Monday, March 28, 2016

Bernie Sanders: “Defending America’s Vital Strategic Interest”

As a veteran of the Iraq War,
Congresswoman Gabbard understands the cost of war
and is fighting to create a foreign policy that not only protects
America but keeps us out of perpetual wars
that we should not be in.
The only time war is justified is in the direct, unquestionable life or death defense of our country. Yet, every Republican presidential candidate believes in the use of force in order to protect our vital interest, so does Hillary Clinton.

Voting for any Republican presidential candidate, or Hillary Clinton, is essentially a vote for the perpetuation of America’s wars . . .  more killing, more atrocities, more lives destroyed. The protecting vital interest phrase is standard rhetoric Presidents use to justify invasions and military occupations of other countries.

Senator Bernie Sanders is the only candidate that comes close to being a no war candidate. He says, “As President and Commander-in-Chief, I will defend this nation, its people, and America’s vital strategic interests.” The key difference is that Sanders says he will “defend America’s vital strategic interests,” as opposed to using the word “protect,” because he believes “The test of a great and powerful nation is not how many wars it can engage in, but how it can resolve international conflicts in a peaceful manner. I will move away from a policy of unilateral military action and regime change, and toward a policy of emphasizing diplomacy, and ensuring the decision to go to war is a last resort.”

Most of our political leaders use the phrase. Their rhetoric often includes the need to support the international community and the world is looking for America’s leadership. The euphemistic phrase and these inclusions really mean the United States will only achieve its foreign policy goals by taking a belligerent stance, and will do so despite the needs of its citizens.

The phrase sounds patriotic. It sounds reasonable. But, its deceptive phrasing means gaining control of another nation’s resources. Its sound-good patriotic overtones suck Americans into supporting military actions without detailing what those vital interests are. So, most Americans believe the phrase means protecting our freedoms and maintaining our security.

The use of the concept of leadership in this way is also deceptive because true leadership would be the ability to bring peaceful outcomes to complex situations. It would be showing true leadership. It would also show authentic support for the international community because peaceful outcomes are better than the death and chaos caused by taking military action. Bernie Sanders is the only candidate who offers the probability of this kind of leadership.

 Copyright © Horatio Green 2016