Ducking the Issue of ‘Perpetual War’

During last week’s Democratic presidential debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders had an opening to reshape the campaign by offering a thoughtful critique of “perpetual war” and its consequences, but like the other major candidates of both parties ducked this crucial issue, writes Sam Husseini.

By Sam Husseini

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, some of us tried to raise questions about how U.S. foreign policy was a contributing factor. I got my mic cut off on Bill O’Reilly’s show. Others got far worse — a friend basically felt he had to move out of his neighborhood because he was so reviled for criticizing U.S. militarism.

So, the root causes of the 9/11 attacks were hardly discussed — unless it was televangelists Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell blaming gay folks and getting derided for such nonsense. With minimal debate, the United States rushed off to war and hundreds of thousands of people got killed in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere without solving the problem of terrorism.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.

Today, even as the violence spreads, there’s no meaningful peace movement. Partly as a result of that, we’re not having the serious discussion that we should about what to do after the Paris attacks, including a serious assessment of how U.S. — and Western — foreign policy manifests the hatred that contributes to these homicidal suicide attacks.

In the case of the Paris terror attacks, one might have thought that an intelligent discussion would have been possible — the target, after all, was not the U.S. though it could be next on the list. But, still, there was some breathing room that might have allowed for a measure of serious examination and reflection about the effects of perpetual war. 

But the two-party establishment with no significant exceptions agrees on the need for perpetual war. So there is almost no serious critique. For instance, top Democrats and Republicans show virtually no remorse for having pushed for “regime change” in Syria and Libya. Nor do they see a connection between those policies and the enormous human suffering that followed.

If there is criticism, it is aimed mostly at President Barack Obama for not doing more militarily. He’s called weak and feckless although he’s bombed country after country.

So, amid a broad pro-war consensus on the campaign trail, the major policy debate has turned to Syrian refugees and whether they should be allowed into the United States, a point where there is more disagreement. The trouble is that sometimes what the two sides agree on (perpetual war) is what causes the point that they disagree on (what to do with refugees that perpetual war creates).

Democratic Party politicos talk about the humanity of Syrian refugees and the ideal of the U.S. offering them sanctuary. Republican politicos talk about alleged security concerns from letting refugees in. (While I personally think we should let in more than a mere 10,000 refugees, which is what the Obama administration is talking about, I don’t think that’s the issue we really need to be addressing.)

The real issue is the results of perpetual war and the continued backing for it among those politicians. The Democratic Party participates in perpetual war policies that lead to Syrians becoming refugees and the Republican Party participates in perpetual war policies that lead to greater insecurity for people in the U.S.

Meanwhile, the refugee issue is made into a wedge issue that keeps the Democratic base and the Republican base shouting at each other rather than examining the underlying cause: perpetual war and the problematic “allies” that U.S. officials have embraced in the Mideast. For instance, there is a conspiracy of silence about causal factors, such as the U.S. government’s backing of the authoritarian Saudi regime that has fostered Wahhabism, an extremist form of Islam used by Al Qaeda and ISIS.

Even the most progressive Democrats are silent on this touchy topic. Just this week, Rep. Barbara Lee — possibly the most left-wing member of Congress — was asked on “Democracy Now” about U.S. arms to Saudi Arabia. She didn’t condemn it.

In the presidential race, Sen. Bernie Sanders, the progressive alternative to hawkish former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, can bring a lump to every throat in the hall when talking about economic inequality, but his solution to the threat from Al Qaeda and ISIS is for the Saudis to “get their hands dirty.”

Sorry, Bernie, but the Saudis hands are dirty enough. The Saudis fostered jihadis like ISIS and Al Qaeda to tear apart Syria, and the Saudis are now bombing Yemen as part of their sectarian war against “the Shiite crescent” slaughtering large numbers of Yemeni civilians (while enabling Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen to capture more territory)

At the CBS-sponsored Democratic debate the day after the Paris attacks, Sanders didn’t even want to talk about foreign policy. It was tragic really. He could have laid into the misguided foreign policy that Clinton has embraced and has helped shape. Sanders could have noted that by backing the Saudis the U.S. has worsened the threat from such groups as ISIS in the Middle East and now Europe and possibly America in the near future. He could have jolted the campaign and sparked a meaningful public debate.

But he didn’t. The most he did was criticize the invasion of Iraq, which is valid, but that was a dozen years ago. In my view, no one who voted for the Iraq War (including Hillary Clinton) is qualified to hold any official position let alone President of the United States, but Sanders flinched at the need for a more substantive critique of what’s happened since the Iraq War.

He relied on his nonsensical and counterproductive talking point about the supposed need for the Saudis and other rich Gulf states to intervene more aggressively in regional conflicts, which in real terms would mean more weapons and money going to their paramilitary proxies: Al Qaeda, ISIS and other jihadists. The Saudis are a big part of the problem, not the solution.

Whatever Sanders has to say about the economy and the need to invest heavily in American infrastructure, education and health care those plans are not feasible unless Sanders also can articulate a path out of perpetual war.

The Vietnam War helped undermine the war on poverty, as Martin Luther King Jr. noted, calling it a “demonic suction tube” diverting tax dollars from programs to alleviate suffering in the United State to inflict suffering in Indochina. Today’s perpetual war is gobbling up so much money that there won’t be any left for building infrastructure and financing other plans that Sanders may have. 

Plus, if you don’t explain how and why you would end perpetual war, the voters are going to pick someone who vows to continue perpetual war, only do it better. And there will be no end in sight. Perpetual war will mean more generations of Muslim youth driven to madness against the U.S. and the West.

Beyond the fiscal cost, perpetual war will mean an even more militarized police force at home and a more repressive security state. Perpetual war will mean more refugees who will be treated as the newest scapegoats so the U.S. public will never focus on the U.S. war policies themselves.

Plus, perpetual war will make nuclear war more likely. Even now, we’re hearing cavalier talk on the campaign trail with presidential candidates eager to challenge Russian planes over Syria, including Clinton’s scheme for a “no-fly zone.”

Yet, there’s a hunger among many Americans for another course and a revulsion against what the U.S. foreign policy establishment has been selling. The Republican candidates leading in the polls are those who — whatever their other faults — are viewed as being the furthest away from this establishment.

Grassroots groups, like Come Home America, have tried to bring the left and right together against never-ending imperial wars. But elections undercut such movements, with people constantly pushed to focus on symptoms of policies gone wrong, like the Syrian refugee crisis, without looking at the underlying disease, perpetual war.

Sam Husseini is communications director for the Institute for Public Accuracy. Follow him on twitter: @samhusseini

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36 comments for “Ducking the Issue of ‘Perpetual War’

  1. Abe
    November 22, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    The term “New Middle East” was introduced to the world in June 2006 in Tel Aviv by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (who was credited by the Western media for coining the term) in replacement of the older and more imposing term, the “Greater Middle East.”

    This shift in foreign policy phraseology coincided with the inauguration of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) Oil Terminal in the Eastern Mediterranean. The term and conceptualization of the “New Middle East,” was subsequently heralded by the U.S. Secretary of State and the Israeli Prime Minister at the height of the Anglo-American sponsored Israeli siege of Lebanon. Prime Minister Olmert and Secretary Rice had informed the international media that a project for a “New Middle East” was being launched from Lebanon.

    This announcement was a confirmation of an Anglo-American-Israeli “military roadmap” in the Middle East. This project, which has been in the planning stages for several years, consists in creating an arc of instability, chaos, and violence extending from Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria to Iraq, the Persian Gulf, Iran, and the borders of NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan.

    The “New Middle East” project was introduced publicly by Washington and Tel Aviv with the expectation that Lebanon would be the pressure point for realigning the whole Middle East and thereby unleashing the forces of “constructive chaos.” This “constructive chaos” –which generates conditions of violence and warfare throughout the region– would in turn be used so that the United States, Britain, and Israel could redraw the map of the Middle East in accordance with their geo-strategic needs and objectives.

    […]

    Attempts at intentionally creating animosity between the different ethno-cultural and religious groups of the Middle East have been systematic. In fact, they are part of a carefully designed covert intelligence agenda.

    Even more ominous, many Middle Eastern governments, such as that of Saudi Arabia, are assisting Washington in fomenting divisions between Middle Eastern populations. The ultimate objective is to weaken the resistance movement against foreign occupation through a “divide and conquer strategy” which serves Anglo-American and Israeli interests in the broader region.

    Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a “New Middle East”
    By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/plans-for-redrawing-the-middle-east-the-project-for-a-new-middle-east

  2. Drew Hunkins
    November 22, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    The constant refrain “Assad must go” that’s echoing to and fro and night and day throughout the establishment press and mass media is totally and completely emanating from the Zionist power configuration in America, period. (Okay, granted the Saudis are also assisting in the propaganda to have Assad exit stage left.)

    It’s sickening, disheartening and frightening to see almost all the major presidential candidates genuflect to this orthodoxy of “Assad must go.” It’s as if you’re dealing with a street hustler who you know is feeding you a line of b.s. yet he won’t let up with his windbaggery nonsense.

    What’s truly scary is the way Hillary Clinton saber rattled recently to the CFR bigwigs. She’s likely going to be the leader of the United States, with her finger near the nuke launch button; yet she droned on and on to the CFR ruling class recently that she won’t back down from any perceived threat anywhere.

    Contemplate for a moment what this means… Of course this means she’d seriously consider attacking Russia if the paranoid and imperialist Washington establishment deemed Moscow a worthy target!

    This is serious business, when the supposed coolest and smartest head in the room (the Harvard educated and former head of the State Dept., Hillary Clinton), with all the forthrightness she can muster, implies to fellow elites at the CFR about the worthiness of launching bombs on Russia. Let that sink in.

  3. Drew Hunkins
    November 22, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    The constant refrain “Assad must go” that’s echoing to and fro and night and day throughout the establishment press and mass media is totally and completely emanating from the Zionist power configuration in America, period. (Okay, granted the Saudis are also assisting in the propaganda to have Assad exit stage left.)

    It’s sickening, disheartening and frightening to see almost all the major presidential candidates genuflect to this orthodoxy of “Assad must go.” It’s as if you’re dealing with a street hustler who you know is feeding you a line of b.s. yet he won’t let up with his windbaggery nonsense.

    What’s truly scary is the way Hillary Clinton saber rattled recently at the CFR conference. She’s likely going to be the leader of the United States, with her finger near the nuke launch button; yet she droned on and on to the CFR ruling class that she won’t back down from any perceived threat anywhere.

    Contemplate for a moment what this means. Of course this means she’d seriously consider attacking Russia if the paranoid and imperialist Washington establishment deemed Moscow a worthy target!

    This is serious business, when the supposed coolest and smartest person in the room (the Harvard educated and former head of the State Dept., Hillary Clinton), with all the forthrightness she can muster, implies to fellow elites at the CFR about the worthiness of launching bombs on Russia. Let that sink in.

  4. Drew Hunkins
    November 22, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    The constant refrain “Assad must go” that’s echoing to and fro and night and day throughout the establishment press and mass media is totally and completely emanating from the Zionist power configuration in America, period. (Okay, granted the Saudis are also assisting in the propaganda to have Assad exit stage left.)

    It’s sickening, disheartening to see almost all the major presidential candidates genuflect to this orthodoxy of “Assad must go.” It’s as if you’re dealing with a street hustler who you know is feeding you a line of b.s. yet he won’t let up with his windbaggery nonsense.

    What’s truly scary is the way Hillary Clinton saber rattled recently at the CFR conference. She’s likely going to be the leader of the United States, with her finger hovering near the nuke launch button; yet she droned on and on to the CFR ruling class that she won’t back down from any perceived threat anywhere.

    Contemplate for a moment what this truly means. Of course this means she’d seriously consider attacking Russia if the paranoid and imperialist Washington establishment deemed Moscow a worthy target!

    This is serious business, when the supposed coolest and smartest person in the room (the Harvard educated and former head of State, Hillary Clinton), with all the forthrightness she can muster, implies to fellow elites at the CFR about the worthiness of launching bombs on Russia. Let that sink in.

  5. Zachary Smith
    November 22, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Sorry, Bernie, but the Saudis hands are dirty enough.

    Saunders isn’t a fool, so the only reason he’s spouting this obvious foolishness is to have something to say which – at the only glance Joe Sixpack gives it – sounds good.

    Mr. Husseini’s essay caused me to do something I’d never done till now – go visit Saunder’s site. On the war and peace issues section a single sentence caught my eye:

    Senator Sanders has long supported a two-state solution that recognizes Israel’s right to exist in peace and security, and the Palestinians right to a homeland in which they control their political and economic future.

    Notice how the right to peace and security is something only for Israel. Palestine will be subject to periodic thrashings if that theoretical new “nation” ever annoys the Zionist overlords who will remain in control of everything except “politics” and “economics”.

    Saunders has a few things going for him on the domestic front, but I’m beginning to doubt if he’s worth my theoretical vote.

    I can’t recall an election where every single candidate was compelled (or volunteered) to swear allegiance to another nation thousands of miles away. To place the welfare of that other nation above our own.

    What a nightmare.

    • SqueakyRat
      November 26, 2015 at 1:02 pm

      It’s “Sanders,” not “Saunders.” Sheesh.

  6. Jay
    November 22, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    Of course one way the Saudis can “fight” ISIS is to cut off funds.

    Even Hillary Clinton mentions Saudi financing in her rather belligerent speech at the Council on Foreign Relations last week. (And she’s definitely in the Assad must go camp.)

    The point is that Sanders has repeated this odd phrasing more than once, but it seems to include another possibility.

  7. Peter Loeb
    November 23, 2015 at 7:27 am

    FOR PERPETUAL AGGRESSION AND PERPETUAL OPPRESSION

    “Senator Sanders has long supported a two-state solution that recognizes Israel’s right to exist in peace and security, and the Palestinians right to a homeland in which they control their political and economic future….”

    Notice how the right to peace and security is something only for Israel. Palestine will be subject to periodic thrashings if that theoretical new “nation” ever annoys the Zionist overlords who will remain in control of everything except “politics” and “economics”.
    —Zachary Smith citing Bernie Sander’s website.

    Thanks for making clear once again the hypocrisy of Sanders’ position
    and the inevitable total commitment to the unquestionnable “rights” of Israel
    at the expense of Palestinians…and everyone else. As many have
    known in our guts (inelegant but accurate) Bernie Sanders even if
    elected would be no place to begin any resolution.

    And if Palestinians should gain control of ALL of Palestine???Why not? Because
    they will have been exterminated, “transferred”, murdered, raped etc. by
    the Zionist invaders. In the name of Israeli security, of course.

    Mr. Sanders knows of course that failing to gain the Democratic nomination
    himself, he can continue to advocate for the individual chosen by the Party.
    At present that appears to be Hillary Clinton, that known friend of
    Palestine (sarcasm!). And then there are the donors and the Jewish
    money and influence which is known as part and parcel of the Democratic
    machine.

    —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA USA

  8. alexander
    November 23, 2015 at 7:50 am

    ” The Pope versus King Bibi ”

    How rare is it that a foreign leader or representative is asked to speak before Congress?

    I certainly hope,Mr Porter, that I am not the only person around who remembers “King Bibi’s stunning exhortations before the house,for war , more war, yet still more war and perpetual war,….

    Considering the great United States is nearly insolvent (19 trillion dollar national debt and counting) at having taken” his” advice for the past fifteen years….One would have expected at least a few of our representatives to stop short of the full 35 standing ovations for” Israel’s commander and chief”.

    No such luck.

    It seems every single senator and congressman in our “elected” government is on the same page with “King Bibi ” when it comes to stealing tens of trillions of dollars from future american generations in order to prosecute wars of aggression today.

    How thoughtful of them.

    No doubt my grandchildren and great grandchildren, as well as yours, will be filled with gratitude at our Congress for having spent “all” the money they will have to use in their time, for all of “King Bibi’s “big idea’s …today.

    What a woeful lot.

    But what a breath of fresh air it was to witness the “Holy See” come before the same body of elected officials and” not” exhort the virtues of perpetual war and aggression….but excoriate the evils of the” industry of death”…and how much suffering it has caused to so many millions of innocents around the world…..

    Rather than elicit standing ovations to a cheering crowd of congressional admirer’s….their reaction was one of “shameful’ recoil…..and dread…

    as though he were throwing “Holy Water” on vampires…..or perhaps on “the possessed” host body resistant to “His” exorcising power of the “demonic” power holding them captive….

    The contrast between the two speakers is worth a moment to think about, No, Mr Porter ?

    • alexander
      November 23, 2015 at 8:51 am

      Oops !
      My apologies to the thoughtful Mr Husseini, for having incorrectly addressed Mr Porter , in response to his article…I had been reading both his article and Mr Porters on two open browser pages to Consortium news….and accidentally mistook authorship’s in my comment.

      My apologies again.

  9. Peter Loeb
    November 23, 2015 at 8:37 am

    THE BURIED RESOLUTION

    “SECURITY COUNCIL

    22 February 2014 14-24339 (E) *1424339*

    Resolution 2139 (2014)

    Adopted by the Security Council at its 7116th meeting, on 22 February 2014

    “The Security Council, Recalling its resolutions 2042 (2012),
    2043 (2012) and 2118 (2013), and its Presidential Statements
    of 3 August 2011, 21 March 2012, 5 April 2012 and 2 October 2013,

    Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence,
    unity and territorial integrity of Syria, and to the purposes and principles
    of the Charter of the United Nations…

    “14. Strongly condemns the increased terrorist attacks resulting
    in numerous casualties and destruction carried out by organizations
    and individuals associated with Al-Qaeda, its affiliates and other
    terrorist groups, urges the opposition groups to maintain their rejection
    of these organizations and individuals which are responsible for
    serious violations of international humanitarian law in opposition held
    areas, calls upon the Syrian authorities and opposition groups to
    commit to combating and defeating organizations and individuals
    associated with Al-Qaeda, its affiliates and other terrorist groups,
    demands that all foreign fighters immediately withdraw from Syria,
    and reaffirms that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes
    one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and
    that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of
    their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed…”

    The UN Security Council unanimously ratified a solution to the
    problems in Syria/Iraq. It did NOT exclude violence as the Government
    of Syria and its people were being violently attacked. It instead urged
    nations to SUPPORT the Government of Syria in fighting against
    specified groups.

    As is so very typical of the US and the West, when it does not like
    the results of the UN, it merely goes ahead with its own
    demands. Regardless of the fact that “regime change” or
    “political transition” (its sanitized code name in the west)
    were not included, it continues to operate on its own
    policies and preferences. It forms “coalitions” with various
    altruistuic goals used for PR purposes thus putting the US
    in the role of the UN and supplanting it.

    This is no guarantee that no one will die or that no
    “innocent civilian” will die.

    So far, only Russia and some other nations have
    supported the Government of Syria. Although the US
    and West ratified this support in the resolution S/Res/2139(2014),
    it feigns “shock” that such a position could be taken seriously
    by anyone at all. (Why should anyone dare to
    question the US even though the US itself concurred
    in such a resolution.?)

    Of course, this may not be the result that Israel
    has counted on.

    And to speak to Mr. Husseini’s point, it will not
    end perpetual war.It will not guarantee “democracy”
    in either Syria or Iraq as there has not been western-
    style so-called “democracy” in hundreds of years.
    If one eliminates all the nations of the world which
    do not have this form of government (is it really
    “democratic”??) there would be few governments
    left at all.

    It is recognized that Russia has its own agenda.
    Most nations in the world have their own agendas
    and certainly the so-called “democratic” nations
    have more than most and are eager to subsume
    all nations’ agendas in their own.

    In the discussions about a “new” UN Security Council
    Resolution, it can only be hoped that the basic
    thrust of the resolution cited above will be
    preserved.

    Some “innocent civilians” will suffer. Some “innocent
    civilians” suffered in World Wars One and Two.

    The objective is the preservation of the sovereignty
    of Syria and the protection of its people. The
    objective is to remove the persistent threat of
    militant groups to violently punish those
    who do not agree with one religious view. Syria
    today comprises groups of many differing persuasions.

    —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

    • alexander
      November 23, 2015 at 11:57 am

      Mr Loeb,

      It seems that to the northeast of Israel and the ” occupied” Syrian Golan Heights….the United states” policy” in Syria is aiding and abetting ‘terrorists” to overthrow a “dictator”. ……While to the southeast of Israel the United States policy ,in Egypt, is in propping up a “dictator” to combat and overthrow ” terrorists”.

      One might ask, given this apparent “hypocrisy “in policy..what do we, the United States , actually stand for ?

      The short answer is…. We stand for Israel.

      Israel is very happy for the US to back a ruthless military dictatorship (that “slaughters its own people” ) in Egypt, as long as that dictatorship keeps its iron boot on the throat of the Egyptian people as they watch Israel brutalize their Palestinian brothers and take more Palestinian land…and also as long as it acts as a dutiful “check” on material and supplies entering Gaza through the Rafah crossing…..then, “brutal dictatorships” are fine.

      But when a “brutal dictatorship” represents the sovereign territory of land which Israel seeks to conquer and steal (the Golan Heights of Syria) that dictatorship must be overthrown through whatever means available including aiding and abetting proxy terrorists groups to get the job done.
      the point being that the destructive process of civil war that ” regime change” engenders will lead to the shattering of the ‘territorial integrity of Syria which is Israel’s true goal.(if, in the process, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees living in Syria, who maintain a legal right to return to Israel, get slaughtered accidentally , so much the better.)

      Israel is happy for the US to fund and install “dictators” who are indifferent to Palestinian suffering and will happily crush “terrorist organizations” sympathetic to their cause.

      As in the case of ….SISI ……in Egypt.

      And Israel is happy for the US to fund “terrorist organizations” that seek to oust “dictators” whose existence inhibits Israel’s quest to take their country’s land.

      As in the case of…. ISIS …….in Syria.

      Does this make sense of our otherwise “somewhat inconsistent” foreign policy or am I missing the boat somewhere?

      • F. G. Sanford
        November 23, 2015 at 1:26 pm

        The symmetry is as beautiful as the insight is poignant…a bully good comment. My compliments!

      • Abe
        November 23, 2015 at 5:08 pm

        Axis (from the Latin axis “axle, pivot”)

        1. a central or principal structure, about which something turns or is arranged.

        Israel is the true Axis of Evil in the Middle East.

        2. an agreement or alliance between two or more countries that forms a center for an eventual larger grouping of nations.

        Israel and its terrorist allies are part of an Axis of Evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world.

        Israel’s direct support of regional and global terrorism, and its aggressive efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction, belie any good intentions it has displayed.

      • Peter Loeb
        November 24, 2015 at 8:47 am

        RE: ISRAEL & US: “ALEXANDER” IS ON TARGET

        As for Israel, the US still believes that unconditional
        “gift of giving” is always in order. The “:holidaty
        spirit” reigns and the US cares less than nothing
        about the state terrorism Israel is carrying on daily and
        has carried on since the beginning of Zionism.

        That is why I wrote that I grieved for the Parisian
        baker whose shop was shot through with bullets
        on Friday 13, 20015. I am indeed sincere in that.

        No one grieves for the massacres in Israel of
        Palestinians, no one sees that IDF soldier lifting
        a screaming 12-year-old in a choke hold,
        the dispossession of Palestinians in
        Israeli state terrorism goes without mention
        in the western media. There are no media
        anchors broadcasting from Gaza, talking
        to the parents of murdered children,
        talking with them about their homes stolen
        and destroyed by Israel.

        (Any child who objected to being held in
        a choke hold by a fully armed IDF soldier
        would be considered a “militant” evidently!)

        Evidently all is peaceful there!!

        Calm!

        —Peter Loeb, Boston MA, USA

        Or perhaps (say the Israelis) that
        12 year old in a choke hold will grow to
        be an “inciter” (protest his lot, protest
        the murder of friends and family…).

        That little boy may even be angry.

        But then he is, well, a Muslim and
        THEY are all like that. Subhuman
        primitive monsters say the Israelis.

        Where is the decency?

        Long live Frnace. Long live the
        single, sovereign State of Palestine.

        “Liberte, egalite, fraternite!”

        —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  10. John Hawk
    November 23, 2015 at 9:18 am

    I was hoodwinked by Obama once, not going to let it happen again with Sanders. I’m from New England and watched the Brooklyn invasion of Vermont by B, J, and B and tribal friends…and that’s the key to Bernie, he still is a card-carrying tribal member. If he gets too far out-of-line, he invites the Kennedy Option…capiece?

    • F. G. Sanford
      November 23, 2015 at 9:56 am

      Io capisco, tu capisci, loro capiscono, voi capite, noi capiamo. Capire vorebbe indicare che…tu si ‘nu strunz’, scemo! Miet’ a cap’ a’ind o’ cess’…e spilla!

    • Joe Tedesky
      November 23, 2015 at 12:24 pm

      Capito!

    • JWalters
      November 23, 2015 at 8:34 pm

      The “Kennedy option” looms over every politician and press person in the land. This article does not even mention Israel despite it’s centrality in fomenting the religious animosities in the region. Is the author unaware of this, or is that currently a bridge too far for writers and editors today? Obviously it’s the latter.

      Many would like Bernie, or Obama to go on TV and tell the American people the truth about the MIC’s control of the government and press, and about Israel’s central role in that. That would be immediate political suicide. Until a place like Consortium News can talk openly about this, and then a place like MSNBC can talk openly about this, NO public figure can do it and survive. They can only allude to general principles that suggest the direction they would take.

  11. CG
    November 23, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Dear Mr. Husseini,

    There is a meaningful peace movement called Occupy Peace, which launched in September in Kingston, New York. Ralph Nader, Cindy Sheehan, Gary Null and Robert Thurman spoke at the launch. The mantra of the movement, as explicitly stated by George Washington (back in the day) is: “No Foreign Entanglements”!

    The website is here: http://www.occupypeace.us

    Thanks for your excellent article.

  12. November 23, 2015 at 10:40 am

    I accept Mr. Husseini’s criticism, but my answer to it is that Bernie is actually in the right place, howbeit is using a gradualist and strategic revelation of his long held position, which is known to a relatively few Americans. His speech as Mayor of Burlington is on YouTube honoring their sister city Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, from July of 1985, in which he condemns the Reagan policy of colonialism in Latin America, that “countries that attempt to stand up and do things for their own people are not to be tolerated.” He goes on to list American overthrow, or attempted overthrow, of Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Chile, Grenada, and Cuba besides Nicaragua.

    But I too noticed that in his campaign for president, he seems to be pulling any punches on these issues. Until recently.

    At the very debate this article addresses, he made the following statement, a departure from his rhetoric hitherto:

    The MC, John Dickerson, asks:
    “Sen. Sanders let me just follow this line of thinking. You criticized then-Sen. Clinton’s vote. Do you have anything to criticize in the way she performed as Secretary of State?”

    To which, Sanders answers:
    “I think we have a disagreement. And the disagreement is that, not only did I vote against the war in Iraq, if you look at history, John, you’ll find that ‘regime change’, whether it was in the early 50s in Iran, whether it was toppling the Salvador Allende in Chile, whether it was overthrowing the government of Guatemala way back when, these invasions, these toppling of governments — ‘regime changes’ — have unintended consequences. I would say on this issue that I’m a little bit more conservative than the Secretary, and that I am not a great fan of regime change.”

    For my money, this is not far off from the topic. If he had used the expression “Perpetual War”, it would not have said a great deal more than this. “Perpetual War” is an expression which he actually has used in the past, in particular in the PBS interview with Judy Woodruff, May 18 this year:

    “And I will tell you what I worry about. I think too many of my Republican friends are into perpetual warfare in the Middle East. And that scares the bejesus out of me.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, the raid last week that took out the ISIS leader, you would — you support…

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: And I supported the airstrikes as well. But I do not want to see perpetual warfare in the Middle East. I do not want to see American combat troops on the ground in the Middle East.”

    In sum, I am confident, now that he has introduced the expression “Ruling Class” in his Georgetown U. address, that this gradualism is not only intentional, and strategic, but very savvy, and a winning strategy at that.

    • Akech
      November 23, 2015 at 3:23 pm

      The implication of Sen. Bernie Sanders ” I do not want to see American combat troops on the ground in the Middle East” leaves a lot to be desired!

      Judging from what is happening in Africa and Middle East, the bleeding, being maimed, having PTSD and dying have been outsourced to the local young men and women in the countries where these transnational capitalist class have economic and security interests. The main concern must be that those local young men being trained to kill their fellow citizens are bound to have PTSD (murdering another human being is not a cake walk)!

      These psychologically damaged youths will be a menace to the remaining local population. The transnational capitalist class do not give a damn this because they travel on private planes and have security guards around them and their properties (homes and businesses) 24/7. They can afford this expensive security arrangement because they control the earth’s resources and they are only 0.1% of the world population!

  13. Akech
    November 23, 2015 at 11:06 am

    When a group of powerful people make a decision in which the deaths of thousands innocent men women and children are of no consequence to them, and if the motivations behind infliction these mass killings are hidden or vaguely explained to ordinary people, SOMETHING IS VERY, VERY WRONG!

    The bloody killings have now been outsourced. The people doing the killings and the people being killed were once neighbors at their place of work, shop, mosques or social gatherings. The ability to delegate the murders to others has absolved the power and brain(s) behind the mass slaughter operations, allowing “order givers” the ability go after the killers they have tasked with the slaughters so that these killers do not double-cross them! The chaps doing the killings are just as condemned as their victims. The killing LORDS have the upper hand and money to divert attention to some boogeyman and continue the onslaught!

    I have lately been wondering how this New World Order will be governed once these War Lords are at the helm?? After the destruction of lives by the millions, how would they view the remaining subjects?

  14. Mortimer
    November 23, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    ‘I have lately been wondering how this New World Order will be governed once these War Lords are at the helm?? After the destruction of lives by the millions, how would they view the remaining subjects?’— Akech

    the below study was tasked to look at Population Control
    and was under the purview of Henry Kissinger –
    they’re way, way ahead of us in perpetrations of mass death as Policy… .

    April 24, 1974

    National Security Study Memorandum 200
    ————————————–

    TO: The Secretary of Defense
    The Secretary of Agriculture
    The Director of Central Intelligence
    The Deputy Secretary of State
    Administrator, Agency for International Development

    SUBJECT: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S.
    Security and Overseas Interests

    The President has directed a study of the impact of world popula-
    tion growth on U.S. security and overseas interests. The study
    should look forward at least until the year 2000, and use several
    alternative reasonable projections of population growth.

  15. Bob In Portland
    November 23, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    I suspect that Sanders’ avoidance of foreign policy is because he understands why JFK died, why Johnson decided against running for reelection, why Watergate got rid of Nixon and why Carter was sent back to Georgia by the October Surprise.

    When he talks about Saudi Arabia paying for defeating ISIS he knows that Saudi Arabia is financing ISIS. He wants to remove US armed forces from the equation in favor of his domestic program. It’s a dangerous highwire, and I’m sure Langley is trying its best to defeat him. He’s trying to run a presidential campaign without them killing him.

  16. Mortimer
    November 23, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    Me thinks U’re so, so right, Bob In Portland.
    .
    I wonder if Mr. Sanders caught a vision of that terrifying 100ft. suspension bridge, with wood planks & hand ropes & strong winds that must be negotiated to get to Canada’s Nimbus Tower.

    Colin Powell took a glance at what was in front of him and took a pass on “crossing the divide” into the kaleidoscope of BUREAUCRACY and Conclaves-of-Cliques and Puppetry.

    Mr. Sanders represents the last of Blacklisted Liberal Jewry. A last of Alexander Kerensky types who seemed to have a concern-for citizens, as opposed to strictly political reasonings.

  17. george
    November 23, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    It is beyond me how such a excellent analysis can not at least mention the one candidate that is standing against perpetual war. And I don’t mean Rand Paul.

    • F. G. Sanford
      November 23, 2015 at 4:55 pm

      You mean…Larry Flynt has tossed his hat into the ring again?

    • alexander
      November 23, 2015 at 5:03 pm

      is there a candidate running for office…in either party…. that is not a candidate for perpetual war ?

      I am very curious to know who that individual is ?

      • george
        November 23, 2015 at 6:07 pm

        Alexander, your reference to “either party” betrays the source of your, to be frank, appalling ignorance.

        • alexander
          November 23, 2015 at 6:56 pm

          Forgive my appalling ignorance,

          but does anyone know if any candidate within the two party system is opposed to “perpetual war” ?

          And if there is a candidate outside of it, George, I would like to know who it is.

  18. alexander
    November 23, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    To whom it may concern,

    I just noticed an article in “Mondoweiss” which states that activists for peace spoke out against Tzipi Hotovely…Israel’s newest “extremist” foreign minister..and ordering her… “citizens arrest” .for crimes of “colonial” violence….

    If they are so “opposed” to Israels “land grabbing” in the Occupied Palestinian territories why not refer to it, as the world should, post WWII, as “Lebensraum”…the signature and central ideology of Hitler’s Nazi Germany ?…..

    Why harken back, by proxy, to several centuries ago…when early Americans “colonized” North America and ignore “completely” the central tenet of Nazi Germany…”Lebensraum” ?

    What is the difference one might ask ?….well ,for starters, when early american settlers “colonized” north america….It wasn’t a” crime” to do so….After Hitler, WWII, and the Nuremberg trials….it most certainly is ! A heinous crime …in fact .

    It strikes me as fascinating , how liberal blogs like “Mondoweiss” seem to operate their criticism of Israel within a vernacular that completely “obfuscates” Hitler’s signature and central ideology of “Living space” or “Lebensraum”..

    .”the idea of taking land by force from” inferior” people who are unable to defend against it”….

    “Mondoweiss” seems wholly incapable of applying the terminology to Israel’s expansionist policies in the Palestinian territories…when , it seems to me, it is by far the most pertinent, viable, and relevant terminology….

    By referring to it as “colonization” as opposed to “Lebensraum” is “Mondoweiss” at best, subtely endorsing it,…by saying the U.S. did the same thing …”two centuries ago” ergo, it ain’t so bad,… or, at worst, functioning as “holocaust deniers” by refusing to acknowledge Hitler’s central tenet , when it could , very well, be applied to “Israel’s behavior “?

    Does anyone have any feed back on this ?
    Is my logic failing here ?….am i missing something?

    I am curious to know.

    • F. G. Sanford
      November 23, 2015 at 7:09 pm

      The perversion of language has become a central skill among the people orchestrating these semantic deceptions. Take for example, “negative interest rates”. If such a thing existed, it would mean they pay you to borrow money. In fact, it amounts to a penalty you must pay them for using their banks. Countries all over Europe are forcing people to pay for all large denominations by credit card rather than cash in order to make cash deposits mandatory. It probably won’t be long before such things occur in USA. These euphemisms – like calling squatters “settlers” – seem to pass completely unnoticed by the population at large. Some groups have a particular knack for semantic subversion…I’m not sure if they just work harder at it, or if it’s some kind of innate psychopathy.

  19. Pat
    November 24, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    Sam Husseini has an agenda, period. It is not objective reporting, which is what this site is SUPPOSED TO BE about, and which is what earned Bob Parry the prestigious I.F. Stone award. Any writer (I won’t call Husseini a journalist) with an agenda can cherry pick quotes and statistics to make any argument they want. Predictably, it plays oh-so-well with those who would rather cling to their cherished narrative instead of examining the facts and expanding their understanding of unfolding events.

    Not only is Sam Husseini cherry picking, but he keeps recycling the same old tired quotes and attaching HIS interpretation. Do you think, JUST MAYBE, that when Sanders calls on the Saudis to “get their hands dirty,” he means that they need to STOP covertly funding Daesh and work to eradicate the monsters they helped create? His call for them to do more is actually a clever way of backing them into a corner, along with “others” who are funneling aid through them. The Saudis are trying to hide their role and cover for their allies by calling on the U.S. to send troops, and hawks in both parties are playing along with the charade. Demanding that the Saudis send their own troops blows the whole thing wide open, and without alienating the large percentage of voters – nearly 50 percent, according to the latest polls – who want the United States to declare war and send troops to fight ISIS, an action Sanders has emphatically rejected (a key point of his non-existent foreign policy).

    • F. G. Sanford
      November 24, 2015 at 8:00 pm

      Semanticists sometimes get into very esoteric debates regarding “meaning” – philosophers do too – Wittgenstein comes to mind – and these arguments seem to swirl in a polarized galaxy of paroxysmal incantations which on the one hand holds the meaning to be in the words, and on the other hand holds it to exist in the mind of the listener or speaker. In either case, regardless of “meaning”, words do have definitions. If Bernie had a rational thought in hos head on this topic, he would logically speak of the Saudis GETTING THEIR HANDS CLEAN. By definition, that would mean something.

      • Pat
        November 25, 2015 at 3:37 am

        Well if you want to argue semantics, then let’s talk about the meaning of getting one’s hands dirty. The phrase is commonly used to suggest getting involved in the day-to-day details of a project, particularly those that require a lot of hard work and drudgery. Employees appreciate a boss who will get his hands dirty — i.e., who will work alongside them rather than sitting on his throne and ordering the little people around.

        Conversely, “keeping one’s hands clean” doesn’t mean the opposite of the above, but usually refers to letting others do work that is legally or ethically questionable so that they will take the fall if the operation is exposed. Like Hillary Clinton letting her henchmen sling mud at her opponents so that she can pretend she’s not running a negative campaign.

        So what would it mean that the Saudis should get their hands dirty? By the first definition, it would mean that they have to take part in the less-desirable part of the fight against Daesh, including putting their own troops in harm’s way if they think that ground forces are necessary. Sanders’s original “dirty hands” comment was in response to a statement to that effect by the Saudis. He was angry that they would dare suggest that Americans fight and die for a conflict in their won backyard when they wouldn’t even send their own troops. As I wrote earlier, this actually would back them into a corner. They can’t send in their own troops to fight an organization that they are directly supporting AND whose religious leanings are close to their own, but if they refuse, it won’t take long for their covert activities to be exposed. Beyond that, he opposes getting the U.S. involved in a perpetual war — YES, he DOES address that issue directly — and also has made statements to the effect that pouring money into a perpetual war diverts funds needed for social programs and rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure.

        So no, it’s not “logical” for him to say what you think he should, nor is it reasonable to expect him to do so while he’s got opponents trying to shoot him down on the grounds that he’s too far left for the majority of Americans. He has to choose his words very carefully — just as he is doing by associating Hillary Clinton with Wall Street without actually naming her.

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