Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Tulsi Gabbard: Bernie Sanders Is the Commander in Chief We Need


Bernie Sanders talks about his and Clinton's foreign policy differences with Chris Hayes. I've set the clip to end after the foreign policy discussion (about 10 minutes); listen to the rest if you want to hear him talk about Trump violence, his path to victory and his plan, if he wins, for the Democratic Party.

by Gaius Publius

There's no other way to think about this. Hillary Clinton would be a more aggressive, "muscular" commander-in-chief than Obama. By a lot. I have two pieces on this, one from Sanders supporter Rep. Tulsi Gabbard; the other, from Clinton supporter Michelle Goldberg.

"Bernie Sanders is the Commander in Chief We Need"

Gabbard first, writing in Time (my emphasis):
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Bernie Sanders Is the Commander in Chief We Need

He knows when not to unleash U.S. military power

The commander in chief of the world’s most powerful military must have the sound judgment to know when to use America’s military power and, just as important, when not to use that power.

To his credit, President Barack Obama has displayed throughout his presidency an instinctive reticence to launch military strikes. The most disastrous foreign policy decisions during the Obama years as commander in chief occurred when he trusted the advice of others over his own instincts.

While President Obama agonized over whether to use force to overthrow Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, it was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s impassioned and persistent arguments in favor of military action against Gaddafi that tipped the scales in what has been described as a very close 51-49 Obama decision to use force.

Five years later, President Obama describes Libya as “a mess.” A failed state, Libya is now a haven for terrorist organizations including ISIS fighting for control of the country.
In contrast, here's Clinton's assessment of the Libyan intervention, as quoted by Politico from a recent MSNBC town hall (again, my emphasis):
Ousting Qaddafi was worth it, Clinton said.

“Now, is Libya perfect? It isn't. But did they have two elections that were free and fair where they voted for moderates. Yes, they did. So you know, changing from a dictator who has hollowed out your country to something resembling a functioning state and even hopefully more of a democratic one doesn't happen overnight,” she said. “And we've got to continue to support the Libyan people, to give them a chance, because otherwise you see what has happened in Syria, with the consequences of millions of people flooding out of Syria, with more than 250,000 people killed, with terrorist groups like ISIS taking up almost -- huge blocks of territory, as big as some of the states in that area.”

Groups affiliated with the Islamic State have carved out large swathes of territory in Libya as well, forcing the United States to conduct airstrikes there in mid-February. U.S. officials estimate that ISIL boasts some 6,500 fighters across a 150-mile stretch of Libya's Mediterranean coastline, according to the New York Times.
Hillary Clinton is clearly in the warrior class, and isn't ashamed to say it, though she doesn't seems to have the ability to recognize a mistake after it's been proven wrong, as her defense of Libya above shows.

Referring to Obama's decision not to intervene in Syria, Gabbard writes:
The decision to not create yet another completely failed state in the Middle East and open the door to a takeover of all of Syria by ISIS and other terrorist organizations is one that some say may have cost him credibility, but I believe it may have been one of President Obama’s finest moments as commander in chief.

This episode in Syria underscores a pivotal decision we as a nation must make when choosing our next commander in chief: Will we elect a president who has the judgment and foresight to refuse to be drawn into unnecessary and counter-productive wars of regime change? Or will we elect a president eager to intervene in other countries and cavalierly use U.S. military power to overthrow foreign leaders we don’t like?
Gabbard thinks that Clinton is clearly an "intervener-in-chief," and asks that we continue Obama's slow-to-invade wisdom into the next administration. For Gabbard, if you want less war and less intervention, Sanders is clearly the only choice.

"Craven Pandering" — Clinton-Supporter Michelle Goldberg Has Harsh Words for Clinton

And now this, from Clinton-supporting Michelle Goldberg, reacting to Clinton's recent speech to AIPAC (the American-Israel PAC, a Likud-supporting lobbying group):
Hillary Clinton’s AIPAC Speech Was a Symphony of Craven, Delusional Pandering

Clinton had an opportunity to show some political courage. She decided to alienate the left instead.

Any presidential candidate speaking to AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, during an election year is going to bow to the hawkish elements of the Israel lobby. Hillary Clinton’s keynote speech at AIPAC’s annual meeting Monday, however, was more debased than it needed to be, promising that under her administration, Israel will be spared even the mild rebukes it has suffered under President Obama. A symphony of pandering, it attempted to outflank Donald Trump on the right and will end up outraging a large chunk of the left.

As Joe Biden acknowledged in his AIPAC speech on Sunday, Israel’s “steady and systematic process of expanding settlements, legalizing outposts, seizing land” is making a two-state solution impossible. The settlements are pushing Israel toward a one-state reality, in which Jews rule over the Arabs with whom they are geographically intermingled. Clinton’s speech, however, barely nodded toward this reality, and when it did, it was with a promise to protect Israel from the consequences of flouting international law.

Here is the entirety of Clinton’s remarks about settlements: “Everyone has to do their part by avoiding damaging actions, including with respect to settlements. Now, America has an important role to play in supporting peace efforts. And as president, I would continue the pursuit of direct negotiations. And let me be clear—I would vigorously oppose any attempt by outside parties to impose a solution, including by the U.N. Security Council.” ...
Goldberg's bottom line:
So why is she doing it? Her correspondence with adviser Sid Blumenthal—a man loathed by the Israel lobby for not disavowing his anti-Zionist son, Max—suggests that she’s aware of the damage Netanyahu is doing to the cause of peace in the Middle East. But if she is, she doesn’t care about it enough to take even a tiny political risk, to tell a crowd something other than exactly what it wants to hear.
Either Clinton’s AIPAC speech was driven by belief, or it was driven by cynicism. It’s hard to say which is worse.
I'm not sure it matters which is true, or even if both are true at the same time. If you care about peace, you really have only one choice, and that's Sanders. Listen to Sanders conversation on foreign policy with Chris Hayes above — that part is just 10 minutes long — and decide for yourself.

(Blue America has endorsed Bernie Sanders for president. If you'd like to help out, go here. If you'd like to "phone-bank for Bernie," go here. You can volunteer in other ways by going here. And thanks!)


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At 5:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I'm not so sure Bernie is the CIC we "need", but he'd be a much smaller disaster than would hillbillary (or drumpf or cruz or Kasich).

Bernie's record is as a passive (more often than not perhaps) imperialist. We haven't seen that since ... Carter I suppose. And the multifaceted clusterfuck (um, no, not redundant) we've embroiled ourselves in now dwarfs everything that Carter had in front of him.

I think it's a given that Clinton would project power more often and less judiciously than obamanation, who HAS shown infrequent restraint. It's also a given, based on a long record, that she can't see a clusterfuck either coming or going. And she does have a record of absolutely psychopathic statements (wrt Qadaffi's gruesome death, for instance) that rival anything puked up by the babybush or cheney or Rumsfeld in their prime. Not as bad as herr drumpf or even cruz... but try to remember any such Tourette's spasms from anyone NOT in Germany before the '70s (ok... goldwater... but hillbillary DID work for him).

All this said, however, we americans STILL seem intent on soaring to new depths in every cycle. We start with a Reagan baseline (greed, hate) and add in some new targets for hate, rationalization for killing more brown folks all over the globe, and total ignorance of both lives and treasure crapped in the pursuit of our bloodlust and greed. The Rs need to take hate to new levels or their base gets bored. And the Ds are told who is the one to be coronated and dutifully affirm same at the polls.

We should all be impressed (with ourselves most of all) that Bernie is making a race of it what with his platform of the stuff that we all used to take for granted before Reagan superseded our civilized society with a national "lord of the flies" meme. I mean, it's astonishing that nearly half of lefty voters DON'T have their heads up their asses after all.

If Bernie can't overcome the vast swaths of stupid voters... perhaps nobody ever will. So ... get used to it and watch the seas rise and the racism soar.

At 10:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Feel the Bern, Sanders; with a Hoo-Ah OUT to Tulsi for her Truly democratic service.


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