By now we have heard chapter and verse, repeatedly so, on the failure of Bernie Sanders to take an antiwar position, much less a stance against U.S. Empire. (Yes, Bernie, there is an Empire.) Paul Street is a leader in the genre with well-documented dissections of Sanders’s flaws on every front and David Swanson provides the latest addition.
The Pro-Empire Candidate.
We have heard Sanders’s defense of the Israeli atrocities in the bombing of Gaza, his call for Saudi Arabia to do even more killing and his concern about Putin for — well, being Putin and Russian. Thus Bernie is joining a cheering section that could root us right into nuclear war and oblivion. Here cited by Chris Hedges is a sample from an interview with Bill O’Reilly:
‘“The entire world has got to stand up to Putin. We’ve got to deal with sanctions, we’ve got to deal with freezing assets,” and “You’ve got to totally isolate them politically. You’ve got to totally isolate them economically… You freeze assets that the Russian government has all over the world… International corporations have huge investments in Russia, you could pull them out…”
Confirmation comes in an NPR interview with David Green:
BS: …..The United States has got to work with our European allies and allies throughout the world to come up with an intelligent, rational approach to deal with Russia, to deal with ISIS and deal with other national security threats.
DG: Sounds like you would intervene less than this president has?
BS: No, I didn’t say that. You’ve got to look at each particular case, obviously.
And, obviously also, there is not a shred of anti-interventionist or anti-imperial philosophy displayed here.
To give Bernie credit, he did vote against the war on Iraq and he has supported the nuclear/sanctions deal between Iran and the U.S., Russia, China, UK, France and Germany. (Certainly the latter is a positive step toward peace in that it removes the Israeli excuse for an attack on Iran, but it remains unclear how Obama and company intend to use the deal. Is it simply a way to free up resources from the Middle East for an assault on Russia and China? That is the most likely outcome, but we shall see.) And certainly Sanders’s Iraq vote suggests he is not as reckless or bloodthirsty as Killary, but that is setting the bar somewhere beneath the belly of a viper.
The fundamental problem with Sanders’s campaign is that it is based on bribery, and an especially immoral sort of bribery at that. For Bernie promises more social benefits IF we, the beneficiaries, let him continue the Empire’s warfare — both economic and military. That is a most unsavory sort of bribe. Basically he gives us butter if we give him guns to kill innocents.