Bernie Sanders: Democrats Need to Rein In Our Out-of-Control Military
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BY BERNIE SANDERS
On domestic policy—taxation, healthcare, the environment, education, criminal justice, immigration and so forth—there are major differences between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. On foreign policy, not so much. In fact, a number of observers have correctly pointed out that, to a very great degree, we have a “one-party foreign policy.” As a result, there is almost no debate about the basic premises underlying our long-term foreign policy positions. In a complicated and volatile world, this is not a good thing.
Several months ago, Democrats, with virtually no opposition, gave President Trump every nickel that he wanted in increased defense spending. At a time when our infrastructure is crumbling, when public schools lack the resources to provide a quality education for our kids, when 30 million people have no health insurance, there were very few Democrats opposed to Republican efforts to increase military spending by $165 billion over two years.
Democrats, for good reason, vehemently oppose almost everything Trump proposes, but when he asks for a huge increase in military spending, there are almost no voices in dissent. Why is that? Do we really have to spend more on the military than the next 10 nations combined—most of which are our allies? Why do we dramatically increase funding for the military when the Department of Defense remains the only major government agency not to have undertaken a comprehensive audit? Why is there so little discussion about the billions in waste, fraud and cost overruns at the Pentagon?
HERE’S A TRUTH THAT YOU DON’T OFTEN HEAR about in the newspapers, on television or in the halls of Congress. But it’s a truth we must face. Far too often, American intervention and the use of American military power have produced unintended consequences that have caused incalculable harm. Yes, it is reasonably easy to engineer the overthrow of a government. It is far harder, however, to know the long-term impact that that action will have.
January 14, 2019 at 2:59 PM #12223Ohio BarbarianModerator
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Run, Bernie, run! Run as the peace candidate! It’s high time we had one who can actually win.
It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs
Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I'll show you a crook.--Harry Truman
January 14, 2019 at 3:17 PM #12233ThouArtThatParticipant
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While I fully agree with Bernie that DOD spending is egregious and should be drastically curtailed, he knows the score all too well. US defense spending grows continuously for two reasons: to maintain empire abroad and fatten the wallets of Oligarchs, Corporations and Banks.
As evidence, an insight dawned recently that Republicans representing capitalists have run up the federal debt and deficit on purpose. Why? Simple. As Americans have grown poorer with globalization, the Oligarchs, Corporations and Banks realized that the only profit centers worth their time in the US were government contracts. In other words, the 1% have bribed Congress to outsource ever more public functions to the private sector while promoting forever wars. So, since most Americans are too poor to keep a consumer economy going, the Oligarchs, Corporations and Banks will appropriate all the money they want through taxes ostensibly deemed necessary to pay for all the outsourcing and defense budgets. And all that justified under the rubric of private sector efficiency. When in reality this is just another scam to transfer wealth to the 1%.
One suspects that running on a platform to decrease defense spending and thereby compromise wealth transfer to the 1% will be met with vociferous opposition. And that opposition will swamp any criticism Bernie faced in 2016 by orders of magnitude. Is it the right thing to do – of course! Will it be successful – who knows? Will the show be interesting to watch – by definition. Buckle up – the next two years won’t be dull.
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January 14, 2019 at 3:29 PM #12237sadoldgirlParticipant
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I suppose this is his response to Tulsi’s effort to run
for peace. I have yet to hear him complain about our
support of the Neonazi regime in the Ukraine with
weapons. Nor have I heard him speak up against our
sanctions against Venezuela.
January 14, 2019 at 4:33 PM #12254ZimInSeattleParticipant
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Good on Bernie! It’ll be interesting to see what kind of push back he gets from the establishment war mongers.
"Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime" - Aristotle "The more I see of the moneyed peoples, the more I understand the guillotine" - George Bernard Shaw "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable" - JFK #SurviveAndRevolt
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