An Open Letter to the Progressive Caucus in Congress

As a longtime opponent of war and a believer in the idea that talking always beats fighting, I was slightly heartened by the news yesterday that the Progressive Caucus had sent a letter to Joe BIden urging him to try diplomacy to reach a settlement in the conflict in Ukraine.  Finally, I thought, a whiff of sanity.  Instead of stepping up the training and arming of the Ukraine military, there were some on the leftish side of Congress who were looking for a sane way out of another insane war. Calls for a different approach to the issues this war is being fought over were not only coming from the ultra-right wingers in Congress- rightwingers whose motives are both shallow and questionable.

Therefore, imagine my surprise and now anger at the news that your caucus withdrew its letter. Your action tells me that you do not have the strength of your convictions and that your politics are timid and without any analysis beyond what your party leaders tell you will win you elections.  In other words, you are no different in political practice than those in the GOP who are afraid to stand up to the Trumpists.

By pulling back from the thoughts in your letter, you have exhibited that your party, with it’s leadership in the pockets of the war industry, the generals and the warmongers, is more important than any principles your letter may have expressed. I would say shame on you, but I’m not so naive as to believe those elected to Washington have a concept of shame.

Finally, let me ask those who reject diplomacy in this and other conflicts the US has its bloodstained dollars in: why are you so opposed to diplomacy?

Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. He has a new book, titled Nowhere Land: Journeys Through a Broken Nation coming out in Spring 2024.   He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at: