Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Poll Analyses
Share on Facebook 9 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/28/20

Even the Most Progressive U.S. Foreign Policy Blames Foreigners

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   7 comments
Author 9
Follow Me on Twitter     Message David Swanson
Become a Fan
  (142 fans)


Copyrighted Image? DMCA

When it comes to foreign policy, it ought to go without saying that Trump, Biden, and Buttigieg are walking catastrophes. A bit of research suggests that Elizabeth Warren is pretty much a true believer in slightly modified catastrophe. But what about Bernie Sanders?

I think that, as he is right now, Sanders would, overall, if pressed a typical amount, be a dramatic improvement over 45 out of 45 past U.S. presidents. But that's a low bar. I'm delighted with his domestic policies and with the prospect of watching the corporate media squirm as he wins. And I think Sanders has improved enough on foreign policy, in part in response to this demand, to support him now.

I also think that LBJ would have been pretty good on domestic policy if he'd resisted militarism and understood the connections between the two, and I wonder whether Sanders understands that lesson or rather has internalized the corporate-media notion that it's anti-militarism that hurts your domestic agenda.

Sanders evolved in recent years from his 2016 campaign mode of insisting that Saudi Arabia ante up its fair share of the cost of global wars, as if wars were a public service, and never mentioning the financial cost of militarism when asked about funding domestic programs, to trying to end the war on Yemen (and one on Iran), saying he'd move some completely unspecified amount of money out of the military, and listing the military industrial complex in the list of the forces he'd be challenging as president.

But lately, the military industrial complex has vanished from Bernie's speeches, suggestions from his staff that he would push to end Afghanistan or one of the other wars have never materialized, he's never indicated within 10% or $100 billion or at all how MUCH money he would seek to move to human and environmental needs from the military budget, he's never spoken of mass murder as a moral problem, and while he no longer talks about war as a public service that foreigners aren't helping to fund, he still talks about foreign policy as a matter of bringing recalcitrant foreigners into line.

When Sanders does speak about the financial cost of militarism, he says that as president he will wrangle up the world's nations and convince them to start spending money on climate protection rather than militarism. One can't help cheering for such a statement, because it's so bizarrely almost wonderful coming from a presidential candidate. But it's only almost, because it conveniently omits the real problem. The United States is the biggest war maker and the biggest weapons dealer. If the U.S. were to stop selling weapons, many nations' military spending would plummet. If the U.S. were to stop spending quite so much on weapons, it would spark a reverse arms-race.

When the Sanders campaign sent out a survey asking people what issues they cared about, and foreign policy was nowhere to be seen, a friend of mine emailed a complaint and got back a response. The response from the Sanders campaign included this:

"Around the world, dictators are rising up to exploit people's fears, prejudices and grievances in order to gain power and personal wealth. In Russia, China, Hungary, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines and elsewhere, authoritarian leaders are rising to power. They are hostile to democracy, dismantle the free press, they sow hatred toward ethnic and religious minorities, and they use government to benefit their own selfish financial interests. And they find comfort and support in the words and deeds of President Trump. They are the powerful and wealthy few tyrannizing powerless poor people everywhere.

"As Bernie has said: 'There is a global struggle taking place of enormous consequence. Right-wing authoritarians backed by a network of multi-billionaire oligarchs are forming a common front. We who believe in democracy must join together to build a progressive global order based on human solidarity.'

"Bernie is calling for a new international coalition to fight to rebuild democracy. We must:

  • Build a sustainable energy future, not enrich fossil fuel companies who profit from destroying the air, land and water that our children and grandchildren will depend on.

  • Devote our resources to fighting diseases, not building weapons of mass destruction.

  • Break up the information monopoly in which a handful of multinational media giants, owned by a small number of billionaires, control the flow of information on the planet.

  • End the practice of multinational corporations stashing over $21 trillion in offshore bank accounts to avoid paying their fair share of taxes while working families suffer.

  • Create trade agreements that benefit working people, not the corporations that oppress them."

    Next Page  1  |  2

 

Must Read 2   Well Said 2   Supported 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

David Swanson Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for the online (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Feith Dares Obama to Enforce the Law

Obama's Open Forum Opens Possibilities

Public Forum Planned on Vermont Proposal to Arrest Bush and Cheney

Did Bush Sr. Kill Kennedy and Frame Nixon?

Eleven Excellent Reasons Not to Join the Military

Holder Asked to Prosecute Blankenship

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

6 people are discussing this page, with 7 comments


Chuck Nafziger

Become a Fan
Author 24101
(Member since Oct 12, 2008), 16 fans, 6 articles, 14 quicklinks, 2237 comments (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

Even Swanson neglects to tell Bernie to quit arming Israel. I cannot believe Bernie is ready, able or even willing to end our empire's crimes against the world. I doubt he would even find a way to support any of the democracies we are currently trying to crush. And knowing that Hillary shafted him, he still jumped on the Russia did it bandwagon, thus pushing forward the Neoliberal wet dream of conquering Russia. Sorry Bernie, you are weak and sorry on foreign policy.


Being anti-war, I have to look beyond Bernie for someone to represent me.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 28, 2020 at 6:58:01 PM

  Recommend  (3+)
Help
Indent

Fred W

Become a Fan
Author 8452
(Member since Oct 30, 2007), 2 fans, 1 quicklinks, 367 comments (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Reply to Chuck Nafziger:   New Content

I agree with Chuck, but, given Sanders' weakness on foreign policy, he may be the best we're going to get (that has some chance of winning). Besides his unwillingness to oppose the narrative of the imperialists and warmongers, on many other issues he shines.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 28, 2020 at 7:32:13 PM

  Recommend  (2+)
Help

Lois Gagnon

Become a Fan
Author 61784
(Member since Mar 21, 2011), 42 fans, 1 articles, 15 quicklinks, 5505 comments (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

Bernie referred to the late Hugo Chavez as a dead communist dictator and his successor President Maduro as a vicious tyrant. Sanders is either clueless on foreign policy or he's a shameless imperialist. I'm not sure which is worse. Plus his parroting the Russiagate idiocy is more than I can overlook.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 28, 2020 at 8:51:53 PM

  Recommend  (3+)
Help

Liam Watt

Become a Fan
Author 88883
(Member since Jul 12, 2013), 2 fans, 81 comments (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

As Usual, a well thought out article.

I agree with all these criticisms of Bernie's short-comings. But perhaps he doesn't want himself or his family to wind up like the Kennedy's.

Perhaps he hopes the leadership for these foreign policy initiatives would come from the bottom up. From us. US!

Tho' the deep state may keep us dis-informed, divided, disarrayed, and too busy scrambling for crumbs to organize effectively, I'm sure they desperately fear our numbers working together. The question is: How - do - we - get - there ?

Submitted on Wednesday, Jan 29, 2020 at 4:07:14 AM

  Recommend  (3+)
Help
Indent

Floyd Tolar

Become a Fan
Author 21438
(Member since Sep 8, 2008), 296 comments (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Reply to Liam Watt:   New Content

Bernie is just weak. As for him not wanting to end up like JFK, see above...

Submitted on Wednesday, Jan 29, 2020 at 4:18:48 AM

  Recommend  (1+)
Help

John Lawrence Ré

Become a Fan
Author 78374
(Member since Apr 17, 2012), 22 fans, 3 articles, 1540 comments (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linked In Page Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

Sanders is nothing more than a woke sellout who will raise your taxes, increase the interest rates on your mortgage, NOT stop the wars that deplete the Treasury and give you jackshit in return. He is a liar and a coward, more than willing to throw his supporters under the bus again one at time time: He refused to rebuke Hillary Clinton for defaming Tulsi Gabbard who torched her own political career to defend him in 2016. Then he rejected the endorsement of Cenk Uygur, the man who raised enormous amounts of money for Sanders' 2016 campaign. This week, he embarrassed his own delegate, Zephyr Teachout, for making a brash but true statement criticizing Biden for corruption. And now Sanders is refusing to stand up to the moron Bernie Bros for criticizing him for going on Joe Rogan - a podcaster with a following of millions because they feel a Rogan endorsement isn't "woke" enough. Shades of 2016 the Hillary-won't-go-to-Wisconsin strategy.

But his biggest betrayal is how he threw us, the millions who gave him our money in his primary run four years ago, by dropping out after the DNC fixed the primaries and CAMPAIGNING for - not just quietly endorsing, but actively campaigning - the psychopathic war monger Hillary Clinton who had just screwed him. He dutifully recites from the deep state script condemning Latin American indigenous leaders and railing against Russia. His entire foreign policy consists of gossamer webs of disarray that lead to nowhere in the best tradition of a CIA "limited hangout."

Ever since he emerged from nowhere 5 years ago, he has repeatedly shown himself to be nothing more than a spluttering lunatic idolized by the snarky, woke wing of the democratic party that draws the least attractive, smarmiest collection of lumpens, losers and nerds from the broken American gene pool and its hipster backwaters. Just watch a Michael Brooks podcast to get the full effect of just how stomach turning this group of fake leftists have become. These are the same shitheads that are now condemning Tulsi Gabbard for refusing to call Assad a brutal dictator"even though the only people he "brutalized" are the terrorist groups like Al Nusra and ISIS that the US is supposed to be brutalizing instead of covertly funding. But obviously the real reason is that they feel Gabbard's principled campaign may divert votes from Sanders' pied piper race to the bottom! It never occurred to them that the exact opposite is the truth, because if Bernie was not in the race, Gabbard would be the runaway choice of every american screwed over by Obama and double crossed by Trump. She is the only one who could beat Trump.

Maybe worst of all, the coward washed his hands of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning two heroic individuals that have shed more light on the depravity of the US empire than Sanders ever did in Congress or would ever do if elected President. Again, Sanders will just raise your taxes and leave you with cazzo di culo. Of course if Sanders was a real hero, he'd select Gabbard as VP and then do the world a favor and resign immediately after inauguration day, letting a real commander-in-chief take charge. But the odds of that happening are less than house odds of 2.5. As I've said countless times, for corrupting the youth with his bullshit about income taxing "the billionaires" (even though none of them show "income"), he should be made to drink hemlock juice.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jan 29, 2020 at 11:58:34 PM

  Recommend  (0+)
Help
Indent

Fred W

Become a Fan
Author 8452
(Member since Oct 30, 2007), 2 fans, 1 quicklinks, 367 comments (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Reply to John Lawrence Ré:   New Content

But there's another way to look at it.

Because Sanders did support Clinton after she became the candidate, now he now has the chance to run as a Democrat. Otherwise, he wouldn't. I hated it at the time, but it makes it possible for him to run now. No one can say that he ditched the party.

He's the only social democrat running, strongly supporting socialized health care for all. It costs a lot, but it's cheaper and less traumatic than the present system.

He supports the Green New Deal, for what it's worth. It may not be sufficient, but it's the only green deal going.

The betrayals you cite bother me the most, of course for their effect on the people he's done it to, but also for the weakness and unwillingness to stand up for what he should. That's what he is, I guess.

I would love to have Tulsi be doing better, but I can't see how that is all Bernie's fault. It would help her if he would step aside and endorse her, but would it be enough? Why doesn't she poll better without that? If anyone asks me who i would prefer, I say "Tulsi Gabbard"; but many people still have never heard of her or been turned off by lies about her. People on the right tend to like her more than other Democrats: she doesn't harp on identity and many of them are anti-war. But she doesn't do well with Democrats, unfortunately.

You say he's just a Pied Piper, leading us to vote for a centrist Democrat. But I don't think very many people would vote Green or for some other party's candidate if Sanders weren't running--that is, I don't think Sanders' running keeps very many people away from a more radical candidate. What information supports that notion? If he doesn't become the candidate, people will just vote for whomever they would have if they'd never heard of him.

He isn't going to stop the war machine, but no one else will either. That's too bad, but I don't know what to do about it. He at least has some inklings that way, probably more so than Warren or any of the others except for Tulsi.

For me, now, Sanders is the best candidate I can come up with. And, even so, I think if he were to be elected, he might well never get anything done anyway. But if people also voted in congresspeople with the same views over the time of his term, maybe it wouldn't have to be like that. But he seems like the best shot. So there it is, as I see it.

Submitted on Thursday, Jan 30, 2020 at 5:16:29 AM

  Recommend  (0+)
Help