Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, a leading candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, blasted post-9/11 U.S. foreign policy on Wednesday, the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, saying that the U.S. has made several “costly blunders” since.
“In the nearly two decades since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the United States has made a series of costly blunders that have not only weakened our democracy but also undermined our leadership,” Sanders wrote in an email to supporters. “The attacks began an era of endless war for our country and we must change course.”
One of those errors was the George W. Bush administration’s 2003 invasion of Iraq, Sanders said.
“This endless war has damaged America’s global standing. It has scarred a generation. It has corroded our politics. It has cost American taxpayers nearly $6 trillion. And it has produced more terrorists,” Sanders added in several tweets Wednesday. “We must envision a new form of American engagement: one in which we lead not in war-making but in finding shared solutions to shared global challenges.”
Other Democratic presidential candidates remembered the nearly 3,000 who perished in the attacks on their 18th anniversary, many releasing statements recalling what the day was like for them and expressing sympathy for the loved ones of the victims and gratitude for first responders.