Biden’s Desperation and the Human Cost of Cluster Munitions in Ukraine, with Medea Benjamin

Fresh from a recent trip to Ukraine, veteran anti-war activist Medea Benjamin speaks on the Biden administration’s controversial move to send cluster munitions to the country and more in this revealing interview with Alan Macleod.

As the war in Ukraine continues to take lives, many people worldwide question its legitimacy and demand an end to the violence. Yet even as calls to cease the conflict grow, the Biden administration has announced that it will up the ante by sending cluster munitions to Ukraine – a weapon banned by more than 100 countries worldwide.

Today’s guest, Medea Benjamin, an anti-war activist and co-founder of the peace group CODEPINK, was shocked by the decision. “The world came together in 2008 to ban cluster munitions for a real reason,” she told “MintCast” host Alan MacLeod. “And that is because of all the unsuspecting children and farmers who step on these bombs and whose limbs are blown off,” she added, noting that wherever these weapons have been used, the consequences and the destruction last for decades.“This is just an example of the desperation of the Biden administration to want to see some success in the Ukraine counteroffensive, which isn’t going anywhere,” she concluded.


Alan MacLeod is Senior Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent, as well as a number of academic articles. He has also contributed to, The Guardian, Salon, The Grayzone, Jacobin Magazine, and Common Dreams.

Benjamin worked for ten years in Latin America and Africa as an economist and nutritionist for international bodies such as the World Health Organization and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. She has authored many books, including her most recent “War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict,” co-authored with Nicolas J.S. Davies. She co-founded CODEPINK in 2002 and has participated in myriad protests to disrupt Washington’s war machine.

Benjamin recently returned from a trip to Ukraine, where she survived a Russian air raid attack on Lviv. Yet arguably more concerning than the destruction was the mentality of many she met. As she told MacLeod:

The impression I got talking to a number of people in Ukraine is that they are being fed a daily diet – both from the media and from their own politicians – that this war is going in their favor, that this war is winnable (meaning they can get back Crimea and every inch of the Donbas, and they should.) So, I feel that, for many of them, they were really divorced from the reality of the fighting and Russia’s ability to keep this battle going.”

When asked, she was highly skeptical that any Republican administration would drastically change the United States’ position on Ukraine. However, Cornel West’s decision to run for president on the Green Party ticket gave her hope. “I’m very excited that Cornel West has entered into this race,” she said; “there is a lot of excitement about his candidacy because he is so respected as a very deep thinker and somebody who, for many decades, has shown his commitment to issues of fighting racism, fighting poverty and fighting war.”

From there, the pair also talked about the U.S. buildup of troops around China, sanctions on Cuba, and why recent Biden-appointee Elliott Abrams is the neocon par excellence. According to Benjamin, Abrams should be tried for war crimes rather than serve in positions affecting U.S. government policy.

Tune in to another informative podcast now.

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