Bernie on War
In War Hawk <-> Dove spectrum, he’s not the anti-War candidate the left pretends.
- He crows about how he was against the Iraq war, and he's more isolationist than Ron Paul -- but his Code Pink buddies don't trust him because he did support the 2001 authorization of military force against terror, which was the justification for going into Afghanistan and Iraq: and Bernie will support the military industrial complex, as long as the people making the gatling-guns were unionized and in his state.
- Yes, he was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam war, but that was strictly to dodge the draft: if he was a consistent life-long pacifist, I’d respect that. But he’s not. He claimed the exception to being a pacifist, "when people threaten the United States or threaten our allies, or commit genocide, the United States, with other countries, should be prepared to act militarily.” If he was consistent with that, I’d respect that too, only his actions belie his words.
- he supported the tyranny/brutality of the Communists in Vietnam
- he was perfectly fine with the genocide in Cambodia, Laos, Kampuchea and Somalia (opposing action in those places)
- Saddam Hussein’s brutal oppression and conquest in Iraq and Kuwait was fine with him (he opposed both wars). After the entire worlds intelligence agencies were claiming Saddam was working on WMDs. He didn’t oppose it because he didn’t believe the intelligence, but because he didn’t care if Saddam or Iran gets the bomb or not (it's not about threats to the nation or world). Then he voted in favor of a military response in Afghanistan (claiming they attacked first) -- they didn't, they were just harboring those who had.
- He was for bombing in Kosovo/Yugoslavia in 1999... but not for troops to stop the genocide
- He supported the F-35, as long as it is stationed in Vermont
- He was for regime change and bombing in Libya (even though they hadn’t attacked us), because Obama wanted to destabilize the region so the muslim radicals could take over. Which they did.
- Syria he was against no-fly zones... but he supported Obama bombing ISIS
So Bernie is a radical lefty, but mostly a partisan one, he seems to take a pretty partisan line on War — if the Democrats are for it, he’s for it. He hasn’t opposed Obama on drone strikes or anything. It’s only when it’s a Republican in office that he really opposes war... unless it brings jobs to his State. So I have troubles with that moral inconsistency.  So he's not as much a radical lefty as some of the furthest radical lefties would like. And to anyone near the middle, it’s hard to tell a Marxist from a Leninist or a Maoist, either way, you still end up in a re-education camp.
Bernie on the Iraq War
Bernie got everything wrong: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p35NmUnMsY
What I heard is:
- (a) Saddam was not an imminent threat -- unlike lesser threats such as Kosovo, Libya, Afghanistan and other places that Democrats supported (and he did too). He was hypocritical!
- (b) that while all the intelligence agencies of the world said he had Chemical/Biological WMD's, and was working on Nukes, that they are "unlikely to initiate an attack on the United States". But he was sponsoring terrorism against Israel, harboring terrorist training camps, violating the terms of the cease fire, and violating 18 different UN resolutions. Missed the point.
- (c) Bernie warned that us going in might encourage Saddam to launch a chemical or biological counter-attack. (So he thought the weapons existed, and was as wrong as Bush). He just didn't care if he used them on neighbors, again (brown skinned people don't matter). He just didn't want American lives lost. Ethically questionable premise at best!
- (d) he implied he would have been for it, if the U.N. was behind it (as if that changes the morality/ethics), and we later found out the oil-for-food program was entirely corrupted and Russia, France and Germany were all getting rich and happy trading weapons illegally, and the U.N. new and had scandals around it. So he was wrong to trust the U.N. and unethical to imply that their support changed anything.
- (e) He wanted to deal with the dot-com bubble and lost investments. (as if it is the governments job to create moral hazard). He was wrong on that topic.
- (f) Complained about trade-deficit, poverty and implied the President had done nothing -- but he already had with his tax cuts, etc -- which caused a much faster and better rebound after Clinton's dot-com crash, than Obama did by using the long discredited Keynesian wasteful spending. So Bernie was wrong, and lying on that sub-topic. He might not of liked how it was addressed, but it had been addressed far better than prior and later Democrat responses.
- (g) Has not heard how many lives would die. (which is irrelevant to the ethics BTW). But the Iraq war losses were far lower than any of the estimates. No one estimated only a few thousand American deaths. More would have been lost by stationing troops in DC, Detroit or Chicago. And most of the "losses" invented by America haters in Iraq, were people we can't track (e.g. they left), not actual body counts. The war cost less than any other war in history. The insurrection (civil war) afterwards is where all the lives were lost. But those were on Iraqi's, not the U.S.
- (h) He said "War should not be the first recourse". He's ignoring the 12 years, and thousands of efforts to not go to war. He can argue that it still wasn't enough, but he lied in implying this wasn't the last recourse, and we hadn't tried sanctions, resoltuions, and things for 12 years that had failed.
- (i) he claims it set a precedent of preemptive war. Which shows that Bernie was both a hypocrite and a moron. Revolutionary, 1812, civil war, spanish-american, mexican american, WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam, Kosovo, Panama, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and a few others, were all preemptive and more precedent setting (and he supported a few of those). So he's a liar and a fool.
- (j) He claims Iraq would destroy the "International Terrorism" cooperation efforts we had to that date. He was 100% wrong. Ghaddafi gave up WMD's after we invaded, Syria and Lebanon both straightened up their acts, Palestine started talking peace (for a while), most of the terrorist sponsors cleaned up (short term), and we made huge strides once the U.S. showed they would back up their words with actions. Over the next decade (especially after Obama took over) that was diluted with time. But the immediate response was the exact opposite of what the hippie-ocrite predicted.
- (k) it could be expensive. OK. He was right -- but it was far far less expensive than the ACA that Sanders supported, it was less than Porkulus and Obama's have of TARP. And cost us less than 9/11 had. So it wasn't cheap, but that hypocrite wasn't to spend 10x as much on his pork programs, so he loses the right to whine about expense of a $1T war, when he's advocating around $18T in programs.
- (l) he was right that other regimes might topple (but Bush had predicted that -- and it was the intent to get those democracies). He was wrong on Palestine (which cooled down for a while). In fact, none of the chaos he predicted happened, until nearly a decade after the war, and only when we replace our leadership with a feckless leader that diluted our power in the region, did those problems manifest. Some might think there was a causal relationship there. (Our unwillingness to act, and Obama's efforts to withdraw, emboldened the bad elements)?
- (m) he called it a unilateral invasion -- yet it had more global support than Obama got for Libya, or Clinton had for Kosovo -- so what he means by that is, "i'm a partisan hypocrite that will lie for my causes, and hope my base is biased enough to not call me on it". But there's no objective standard where Bush would be wrong, and Obama/Clinton would be right. Either they're all wrong, or they're all justified.
- (n) he said the weapons inspectors that had failed for 12 years, should have been allowed to do their job. After we invaded, we found that Saddam had facilities within facilities that they'd missed for decade+. They also failed on Iran a few times. In fact they never stopped a country from ever getting Nukes: India, Pakistan, North Korea, South Africa, Israel, are just a few of their failures. So the delusion that they matter is the ramblings of a senile old clueless hippie.
He total failed to predict that WMD's wouldn't be found. So the basis of his argument was they were there, but he didn't care. And that we should continue with the U.N. failure to stop them for 12 years, and ignore their sponsorship of terror. Yeah, what a genius. He agreed with many people that war might be expensive (to help them rebuild), there were no guarantees in it, and then got everything else wrong.