24 hours after calling for negotiations to end Ukraine war, DSA and “progressive” Democrats demand escalation

By Eric LONDON

On Monday, 30 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus sent a letter to President Joe Biden suggesting the US negotiate with Russia to bring an end to the war in Ukraine. The letter cited “the catastrophic possibilities of nuclear escalation and miscalculation” and expressed concern that the war is forcing billions of people worldwide to suffer loss of access to food and other necessities.

On Tuesday, with the “catastrophic possibilities” just as great as the day before, the Democratic signatories—including all four congressional members of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)—withdrew their letter, repudiated calls for negotiations and pledged their full support for the war.

The reversal was immediate and total. In a statement published Tuesday, Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (Democrat-Washington state) called Monday’s letter “unfortunate” and apologized on behalf of the letter’s signatories for causing a “distraction” to the war effort. “The Congressional Progressive Caucus hereby withdraws its recent letter to the White House regarding Ukraine,” she stated. Not a single member of the caucus voiced any opposition to the reversal.

From left: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., on February 26, 2019 in Washington. [AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite]

From left: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., on February 26, 2019 in Washington. [AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite]

Jayapal did not merely withdraw the letter, she also committed the caucus to support the war until Russia is forced to capitulate. “Every war ends with diplomacy,” she wrote, “and this one will too after Ukrainian victory.” But according to the letter issued on Monday, if the Russian government lacks “a realistic framework for a ceasefire,” then the “risk of catastrophic escalation” will only grow. While the signatories wrote Monday that “the alternative to diplomacy is protracted war, with both its attendant certainties and catastrophic and unknowable risks,” on Tuesday they chose “protracted war” and accepted the risks.

Such is the reactionary dynamic of Democratic Party politics. This profile in political cowardice once again demonstrates that the Democratic Party, like its Republican counterpart, is nothing but a political pillar of American imperialism. It is a vehicle for prosecuting Wall Street’s reckless drive for world domination. Its “left” wing, represented by politicians like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Democrat-New York), is no exception.

These heroes of the upper-middle class “left” are scrambling over one another to erase their signatures from Monday’s letter asking for negotiations. In a transparently false attempt to blame her subordinates, Jayapal (who claims to be a supporter of the rights of employees against employers) ignominiously said the letter “unfortunately was released by staff without our vetting.”



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