characterizations. It reflects a growing dissatisfaction with the uni-party nature of the Congress, in which, unti now, virtually every member of both parties has backed the war. It also reflects the views of the most visible opponents of President Biden in the 2024 election, as both Democrat Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and former President Donald Trump are forcefully making the case against continued U.S. efforts to back the Zelenskyy regime with billions of dollars of arms and aid. Both candidates are picking up enthusiastic support, with Trump far ahead of his Republican opponents, and Kennedy’s insurgent campaign terrifying White House insiders, as more than 64% of Democrats are telling pollsters they wish Biden would step aside.

The amendment ordered that “no military assistance shall be furnished for cluster munitions, no defense export license for cluster munitions may be issued, and no cluster munitions or cluster munitions technology shall be sold or transferred.” Republican Matt Gaetz, in declaring his support for the amendment, said, “We have an opportunity with bipartisanship to stand against the warmongering Bidens”.

On July 8, 19 members of the Progressive Caucus had signed a letter, drafted by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, stating that President Biden’s decision on cluster munitions “severely undermines our moral leadership.” It refers to awareness of long-term civilian harm from use of such weapons during the Vietnam war. which “should prevent us from repeating the mistakes of the past.” Opponents of Biden’s move describe it as a war crime. Elon Musk, who has become a prominent critic of Biden, called this decision is “an act of desperation”.

An anti-war sentiment is quickly growing within the population, especially among those Americans whose standard of living has sunk. In a July 14 Republican campaign event in Iowa, popular media figure Tucker Carlson exposed former Vice President and current presidential candidate Mike Pence, by asking how he can continue to back spending billions on the war when American cities are decaying. Pence’s response, “That’s not my concern”, led to a lusty chorus of boos, with some commentators convinced it will mark the end of his campaign.

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