Democrats retract letter to Biden urging a Russia-Ukraine ceasefire

by Jacob Fuller

Vicky Arias, FISM News


On Monday, thirty House Democrats sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to engage in peace talks with Russia and Ukraine in an effort to de-escalate tensions in the region. On Tuesday, they retracted it.

Due to backlash in their own party, House Democrats rescinded the missive, which had been sent by the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC).

“It is imperative to avoid direct military conflict with Russia, which would lead to ‘World War III, something we must strive to prevent,’” the letter explained. “Given the catastrophic possibilities of nuclear escalation and miscalculation, which only increase the longer this war continues … we urge you to pair the military and economic support the United States has provided to Ukraine with a proactive diplomatic push, redoubling efforts to seek a realistic framework for a ceasefire.”

The letter mirrored Biden’s own tweet posted in March.

After its release, Democrat infighting began. Various party members condemned the letter, calling it a letdown to Ukraine, and rebuked it for aligning with the views of certain members of the Republican Party. As a result of the pressure, the CPC withdrew the communication.

Pramila Jayapal, chair of the CPC, released a statement explaining that “the letter was drafted several months ago, but unfortunately was released by staff without vetting [and] … because of the timing, our message is being conflated by some as being equivalent to the recent statement by Republican Leader [Kevin] McCarthy threatening an end to aid to Ukraine if Republicans take over.”

Jayapal continued, saying that the letter “created the unfortunate appearance that Democrats … are somehow aligned with Republicans who seek to pull the plug on American support for President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian forces.”

According to Reuters, “Representative Kevin McCarthy, the top House Republican and likely next Speaker, said there would be no ‘blank check’ for Ukraine if Republicans take over [in November].”

At almost $60 billion, the United States has committed to sending more military relief to Ukraine in a year’s time than to any other country in nearly 50 years.

President Biden recently explained the risks associated with America’s involvement in the Russia-Ukraine war.

“We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis,” Biden said in early October. “We’ve got a guy I know fairly well, his name is Vladimir Putin. I spent a fair amount of time with him. He is not joking when he talks about the potential use of tactical and nuclear weapons, or biological or chemical weapons … It’s part of Russian doctrine that they will not — they will not — if the motherland is threatened, they’ll use whatever force they need, including nuclear weapons.”

According to the BBC, Russia has 5,977 nuclear warheads, while NATO has 5,943 (of which 5,428 belong to the United States).

On Tuesday, weeks after Biden’s remarks, Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi explained that “Congress has secured over $60 billion in security, economic, humanitarian, and budget assistance for Ukraine, including twelve and a third billion just weeks ago. And more will be on the way when [they] pass [their] omnibus funding bill this fall.”