Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Bernie Sanders And Rand Paul Oppose Sending U.S. Troops To Syria-- But What If They Lose Their Primaries?


In 2008 I had followed Obama's Senate voting record closely enough to know he wasn't the candidate for me-- too corporate, too cautious, too compromised-- but I voted for him anyway. Obviously he was far and away better than McCain and... I admit I had a tiny bit that maybe there was some hope. (I mean, I knew there wasn't but, hey, maybe.) And the first African-American thing... that appealed in a big way.) By 2012 I had made a decision to never again vote for the lesser of two evils. NO WAY, Jose (or, in this case Barack... and Hillary). So I voted for Jill Stein, not because I knew much about her, but because she was the Green Party candidate and I figured that would be an appropriate vehicle for what I knew was going to be my protest vote. Unless Bernie Sanders wins the Democratic nomination, I'll probably vote for her again next year. Yes, she's running-- and she's actually campaigning more than she did in 2012. In fact, I got my first press release from her campaign today:
Stein Opposes Obama's Troops On The Ground In Syria
Not the most elegantly worded but... I'm against expanding the wars in the Middle East too, and the point was made. Oh, and she has a logo:

Here's what she said, what I want more progressives to stand up and say:
"After the catastrophic failure of regime change in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, the last thing that the U.S. should be doing is trying to orchestrate regime change in Syria. To stop Isis we should lean on our allies Saudi Arabia to cut off funding and for Turkey to close its border to jihadi militias. We should convince our allies to stop buying Isis oil on the black market. And we need to enact an arms embargo on the Middle East rather than effectively arming all sides," noted Stein. It is estimated that the U.S. has supplied 80% percent of the weapons in the area.

  "By establishing a weapons and ammunition embargo to the Middle East, we can effectively disarm ISIS. We should work to engage Russia to jointly sponsor this weapons embargo.

"By putting U.S. troops on the ground, Obama has set up a tripwire for drawing the U.S. deeper into the conflict. If U.S. personnel are embedded with Syrian rebels, and Russia bombs the rebels, then Russia could inadvertently kill Americans, creating a dangerous international incident. The US would have political cover to provide ground-to-air missiles to 'protect American lives.' By destabilizing Syria, Obama opened the door to ISIS. Now he is forced into a policy that is doomed to failure.  He is funding radical militias who are anti-democratic and unfriendly to the United States. And he is asking Americans to die to support those militias."
Her press release went on to point out Stephen Zunes' assertion that "international military interventions in cases of severe repression actually exacerbate violence in the short term and can only reduce violence in the longer term if the intervention is impartial or neutral. Foreign military interventions increase the duration of civil wars, making the conflicts bloodier, and the regional consequences more serious, than if there were no intervention. Such military intervention often triggers a 'gloves off' mentality that dramatically escalates the violence on all sides." And, as Medea Benjamin recently pointed out, "If you look at the results of U.S. intervention, it’s been to take a relatively isolated place like Afghanistan, where there were extremists, and now spread them out to Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, Syria, Libya, northern Africa."

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At 11:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Typo in title: "What if they LOSE their primaries"


At 4:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand that sentiment, but that's what got us Iraq, John Roberts, Samuel Alito, and Citizens United. Romney might have been no worse than O'bomb ba, but 2000 shows that your's would be bad as a policy.

At 3:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My family -all formerly staunch Democrats- will write Bernie in if Hillary gets the nomination. I voted for Jill Stein in 2012 so that the Greens could get matching funds.

There was no way I was going to vote for Barry. I got as far as the ballot when I decided I was going to vote my conscience rather than for the lesser of two evils. In went Stein.


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