A group funded by Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Ben Cohen is campaigning for the US to stop providing military support to Ukraine in its war with Russia.
The Eisenhower Media Network has promoted claims that the United States is spending too much money helping Ukraine fend off Vladimir Putin.
The EMN is run by a group called the People’s Power Initiative, of which Cohen is president and a major backer.
The longtime progressive Democrat and financier of Bernie Sanders has donated more than $1 million to the initiative through the Ben Charitable Trust, according to a report in the Daily Beast.
Ben Cohen (left) and Jerry Greenfield (right) – the original founders of the now Unilever-owned ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s. Cohen was recently discovered to be the largest backer of the left-wing foreign policy group Eisenhower Media Network
Ukraine has been fighting Russia since it invaded more than a year ago. While support for the conflict has fallen out of favor with some factions of US politicians, the US continues to send billions of dollars in aid across the ocean
Cohen told the outlet he believes “the US should use its power to negotiate an end to the war, not prolong death and destruction by supplying more weapons.”
The project promotes the use of a group of military veterans as experts and experts willing to speak about the ongoing war abroad.
Some have said continued US military support to Ukraine prolongs and intensifies fighting between Russia and Ukraine and suggests that NATO’s expansion was one of the causes of the war.
The position is shared by members of the far right, including Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz, who believe the fighting in Ukraine is not America’s problem.
They also argue that the government is spending too many US tax dollars to pay billions and billions in aid in a depressed economy and in the midst of a massive deficit.
Several candidates and potential Republican presidential candidates recently claimed that the war in Ukraine was not of “vital national interest” to the US in an investigation distributed by Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
According to The Beast, during the recent debt-ceiling crisis, EMN claimed that spending on the Ukrainian cause was so high that the US government may be failing in its duty to pay military personnel and reduce their Social Security and pension checks.
Former State Department staffer, Captain of the Marine Corps and current Deputy Director of the EMN Matthew Hoh said: “The excessive federal spending on the war in Ukraine is missing from the public debt debate… It’s time to think about cutting off funding to Ukraine if we can’t afford it. .’
Last month Hoh quoted in Newsweek that the US agreeing to supply tanks to President Volodymyr Zelensky would escalate the war with Russia.
We should expect a mutual escalation from Russia that will deepen the stalemate and threaten the expansion of the war. Only de-escalation, ceasefire and negotiations can end the war,” he said.
The EMN’s somewhat isolationist foreign policy philosophy mirrors that of some sections of the conservative right-wing, including the positions of Representatives Gaetz and Taylor Greene on the war in Ukraine
Former State Department staffer, Captain of the Marine Corps and current Deputy Director of the EMN Matthew Hoh said: “The excessive federal spending on the war in Ukraine is missing from the public debt debate… It’s time to think about cutting off funding to Ukraine if we can’t afford it. ‘
Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky has received billions and billions in US aid and military dollars since the outbreak of war with Russia
In an interview with the outlet, EMN Director Dennis Fritz — a former Command Chief Master Sergeant in the Air Force — spoke about Cohen’s leadership of the organization.
“I’ve never talked about that before, but it’s Ben Cohen, remember him – Ben & Jerry’s – he’s our biggest financier. He is the reason we came into existence,” he said.
“We feel that our military budget is too big in some ways, and he believes that if we focus our budget only on what we really need, we’ll buy more social programs for the United States of America, more social programs that people maybe also needed in Ukraine.’
Ukraine cannot win this war. The bottom line is: it’s done. They are against a madman and his ego – he will not lose. Whether we like it or not, we have to give Putin something,” he continued.
EMN resisted attacks from huge US military spending long before the war in Ukraine began.
In an email, Cohen wrote, “The Pentagon budget is insane. Example: The atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima killed more than 100,000 people. Today’s nuclear arsenal is the equivalent of 120,000 Hiroshima-sized bombs.
“I think we’d be a lot safer if we spent wasted money on Pentagon overkill for Medicare for all and preventing lead poisoning.”
Although Ben & Jerry’s is currently wholly owned by consumer giant Unilever, its independent board of directors has a special dispensation to promote the socially progressive causes for which the original owners were known.
Last year, shortly before war broke out in Ukraine, the company was criticized for tweeting, “You can’t prevent and prepare for war at the same time. We call on President Biden to de-escalate tensions and work for peace instead of preparing for war.
“Sending thousands more American troops to Europe in response to Russia’s threats against Ukraine will only fan the flames of war.”
In 2021, Ben & Jerry’s also unsuccessfully tried to stop Unilever from selling its ice cream in parts of Israel
In 2021, Ben & Jerry’s also unsuccessfully tried to stop Unilever from selling its ice cream in parts of Israel.
The company initially announced it would no longer sell its ice cream in “occupied Palestinian territory,” areas that have been considered part of the modern state of Israel for decades.
However, the founders and their company were eventually stopped by Israeli licensee Avi Zinger, who continued to produce and distribute the ice cream to the Israeli settlements at his factory in the Tel Aviv suburbs.
At the time, the company was criticized by some for its anti-Zionist stance, which critics said reflected anti-Semitic values.