Ben & Jerry’s founder funding campaign against US support in Ukraine
March 22, 2023

Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Ben Cohen has been revealed as the top donor to a group that is running a media campaign against U.S. military support for Ukraine.

The organization, called the 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 Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

The ‘Ben’ in Ben & Jerry’s who is also the president and a major backer of the People’s Power Initiative (PPI), has given more than $1 million to the organization 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.”

EMN 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.

“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,” noted The Daily Beast.

The EMN’s claims that the U.S. is spending too much money on Ukraine have been disputed by experts, who point out that the aid provided by the U.S. and other Western countries is crucial to Ukraine’s ability to defend itself against Russian aggression. The U.S. has provided Ukraine with more than $3 billion in security assistance since 2014 and has also imposed sanctions on Russia in response to its annexation of Crimea and support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.

It remains to be seen how much impact EMN’s media campaign will have on U.S. policy towards Ukraine, but the debate over military support for Ukraine is far from settled.

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