A Video Response to Congresswoman Jayapal
On Instagram and Facebook last week, I posted a pretty testy response to minority leader Representative McCarthy regarding his comments about pulling back aid to Ukraine. More about that below the embedded video.
Just yesterday, though, we had 30 Democratic members of Congress, described as being either Liberals or Progressives in media reports, express a similar feeling in a letter to President Biden. It's not that they were looking to reduce aid to Ukraine, but expressed an interest in pushing forward a negotiated end the the war, lead by the US. Of course the implcation is that if Ukraine doesn't follow the US lead, then we pull back aid. (One step removed from #MoscowMcCarthy.)
I found this even more alarming than what we've heard from a handful of Republicans because the position seemed so poorly conceived, but yet it was expressed in a formal letter to the presidnet that was going to be public. It's not like she was caught off guard with a question in an interview.
I shot this video to express my concerns primarily through social media, where video suits the medium better. I also wanted to archive it here. I should note that over night (my time), Representative Jayapal tried to walk back her position a bit, but the two messages are indeed hard to reconcile. It's pretty clear she wanted a negotiated end to the war with no regard for Ukrainian wishes, so... Here's the video and apologies for the lenght, but you should know better by now.
As for what I posted about #MoscowMcCarthy, that is still available on IG and Facebook @lvivalliance. I think it was pretty clearly that what he meant to do was make it look like Republicans were going to be financially tight-fisted with the US taxpayer dollars. He used the phrase "blank cheque," in that Ukraine can no longer count on a blank cheque from the US on military assitance. Well, there never has been a blank cheque; far from it. A constant theme since February has been Zelenskyy et al asking for this or that, and Biden and the Pentagon saying, we'll think about it. If the Congressman has missed that dynamic, he hasn't been paying attention.
As for the facts I presented, spending by the US on Ukraine hasn't even appraoched 1% of what we've spent on defense in the War on Terror (primarly being the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan), and yet what we've invested in Ukraine looks very likely to yield much more of a return.
The other point I made is that while US aid to Ukraine has been the most meaningful in the fight, as a function of the size of our economy, it is not the pace-setter. Rather, the US is eighth behind Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Lithuania, Norway, Slovakia, and Czechia. The UK is right there in with the US, and Germany is really stepping things up in the last couple months. Here is the graph from the post courtesy of the Kiel Institute who tracks this stuff.