Peace for the Ukrainian People Now! No to Foreign Occupation & NATO Intervention!
passed by the Socialist Party USA National Committee June 22, 2022
The Socialist Party continues to call for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine, suspension of foreign military involvement in the country, and humanitarian protection for Ukranians. We further call for an immediate end to US, EU, and NATO provocations against Russia and the ultimate disbandment of NATO.
At the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Socialist Party called for an immediate ceasefire and an end to all military involvement in the country. We further denounced Western expansionism into Ukraine via NATO and the European Union as intentional provocations against Russia. Lastly, we opposed the humanitarian crisis that unfolded in Ukraine and the deplorable disregard for human life by all parties involved.
Several months on, all of these positions remain as true as ever.
At the same time that the United States has failed to address the rising costs of essential goods and services that have been destructive to working class families and individuals, the U.S. government has authorized over $50 billion in military and economic aid to the Ukrainian war effort. In the twisted logic characteristic of Western imperialism, the same war effort being fueled by the U.S. and its allies is, in large part, being blamed for the uncontrolled rise in gas and energy prices. In the United States’ uninhibited quest for Western expansionism into Ukraine, Democrats and Republicans alike have allowed and are to blame for a rapid deterioration of the economic conditions of working class people in this country.
The conflict in Ukraine is fundamentally a proxy war between a Western ruling class seeking to expand its economic and military dominance to Russia’s borders and beyond, and a Russian oligarchy bent on restoring Russian influence in Eastern Europe. Caught in the crossfire are the Ukrainian people, who have watched their country be destroyed and millions of their neighbors become refugees. While both the Western and Russian sides have used their propaganda machines to extoll their own humanitarian assistance and accuse the other of human rights abuses, what is universally true is that both sides are now engaged in a war of attrition that will only exacerbate the humanitarian crisis.
Peace and security for the Ukrainian people is a non-negotiable demand in itself, but it will not come from the United States and its allies paying for all of the bullets and some of the bandanges. It will also not come from the Western media’s continued hero worship of the Ukrainian government that is designed to deflect any legitimate criticism of Ukraine, such as its open integration of neo-Nazi elements into the military and government. As we oppose the far-right gaining power in the United States, we also must oppose the rise of fascist elements in Ukraine that are now being heavily armed by the United States and its NATO allies.
As socialists in the United States, it is our responsibility to oppose the imperialist actions of the Biden Administration and Congress in Ukraine, regardless of which party is in power after the midterm elections. Rather than address the crisis in any meaningful way, they have sought to distract with widespread Russophobia, misdirected boycotts, and nominal humanitarian aid included in significantly larger military aid packages. In standing with the Ukrainian people, we must address and oppose the actions of our own government in creating and exacerbating this tragic crisis. We must further reject the uncritical support for Russia in the U.S. Left and recognize Russia’s simultaneous acts of reacting to NATO aggression and taking advantage of the situation by continuing to seize land in Ukraine. Both sides are now engaged in a rapid land grab; Russia via occupied territory and the U.S. by expanding NATO into Ukraine and formerly-neutral Finland and Sweden.
From the early twentieth century when Eugene V. Debs was imprisoned for opposing conscription in WWI until today, the Socialist Party has a steadfast history of opposing militarism and standing with the interests of the international working class. The complex and intertwined crises bred by an increasingly unstable global capitalism requires the Left to give more than simplistic responses and slogans. As the war in Ukraine continues indefinitely and all sides appear unwilling to seek peace, we remember the timeless quote from Debs: “I have no country to fight for; my country is the Earth; I am a citizen of the world.”
From the Socialist Party Statement of Principles:
People around the world have more in common with each other than with their rulers. We condemn war, preparation for war, and the militaristic culture because they play havoc with people's lives and divert resources from constructive social projects. Militarism also concentrates even greater power in the hands of the few, the powerful and the violent. Solidarity with the people of a nation and a belief that they should be free from the threat of imperialism does not require support for the government of that nation. We align with no nation, but only with working people throughout the world.
From the Socialist Party 2021-2023 Platform:
We call for the closing of all U.S. military facilities at home and abroad that train foreign military and paramilitary personnel.
We call for the abolition of the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and all other institutions of covert warfare.
We stand for unconditional disarmament by the United States.
We call for an international treaty outlawing all weapons of mass destruction, including all nuclear weapons and use of depleted uranium in conventional weapons.
We call for an immediate 50% cut in the military budget, followed by additional cuts, with the aim of rapidly reducing the military budget to less than 10% of its current level, with the "peace dividend" directed to essential social services and to the cost of cleaning up contaminated military sites.
We call for the disbanding of NATO and all other aggressive military alliances, and the closing of all overseas bases.
We call for an end to U.S. arms sales throughout the world.
We call for a constitutional amendment requiring a binding vote of the people on all issues of war or military intervention.
We call for the end of manufacturing and the use of Unmanned Aerial Devices (drones) for the purpose of domestic and international spying and warfare.
We call for repeal of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF).