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A Real ‘Political Revolution’ Would End the War in Iraq


A Real ‘Political Revolution’ Would End the War in Iraq

Peter Certo

These days, Bernie Sanders doesn’t say much about the Middle East. But if you’ve heard him say nothing else on the subject, he’s probably reminded you that he — unlike a certain former secretary of state — had the foresight to vote against the Iraq War when it came before Congress back in 2002.


The dominance of the military industrial complex has been supported by the corporate takeover of the mass media, and through it, a pro-war narrative that comes in a variety of flavors.

The subtlest form (and flavor) is sports. Football is practically a religion for men inside the U.S.A and its verbiage--"slaughter the enemy!" and reliance on men acting as teams following orders are all tied into warfare.

Hollywood has been doing at least some business with the CIA and through this disastrous partnership, pushing movie themes that turn torture into a necessity when not glorifying war. Always there are clear-cut cartoon like depictions of good guys and bad guys.

Then there are the actual pundits, the so-called "serious adults" who all sound like parrot style clones. THEY made false cases for war against Iraq, nearly succeeded in inciting war against Iran and have made war on Syria possible in all ways but overt ones.

Then there are the religious "leaders" who push the idea of a clash of religions or civilizations and insist that Muslims are primitive people who cut heads off. This, of course, contrasted with the far more sophisticated forms of carnage that come from push button video-game like U.S.--MIC inspired drone operations.

My point is that war has become so much a part of the U.S. cultural fabric that were Bernie to say about it what deserves to be said, he'd become the McCarthy of our times and the next Nixon (Cruz?) would take over to escalate the wars.

Although it's very clear that human beings tend to hold areas of specialized knowledge, and reciprocal blind spots, Mr. Sanders seems like a moral man. And therefore, I believe he does see through the inanity of war creating more war in a never-ending spiral of disgusting levels of destruction.

I think he had to come off as being TOUGH just as so many who run for office push the idea that they will be "tough on crime."

If Mr. Sanders could be framed as a wimp, it would work against him.

The nation needs its consciousness raised. After decades of pro-war conditioning, and never so much as that which immediately followed 911, a majority of persons may not be READY to hear an anti-war message.

I believe that understanding COULD come to them with a leader who HAD the bully pulpit and through it, could explain the links between unchecked militarism (pursued through foreign wars) and the budgetary shortfalls that mean toxic water, no Head Start programs, collapsing bridges, no Social Security annual increments, etc.

Sanders COULD do that. But if he pushes too many "perceived as radical" ideas too quickly, he will not win the election. First let him get that seat of power. No one else is going to talk about these things (and please, no Jill Stein memos. The woman is less known than the worst of rappers) given the alternative line-up of Presidential candidates.


Getting one's head around these complexities is a daunting task. Mr. Certo's call for a diplomatic approach is the only just and humane way to go about it.

How to bring this sort of complexity into the political debate in this campaign is also a daunting task, and could cause more harm to Bernie, in particular, and the cause of peace in general, if right wing simplifications shout reason down, as often happens.

Is it reasonable to assume that when Bernie takes the reins of power and is forced to make hard decisions he is more likely to strike a pose for peace through diplomacy? No one knows, I think yes.


Mr. Certo... I borrowed this from William Astore's piece (published on C.D. today)... as it explains WHY it would be premature for Mr. Sanders to take too direct an aim at the MIC and its wars:

"In fact, from the president to all those citizens who feel obliged in a way Americans never have before to “thank” the troops endlessly for their efforts, no other institution has been so universally applauded since 9/11. No one should be shocked then that, in polls, Americans regularly claim to trust the military leadership above any other crew around, including scientists, doctors, ministers, priests, and -- no surprise -- Congress.

"Imagine parents endlessly praising their son as “the smartest, handsomest, most athletically gifted boy since God created Adam.” We’d conclude that they were thoroughly obnoxious, if not a bit unhinged. Yet the military remains just this sort of favored son, the country’s golden child. And to the golden child go the spoils."


I agree with Peter 100%. Bernie needs to separate himself from the pack on foreign policy and I think a more thoughtful, conciliatory approach would be applauded by most voters. Military involvement and bombing and drone warfare haven't worked since conflict in the Middle East began. The citizenry would welcome a politician with wisdom and empathy. The country needs to change course in its foreign policy and proposing a new direction would make Bernie unstoppable. So far his positions on the current state of foreign affairs have been
fairly pathetic and if he has an Achilles heel, that's where it is.


It would be a good trick to somehow get sane representatives into the congress and have 90% cut in funding for the mic, nsa, cia all that spy nonsense. Heck, I might plant a garden.


Hearing people use the word "revolution" in the context seen in current political discussion is embarrassingly adolescent. I(t has as much meaning as calling a new brand of breakfast cereal "revolutionary." Yes, if there were a revolution, the government wouldn't have the time or resources to devote to war in Iraq. But realistically, if that happened, who would fight whom? We're profoundly divided by class, rich vs. middle class vs. poor.

Now if you're referring to revolution metaphorically, there is no reason to think that any real changes can or will happen. Just a nip and tuck here and there, business as usual. Two years of free college education is certainly in the best interests of the country overall, but this is for those who already have a measure of economic security. Then there's... right. Obama was absolutely correct when, as a candidate, he stressed that the only way we could see the change we said we wanted was to organize, get to our feet, and DEMAND it from Congress. What we learned is that we don't agree. Complex issues, but as long as we continue to ignore our poverty crisis, we will keep spinning our wheels in the same rut.


We've known for many years that we are stuck in the Mideast as long as Americans maintain their unquenchable thirst for oil.


It's not "ideological purity" to care about the dire consequences of such contradictions for those in their crosshairs.

It's an honest conscience.


To convince your average American about the wars, you have to show them all the social goods they are not getting as a result of military spending. People are not aware of the statistics. This needs to be driven home. Bread and Butter issues are on people's minds, people struggling with feeding their kids need more facts about the real costs of war. "The war ate Billy's education. "The wars ate Aunt Fannie's health care." "Paying for wars weakened our public schools." You get the idea. If Bernie could do this along with showing how the wars are not working for us, except for the corporations, it would resonate with voters. This is what the Left failed to do in the Anti War Movement.


It bears repeating: War is a business! Independent states that get along don't require expensive weapons. We market war to the world.


" ...and please, no Jill Stein memos. ....."

OK, as soon as there are no Bernie Sanders memos, I'll think about it ... because the fact of the matter is that "someone else", Stein, IS going to, and has, talk(ed) about those things. And if she is "less known than the worst of rappers" it is precisely because of folks like you who want "no Jill Stein memos". I suppose you are aware that Mitt Romney, President Obama, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and RNC Chair Reince Priebus are opposing letting 3rd parties in the Pres debates and Romney's lawyers are working on getting the suit to let them in thrown out of court .. So welcome to the club! What are they, you, afraid of?

You sound like those who told that little kid shouting "the Emperor is naked!" to sit down and shut up .. so i don't suppose you signed the petition to let them in


Meanwhile, back at the ranch - while Sanders supporters applaud him for his "courageous" stands and boldness in wearing a "socialist" label in speaking out against the "big banks" and "billionaires" they excuse him for not speaking out on the MIC and our endless wars - because that is one "radical idea" too many? Or is it, as this article points out, because he really isn't against them, but that is one inconvenient truth too many, isn't it?

You "believe" lots of things about Sanders, just as folks "believed" lots of things about O, with nothing more than hopes and projections behind them and often in the face of evidence to the contrary. The fact is Sanders speaks out of both sides of his mouth on a number of issues - this one, and SP, for example - he says he wants SP, but he also wants to "build on the ACA" and you can't do both ...

It is almost amusing to watch Sanders supporters twist themselves in knots trying to explain the inconsistencies, or excuse the deficiencies - just as i watched O supporters do in '08 - this is '08 redux, or Groundhog Day, take eighty-oughty-eighty , only the names have been changed, and not even all of them, to protect - well, who knows who ... And it would be amusing if it were a sit-com, but it ain't, it's about who we are putting in the highest office in the land and it matters on many levels ...

"If Sanders could be framed as a wimp, it would work against him" - well doncha know, Clinton figures the same thing, but when she fails to push a diplomatic approach she is decried as a hawk and rightly so, but when Sanders does it, it is "prudent" ...

You're damn right the "nation needs its consciousness raised" - and when it comes to "billionaires" Sanders is praised for "doing" it - but when it comes to war and the military, he is praised, or at least excused, for keeping his mouth shut?

Oh it would be sooo nice for some honesty, here - this is not about what is good for the country and the people and other life forms in it, this is about what is good for keeping the DP in power ....

So because i still think it should be about the former and not the latter, i am going to insert "Jill Stein" memos whenever and wherever I can - because the emperor is indeed naked and somebody has to say it ...



Except it won't ...