The Socialists' response to the war in Ukraine has some Democrats on edge

Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, the Democratic Socialists of America released a statement which drew an instant rebuke. The grou...


Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, the Democratic Socialists of America released a statement which drew an instant rebuke.

The group condemned the invasion, but also urged the United States “to withdraw from NATO and end the imperialist expansionism that has set the stage for this conflict.”

The position – a watered down version of a previous one, even more pointed statement of the group’s international committee — attracted reproaches of a White House spokesperson and from a number of Democratic candidates and elected, Long Island of the congress suitors to officials in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. But in the New York area, where the DSA’s largest chapter wields substantial influence, it has also created an exciting momentum for politicians aligned with the organization.

In the state’s 16th congressional district, a refugee from Kosovo puts foreign policy at the heart of his main challenge from Rep. Jamaal Bowman, a former Yonkers college principal who rose to power with Support of the Democratic Socialists of America.

In New York, Democratic candidates for Congress debate America’s role in the world. And even before DSA’s latest statement, city council members were to hit more than the history of American intervention and NATO.

With a majority Americans support As Ukraine struggles to repel a bloody, often live-streamed Russian invasion, the DSA’s desire to have a political discussion on NATO appears to have sown unease in campaign circles: none of the nine New York City that the DSA approved this year would have consented to an interview on the subject, even as more and more centrist Democrats now use the subject as a cudgel.

“We are refugees from Kosovo, a country where my family and I had to flee because of ethnic cleansing and were saved, frankly, by the intervention of the United States and NATO there,” said last week Vedat Gashi, a Democrat challenging Mr. Bowman. “Blaming Ukraine and NATO for the escalation of this Russian invasion of Ukraine is to me, at best, naive and certainly wrong.”

The DSA argues that NATO promotes a militarized response to conflict at the expense of diplomacy, and that economic sanctions too often victimize working people. In the case of Ukraine, many DSA members say that the United States, by encouraging NATO’s eastward expansion, provoked Russia.

“There is a long-standing tradition with the American left as well as in Europe that NATO has played a role, particularly since the collapse of the Soviet Union, in emphasizing militarized solutions when the diplomacy could lead to longer-term stability,” said Ashik Saddique. , member of the National Political Committee of the DSA. “It’s a bit absurd for people to act like it’s a political crime to criticize NATO.”

Mr. Gashi asked Mr. Bowman to completely disavow the DSA’s position.

Mr. Bowman chose a more subtle approach, signaling distance from the DSA’s position, without the kind of direct condemnation that could alienate a component of his base and play into his opponent’s hands. He declined to comment for this article, but in a previous statement he said he supported NATO“and will continue to do so during this crisis.”

Mr. Bowman’s district has a large Ukrainian immigrant population, and last week he called more than a dozen people who wrote him letters, his office said. He also joined the Congressional Ukraine Caucus and drafted a bipartisan letter asking President Biden to let at-risk Ukrainians enter the country visa-free.

But Ukrainians aren’t the only voters DSA-aligned politicians need to consider amid the crisis, said Drisana Hughes, former campaign manager for India Walton, the DSA-backed candidate for mayor of Buffalo. and campaign strategist at Stu Loeser and Co.

“I don’t think it’s just Ukrainian voters; I think they are Polish voters, Finnish voters,” Ms Hughes said. “That’s a lot of countries that are sensitive to Russian aggression and anyone concerned about the future of Europe in particular.”

Certainly, whatever the balancing act for some Democrats, the tensions are clearly evident for Republicans. Although many express solidarity with Ukraine, former President Donald J. Trump has showered with praise on Russian President Vladimir V. Putin – just a few years after Mr. Trump was first impeached focused on including pressuring Ukraine for political favours. the only people to vote against a recent House resolution in favor of Ukraine were three Republican members of Congress. And some right-wing media figures, like Fox News host Tucker Carlson, have until very recently appeared to be protective of Mr. Putin.

Yet in New York, divisions over the Russian invasion have taken on more urgency on the Democratic side, including in the battle for New York’s 11th congressional district, which has been recently redesigned to take on both Staten Island and Park Slope, and where the two leading Democratic candidates are military veterans.

DSA Member Brittany Ramos DeBarros approved working “with international partners to provide and support civil-military defense tactics”, and said “no” when asked directly in an interview whether the United States should withdraw from NATO. But in 2019, she has been listed as a speaker at an anti-NATO event, and admitted that she “attended a meeting about it” when she was an anti-war activist. His campaign said it does not support withdrawing from NATO “at this time”.

“‘Not right now’ means now is the time to save lives and defuse the situation,” she said in an interview. “If people want to have a larger conversation about understanding how we got here and diagnosing what we need to do to, you know, shape a different future, that can come once we we shall be lifted from the abyss.”

His campaign noted that his main Democratic primary opponent, former Rep. Max Rose, initially expressed skepticism of the first impeachment proceedings against Mr. Trump.

Mr Rose, seen by party strategists as the likely frontrunner, did not vote to impeach Mr. Trump said he took the subject “very seriously”. But I did not hesitate to hold Donald Trump accountable for his egregious actions.

He also has sentenced DSA’s position on NATO and called for building “an even stronger NATO alliance”.

“America’s unilateral withdrawal from NATO is perhaps the most harmful and stupid foreign policy decision we can contemplate right now,” he said. “America must redouble its efforts in its alliances, especially its transatlantic alliances.”

Some left-leaning candidates also directly rejected the DSA statement.

“I do not agree with the DSA’s position on the United States’ exit from NATO,” said Rana Abdelhamid, a member of the DSA who challenges Representative Carolyn Maloney in a New York neighborhood that according to redistricting lines, downpour some left quarters. “NATO is one of the main lines of defense we have against Russian aggression against Ukraine.”

But many other DSA-aligned New York City officials — some of whom have often weighed in on other national and international issues in the past — were far more circumspect.

“Thank you for reaching out, but our campaign has no comment on this,” Stephen Wood, spokesman for Brooklyn State Senate candidate David Alexis, emailed Wednesday.

Other elected officials who declined to comment or did not return requests for comment include Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; State Senators Julia Salazar and Jabari Brisport; and Assembly members Zohran Kwame Mamdani, Marcela Mitaynes and Phara Souffrant Forrest. Congresswoman Emily Gallagher of Brooklyn also declined to comment.

“If you’d like to write about any electrical building law, LLC disclosure legislation, or any other work from my job as a legislator, I’d be happy to talk,” Ms. Gallagher said.

Locally, the DSA’s view has been most forcefully advanced by Kristin RichardsonJordan, a councilwoman from Harlem and a democratic socialist, who was not supported by the organization in its electoral campaign.

“In 2014, the United States helped overthrow Ukraine’s democratically elected leader in an illegal coup, helped install a fascist government, and bolstered a far-right army in an effort to destabilize Russia,” Jordan said. said recently on Twitter, accusing the United States and the European Union of “provoking Russia with NATO enlargement” – comments which some say provided cover for Mr Putin.

She did not respond to requests for comment. But during a recent radio appearance, Ms Jordan was asked to justify her position. She reiterated her earlier claims and drew an outright denial from her Council colleagues.

“I’m not sure it makes sense to dive into the details of international politics when I’m in local government,” she said on The Brian Lehrer Show.

In Yonkers, where Mr. Bowman and Mr. Gashi run, Kiril Angelov, the pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Ukrainian Catholic Church, said he saw the pair at a recent service.

“I hope every politician sees the situation in Ukraine with open eyes and hearts,” he added.



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Newsrust - US Top News: The Socialists' response to the war in Ukraine has some Democrats on edge
The Socialists' response to the war in Ukraine has some Democrats on edge
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