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Thirty US Democratic Lawmakers U-Turn Within Hours After Urging Biden To Change Tack on Ukraine

By Svetlana Ekimenko – Samizdat – 25.10.2022

On Monday, 30 Democratic lawmakers from the US House of Representatives – led by Pramila Jayapal, chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus – wrote to President Joe Biden urging him to alter his Ukraine strategy and hold direct negotiations with Russia, “redoubling efforts to seek a realistic framework for a ceasefire”.

The group of progressive House Democrats who urged President Joe Biden on Monday to make fundamental changes to US strategy regarding the security crisis in Ukraine by seeking direct negotiations with Russia, made a U-turn within hours of sending their letter to the POTUS.

Under a wave of pressure from other Democrats, the group, led by Congressional Progressive Caucus chairwoman Pramila Jayapal, released a statement confirming their support for the president’s strategy.

“Let me be clear, we are united as Democrats in our unequivocal commitment to supporting Ukraine in their fight for their democracy and freedom,” Jayapal announced, adding that “nothing in the letter advocates change in that support”.

The statement went on to say that although diplomacy is “an important tool that can save lives,” it is “just one tool”.

“As we also made explicitly clear in our letter and will continue to make clear, we support President Biden and his administration’s commitment to nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine,” the group of lawmakers concluded.

Before bowing to pressure and backpedaling, the 30 Democrats had initially stated in their letter that it was in the interests of the Biden administration to revise his strategy for Ukraine to avert a protracted conflict fraught with dangerous possibilities.

“We urge you to pair the military and economic support the United States has provided Ukraine with a proactive diplomatic push, redoubling efforts to seek a realistic framework for a ceasefire,” the group – which includes Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Ro Khanna of California – said.

The Democrats added in the original letter:

“The alternative to diplomacy is protracted war, with both its attendant certainties and catastrophic and unknowable risks.”

The lawmakers had emphasized how the conflict would spill over into ordinary life and how the sanctions policy introduced by the US, the EU and allies against Moscow over its special military operation in Ukraine were self-harming. Food and gas costs have rocketed all over the world, including in the United States, and the soaring prices for wheat, fertilizer, and fuel have exacerbated global food shortages.

“If there is a way to end the war while preserving a free and independent Ukraine, it is America’s responsibility to pursue every diplomatic avenue to support such a solution that is acceptable to the people of Ukraine,” the letter said.

However, the letter’s call for a negotiation process that could include sanctions relief for Russia and security guarantees for Ukraine contents did not go down well with some other Democrats. Representative Ruben Gallego of Arizona tweeted in response to the progressives’ letter that the way to end a conflict is, “Win it quickly”.

Although the US Congress passed a Bill to send $12Bln in new aid to Ukraine in September, with the Biden administration expected to pledge more aid for the Kiev regime in December, if Republicans win control of the House in the November mid-term elections, this strategy of pumping aid into Ukraine may be put to the test.

A number of GOP House lawmakers such as Florida’s Matt Gaetz have been vociferous in calling for aid to Ukraine to be curtailed. These calls have been echoed by other influential voices in the broader conservative movement, highlighting that the Biden administration has been spending too much to prop up the Kiev authorities and possibly prolonging the conflict. After his home state of Florida was lashed by a hurricane, Gaetz went on Twitter to suggest that aid to Ukraine was diverting assistance from his own constituents.

And Republican representative for Georgia, Marjorie Taylor Greene, tweeted while announcing her vote against a spending resolution that included more funding for Ukraine, that she was opposed to “funding America’s 51st state: Ukraine”.

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, hoping that next month’s mid-terms will make him Speaker of the House, said in a recent interview: “I think people are going to be sitting in a recession and they’re not going to write a blank check to Ukraine.” He indicated that Republicans would demand tighter oversight of aid to Ukraine if they win the majority.

Earlier, Republican representative for Pennsylvania, Scott Perry, who is chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, reportedly texted members of the group about the potential for investigating the Biden administration over its handling of the Ukraine crisis. Perry suggested, according to screenshots of a text to fellow Republican members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, that the president might not have been honest with the American people about his goals in the conflict.

“If these nitwits in this jackwagon administration are blundering us or intentionally marching us to war with Russia, nuclear or otherwise, we’d better start to preserve the evidence so there can be accountability,” Perry said.

Russia has sent out repeated reminders that channeling military assistance to the Kiev regime will only prolong the conflict and is fraught with the risk of a further dangerous escalation of the crisis.

October 25, 2022 - Posted by | Militarism | ,

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