Demand Ed Markey Stop Supporting Military Funding for Endless Wars!
Sign our petition to Senator Ed Markey now and ask him to live up to his promise as a peaceful progressive to cut wasteful military spending and stop undiplomatic aggression against China. Read our alert here. Read the text of the U.S. Innovation & Competition Act (S.1260) here.
Dear Senator Markey,
On April 21st of 2021, you and every Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to advance the Strategic Competition Act out of committee to the full Senate for debate and consideration. Last year during Massachusetts’ Democratic Senate Primary, you categorized your 2003 vote for the War in Iraq as a “mistake.” Now after winning re-election with the support of groups like Massachusetts Peace Action, Sunrise, 350MA, Western Mass CODEPINK, and more, Senator Markey, we believe you have made another mistake in advancing the aggressive and undiplomatic Strategic Competition Act out of committee and then through the Senate on June 8th as part of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act of 2021. Your consistent support for this bill goes against your stated support for cutting the bloated Pentagon budget that diverts funding from important domestic needs like education, healthcare, and transitioning to a green economy.
The U.S. Innovation and Competition Act sends over $650 million of our tax dollars to funding foreign militaries, with an additional $225 million for military training, all to escalate conflicts and tensions with China. This undiplomatic bill sets the stage for a new Cold War on China that would undermine the necessary cooperation of the world’s two largest economies and biggest polluters in combating global challenges like climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill also includes half a billion dollars for U.S. propaganda that demonizes China and endangers Asians and Asian Americans at home and abroad. This includes funding for Radio Free Asia, which began broadcasting propaganda to mainland China in 1951, and which even the New York Times has described as “an arm of the C.I.A.”
The reckless Yellow Peril rhetoric and dangerous propaganda—both in the bill’s text and in its promotion—have devastating effects on Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities who face a new deadly wave of anti-Asian intimidation and attacks. Much like the post- 9/11 Islamophobia that fueled the Iraq War, this current wave of Sinophobia is being amplified by politicians like you who are demonizing and scapegoating China in an effort to manufacture consent for further military spending, aggression, and war.
We ask that you reexamine your stance on working to bolster and advance Taiwan’s defenses as further military, weapons, and munitions buildups are costly wastes of taxpayer money that should be going to domestic needs, diplomacy, and fighting climate change. By increasing our readiness for war in the region, we increase the chances of deadly conflicts and even nuclear escalation. Instead of arming us for a new Cold War, politicians like you should be working on disarmament, weapons and troop reductions, and defining places for cooperation and compromise that advance both U.S. and Chinese interests.
In addition, we caution you against uncritically accepting and reproducing the views of religious extremists like Adrian Zenz who has claimed to be “led by God” on a “mission” against China. Zenz is funded by the biased Victims of Communism Memorial Fund and seems to only express concern for Muslims in China and when it benefits him, like as a guest at your Senate hearing on Xinjiang. While we will never defend or condone human rights abuses, we fear that Mr. Zenz's biased and false analysis is being used to manufacture consent for further militarism and war from liberals and progressives like yourself. Human rights abuses can never be used as an excuse for war, and as we saw with the War in Iraq, human rights are always the second casualty of war after the truth.
Senator Ed Markey, we write to you today calling for peace and asking that you oppose further nuclear proliferation, out-of-control Pentagon spending, anti-Asian propaganda, and undiplomatic posturing that forestalls cooperation on our biggest global issues. We urge you to rectify the mistake you made in supporting this racist, xenophobic, wasteful, and environmentally damaging “Innovation” Act. If you won’t stand for peace right now as China extends diplomacy and cooperation in the face of U.S. brinkmanship and aggression, then when will you stand for peace that you claim to believe in?