Sanders Says He Would Consider a Preemptive Strike on Iran and North Korea

To prevent not even a threatened strike on the US, but a mere weapons test

“The Sanders campaign is at pains to reassure the military/intelligence establishment and the financial elite of the senator’s loyalty to US imperialism and his readiness to deploy its military machine”

Bernie Sanders has won the popular vote in both the New Hampshire and Iowa presidential primary contests in considerable part by presenting himself as an opponent of war. Following the criminal assassination of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani last month, Sanders was the most vocal of the Democratic presidential aspirants in criticizing Trump’s action. His poll numbers have risen in tandem with his stepped-up anti-war rhetoric.

He has repeatedly stressed his vote against the 2003 invasion of Iraq, reminding voters in the Iowa presidential debate last month, “I not only voted against that war, I helped lead the effort against that war.”

However, when speaking to the foremost newspaper of the American ruling class, the New York Times, the Sanders campaign adopts a very different tone than that employed by the candidate when addressing the public in campaign stump speeches or TV interviews.

The answers provided by Sanders’ campaign to a foreign policy survey of the Democratic presidential candidates published this month by the Times provide a very different picture of the attitude of the self-styled “democratic socialist” to American imperialism and war. In the course of the survey, the Sanders campaign is at pains to reassure the military/intelligence establishment and the financial elite of the senator’s loyalty to US imperialism and his readiness to deploy its military machine.

Perhaps most significant and chilling is the response to the third question in the Times’ survey.

Question: Would you consider military force to pre-empt an Iranian or North Korean nuclear or missile test?

Answer: Yes.

A Sanders White House, according to his campaign, would be open to launching a military strike against Iran or nuclear-armed North Korea to prevent (not respond to) not even a threatened missile or nuclear strike against the United States, but a mere weapons test. This is a breathtakingly reckless position no less incendiary than those advanced by the Trump administration.

Sanders would risk a war that could easily involve the major powers and lead to a nuclear Armageddon in order to block a weapons test by countries that have been subjected to devastating US sanctions and diplomatic, economic and military provocations for decades.

Moreover, as Sanders’ response to the Times makes clear, the so-called progressive, anti-war candidate fully subscribes to the doctrine of “preemptive war” declared to be official US policy in 2002 by the administration of George W. Bush. An illegal assertion of aggressive war as an instrument of foreign policy, this doctrine violates the principles laid down at the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi officials after World War II, the United Nations charter and other international laws and conventions on war. Sanders’ embrace of the doctrine, following in the footsteps of the Obama administration, shows that his opposition to the Iraq war was purely a question of tactics, not a principled opposition to imperialist war.

The above question is preceded by another that evokes a response fully in line with the war policies of the Obama administration, the first two-term administration in US history to preside over uninterrupted war.

Question: Would you consider military force for a humanitarian intervention?

Answer: Yes.

Among the criminal wars carried out by the United States in the name of defending “human rights” are the war in Bosnia and the bombing of Serbia in the 1990s, the 2011 air war against Libya that ended with the lynching of deposed ruler Muammar Gaddafi, and the civil war in Syria that was fomented by Washington and conducted by its Al Qaeda-linked proxy militias.

The fraudulent humanitarian pretexts for US aggression were no more legitimate than the lie of “weapons of mass destruction” used in the neo-colonial invasion of Iraq. The result of these war crimes has been the destruction of entire societies, the death of millions and dislocation of tens of millions more, along with the transformation of the Middle East into a cauldron of great power intervention and intrigue that threatens to erupt into a new world war.

Sanders fully subscribes to this doctrine of “humanitarian war” that has been particularly associated with Democratic administrations.

In response to a question from the Times on the assassination of Suleimani, the Sanders campaign calls Trump’s action illegal, but refuses to take a principled stand against targeted assassinations in general and associates itself with the attacks on Suleimani as a terrorist.

The reply states:

Clearly there is evidence that Suleimani was involved in acts of terror. He also supported attacks on US troops in Iraq. But the right question isn’t ‘was this a bad guy,’ but rather ‘does assassinating him make Americans safer?’ The answer is clearly no.

In other words, the extra-judicial killing of people by the US government is justified if it makes Americans “safer.”

This is a tacit endorsement of the policy of drone assassinations that was vastly expanded under the Obama administration—a policy that included the murder of US citizens.

At another point, the Times asks:

Would you agree to begin withdrawing American troops from the Korean peninsula?

The reply is:

No, not immediately. We would work closely with our South Korean partners to move toward peace on the Korean peninsula, which is the only way we will ultimately deal with the North Korean nuclear issue.

Sanders thus supports the continued presence of tens of thousands of US troops on the Korean peninsula, just as he supports the deployment of US forces more generally to assert the global interests of the American ruling class.

On Israel, Sanders calls for a continuation of the current level of US military and civilian aid and opposes the immediate return of the US embassy from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.

On Russia, he entirely supports the Democratic Party’s McCarthyite anti-Russia campaign and lines up behind the right-wing basis of the Democrats’ failed impeachment drive against Trump:

Question: If Russia continues on its current course in Ukraine and other former Soviet states, should the United States regard it as an adversary, or even an enemy?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Should Russia be required to return Crimea to Ukraine before it is allowed back into the G-7?

Answer: Yes.

Finally, the Times asks the Sanders campaign its position on the National Security Strategy announced by the Trump administration at the beginning of 2018. The new doctrine declares that the focus of American foreign and military strategy has shifted from the “war on terror” to the preparation for war against its major rivals, naming in particular Russia and China.

In the following exchange, Sanders tacitly accepts the great power conflict framework of the National Security Strategy, attacking Trump from the right for failing to aggressively prosecute the conflict with Russia and China:

Question: President Trump’s national security strategy calls for shifting the focus of American foreign policy away from the Middle East and Afghanistan, and back to what it refers to as the ‘revisionist’ superpowers, Russia and China. Do you agree? Why or why not?

Answer: Despite its stated strategy, the Trump administration has never followed a coherent national security strategy. In fact, Trump has escalated tensions in the Middle East and put us on the brink of war with Iran, refused to hold Russia accountable for its interference in our elections and human rights abuses, has done nothing to address our unfair trade agreement with China that only benefits wealthy corporations, and has ignored China’s mass internment of Uighurs and its brutal repression of protesters in Hong Kong. Clearly, Trump is not a president we should be taking notes from.

In a recent interview Ro Khanna, a Democratic congressman and national co-chair of the Sanders campaign, assured Atlantic writer Uri Friedman that Sanders would continue provocative “freedom of the seas” navigation operations in the Persian Gulf and the South China Sea, while committing a Sanders administration to “maintain some [troop] presence” on the multitude of bases dotting “allied” countries from Japan to Germany.

Millions of workers, students and young people are presently attracted to Sanders because they have come to despise and oppose the vast social inequality, brutality and militarism of American society and correctly associate these evils with capitalism. However, they will soon learn through bitter experience that Sanders’s opposition to the “billionaire class” is no more real than his supposed opposition to war. His foreign policy is imperialist through and through, in line with the aggressive and militaristic policy of the Democratic Party and the Obama administration.

The Democrats’ differences with Trump on foreign policy, though bitter, are tactical.

Both parties share the strategic orientation of asserting US global hegemony above all through force of arms.

No matter how much Sanders blusters about inequality, it is impossible to oppose the depredations of the ruling class at home while supporting its plunder and oppression abroad.

Sanders is no more an apostle of peace than he is a representative of the working class. Both in foreign and domestic policy, he is an instrument of the ruling class for channeling the growing movement of the working class and opposition to capitalism back behind the Democratic Party and the two-party system of capitalist rule in America.

Source: World Capitalist Website

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[…] Read further at Anti-Empire […]

Undecider
Undecider
4 months ago

He’ll do that right after swearing allegiance to the Chosen-ites.

CHUCKMAN
4 months ago

In Bernie’s favor, very much, we have this today from Al Jazeera:

‘Senator Bernie Sanders says the United States must be “pro-Palestinian” as much as “pro-Israeli” and described the Israeli government as “right-wing” and “racist”.’

‘”Speaking during a televised town hall meeting in Nevada on Tuesday, the Democratic frontrunner for the US presidency said: “To be for the Israeli people and to be for peace in the Middle East does not mean that we have to support right-wing, racist governments that currently exist in Israel”‘

And that about sums up why Israel and the Israel Lobby are known to be working against Bernie, who is Jewish.

brian niziol
brian niziol
4 months ago

Sanders the war monger? You just cannot get away from that mindset in America.

CHUCKMAN
4 months ago

Bernie could do well because he can get the youth vote out. But even a win would bring no big changes to America.

Still it would get rid of the first Beverly Hillbillies President.

The Democrats’ establishment is counting on either the manufactured Buttigieg or the Oligarch Bloomberg.

See:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2020/02/17/john-chuckman-comment-bernie-sanders-is-the-candidate-who-can-beat-trump-pete-buttigieg-represents-a-worried-establishments-effort-to-stop-bernie-the-importance-of-youth-and-enthusiasm-in-defea/

JustPassingThrough
JustPassingThrough
4 months ago

Deluxe-Arschloch

bernie will do what he’s told to do.

dead man walking.

Vera Gottlieb
Vera Gottlieb
4 months ago

IF this is true than Sanders is finished for me.

Ronnie&MargaretInDementia
Ronnie&MargaretInDementia
4 months ago

I don’t know why this should come as any surprise, in 2016 there was zero substantive difference between Sanders and Hillarys foreign policy positions. Just look at what has happened to Gabbard to see what happens to people who are truly anti US warmongering. Maybe Bernie is trying to ‘kid’ his way into the Whitehouse thinking he can change things once he gets there, well, Obama says not.

Brion Adair
Brion Adair
4 months ago

Russia or any other nation could use the same justification to initiate a first strike against the US. Seems Sanders thinks that America is so”Exceptional” that it doesn’t have to abide by International Law. What an asshole.

Mikhail Garchenko
Mikhail Garchenko
4 months ago

…poor American people, with all these cretins, products of (((their))) sewer. 🙁

JustPassingThrough
JustPassingThrough
4 months ago

nothing poor about them.

they get what they are.

Trap Is Not Gay
Trap Is Not Gay
4 months ago

Soviet Union 2.0

Lenin = Bernie Sanders

Bolsheviks = Democrats

KGB = CIA

24/7 Propaganda and Censorship = Checked

Space Race = Checked

Armament Race = Checked

Socialism = Checked

Espionage = Checked

Jewish Bankers = Checked

Cold War = Checked (with Russia/China)

Proxy Wars = Checked

Frank Williams
Frank Williams
4 months ago

Iran and North Korea says they would consider preemptively shutting the kike Sanders mouth for him permanently.

James Willy
James Willy
4 months ago

Sanders Says He Would Consider a Preemptive Strike on Iran and North Korea

I know who I am voting for. Would be great if he would do that, just so Russia and China could finally retaliate. Please vote for bernie. Best thing that could possibly happen to yankystan. Nuked frrom both coasts at the same time. Please attack them bernie. PLEASE. PLEASE

tapatio
tapatio
4 months ago
Reply to  James Willy

Don’t count on Sanders to actually attack Iran for anything other than an attack by Iran (hasn’t happened in 300 years).
Bernie is a politician and to be one of those in this country you have to appear macho. Everything Bernie Sanders has done indicates that he is a decent human being.

Brion Adair
Brion Adair
4 months ago
Reply to  tapatio

I see you Bernie supporters plan to be just as blind to Bernie’s “short comings” the same as what’s left of Trump supporters are it seems.

tapatio
tapatio
4 months ago
Reply to  Brion Adair

Everybody has shortcomings. So what? I don’t want a ZioNazi billionaire (Bloomy), or a semi-senile Republican in Dem disguise (Biden) or a rug-rat republican in Dem disguise who wants to trade the ‘first whore’ (Melania) for a ‘first hubby’ (Buttigieg’s husband). Warren seems to be going nowhere and Klobuchar only wants to represent Israel.

And, since another 4 years of the child rapist/sociopath will destroy America completely………………YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT I’M VOTING FOR BERNIE, HOWEVER MANY WARTS HE HAS.

Brion Adair
Brion Adair
4 months ago
Reply to  tapatio

Thanks for your perfect exempli grata 🙂

Your response proves my point exactly.

Robert Mcconnell
Robert Mcconnell
4 months ago
Reply to  tapatio

Bernie is quite capable of out doing Trump, Obomber, the two Bushes and Clintons in the biggest dick waving competition that is American foreign policy.
The puppet masters will find in Bernie a good little performer. They all are.

XRGRSF
XRGRSF
4 months ago
Reply to  tapatio

“A decent human being.” The same thing has been said of every despot in history.

tapatio
tapatio
4 months ago
Reply to  XRGRSF

And just were did you find your delusion that Sanders is a “despot”?

XRGRSF
XRGRSF
4 months ago
Reply to  tapatio

Did I say that Sanders is as despot? No, I did not. Perhaps he is a decent human being, but that remains to be seen.

Frank Williams
Frank Williams
4 months ago
Reply to  tapatio

He’s an effing kike, decent human being and kike don’t even belong in the same sentence together. The only good jew resides in the ashtray of a 1930 VW.

CHUCKMAN
4 months ago
Reply to  Frank Williams

Totally stupid and offensive words.

tapatio
tapatio
4 months ago
Reply to  Frank Williams

…Which of these “fine” amurrkans ‘r you?………………

comment image

CHUCKMAN
4 months ago
Reply to  tapatio

Looks like a Trump rally.

tapatio
tapatio
4 months ago
Reply to  CHUCKMAN

Exactly what it is. I used a news photo from the 2016 campaign.

Robert Mcconnell
Robert Mcconnell
4 months ago
Reply to  tapatio

A picture worth a thousand words

Robert Mcconnell
Robert Mcconnell
4 months ago
Reply to  tapatio

Don’t be so fucking naive! He’s a politician for fux sake.

tapatio
tapatio
4 months ago

Don’t be so f**king stupid. He’s the LEAST CORRUPT available.

Robert Mcconnell
Robert Mcconnell
4 months ago
Reply to  tapatio

Lol!

Andra Salzberg
Andra Salzberg
4 months ago

Sanders wants the DEMented nomination very badly.

No mention of crumbling infrastructure remedial plans;
none of passenger rail improvements, etc.; certainly no mention
of cleaning the swamp or any other measure of securing
Americans’ future livelihoods.

tapatio
tapatio
4 months ago
Reply to  Andra Salzberg

You don’t seem to have been listening very closely.

David Chu
David Chu
4 months ago

These Yankee “leaders” are cut from the same old clothe. There hasn’t been a real president of the United States of Death, Disease and Destruction since the assassination of JFK on November 22, 1963. They are all trying their very best to serve their overlords, i.e., that distinctive tribe in the Middle East, the “only democracy in the Middle East”!

XRGRSF
XRGRSF
4 months ago
Reply to  David Chu

JFK was an honorable man who died for his nation, and the betterment of its people. In time the truth of his murder, and the murder of his family will come out, and when it does a certain evil nation in the middle east will have hell to pay.

Eileen Kuch
Eileen Kuch
4 months ago
Reply to  XRGRSF

Absolutely. JFK was, indeed, an honorable man who had won the admiration of most of the world – not Zionist Israel, however. Most of the world – including the USSR – mourned his assassination; however, Israel rejoiced.
It was JFK who demanded that Israel open its Dimona Nuclear Facility to IAEA inspectors, and the reason Israel refused was that it already had nuclear weapons inside the facility.
The other two reasons for his assassination were his threats to splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces, and his Executive Order abolishing the “Federal Reserve” and having the Treasury print out money backed by gold and silver. His successor – LBJ – totally undid JFK’s EO and allowed Zionist Israel to keep (and, even expand) its supply of nukes .. He also expanded the Vietnam War by deploying 500,000 troops to that Southeast Asian country.

Muhammad Abbass
Muhammad Abbass
4 months ago
Reply to  XRGRSF

I doubt it. Americans were long since castrated. They won’t even take back control of Hollywood so how could they ever learn anything about reality absent their main history source?

David Chu
David Chu
4 months ago
Reply to  XRGRSF

I completely agree. His one weakness, although very understandable given his poor health conditions, was women. But no one is perfect on this earth. His stance against the Israeli nuclear weapons program and against the CIA cost him his life and the last opportunity for the United States. He was the last American President.

XRGRSF
XRGRSF
4 months ago
Reply to  David Chu

comment image

CHUCKMAN
4 months ago
Reply to  XRGRSF

But that’s exactly why Germany and others have gone to such extremes concerning anything to do with Hitler.

XRGRSF
XRGRSF
4 months ago
Reply to  David Chu

One thing that should also be mentioned is that JFK was in the process of taking the money printing press away from the Federal Reserve. He had already put $5 notes into circulation that were clearly marked, United States Note. The above quote, Israel’s nukes, the Jew owned Fed; that’s enough to get even a president murdered.

CHUCKMAN
4 months ago

“Sanders Says He Would Consider a Preemptive Strike on Iran and North Korea”

Good God, is there not even one America politician who does not faithfully serve the imperial war machine?

I guess it’s about the same as asking if there is even one American politician who does not faithfully serve Israel.

Indeed, the two impulses come from the same place.

No wonder Tulsi Gabbard doesn’t get a fair hearing.

Robert Mcconnell
Robert Mcconnell
4 months ago
Reply to  CHUCKMAN

To your question the answer is no. Americans are uniquely conditioned with the illusion of the ultimate power, the supreme, the alpha, the top dog. This makes them stupid. Sanders is just another stupid American. End of story

XRGRSF
XRGRSF
4 months ago

Obviously you’ve spent enough time in the U$ to become well acquainted with Boobus Americanus.

Robert Mcconnell
Robert Mcconnell
4 months ago
Reply to  XRGRSF

Correct. Plus the bastards are everywhere, in and out of uniform. Very few bright ones.

XRGRSF
XRGRSF
4 months ago

Most Americans don’t think beyond the one eyed Jew in the corner; commonly known as the TV.

Vera Gottlieb
Vera Gottlieb
4 months ago
Reply to  XRGRSF

Just leave Jews and other ethnicities out of this.

Muhammad Abbass
Muhammad Abbass
4 months ago
Reply to  Vera Gottlieb

Don’t be ridiculous. That elephant isn’t going away just because you scream everytime someone mentions it. Jews are not an ethnicity. It is a religion. It kind of refers to a tribe but really since they’re nothing to do with the original people of scripture they are only practising a religion after having converted to it for convenience sake about 600 years ago. If the religion be examined it is generally not the Torah but the Babylonian Talmud. Which makes them Pharisees. Look it up. The Pharisees control the USA as they do most Western countries and quite a few others.

Vera Gottlieb
Vera Gottlieb
4 months ago

This article has absolutely nothing to do with any religion…but some folks don’t seem to care where they talk about their religious prejudices as long as they can stir up the pot.

Robert Mcconnell
Robert Mcconnell
4 months ago
Reply to  XRGRSF

That’s the astonishing thing, the polly community actually believe their own bullshit

Vera Gottlieb
Vera Gottlieb
4 months ago
Reply to  CHUCKMAN

It seems that no matter from which angle you look at the US – it is a war mongering nation. I call it the greatest terrorist nation on Earth.

CHUCKMAN
4 months ago
Reply to  Vera Gottlieb

That’s pretty accurate, sadly.

Brion Adair
Brion Adair
4 months ago
Reply to  CHUCKMAN

Mark Charles and Tulsi Gabbard are the alternatives to war mongering morons drunk on American Hubris.

Muhammad Abbass
Muhammad Abbass
4 months ago
Reply to  Brion Adair

Tulsi also talks a good game but her answers to similar questions would dissapoint too and her allegiances such as to the CFR are questionable.

Brion Adair
Brion Adair
4 months ago

This is why I’m voting for Mark Charles:

https://www.markcharles2020.com

jm74
jm74
4 months ago

How about having a Castro following Cuban elected. That would solve a lot of foreign policy problems. Just a thought since the barrel containing wanna-be POTUS is of a very poor quality.

XRGRSF
XRGRSF
4 months ago
Reply to  jm74

Maybe, but what works in Cuba, and it does work, would not work in the U$. At least not at this time.

XRGRSF
XRGRSF
4 months ago

OK, Bernie, you no longer need worry about being whacked by Israel or the MIC or both.

Anti-Empire