“The enemy of my enemy is my friend” is a proverb that has long, and apparently mistakenly, been attributed to Bedouins.
It’s unfair to them, as it contains the false-dichotomy fallacy. Sometimes the saying is correct, as when the Allies decided in World War II to side with Josef Stalin against Adolf Hitler. Other times, both options are equally bad.
This is, however, the way many people insist on reacting to George Soros and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the two men currently going toe-to-toe for control of much of the globe’s hearts and minds. You either side with one or with the other.
Or, if you attack one of them, it’s because you are in league with the other.
The latter seems to have been the approach that Politico’s Isaac Arnsdorf, Andrew Hanna, and Kenneth Vogel took with their contentious article, “GOP Takes Up Russia-Aligned Attack on Soros.”
The gist of the article (it is so one-sided, and even misleading in places, that I am reluctant to link to it) is that Republicans in Congress have been duped by Macedonian conservatives into doing Putin’s work for him.
Six U.S. senators—Bill Cassidy, R-La., Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., Mike Lee, R-Utah, David Perdue, R-Ga., and Thom Tillis, R-N.C.,—sent a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson asking him to investigate widespread reports from several countries that Soros’ Open Society Foundations are trying “to push a progressive agenda and invigorate the political left.”
This, to the Politico team, is “an accusation that’s being fomented and championed by Moscow.”
That an attack on Soros would be championed by Putin, there’s no doubt. The Kremlin leader is an opportunist who will enter any theater that beckons him by absurdly portraying himself as the guardian of Western values.
And inviting Putin to do just that is what Soros’ efforts in other countries often does.
But the notion that these senators’ action and that of several House members who have likewise asked the State Department for explanations as to why the U.S. Agency for International Development is teaming up with Soros around the world has been “fomented” by Putin, as Politico put it, is ludicrous.