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Democratic Party Slaps Down a Polite “Progressive” Plea for Negotiations in Ukraine War

A Farce in Three Acts With Three Big Lessons

Act One: The Modest Plea from the "Progressives"

On October 24, Pramila Jayapal, chair of the “Congressional Progressive Caucus,” released a letter to Joe Biden. It urged him to negotiate with Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, to bring an end to the war in Ukraine. Russia criminally invaded Ukraine and the U.S. just as criminally has used that invasion to conduct a proxy war, arming and increasingly guiding Ukrainian troops to—in the words of U.S. Secretary of “Defense” Lloyd Austinstrategically “weaken” Russia. Now Jayapal did not call for an immediate END to this war; she oh-so-“reasonably” requested that the U.S. accompany their waging of this war with what would amount to a fig leaf of “negotiations” to prove that they really were doing this for “peace” (and, again, not to strategically “weaken” the Russians).

And let’s be clear. This war has already reportedly killed tens of thousands of people, displaced millions, and very directly raised the threatening possibility of nuclear war to the highest level in 60 years. Certainly, if your aim was to end the slaughter and, even more, the extreme danger of nuclear war this war is posing, it would be a very good thing to end this as soon as possible—something which, short of outright victory by one side or the other, will involve some form of negotiation.

The letter was signed by 30 Congresspeople, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cori Bush, Ro Khanna, and Ilhan Omar. The letter declared their support for continuing “the military and economic support the United States has provided to Ukraine” but called for combining that “with a proactive diplomatic push, redoubling efforts to seek a realistic framework for a ceasefire.”

Act Two: The Powers-That-Be Administer a Political Beatdown, "Progressives" Scurry to “Clarify”

Act Two was very brief. Immediately upon the letter's release, other Democrats responded with “fury” and “fierce pushback” to the call for negotiations. As one tweeted, “The way to end a war? Win it quickly. How is it won quickly? By giving Ukraine the weapons to defeat Russia.”

Within hours, Jayapal “clarified” her position, saying “we are united as Democrats in our unequivocal commitment to supporting Ukraine in their fight for their democracy and freedom in the face of the illegal and outrageous Russian invasion, and nothing in the letter advocates for a change in that support.”

Act Three: “Progressives” Forced to Eat Shit and Crawl on Their Bellies

Even this cowardly clarification was not enough for the Democratic leadership. Public humiliation would be necessary.

The next day, Jayapal felt compelled to take back even this weak call for seeking negotiations while continuing the war, saying that “the Congressional Progressive Caucus hereby withdraws its recent letter to the White House regarding Ukraine.”

By the way, if you’re wondering where Saint Bernie was in this, he had his head planted firmly up the behind of the Democratic Leadership, saying the letter was wrong and the caucus was right to withdraw it.

What Lessons Can Be Drawn from This?

  1. The U.S. is not “fervently seeking peace” in Ukraine, it is pursuing its imperialist interests. Its aim is not peace, but as the U.S. Secretary of Defense admitted, it is to strategically “weaken” Russia.
    Already this war has taken tens of thousands of lives and displaced millions. The threat of nuclear war looms and has been threatened by leaders on both sides. This war is an Imperialist Showdown, NOT “Good Guys vs. Bad Guys.” Ukraine is NOT a battleground between democracy and autocracy, it is a conflict zone of imperialist rivalry between Russian imperialism and U.S. and Western imperialism.
  2. The Democrats are NOT the “party of peace”—they are the party of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
    Face the facts: from Hiroshima to Vietnam to Obama’s drone strike campaign, they have demonstrated to you over and over again that they have no hesitation at all when it comes to killing millions of people in the interests of the U.S. empire. And now, under Democratic Party leadership, this country is bringing the world to the brink of nuclear war—and their self-described “progressives” are on board with that! This “peace-loving” party won’t even allow talking about negotiating an end to this war in its own ranks!

    It’s way past time for people to stop being a tail on the Democratic donkey!
  3. These “progressives” are fronting for this system, not fighting for “the people.” If you could give these "progressives" truth serum, the smartest among them would admit to you that without U.S. domination of the world, the whole "progressive" project of a “more equitable division of the wealth” would fall apart. This empire rests on the wealth obtained by the brutal exploitation of hundreds of millions of people around the world—from the child miners of Congo who make possible the “smart phones” that people in the imperialist countries want to the women workers of Bangladesh toiling for pennies in the garment sweatshops that give you your fast fashion. These "progressives" want in on that system; revolutionary communists want to overthrow it. Relying on these “progressives” to end this war will just continue to facilitate it. 

    These "progressives" call to mind a Bob Dylan lyric: “We looted and we plundered on distant shores, Why is my share not equal to yours?”

Conclusion: This Whole Dynamic Must Be Urgently, Radically Changed—in the Interests of Humanity, Not of Rival and Contending Imperialists

As Bob Avakian wrote:

All this emphasizes why it is vitally important for the masses of people, in this country, and other countries aligned with it, as well as in Russia—for people everywhere—to finally and fully wake up now, recognize the real, and profoundly heavy, stakes involved, and act in accordance with our actual interests—the interests of all of humanity: demanding that this war in Ukraine, and the involvement (direct and indirect) of the imperialists on both sides in this war, be STOPPED, before it not only causes even greater suffering for the people of Ukraine but possibly escalates into a far more terrible conflict which causes massive destruction and death, on a whole other level, and even possibly poses a threat to the very existence of humanity itself.




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