A group funded by Ben & Jerry’s founder Ben Cohen is running a media campaign against U.S. military support for Ukraine.
The organization—Eisenhower Media Network (EMN)—has been reaching out to reporters to push claims that the U.S. is spending too much money trying to help Ukraine fight off Vladimir Putin’s invasion.
EMN is a project run by the People’s Power Initiative, a group that counts Cohen as its president and a major backer. The ice-cream mogul and long-time Bernie Sanders campaigner has given more than $1 million to the People’s Power Initiative via the Ben Cohen Charitable Trust, according to public records.
Approached about his role in backing the group, Cohen told The Daily Beast: “I think the U.S. should use its power to negotiate an end to the war, not prolong the death and destruction by supplying more weapons.”
The EMN project promotes a group of U.S. military veterans as experts and pundits willing to talk about the war in Ukraine. Some of them have been echoing Kremlin propaganda lines by claiming that U.S. military support for Ukraine is extending and intensifying the fighting, and suggesting that NATO expansion was one of the causes of the war. “We gave Putin just cause,” the director of EMN, Dennis Fritz, told The Daily Beast in an interview.
This left-wing critique of U.S. policy—which grows out of a deep-rooted anti-war sentiment—brings some on the left into line with the talking points of fringe Republicans such as Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz, who also argue that Washington is overspending in defense of Ukraine. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a potential presidential candidate, claimed last week that defeating Putin was not in the U.S.’s “vital national interests.” [Continue reading…]
In an interview with The Atlantic, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky described the likely consequences if America was to cut off the weapons supply:
If we will not have enough weapons, that means we will be weak. If we will be weak, they will occupy us. If they occupy us, they will be on the borders of Moldova and they will occupy Moldova. When they have occupied Moldova, they will [travel through] Belarus and they will occupy Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. That’s three Baltic countries which are members of NATO. They will occupy them. Of course, [the Balts] are brave people, and they will fight. But they are small. And they don’t have nuclear weapons. So they will be attacked by Russians because that is the policy of Russia, to take back all the countries which have been previously part of the Soviet Union.
When they will occupy NATO countries, and also be on the borders of Poland and maybe fight with Poland, the question is: Will you send all your soldiers with weapons, all your pilots, all your ships? Will you send tanks and armored vehicles with your young people? Will you do it? Because if you will not do it, you will have no NATO. [Continue reading…]