Follow us on social


Under pressure, progressives retract call for diplomacy in Ukraine

The move comes just 24 hours after 30 House Democrats called for negotiations in a letter to President Joe Biden.


Just a day after releasing a letter calling for diplomacy in Ukraine, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) issued a retraction and accused staff of releasing the document “without vetting.”

In a statement, Jayapal argued that the letter’s timing was a mistake given recent statements from Republican members of Congress like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who has raised the specter of reducing aid to Ukraine if the GOP takes the House in the upcoming midterm elections. 

“Every war ends with diplomacy, and this one will too after Ukrainian victory,” she argued, noting that she accepts responsibility for the mishap given her leadership role in the Progressive Caucus. (All 30 of the letter’s signatories are members of that grouping.)

The retraction comes after Jayapal and her progressive allies came under harsh pressure from numerous media figures and politicians, including some from the Progressive Caucus, who argued that the letter was a gift to Republicans before the midterms. Prior to the official walkback, several other signees — including Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), and Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.) — publicly claimed that they had signed the letter months before its release and were not aware that it would come out now.

Ukrainian elites also attacked the letter, with some arguing that any talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin are simply “not a viable option.”

The attacks on the letter (and its retraction) earned consternation from some on Twitter, who argued that the uproar surrounding it seemed to be removed from its substance. As Marcus Stanley of the Quincy Institute wrote in Responsible Statecraft yesterday, the document “praises the Biden Administration’s policy of supporting Ukraine’s self-defense while simultaneously avoiding direct U.S. military engagement with Russia” while calling on the administration to engage in “vigorous diplomatic efforts in support of a negotiated settlement and ceasefire.” 

Some of the letter’s signees have stood by it despite the harsh response, including Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), who has been outspoken about the need for a diplomatic solution to the conflict. 

“We must continue to support Ukraine while mitigating the serious risk of nuclear war, managing the conflict to not escalate, and seeking a just peace,” Khanna tweeted Tuesday.

Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), both of whom initially signed the letter before retracting Tuesday. (CC/ Lorie Shaull)
Wall Street Journal

Editorial credit: monticello /

WSJ conceals Saudi funding of pro-Saudi nuke deal source


The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that “Israeli officials are quietly working with the Biden administration on a polarizing proposal to set up a U.S.-run uranium-enrichment operation in Saudi Arabia as part of a complex three-way deal to establish official diplomatic relations between the two Middle Eastern countries,” according to U.S. and Israeli officials.

The article, authored by Dion Nissenbaum and Dov Lieber, largely showcases Israeli opposition to the deal. Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a group whose mission includes providing “education to enhance Israel’s image in North America…” was quoted opposing a uranium enrichment program on Saudi soil. He warned that “we’re one bullet away from a disaster in Saudi Arabia,” adding, “What happens if, God forbid, a radical Islamist leader takes control?”

keep readingShow less
Menendez took bribes to help Egypt get weapons: Prosecutors
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.). Jan. 2019 (Photo: lev radin via

Menendez took bribes to help Egypt get weapons: Prosecutors


UPDATE: Sen. Bob Menendez temporarily stepped down from his powerful role as chairman of the Senate Relations Committee late Friday afternoon, according to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

keep readingShow less

Diplomacy Watch: Poland-Ukraine spat threatens Western unity


On Tuesday, Polish President Andrzej Duda delivered an emphatic speech in support of Ukraine on the floor of the United Nations General Assembly.

“This brutal war must end, and not be converted into a frozen war,” Duda declared from the rostrum. “This can only be done by restoring the full territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders!”

keep readingShow less

Ukraine War Crisis