Democratic Socialists of America members in Congress join Republicans and Democrats in support of anti-China “spy balloon” resolution

On Thursday, February 9, the US House of Representatives, in a unanimous 419-0 bipartisan vote, approved a warmongering resolution condemning the Chinese Communist Party for its alleged “violation of United States sovereignty” via a supposed “high-altitude surveillance balloon.”

US Representative Ilhan Omar (Democrat-Minnesota) speaks as US Representatives (from left) Rashida Tlaib (Democrat-Michigan), Ayanna Presley (Democrat-Massachusetts) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Democrat-New York) listen during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington D.C. on July 15, 2019. [AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File]

House Resolution 104, “Condemning the Chinese Communist Party’s use of a high-altitude surveillance balloon over United States territory as a brazen violation of United States sovereignty,” was supported by 215 Republicans and 204 Democrats, including all five Democrats who are currently members of the Democratic Socialists of America: Rashida Tlaib (Michigan), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York), Jamaal Bowman (New York), Cori Bush (Missouri) and Greg Casar (Texas).

Seven Republicans and eight Democrats were absent and did not vote on the bill, not out of any objection to the resolution, but because under the new Republican House rules, casting a vote remotely by proxy has been eliminated.

The Republican-drafted resolution is aimed at demonizing the Chinese government and people while creating the conditions for war against China. This campaign is being prepared behind the backs of the American population, and, as the vote for the resolution expresses, with the full endorsement of all of the so-called “democratic socialists” and “progressives” in Congress.

Representatives from both big business parties unanimously voted for the bill just five days after President Joe Biden ordered the shoot-down of the alleged “spy balloon” off the coast of South Carolina on February 4.

Following passage of the bill last Thursday, US F-22 fighter jets, armed with AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles, shot down unmanned “objects” over northern Alaska on Friday; Yukon, Canada on Saturday; and Lake Huron on Sunday. This was the first time in history the US military had taken such actions in North America.

Following passage of the resolution, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told reporters, “China is strongly dissatisfied with this and firmly opposes it.

“The resolution by the US Congress was purely political manipulation and hyping up,” Mao added.

Despite the fact that the US government has yet to provide photographic or physical evidence that the balloon shot down on February 4 was equipped with a camera designed to collect military intelligence, the resolution passed by Congress states unequivocally that what was shot down was a “surveillance balloon” aimed at “intelligence collection.”

The imperialist and war-mongering character of the measure was made explicit by the bill’s sponsor, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Michael McCaul (Republican—Texas).

In a speech prior to the vote, McCaul urged all members of Congress to vote for the bill in order to send “a clear, bipartisan message to the CCP and to our adversaries around the world that this kind of aggression will not be tolerated.”

After condemning President Joe Biden for failing to shoot down the balloon before “crossing into US airspace” McCaul, ramping up the war hysteria, said the balloon showed that the “CCP threat is now within sight for Americans across the heartland.”

The balloon, according to McCaul, was part of pattern of the CCP “challenging US interests” from “threatening Taiwan” to “supporting Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine” and “now violating US sovereignty.”

Using the alleged “spy balloon” as justification to further increase US military spending for Taiwan, McCaul added, “If there is any question if the administration should request funds supporting Taiwan’s foreign military financing grants—this incident alone should make it clear that now is the time to harden ourselves and our partners against Chinese military aggression.”

Braying for war with nuclear-armed China, McCaul said, “An event like this cannot happen again, and it cannot go unanswered... [T]hey only understand one thing, and that is force, and that is projecting power. And we need to project power and force and strength.”

After McCaul finished his belligerent speech, every single member of the DSA in Congress voted in favor of the bill. While not a member of the DSA, even so-called “progressive” Minnesota Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar, who was recently removed from the Foreign Affairs Committee in a party-line vote earlier this month, joined with the very same Republicans that removed her from the committee in condemning China.

The votes by the Democrats and their DSA members, while politically revealing, are not unexpected. Within the last two years, DSA members, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman, have voted for bills that have provided billions in military funding for the Israeli military as part of Israel’s war against the Palestinians, as well as billions in funding for the Ukrainian military as part of the US-NATO war against Russia.

The fact that not a single member of the DSA voted against the bill again exposes the lie that the DSA, which represents sections of the upper-middle class aligned with US imperialism and its enforcers in the trade union bureaucracy, has anything to do with socialism, internationalism or Marxism.

The passage of the resolution shows again that the DSA is a faction of the Democratic Party, which exists to promote the illusion that the Democratic Party can be pushed to the left and entrap socialist-minded workers, students and youth in the political graveyard of the Democratic Party, seeking to disorient them into supporting the fraud of “human rights” imperialism.

The development of a genuine antiwar movement will not take place within the Democratic Party, a party of Wall Street and the CIA. The struggle against war must be developed as a mass independent movement of the working class, aimed at putting an end to the capitalist system, the source of war and fascism.