The Corner

Politics & Policy

Sanders and the Left’s Unshakable Faith in ‘the Whole World United’

From the first Morning Jolt of the week:

Bernie Sanders and the Left’s Unshakable Faith in International Community

Appearing ABC’s This Week Sunday, Bernie Sanders didn’t just boast about his opposition to the Iraq War that began in 2003; he touted his opposition to the first Persian Gulf War.

“I think historically, in too many instances the United States has gone to war, often unilaterally, when we should not,” Sanders said. “I think my vote against the first war in the Gulf region was the right vote I think we could have gotten Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait in a way that did not require a war, and I think certainly–”

At this point, anchor Martha Raddatz felt obligated to interrupt the kumbaya talk.

“Even though he had invaded Kuwait?”

“But the point was you had the whole world united against him, Martha,” Sanders snapped. “Do we need to go to war in every instances, or can we bring pressure of sanctions and international pressure to resolve these conflicts?”

Take that, straw man who calls for going to war in every instance!

“Look, I am supporting President Obama’s effort to make certain that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon, but I get very nervous about my Republican friends who keep implying that the only way we could do that is through another war,” he said. “War is the last resort, not the first resort.”

Notice Sanders talks about the awesome power of sanctions, and then applauds a deal that takes away sanctions on Iran. The sanctions were working. The White House insists that it’s the deal or war, no options in between, and Sanders goes right along with it.

It’s fascinating that years after Saddam Hussein died, Sanders still the Iraqi dictator could have been coaxed or persuaded to relinquish control of Kuwait… when we know from what happened that Hussein thought keeping Kuwait was worth a war with the coalition forces. Despite the fact that Iraq violated 16 UN resolutions, Sanders still thinks that “international pressure” could have cajoled old Saddam.

Sanders and a lot of the Left haven’t learned much since 1991; they still believe in the power of international consensus to achieve results, forgetting that consensus requires an accompanying will to act. This is still relevant today, as we see a big chunk of the world – or at least a big chunk of the world’s governments – oppose ISIS. But there’s much less will to confront them in ways that involve risk – i.e., sending troops to go fight them. The naïve belief that “the whole world united” is enough to solve a problem holds us back from dealing with reality.

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