Here’s a summary paraphrase of Sanders’ speech:
People need to come together to solve challenges.
The Iraq War was wrong, I opposed it, it had terrible consequences for Iraq and us and now is the real cause of ISIS and the refugee problem. It set precedent for unilateral invasions and the U.S. military budget being increased too much this year.
The U.S. lies about war.
Millions were against war then and still are- we need to unite to solve other challenges instead.
- There’s a growing divide between the extremely wealthy and the rest us across the globe.
- Another problem is oligarchs controlling corrupt governments and tricking people dissatisfied into supporting them like Putin (and Trump implied) did.
- And then there’s climate change.
So thank you.
So what is Sanders really saying here about war and peace. Nothing new for him. He states that he opposed the Iraq War and he opposed increasing the military budget in the U.S., but that isn’t undoing the American Imperial Project, it’s just returning it to what it was in the 20th Century.
He doesn’t speak out against the New Cold War or against nuclear weapons, or U.S. military bases around the world, or for reducing the U.S. military budget by a large amount. He doesn’t change his view of the F-35 boondoggle.
In fact he joins in the chorus of demonizing Putin, actually then, this speech INCREASES the tension. It’s more than just another straw thrown on a big haystack. Because he speaks so adamantly about his opposition to the Iraq War and for issues that progressives care about like economic inequality and climate change, he is sheep dogging people to join in the tension with Russia. It’s more than a straw. It’s a bale.
What would a real speech for peace and against war look like? First it wouldn’t focus so much on something fifteen years ago while ignoring actually naming American Imperialism now and the wars being planned now. He’d speak out against the U.S. destruction of Yemen through the Saudis, against the U.S. being in Syria, against the plans for war with Iran, against the plans for war with Venezuela, against arming Ukraine, and against ratcheting up antagonism with China in the South China Sea.
He’d call for peace with Russia, bilateral talks to reduce nuclear weapons, to restore the anti-ballistic missile treaty, to close military bases around the world, to end the boondoggle of the F-35, and to cut the U.S. military budget by at least half. He’d call for the U.S. to stop dealings arms to the world.
Okay, now, people, jump all over me for being too idealist.