Today, I came across a blog named, “People’s War.” It is the first time that I have seen anything – in newspaper and magazine articles or anywhere on the Internet – where Bernie Sanders’ ideas about foreign policies have been mentioned. Although the video shows Bernie addressing the House of Representatives in 1991, it is apparent that he has always had these fervent beliefs and there is no reason to assume he has changed his opinion.
I strongly urge those of my followers who are interested in what Bernie has to say about his ideas of the world and world powers, and how methods other than war could solve the serious problems around the globe, rather than with human suffering and bloodshed. His predictions of spending for all the necessary armaments will be increased exponentially, was proved right. He also predicted that in order to pay for the war (Gulf War), there would be cutbacks on social services that aid our citizens. It all came true. This video was filmed in January 1991 in the House of Representatives’ chambers.
As an introduction to this video, let me quote from “People’s War“:
“Shortly after Sanders was first elected Vermont’s sole representative in the House of Representatives in 1990, he took a stand on his first major war as a Congressman — the 1991 Gulf War. He voted against authorizing the use of military force against Iraq despite acknowledging that Iraq had no right to invade and occupy Kuwait and that Saddam Hussein was a brutal tyrant. For Sanders, these two facts were not sufficient reasons to go to war. Instead, he supported renewing diplomatic efforts and imposing sanctions on Iraq as non-military means of reaching the same outcome — ending Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait.
Sanders worried in 1991 that the Gulf War would be “laying the groundwork for more and more wars for years to come,” a prophetic statement given the subsequent U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq and the current war on ISIS. Although the 1991 Gulf War ended after a few weeks in a U.S. victory, Americans and Iraqis continued to pay with their lives for that victory in the years that followed. U.S. soldiers, possibly because of exposure to depleted uranium munitions or Iraq’s destroyed chemical weapon stockpiles, developed a range of illnesses collectively dubbed Gulf War syndrome. Sanders was at the forefront of the fight to win U.S. government recognition of Gulf War syndrome and get affected veterans the help and support they needed. At the same time U.S. soldiers were developing Gulf War-related illnesses, over 500,000 Iraqi children died as a result of crippling post-war economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations.
Sanders’ record on Iraq-related issues over the past 25 years is entirely consistent with his core values as a democratic socialist: namely, that working people — in the U.S. and around the world — are entitled to a decent standard of living in conditions of peace and freedom. Whatever action furthered that outcome, he supported; whatever action impeded that outcome, he opposed.
But if the guiding principle of the Sanders doctrine is simple, the struggle to the advance[ment of] that principle amid the world’s wars and complex conflicts is not.”
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