MEP Mick Wallace had some bold if unkind words for democracy U.S. style. He broke the mold and accurately told some inconvenient truths.
American ‘Democracy’ ridiculed
A few months back, MEP Mick Wallace took some flak for voting against an EU resolution against Russia for invading Ukraine. Wallace and MEP Clare Daly wrote an op-ed to explain their ethical vote.
There has been intense interest from the Irish public in yesterday’s vote on the European Parliament’s resolution on Russian aggression against Ukraine, passed by overwhelming majority. Our decision to vote against it has drawn considerable anger. Central to that anger is the mistaken belief we voted “against condemning Russian aggression.” That is not true. We unequivocally condemn Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. We call on the Russian Federation to immediately terminate all military activities in Ukraine, unconditionally withdraw its forces, and fully respect Ukraine’s sovereignty. We express our undivided solidarity with the people of Ukraine and call for urgent diplomatic efforts to secure a ceasefire and negotiations to end the conflict.
But as usual, many capitalist countries use crises’ like these to profiteer and justify other moves. Wallace wrote:
The resolution also calls to accelerate provision of military equipment and weapons to Ukraine, to strengthen NATO’s forward presence, to further increase defence spending, and to activate European common and joint defence efforts “in order to strengthen the European pillar within NATO.” It also, opportunistically, calls for throwing open the European energy market to fracked liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States. Our political group, the Left, sought to remove these elements from the resolution, but the majority in the European Parliament fought to keep them. We had to vote on the text as a whole, which included these calls. Our vote was not against condemning Russian aggression. It was against flooding Ukraine with weapons. It was against a retaliatory spiral of military escalation, endangering all of Europe. It was against cynically exploiting a invasion of Ukraine to advance the interests of the fossil fuel industry during a climate crisis, endangering the whole planet.
Wallace added that they opposed the new militarization of Europe as well as the creation of policies that would precipitate another World War. Wallace also points out what is apparent to those willing to see objectively.
Despite fulsome rhetoric, Europe has been no friend of Ukraine. The country has been used as a pawn. Ukrainian lives have been treated as expendable. All along, our work has focused on dialogue to bring about an end to the longstanding war in Donbass, in line with the Normandy Format talks and the Minsk II agreement. Our stance is firmly in the tradition of Irish neutrality and international support for peace.
I wanted to present the essence of who Mick Wallace is. So the words he is uttering are not from some lunatic but from a conscientious human being. And here is his inconvenient truth about American democracy.
“Why are we so quiet about challenging the U.S. when they threaten human rights?” Mick Wallace said recently on the EU Parliament floor. “Some people have said in here, ‘Oh, we can’t. Wait, how dare we talk about the U.S.?’ Well, we talk about everybody else. Is the U.S. a functioning democracy? Well, let’s have a look at it.”
Wallace then went on to enumerate some of our most immediately observable sins.
“They spend over 800 billion a year on arms, which is more than most of the world put together,” Wallace said. “They’ve been at war for 250 years since our state was formed 275 years ago. But they can’t afford universal health care. They can’t afford a 1.7 trillion debt forgiveness for students. They can’t afford a program for the 17 million children that go to bed hungry. Is this a functioning democracy? What’s your idea of a democracy? Bernie Sanders wasn’t even allowed to win the nomination for the Democrats. The Americans couldn’t spell democracy.”
There is no refuting any of those statements. It is time that we invest in empowering the masses to clean up what America is further transitioning into now.
(h/t Briege Mcp, Michael Moore)