(this ‘issue’ is important enough that i’m going to paste in whole swathes of it in hopes that you’ll read it all. i can’t tell you how many folks i respect on many issues lauded the speech from john nichols’ take on it at the nation: “Outlining a vision of an America on the side of peace and justice, the senator shredded Trump’s brutish foreign policies.” OMG.)
‘At site of Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech Sanders declares his allegiance to US imperialism’, Tom Hall wsws.org
“His choice of venue was significant. Sanders gave the speech at the same university where Winston Churchill delivered his famous “Iron Curtain” speech in 1946, which announced the launching of the Cold War. Sanders made several fawning references to Churchill in the course of his remarks and presented Churchill’s Missouri speech as a progressive and democratic manifesto.
“In that speech,” Sanders said, “he defined his strategic concept as quote ‘nothing less than the safety and welfare, the freedom and progress, of all the homes and families of all the men and women in all the lands.’ To give security to these countless homes, he said, ‘they must be shielded from the two giant marauders, war and tyranny.’”
In fact, the speech given by Churchill, a hardened reactionary and defender of the British Empire, played a major role in the development of Cold War anti-communist ideology. Under the guise of opposing the spread of Soviet “tyranny,” the United States carried out innumerable crimes, from the near-genocidal wars in Korea and Vietnam to multiple regime-change operations (Guatemala, Iran, the Congo, Chile), in which the CIA replaced elected governments with savage military dictatorships.
Subversion and violence abroad were accompanied by political repression and intimidation at home in the form of the McCarthy-era crackdown on socialist and left-wing sentiment in the American working class and the persecution of socialist-minded intellectuals.
By choosing this venue and wrapping himself in the mantle of Churchill, Sanders sought to establish, for the benefit of the ruling class, his anti-communist credentials. This was underscored by his full-throated embrace of the McCarthyite anti-Russian campaign being spearheaded today by his colleagues in the Democratic Party. As in the 1940s,’50s and ’60s, the “liberal” Democratic Party establishment and its media allies such as the New York Times are seeking to whip up an anti-Russian hysteria for the dual purpose of preparing for war against nuclear-armed Russia and imposing political censorship within the US, particularly over the Internet, in the name of combating Russian-inspired “fake news.”
In Sanders’ overview of world politics, the chief source of the “rise in authoritarianism and right wing extremism—both domestic and foreign,” is the Russian government. Denouncing “inequality, corruption, oligarchy and authoritarianism,” Sanders pointed not to Washington, but to Moscow, declaring that “kleptocrats, like Putin in Russia, use divisiveness and abuse as a tool for enriching themselves and those loyal to them.”
Sanders endorsed the Democratic Party’s narrative, which lacks any foundation outside of the say-so of American spy agencies, of Russian government interference in the US election. “We saw this anti-democratic effort take place in the 2016 election right here in the United States,” he declared, “where we now know that the Russian government was engaged in a massive effort to undermine one of our greatest strengths: The integrity of our elections, and our faith in our own democracy.” [snip]
“The sole explicit reference Sanders made to Trump’s fascistic speech last Tuesday at the United Nations was a criticism of Trump’s failure to directly attack Russia for undermining “[t]he integrity of our elections and our faith in our own democracy.” He said nothing about Trump’s genocidal threat to “totally destroy” North Korea.
“[O]ur goal is to not only strengthen American democracy,” Sanders said, “but to work in solidarity with supporters of democracy around the globe, including in Russia. In the struggle of democracy versus authoritarianism, we intend to win.” [Emphasis added]. Given that the US has for years sponsored “color revolutions” against pro-Moscow regimes in the former Soviet Union, this statement can be understood only as a veiled threat to work toward the overthrow of the Putin government.
Sanders promoted the US-orchestrated civil war in Syria, denouncing “Russian and Iranian support for Bashar al-Assad’s slaughter in Syria,” while criticizing the UN for being “too slow or unwilling to act.” At the same time, he bemoaned US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, saying it “empowers authoritarian leaders who insist that our support for those rights and values [which the United States is supposedly upholding in Syria] is not serious.” Precisely!
Sanders defended the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran, which was obtained through punishing sanctions aimed at crippling that country’s economy, and called for similar punitive measures in North Korea. This demonstrates that Sanders, despite criticisms of Trump’s recklessness, has no differences with the administration’s strategic goal of bringing to heel or overthrowing the unstable regime in Pyongyang (a fact Sanders already demonstrated in an interview this April when he said Trump was “on the right track” in North Korea). Sanders merely proposes to do this through an economic blockade, which itself amounts to an act of war.” [snip]
“Thus, the Vietnam War was based on a “discredited domino theory” about the spread of communism throughout Southeast Asia. The war in Iraq was “based on a similarly mistaken analysis.”
Sanders’ speech exposes, once again, the fraud of his election campaign claim to be a “socialist.” In any event, the word “socialism” was conveniently absent from his Missouri speech. The term “democracy,” used primarily in reference to the promotion of “democracy” against nations and regimes targeted for destruction by the United States, was used 21 times.
Sanders is a longstanding supporter of American imperialism, a fact he has sought to conceal by avoiding discussion of foreign policy as much as possible. He endorsed the NATO war in the Balkans in the 1990s and voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force resolution in 2001, which was used as the basis for the invasion of Afghanistan and has since been cited as the legal basis for military attacks, drone assassinations, torture and other crimes overseas, as well as the use of military commissions, indefinite detention without trial, mass domestic surveillance and other police state measures within the US.
In 2015, when asked whether counterterrorism under a Sanders administration would include Special Forces and drone strikes, Sanders replied, “Well, all of that and more.”
(okay; i ended up copying most of it, but the rest is here.) ;-) Now the Bern didn’t mention Israel’s aid to the attempted putsch in Syria, did he? At least Tom Hall didn’t mention it, although Bibi wouldn’t like him defending the Iran nuclear deal… Solomonesque? Who can say? I couldn’t possibly offer an opinion, but you might. (h/t Francis Urquart)
Here’s his hour and a half speech at TRNN. (in comments it was reported that the Bern starts at about 20 min.)