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Bernie Steals the ‘No More Wars’ Issue From Trump

“The president has said that he does not want to see this country involved in endless wars…. I agree with that,” Bernie Sanders told the Fox News audience at Monday’s town hall meeting in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Then, turning and staring straight into the camera, Bernie added: “Mister President, tonight you have the opportunity to do something extraordinary: sign that resolution. Saudi Arabia should not be determining the military or foreign policy of this country.”

Sanders was talking about a War Powers Act resolution that would have ended U.S. involvement in the five-year civil war in Yemen that has created one of the great humanitarian crises of our time, with thousands of dead children amidst an epidemic of cholera and a famine.

Supported by a united Democratic Party on the Hill, and an anti-interventionist faction of the GOP led by Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee of Utah, the War Powers resolution had passed both houses of Congress.

But 24 hours after Sanders urged him to sign it, Trump, heeding the hawks in his Cabinet and National Security Council, vetoed S.J.Res.7, calling it a “dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities.”

With sufficient Republican votes in both houses to sustain Trump’s veto, that should have been the end of the matter.

It is not: Trump may have just ceded the peace issue in 2020 to the Democrats. If Sanders emerges as the nominee, we will have an election with a Democrat running on the “no-more-wars” theme Trump touted in 2016. And Trump will be left defending the bombing of Yemeni rebels and civilians by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.

Does Trump really want to go into 2020 as a war party president?

Does he want to go into 2020 with Democrats denouncing “Trump’s endless wars” in the Middle East? Because that is where he is headed.

In 2008, John McCain, leading hawk in the Senate, was routed by a left-wing first-term senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, who had won his nomination by defeating the more hawkish Hillary Clinton, who had voted to authorize the war in Iraq.

In 2012, the Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who was far more hawkish than Obama on Russia, lost.

Yet in 2016, Trump ran as a different kind of Republican, an opponent of the Iraq war and an anti-interventionist who wanted to get along with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and get out of these Middle East wars.

Looking closely at the front-running candidates for the Democratic nomination of 2020—Joe Biden, Sanders, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker—not one appears to be as hawkish as Trump has become.

Trump pulled us out of the nuclear deal with Iran negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry and reimposed severe sanctions.

He declared Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, to which Tehran has responded by declaring U.S. Central Command a terrorist organization. Ominously, the IRGC and its trained Shiite militias in Iraq are in close proximity to U.S. troops.

Trump has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moved the U.S. embassy there, closed the consulate that dealt with Palestinian affairs, cut off aid to the Palestinians, recognized Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights seized from Syria in 1967, and gone silent on Bibi Netanyahu’s threat to annex Jewish settlements on the West Bank.

Sanders, however, though he stands by Israel, is supporting a two-state solution and castigating the “right-wing” Netanyahu regime.

Trump has talked of pulling all U.S. troops out of Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Yet the troops are still there.

Though Trump came into office promising to get along with the Russians, he sent Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine and announced a pullout from Ronald Reagan’s 1987 INF treaty that outlawed all land-based intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

When Putin provocatively sent 100 Russian troops to Venezuela—ostensibly to repair the S-400 anti-aircraft and anti-missile system that was damaged in recent blackouts—Trump, drawing a red line, ordered the Russians to “get out.”

Biden is expected to announce next week. If the stands he takes on Russia, China, Israel, and the Middle East are more hawkish than the rest of the field, he will be challenged by the left wing of his party and by Sanders, who voted “no” on the Iraq war that Biden supported.

The center of gravity of U.S. politics is shifting towards the Trump position of 2016. And the anti-interventionist wing of the GOP is growing.

And when added to the anti-interventionist and anti-war wing of the Democratic Party on the Hill, together, they are able, as on the Yemen War Powers resolution, to produce a new bipartisan majority.

Prediction: by the primaries of 2020, foreign policy will be front and center, and the Democratic Party will have captured the “no more wars” political high ground that candidate Donald Trump occupied in 2016.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.

38 Comments (Open | Close)

38 Comments To "Bernie Steals the ‘No More Wars’ Issue From Trump"

#1 Comment By Adriana On April 18, 2019 @ 9:04 pm

By the way, Pat, do you know that Jimmy Carter did NOT get the US into any war, nor any “intervention”? Have you showed him any appretiation for it? Or it was a time when you were all for it as long as it was against Commies?

#2 Comment By treehugger On April 18, 2019 @ 9:21 pm

/i/Prediction: by the primaries of 2020, foreign policy will be front and center, and the Democratic Party will have captured the “no more wars” political high ground that candidate Donald Trump occupied in 2016./i/

Agree. But don’t worry. On the second ballot, the super delegates will override the obvious preference of voters for a “no more wars” candidate and give it to Biden. Who will lose.

#3 Comment By john On April 18, 2019 @ 10:18 pm

Much like Brexit, an antiwar/anit interventionist in the USA has nowhere to go. Both parties have substantial hawkish wings. Any move to peace/antiintervention by the party in power is immediately attacked by the party out of power. MSDNC is practically howling for war with Russia.

#4 Comment By SteveK9 On April 18, 2019 @ 10:35 pm

No one to blame but himself. The anti-Russia insanity made it hard for him to stick to that part of his program, but there is a lot more he could have done, starting by not surrounding himself with war-mongering idiots like Pompeo and Bolton.

#5 Comment By Jim Smith On April 19, 2019 @ 2:57 am

I mean, can we actually be honest here? The Neocons simply do not see Sanders as a genuine threat. He has an unfair advantage. He can, for instance, criticize American foreign policy without being accused of anti-semitism. Those who wish Trump had maintained a more maverick stance of foreign policy should ask themselves if they supported him energetically enough. He’s a survivor first and foremost. If you aren’t working to offer him a legit life preserver, this is all on you.

#6 Comment By polistra On April 19, 2019 @ 3:57 am

Of course Trump wants to take the war side. Saudi wants war. Israel wants war. Nothing else counts.

The question is whether Bernie can stick with the anti-war side, given his surrender to Hillary in 2016.

Tulsi won’t surrender. But she obviously won’t win the nomination either.

#7 Comment By Kent On April 19, 2019 @ 6:53 am

Mr. Buchanan nailed this one.

#8 Comment By Christian J Chuba On April 19, 2019 @ 8:03 am

>>When Putin provocatively sent 100 Russian troops to Venezuela<<<

And this is why Trump is going to win on the 'national security' issue. As long as U.S. troops don't actually fight and die in foreign countries the voters love U.S. 'being tough with its enemies'.
As long as Trump confines his actions to tormenting 3rd world countries, like Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Syria, and Yemen with sanctions and military assistance to other belligerents any opposition will be portrayed as 'hating or apologizing for America the force for good'.

Being objective, what is more provocative, sending a small number of specialists to prevent cyber sabotage for the standing govt, or trying to install a new President, seizing their assets and preventing their oil trade. We are the bullies and the day when we finally squander our wealth we will find out that we have no friends despite being an alleged force for good.

#9 Comment By JeffK On April 19, 2019 @ 8:18 am

Yes. Gonna be an interesting set of debates and 2020 campaign. Election results will tell us a whole lot about this country’s zeitgeist and where it is heading.

#10 Comment By Kurt Gayle On April 19, 2019 @ 8:34 am

Pat: Everything you say is true.

#11 Comment By Scott in MD On April 19, 2019 @ 9:05 am

I thought that we determined a long time ago that taking something out of another persons trash can was not stealing.

Trump may have said ‘no more wars’ but he never acted on it. So, someone else came along and picked up the discarded slogan.

It’s not stealing…

#12 Comment By Michael Krein On April 19, 2019 @ 9:20 am

FYI Bernie Sanders was anti-war in the 2016 election, so how is it that Bernie has stolen the anti-war issue? The truth is Trump was anti-war in rhetoric only and this is evidenced by his trust in Bolton and Pompeo, the two biggest dunces of foreign policy we’ve ever seen.

#13 Comment By Patrick Constantine On April 19, 2019 @ 10:34 am

I wish tulsi could get more traction. I voted trump believing his anti war statements. Hate his veto of Yemen resolution. I still defend trump from unfair attacks but am not a supporter any more.

Pat – good analysis. But don’t underestimate the perpetual war power’s grip on the Democrat party. Pro war liberals like the NYtimes aren’t going away in fact they are getting louder.

#14 Comment By cka2nd On April 19, 2019 @ 10:43 am

Adriana says: “By the way, Pat, do you know that Jimmy Carter did NOT get the US into any war, nor any ‘intervention’? Have you showed him any appretiation [sic] for it? Or it was a time when you were all for it as long as it was against Commies?”

No, but he did initiate funding for the Mujahideen in Afghanistan BEFORE the Soviet “invasion,” specifically to incite the Soviets to invade and get caught in their own Vietnam War-like quagmire. President Carter succeeded in that effort, but the world has suffered the unintended consequences of US funding for jihadist militants ever since.

Oh, and the Carter Administration also continued to recognize the Khmer Rouge as the “legitimate” government of Cambodia after the Vietnamese Stalinists drove them from power in 1978. I’m sure this was partly done with Cold War calculations in mind – US ally Communist China was an enemy to both the Soviet Union and its Vietnamese client state, and the Khmer Rouge were clients of China – but I do not doubt that sticking it to the Vietnamese who had so recently embarrassed the US played a part in that policy decision, too.

The Reagan Administration maintained both policies, by the way, by continuing to fund the Mujahideen and to uphold the fiction that the Khmer Rouge was still Cambodia’s legitimate government (kind of like the fiction that Juan Guaidó is Venezuela’s “legitimate” president).

#15 Comment By Sid Finster On April 19, 2019 @ 10:44 am

Since when were policy positions property that could be “stolen”?

#16 Comment By baldy On April 19, 2019 @ 2:04 pm

@Jim Smith
You are right, if I had just more energetically supported Trump he wouldn’t be giving Israel and Saudi Arabia everything they want and trying to start a war with Iran. That poor guy. Would just saying nice things about him have been enough or should I have completely drank the koolade, MAGA hat and all?

Regarding Pat’s argument as usual there is some truth here, but he keeps acting like this is a complete surprise and that Trump has “become” a hawk. Yes some of the campaign promises mentioned are accurate but he was talking about blowing up Iranian ships and tearing up the nuclear agreement on the campaign trail. He was never an anti-war candidate, he was just anti-whatever the previous presidents did candidate. Besides one statement about being even-handed there was every indication he was going to be at least as reflexively pro-Israel as any previous president and unsurprisingly he is more. Paul was the only anti-interventionist candidate and anyone who thinks otherwise was either willfully ignorant or not paying attention.

#17 Comment By bgone On April 19, 2019 @ 2:32 pm

“Trump’s veto is an unconstitutional act.”

[1]

“We must override his veto.”

[2]

It is remarkable that Buchanan considers Trump’s veto to be constitutional, but then, so does Khanna. It is remarkable that neither Buchanan nor Khanna would ever consider the necessity to impeach Presidents like Bush, Obama, and Trump for their unconstitutional and criminal acts of aggressive war – or the responsibility of The People to replace the Congress of incumbents with representatives that have not already repeatedly and persistently broken their oath of office to uphold and defend the Constitution.

Instead, Buchanan delivers yet another installment of the Incompetence Dodge: if only the Czar wasn’t a sociopathic criminal! If only he listened to us, his loyal supporters!

It is difficult to decide which kind of unprincipled opportunist is worse – the kind that successfully profits from Trump, like McConnell, or the kind that hopes in vain for their paleolithic cause to benefit.

#18 Comment By Donald On April 19, 2019 @ 2:36 pm

Once every few months Pat writes a post I agree with.

Must be that time of the year.

#19 Comment By fabian On April 19, 2019 @ 2:40 pm

Do we have to turn socialist to get rid of these neocons? Or do we need to have another intervention (Iran, Zuela) resulting into a spanking to our infantry troops to get rid of these neocons? As to the Golan, it’s a spoil of war, won by blood, following a war of aggression by Arab states. Perfectly fair to give it to Israel in my view. If Syria wants it back, go get it if you can.

#20 Comment By KevinS On April 19, 2019 @ 2:54 pm

I guess some Yemanis need to start buying Trump properties!

#21 Comment By Francis Flynn On April 19, 2019 @ 3:13 pm

Besides breaking his “no more wars” campaign promises, Trump has not built a wall, jailed Hillary, capped the deficit, re-instated Glass-Steagall, overturned Obamacare, controlled the cost of prescription drugs, de-funded Planned Parenthood,
nor pushed legislation for the infrastructure of the country. The potential “peace president” in 2016 is nothing more than another “perpetual war president”.

#22 Comment By sglover On April 19, 2019 @ 3:19 pm

Sanders never “stole” anything, Buchanan. What you’re (slowly, dimly) realizing is that your boy Trump never cared a speck for a more sane, less bellicose U.S. foreign policy.

I will never understand why Trump cultists ever believed he did. A clown who’s big complaint about the Iraq war is that “we didn’t take the oil” is an unlikely peace advocate. But to be a member of the Trump cult you have to engage in massive psychological projection, daily.

Of course in Buchanan’s case there’s another excuse: He’s been so dazzled by Trump’s relentless bigotry that everything else, every lie, every cheat, is simply a second- or third-tier concern, something to explain away. How many pathetic exercises in blame-shifting has The American Con published under Buchanan’s byline since 2016? And all signs are that they’ll keep right on with it until the happy day when Trump is finally gone.

#23 Comment By John D. Thullen On April 19, 2019 @ 3:49 pm

“Bernie Steals the ‘No More Wars’ Issue From Trump”

Who did Trump steal it from? John and Yoko?

What rot.

#24 Comment By cka2nd On April 20, 2019 @ 3:44 am

fabian says: “As to the Golan, it’s a spoil of war, won by blood, following a war of aggression by Arab states. Perfectly fair to give it to Israel in my view.”

1967 was a war of Israeli aggression, dressed up as a preemptive strike, as various Israeli military and political leaders have admitted over the years.

#25 Comment By Thaomas On April 20, 2019 @ 9:02 am

Pretty funny! When was no more wars a Trump position? Back when he was going to replace ACA with something that expanded coverage at lower cost? When he was going to tax the incomes of the rich? When he was going to release his tax returns? When he was going to re-arrange trade policy to promote growth in US manufacturing. The only promise he has kept is to show hostility to (not to effectively improve) immigration.

#26 Comment By JeffK On April 20, 2019 @ 9:10 am

Bernie didn’t steal it, Trump gave it away.

#27 Comment By dbrize On April 20, 2019 @ 11:10 am

Let linguists debate the tangential issue regarding the use of adjectives. More to the point, Buchanan correctly points to the continuing significance of the non intervention issue.

Trump supporters have difficulty defending his appointment of the worst of the worst, John Bolton. Throw in Pompeo and at this point he seems neutered by the DC war party. Words matter but actions matter more. There is little short of actual withdrawals from global excursions that could tilt the issue back to Trump by 2020.

So, Buchanan makes much sense here. Sanders and to a lesser degree Gabbard, have opportunity to grab an issue that gains them populist, non intervention support from the right. The bigger question: will either survive the DNC machinations to prevent their ascent?

#28 Comment By DrivingBy On April 20, 2019 @ 1:43 pm

@Jim
“He can, for instance, criticize American foreign policy without being accused of anti-semitism.”

Well, somebody gotta do it: I’m accusing Bernie of anti-semitism. He may have a Jewish name, but he’s Jewish in the same way Benedict Arnold was American.

You can find a fair number of Jews who campaign for conditions that would lead the eventual purge of the other Jews, all the while attempting to shine the blacklight of PC virtue on themselves. At some level they know the alligator they’re feeding will one day see them as Food rather than Fool, but they persist. They’re weird like that. Same thing with Ben & Jerry of ice cream fame, free-market entrepreneurs who became ‘socialists’ after selling the biz.

#29 Comment By ProletroleumCole On April 20, 2019 @ 5:44 pm

Jeremy Corbyn’s disastrous last few months hopefully should be a warning to Bernie.
You can never appease the MSDNC crowd. Use Trumpian rhetoric, but actually don’t be 100% a fraud like Blumpf, and you’ll coast.
But sadly he’s appeasing the Russigate LARPing of AdultinstheroomTM and playing IDPol.

#30 Comment By Mark B. On April 20, 2019 @ 7:13 pm

It’s the FED, Stupid.

spoiler: financial crisis 2020 will save Trump.

#31 Comment By Jen On April 21, 2019 @ 12:27 pm

I’m still constantly surprised to find Republicans who actually thought Trump meant anything he said during the campaign. Wasn’t it obvious to you that Trump was just saying whatever got him the most applause?

#32 Comment By Junior On April 21, 2019 @ 5:45 pm

As far as I’m concerned, as long as Trump isn’t sending American Troops into harms way then he’s doing his job.

And as for Bernie, people are extremely delusional if they think that a man who didn’t even stand up to the blatant stealing of the primaries by the DNC is going to stand up to the MIC. Get real.

As for Yemen, having the Yemen ports not be controlled by Iran is in our best interest. I am far from a fan of SA but it has to be acknowledged that maintaining some form of relationship with SA does benefit America because of the petro-dollar. The Saudis and Israel should be fighting their own wars and that is what appears to me to be happening as they fill the vacuum of us getting less involved.

As for Venezuela, Trump’s following of the Monroe Doctrine is absolutely correct. We can not allow other superpowers a foothold in our hemisphere.

@Francis Flynn
Ummm, you do realize that Trump is a President not an Emperor, right? What exactly did you want him to do about the things you listed?

#33 Comment By Sid Finster On April 22, 2019 @ 11:36 am

Junior gives what is most politely called a justification for piracy.

@DrivingBy: prove your case.

#34 Comment By ricardo2000 On April 22, 2019 @ 1:59 pm

Please read Andrew Bacevich: [3]. An impressive list of political ills in the US.

Trump is among the last acts of the US Imperium:
oligarchs that can’t tell trusted friend from odious enemy because the enemy looks and acts so much like the US;
an immense military incapable of winning the smallest wars;
an economy used like a casino to enrich the unworthy;
children used to punish immigrant families fleeing US imperial cruelty in their own countries;
the worst educated generation since 1776 as science, schools, libraries, an independent press, and dissenting voices are crushed by corporate design;
resurgent bigotry aided by brutally stupid, corrupt police cruelty;
ruthless violence blessed by empty prayers and Hollywood blockbusters;
and, smug indifference for anything that doesn’t touch their own families, or their favourite sport.
These are all signs of a society about to collapse with only a minor environmental disaster needed to start the landslide, out of the ecosystem armageddon certain to come.

When the US collapses Buchanan can forget about moving to Canada: head south. Let’s see how far into the hearts of Latin Americans, Trump’s wall, the Monroe Doctrine, and all those death squads, can take him and his family.

H.L. Mencken: ‘Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.’
Voltaire: ‘Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.’

#35 Comment By Zgler On April 22, 2019 @ 2:27 pm

“The truth is Trump was anti-war in rhetoric only and this is evidenced by his trust in Bolton and Pompeo, the two biggest dunces of foreign policy we’ve ever seen.”

How many thumbs up can I give this one..

#36 Comment By sglover On April 22, 2019 @ 3:30 pm

@ DrivingBy

Well, somebody gotta do it: I’m accusing Bernie of anti-semitism. He may have a Jewish name, but he’s Jewish in the same way Benedict Arnold was American.

You can find a fair number of Jews who campaign for conditions that would lead the eventual purge of the other Jews, all the while attempting to shine the blacklight of PC virtue on themselves. At some level they know the alligator they’re feeding will one day see them as Food rather than Fool, but they persist.

Congrats, you may have posted the most incoherent and deranged comment to appear in The American Con. Even among the kind of crowd that considers Buchanan “wise”, you’re a real stand-out. I’m just disappointed that you didn’t mention “the deep state” (cause of all Trumpian disappointments), or maybe the Bilderburgers.

Anyway, please enlighten me about Sanders’ anti-semitism. It should be *extremely* entertaining.

#37 Comment By mrscracker On April 23, 2019 @ 11:09 am

sglover says:
@ DrivingBy

“Anyway, please enlighten me about Sanders’ anti-semitism. It should be *extremely* entertaining.”

**************

I don’t know if Mr. Sanders is actually “anti-Semitic” but there are a number of folks who believe that liberal, secular Jews can often be self hating & anti-Zionist.
I don’t know where Mr. Sanders falls exactly on policy towards Israel or how observant he is in his faith, but I imagine he & people like Ben Shapiro are at opposite ends. Or perhaps not. But DrivingBy’s opinion is not unique.

#38 Comment By JohnT On April 24, 2019 @ 9:21 am

“I don’t know if Mr. Sanders is actually “anti-Semitic” but there are a number of folks who believe that liberal, secular Jews can often be self hating & anti-Zionist.”
Holy crap! Should not rational thought play a role in decision making?
“I don’t know if the earth is flat but there are a number of folks who believe that.”
See how that works?