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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 4/26/16

Seymour Hersh Weighs In on Sanders vs. Clinton: "Something Amazing Is Happening in This Country"

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Bernie Sanders vs Hillary Clinton
Bernie Sanders vs Hillary Clinton
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Legendary investigative journalist Seymour Hersh weighs in on the foreign policy positions of the 2016 presidential candidates. "For me to say who I'm going to vote for and all that ... I'm not a political leader, that's not what I'm into," Hersh says. "But I will say this: Something that's amazing is happening in this country, and for the first time, I do think it's going to be very hard for a lot of the people who support Sanders to support Hillary Clinton. ... There's a whole group of young people in America, across the board, all races, etc., etc., who have just had it with our system."


AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I'm Amy Goodman. Yes, we're on our 100-city tour marking Democracy Now!'s 20th anniversary. Today, I'll be speaking in Albuquerque, and I'll be in Las Alamos and Santa Fe at the Lensic on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I'll be in Flagstaff, Thursday in Phoenix and Tucson, then on Friday in Fresno, Saturday in Grass Valley. Then we're on to Houston and New Orleans on Sunday, and beyond. Check democracynow.org.

As we turn right now back to Seymour Hersh, who has a new book out -- it's called The Killing of Osama bin Laden. Sy, I want to ask you about the presidential race. Last year at a debate in New Hampshire, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders accused former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of being, quote, "too much into regime change." This is what he said...

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: But I think -- and I say this with due respect -- that I worry too much that Secretary Clinton is too much into regime change and a little bit too aggressive without knowing what the unintended consequences might be. Yes, we could get rid of Saddam Hussein, but that destabilized the entire region. Yes, we could get rid of Gaddafi, a terrible dictator, but that created a vacuum for ISIS. Yes, we could get rid of Assad tomorrow, but that would create another political vacuum that would benefit ISIS. So I think, yeah, regime change is easy, getting rid of dictators is easy. But before you do that, you've got to think about what happens the day after.

HILLARY CLINTON: Now, with all due respect, Senator, you voted for regime change with respect to Libya. You joined the Senate in voting to get rid of Gaddafi, and you asked that there be a Security Council validation of that with a resolution. All of these are very difficult issues.

AMY GOODMAN: That's Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders debating in New Hampshire a while ago. So, Seymour Hersh, if you could talk about this issue and this most recent news, Charles Koch, the Republican megadonor, the oil baron, saying he could see himself actually supporting Hillary Clinton over a Republican nominee.

SEYMOUR HERSH: Well, I don't believe that for a minute, but that's another story. What Koch said, I think that's just all part of pressure to get rid of Trump, who, in some ways, Trump's pretty -- I mean, who ever heard of a Republican talking about "NATO is useless"? Which, of course, pretty much a lot of people I know believe it is pretty much useless. There's a lot of things Trump said that are pretty remarkable. He would talk to Putin, etc. It's a pretty interesting campaign on the Republicans, how they're sort of internally eating up themselves.

But Sanders is right, of course, about that issue. I don't think Sanders is as sound on foreign policy as I'd love him to be, I wish him to be. I don't think he really -- he doesn't quite understand the consequences of -- he doesn't -- I don't think he's terribly -- he just hasn't done enough to make me comfortable. But, of course, Hillary -- my favorite line about Hillary Clinton is, after Gaddafi was executed -- as you know, he was killed by his own people. He was actually sodomized by swords. It was a horrible death. And she said on one show, "We came, we saw, and he died," with a laugh. And that kind of talk is sort of almost bizarre.

You know, here's what I think about this campaign. It doesn't -- you know, it's clear where my political thoughts are, but it's -- for me to say who I'm going to vote for and all that, I don't think anybody -- you know, I'm not a political leader. That's not what I'm into. But I will say this: Something that's amazing is happening in this country. And for the first time, you know, I do think it's going to be very hard for a lot of the people who support Sanders to support Hillary Clinton. Now, times can change. There's a lot more time to go. We've got months before an election and a convention, etc. But at this point, I'm at the point where -- I go back to the old days. Remember, if you -- you might not remember. We had a lot of talk about a third party in America, a progressive third party. Barry Commoner was one of the people who was going to run it. It went nowhere. But there's really -- it seems to me, with what's going on now with these people, 45 and under, the enormous support they're giving to Sanders, just we know by polling, etc. -- doesn't always show up in the -- it turns out, in the election results. I mean, it certainly didn't show up in New York. And so -- but they are there. There's a whole group of young people in America, across the board, all races, etc., etc., who have just had it with our system.

And there's something wonderful in the -- you know, look, I've been to Israel many times, have a lot of friends there, and there's a lot of very good people there, but we all know it's headed for -- it's chaos coming. And here we have a guy running for president. This is something, I guess, you know, forbidden -- a forbidden statement. But he's the first Democrat since I've been watching politics, 50 -- I'm old, older and crankier than Bernie. But anyway, it's the first Democrat that I can remember that actually did not have to go to the Jewish community in New York to get money to run. And that's something amazing. We may be able to actually change our policy and let the Israelis know that there's going to have to be a settlement -- not just divided, not just two countries, but a real settlement, a peace settlement, in that area.

And we've seen some terrific changes happening in this election, as the Democratic Party has been moving to the left, with a lot of contempt for the way the party manages itself, by the people who are pro -- working -- are interested in Sanders, that look at the chaos on the right. Our system is basically breaking apart right now in this election. And you can only say, "Yay! It's great!" So, it's inchoate. It's not very good. It's a little bit like the new generation of journalism we have with the tweeting and -- you know, and blogging, that's going to clearly replace the newspapers, which are dying as we sit, every day. It's all sort of a new world coming.

AMY GOODMAN: Sy, President Obama appeared on Fox News on Sunday a few weeks ago, and he was asked what was the worst mistake of his presidency. This was his response.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Probably failing to plan for the day after what I think was the right thing to do in intervening in Libya.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you respond, and particularly focus on Hillary as secretary of state under President Obama?

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