By Greg Pence
Ukraine’s governing body, led by Volodymyr Zelensky, has been pursuing various plans to end the war with dignity and free their people from this devastating scourge. The most recent example is the ten-point plan, which seeks to resolve the conflict through dialogue and cooperation.
However, American politicians are exploiting the plight of Ukrainians as a political tool to defeat their rivals. A case in point is the visit of Chris Christie, the Republican presidential candidate and former governor of New Jersey, to the war-torn country. He claimed that his trip was aimed at checking the effectiveness of the weapons sent by the United States, and he visited areas such as Bucha, which was liberated from Russian occupation last year and witnessed many tragedies. This trip and other related events reveal the internal political strife in the US, the uncertainty over the mode and continuation of aid to Ukraine, and the subordination of Ukraine’s interests to domestic crises. Moreover, there is a significant divide among the American people over the necessity and extent of the United States’ support for Ukraine.
A recent poll by CNN shows that the American public is split on whether the United States has provided enough aid to Ukraine or not, but most of them agree that Congress should authorize more support for the country that faces war with Russia. The poll found that 55% of respondents oppose more aid, while 45% favor it. However, a poll conducted in late February 2022, before the Russian invasion began, showed that 62% of Americans thought that the United States should have done more to strengthen and arm Ukraine. This shift in opinion may reflect the concern of Americans about their own national security being endangered by the war in Ukraine, and this is where American politicians have stepped in and are using the situation for their own advantage.
National security is a crucial and sensitive concept for Americans, and many politicians from both parties have exploited it in recent decades, and have led the US into various international crises and wars. Moreover, some politicians like Chris Christie and Donald Trump have made crisis the core of their political agendas. Christie visited the devastated Ukraine and used the people’s suffering as a propaganda tool for his presidential campaign, claiming that he supported and strengthened Ukrainian democracy against Russian autocracy.
Trump, on the other hand, has not even bothered to go to Ukraine and insists on cutting the US aid to Ukraine to fund domestic anti-immigration projects, such as building a wall on the US-Mexico border. To pursue his goals, which seem more personal than national, Trump even asked congressional Republicans to stop military support to Ukraine until the Biden administration cooperates in the investigation into Biden and his son’s business dealings in Ukraine. Trump also made strange comments to undermine Biden, such as praising Vladimir Putin and his intelligence, and claimed that he could end the war in Ukraine in 24 hours if he returned to power. This shows how Trump has personalized politics in the United States and is using the situation in Ukraine as a tool to attack his potential rivals and influence the voters.
The politicians who claim to care about Ukraine and its people are actually indifferent to their suffering and death. They perceive the prevailing chaos as a strategic opening to wield Ukraine as leverage, both for their domestic agenda and for their international ambitions. They will not stop at anything to achieve their goals. In other words, no matter who wins the upcoming presidential election in the US and which party takes power, the situation in Ukraine and its people will not improve at all. They are merely a human shield for the West and especially for US politicians.