I’m sharing my thoughts on Bernie Sanders, and his platform is something I have not found a lot I can agree with. Today, I’m going through his War & Peace plank. Going through it, there’s a lot of stuff I know I’m going to have a lot of fun with, but overall, I see a lot of bad ideas, and a lot of harmful things for people in the Middle East.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
1. Diplomacy over Military Action
Move away from a policy of unilateral military action, and toward a policy of emphasizing diplomacy, and ensuring the decision to go to war is a last resort.
Now this is something I agree with. As a country, avoiding war should be a major priority, for the sake of the general welfare. The decision to go to war must be when all other options have either failed or been exhausted, and should not be weighed lightly.
Now, when it comes to Bernie’s record, he’s been a bit sketchy on this. Sanders supported the NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia back in 1999, while Clinton was in office. In addition to this, in his current run for President, Sanders support’s Obama’s calls for the ousting of Syrian President Assad, and not by diplomatic measures. As the World Socialist Web Site reports:
“We must be very careful about not making a complex and dangerous situation in Syria even worse,” Sanders said. “I support President Obama’s efforts to combat ISIS in Syria while at the same time supporting those in that country trying to remove the brutal dictatorship of Bashar Assad.”
He added, “I oppose, at this point, a unilateral American no-fly zone in Syria, which could get us more deeply involved in that horrible civil war and lead to a never-ending U.S. entanglement in that region.”
In directly aligning himself with the foreign policy of the Obama White House in the Middle East, Sanders underscored that he is not running as an “antiwar” candidate or offering any alternative to the policy of increasing military aggression by American imperialism around the world.
His reference to opposing a no-fly zone “at this point” reflected carefully chosen language. He was leaving open the option for supporting such a measure, which could quickly develop into a direct conflict between the US and Russia, some time in the future.
In addition to this, Sander’s voted no for the Iraq war, but that’s not telling the full story that deserves to be told. According to Mint Press News:
In 2001, Sanders did not support the vote in Congress to oppose the war in Afghanistan. Congresswoman Barbara Lee stood alone! This vote was followed by his support for appropriations to support boththe war in Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2003 he supported the resolution that gave support to George W. Bush in both Iraq and in the larger war against terrorism, although Sanders has been a critic of the Iraq War.
Then Sanders supported only a gradual withdrawal from Iraq. When impeachment was on the so-called table against George W. Bush in 2006, he said that impeachment was “impractical.”
It’s good to hear that Bernie doesn’t support war. We need more people wanting diplomacy, but a record like Bernie’s deserves to have light shed on it, and when it comes to Bernie, it needs to be known that his record isn’t so clean.
2. Rules Of Engagement
Ensure that any military action we do engage in has clear goals, is limited in scope, and whenever possible provides support to our allies in the region.
This is something els I agree with him on. I just believe that Rand would do it better, because it depends on how you define “provides support to our allies in the region”. If you need more info on this, ask Eisenhower about Britain and Iran back in the 50’s.
3. A Huge Cluster-Bunch
Close Guantanamo Bay, rein in the National Security Agency, abolish the use of torture, and remember what truly makes America exceptional: our values.
Close Guantanamo Bay? I’m not so sure about that. I don’t really know much on this issue.
Reign in the NSA? That’s kind of a must, but that depends on how you define “reign in”, and I doubt if Bernie would really do it.
Abolish torture? Again, I’m not sure on this issue myself. I won’t invent some sort of bullshit respons because that wouldn’t do anything to add to the discussion.
“Our values” is a subjective term, which means many different things to the many people who live in the US. I have no doubt that my values (freedom, liberty, individualism, etc…) are different from his and the values of the left.
4. Foreign Policy Overview
Expand our global influence by promoting fair trade, addressing global climate change, providing humanitarian relief and economic assistance, defending the rule of law, and promoting human rights.
Fair trade is a misnomer, as it is not truly fair. Free trade has brought people out of poverty better than fair trade, but fair trade attempts to make it seem like it hasn’t. It attempts to distort the market, both the consumer and labor market, by artificially adjustig wages to “fair” rates, and imposing tariffs on foreign goods, to promote the production and consumption of domestically-made goods. Make no mistake, this has not worked out as well as people who support fair trade make it sound.
Now Sanders would know a lot about providing humanitarian relief and economic assistance to other countries, as can be found in his support for the NATO actions in Yugoslavia. But more on this, foreign aid is a waste of American taxpayer money, when we are trillions in debt, and running a deficit. When you cannot take care of your own, how can you expect to help others?
I’m doing a series on Bernie Sanders, and all of those posts can be found at this link here, which will be updated every time I finish a new part of the series.
You can find that page here: [LINK]