Rep. Matt Gaetz
© Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP, File
Rep. Matt Gaetz argued on the House floor Monday that U.S. aid to Ukraine is only feeding a war that could escalate dangerously.
Gaetz said the US should be focusing on China, not Ukraine

Rep. Matt Gaetz on Monday accused President Biden and members of both parties of spending tens of billions of dollars in Ukraine to keep a war going that does not satisfy any U.S. national interest other than making U.S. weapons manufacturers happy.

"How much more for Ukraine? Is there any limit?" Gaetz, R-Fla., asked on the House floor. "Which billionth dollar really kicks in the door? Which redline we set will we not later cross?"

Gaetz said China's surveillance flights in U.S. airspace should remind America that China is one of the "real issues" the U.S. government should be dealing with. But he said Biden will likely use his State of the Union address on Tuesday to argue that Ukraine is America's top priority.

Comment: Despite Gaetz's good insights regarding Russia it seems he's fallen prey to the beltway's anti-China rhetoric - propagated by the same thinktanks and weapons makers as the Russophobics.

"Tomorrow, President Biden will tell us how much more we must do for Ukraine," Gaetz said. "Look around your house. How much stuff is made in Ukraine, or even Russia for that matter?"

Comment: Ukraine is resource-rich however. See: Zelenskyy's Neoliberal Fire Sale

"So why Ukraine, a country that just rounded up dozens of senior leaders in its government over overt corruption?" Gaetz asked. "Perhaps the answer is as simple as the Hunter Biden life motto: the grifters gotta grift."

He said the benefits of propping up Ukraine with arms, aid and even funding for its most basic government functions are unclear to most Americans, and said the U.S. is now lending Ukraine equipment and weapons that move it closer to a giant conflict with Russia.

"Stingers, HIMARS, tanks.... at first we said no to all of these things," Gaetz said. "President Biden even said that some of these things might lead to World War III. And then yet, we sent all of them."

"F-16s are likely still," Gaetz said, referring to the suddenly more realistic possibility that the U.S. might send planes to Ukraine. "Lockheed Martin sure is confident that Ukraine will get F-16s. They told the Financial Times recently that they are already ramping up production. Create demand, provide the supply."

Gaetz accused both parties of accepting arguments from officials who have been wrong before.

© AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
President Biden has kept up pressure on Congress to keep funding Ukraine's defense against Russia's attack, and is expected to highlight that effort in his State of the Union remarks on Tuesday.
"This is escalating, and we are placing trust in leaders who do not deserve trust," he said. "John Kirby, the Pentagon's [former] spokesman, who assured us that the Afghan military would withstand the Taliban offensive, now says that there is no risk that Putin will go nuclear. The risk of miscalculation in Ukraine is much, much higher than getting it wrong in Afghanistan."

Instead of fueling a war with more weapons, the U.S. should be seeking peace.

"We can and must push for peace," he said. "You don't really hear that from many people these days with the exception of President Trump. Trump is right to recognize that we are on the brink of World War III and that immediate action for peace is necessary to stop disaster."