Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Poll Analyses
Share on Facebook 18 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Rare Bernie Sanders foreign policy lapse in New York Times questionnaire

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   4 comments
Author 80947
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Tom Gallagher

In a New York Times survey of the foreign policy views of the Democratic presidential candidates published on February 7 (They Reject Trump's Foreign Policy, and Don't Agree on One of Their Own), Bernie Sanders gave answers that generally did not disappoint supporters looking for a major foreign policy shift. There was one exception, however the question "Would you consider military force to pre-empt an Iranian or North Korean nuclear or missile test?" Of the ten remaining candidates who responded to the questionnaire (two had dropped out and two did not reply), Amy Klobuchar skipped the question, Tom Steyer replied without saying yes or no, and six said yes: Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Deval Patrick and Bernie Sanders. The only two no's were Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang.

There is no particular reason to think that this answer portends a Sanders retreat from a foreign policy profile that has generally seemed an across the board improvement from 2016, when Sanders seemed to have grown rusty on that front over the years spent concentrating on domestic economic issues. The very next night, for instance, in response to a New Hampshire debate question about the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, he went deeper in his foreign policy critique than the rest of the Democratic field in saying, "What we have got to do is bring countries around the world together with our power and our wealth and say, you know what, let us sit down and work out our differences through debate and discussion at the UN, not through more and more war and the expenditures of trillions of dollars and the loss of God knows how many lives."
Nonetheless, his mistake on the Iran/North Korea testing question is too important for even his partisans to ignore. Indeed the fact that even a Bernie Sanders could think that it is within our rights to launch an attack on another country, not because that country has attacked us, and not because that country is presumed to be planning an attack upon us, but to preempt the development of a weapon or weapon delivery system that might someday be used against the U.S., is a measure of just how warped this country's sense of its rights and obligations under international law has become.
One clearly relevant fact is that while North Korea was once a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, it has withdrawn and now is one of the world's five non-member nations, along with South Sudan, India, Pakistan, and Israel, which have never signed. So, much as we might wish that it would not test and develop nuclear weapons, like those countries North Korea is not in violation of any treaty when it decides to do so (as three of the other four have done.)
And then there's the matter of Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, under which, "Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control." This treaty was first signed in 1968, so the called for "early date" for "a treaty on general and complete disarmament" would surely seem to have passed by now. Certainly there's been no noticeable effort on the part of the American government to make it a reality thus far in this millennium.
But even beyond these salient points, there is the more basic one that the U.S. simply has no right to attack either of these countries. Such an attack would fundamentally differ from the Bush Administration's war against Iraq only in degree perhaps, depending on the nature of the attack. A point generally now lost in the discussion about the Iraq War is that it was not justified not because the administration (and Tony Blair's U.K. government) falsely claimed that Iraq had "weapons of mass destruction," but because we invaded a country that had not attacked the U.S., and gave no evidence that it planned to do so.
So this 2016 Bernie Sanders Convention Delegate and 2020 supporter wants to say, "Hats off to Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang;" hopes that Sanders won't make this sort of mistake again; and thinks our goal should be that no one outside of the Trump wing of the Republican Party thinks it's okay to threaten the rest of the world in that fashion.

 

Rate It | View Ratings

Tom Gallagher 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

Tom Gallagher was a Bernie Sanders delegate elected from California's 12th Congressional District. He is the author of "The Primary Route: How the 99 Percent Takes on the Military Industrial Complex."

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)

Hillary Clinton's Disastrous California Poll

Bernie Sanders and the Superdelegates

The Green Party should stop running presidential candidates.

Vote For the War Criminal -- It's Important!

Ponies for the people? A response to the Clinton view of the Sanders campaign

The Bernie Sanders campaign and the great fear on the American left

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: