Against aid to Ukraine, the extremes come together

Against aid to Ukraine, extremes come together


As the conflict sparked by the Russian invasion drags on, opposition to military aid to Ukraine is taking shape in all corners of Western politics.

The recent alleged drone attack on the Kremlin is the latest example of Russia's disinformation campaign to try to legitimize Russia's illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and undermine Western public support for the resistance of the Ukrainian people.

It would be surprising if this subterfuge worked, but Russia's best chance lies in aligning extreme left and right currents against aid to Ukraine in Western democracies .

The Horseshoe Theory

Sometimes the two extremes come together. In the United States, the guru of the “anti-imperialist” left, Noam Chomsky, blames NATO expansionism, a sentiment that finds echoes in the currents of the populist right who want an American disengagement in Europe.

We find the same cohabitation of extremes in France, where Jean-Luc Mélanchon and Marine Le Pen join in their maneuvers about aid to Ukraine and accommodations to expansionism Russian.

Democratic and Republican opponents

In the United States, most elected Democrats and Republicans agree in principle on the policy of military aid to Ukraine, but extreme voices of opposition are heard in both parties.

On the Democratic side, the opposition of the left made itself heard in the first months of the conflict, partly inspired by the anti-interventionist current of a left allergic to military interventionism in Vietnam and Iraq (between others). 

This opposition, however, faded as the true nature of the Russian invasion was confirmed.

It is mainly on the Republican side that opposition to military aid to Ukraine has grown. is expressed, and increasingly so. 

It is the fallen opinion leader of Fox News, Tucker Carlson, who has most clearly expressed the alignment of the right populist with the worldview of Vladimir Putin.

This community of spirit between Putin and the American right is found in particular in the speeches of Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump. When Putin champions “Christian nationalism” and “traditional values” against the bogeymen of “globalism” and “wokism,” he finds a very receptive audience among Republicans.

The enemy is within

In the United States, as the November 2024 election deadline approaches, all the political energies of the Republican right are focused on opposing the Democrats and Joe Biden.

Naturally, in the Republican primaries, it will become increasingly difficult to align with Biden administration policy. To curry favor with the party's electoral base, viscerally opposed to everything the Democratic president stands for (and quite sympathetic to what Vladimir Putin stands for), opposing aid to Ukraine is a winning option .

It is not impossible that this dynamic is also observed in certain European countries, where internal political polarization undermines the cohesion of foreign policy. When the “enemy within” is seen as more dangerous than superpower expansionism at the hands of an autocrat, there is reason to fear for the defense of liberal democracy.

Against aid to Ukraine, extremes come together

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