Bernie is no dove. While his vote against the 2003 invasion of Iraq is held up as “proof” of his “judgment” and his anti-war credibility, his record is far more mixed.
Iraq: He did support the March 21, 2003, resolution stating, “Congress expresses the unequivocal support and appreciation of the nation to the President as Commander-in-Chief for his firm leadership and decisive action in the conduct of military operations in Iraq as part of the ongoing Global War on Terrorism.” As Ron Jacobs wrote about a week later, “…when history looks back on Bernie’s vote for this resolution, they will see that he cast his lot with the GOP hawks, and not the Democrats and others who voted against the bill…”
Prior to that, Sanders voted twice in favor of invading Iraq. In 1998, he voted to remove Hussein from power and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime. Later that same year, Sanders also backed a resolution that gave the green light to Operation Desert Fox, a four-day long bombing campaign striking 100 targets with more than 300 bombing sorties and 350 ground-launched Tomahawk cruise missiles. When Sanders has been confronted about these votes, he has casually dismissed them as being “almost unanimous.” In fact, 38 members of Congress voted “no” – Bernie was not among them.
Clinton has admitted that her Iraq war vote was a mistake. Bernie, however, has never apologized for his two votes endorsing the overthrow of Saddam.
In 2015, Bernie came out in favor of airstrikes against ISIS.
Sanders supports arming the Kurdish forces in Iraq.
Afghanistan: Sanders supported the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan; supported keeping our troops in Afghanistan.
Drones: Sanders intends to retain Obama’s drone program if elected.
Syria: Sanders supports an expanded US role in the Syrian civil war.
Kosovo: Sanders supported the 1999 bombing, a stance which caused one of his staffers to resign in protest and ask a set of rhetorical questions, “Is there a moral limit to the military violence you are willing to participate in or support? Where does that limit lie? And when that limit has been reached, what action will you take? My answers led to my resignation.” When antiwar activists occupied Sanders’ office over it, he had them arrested. The following week Sanders held a town hall meeting, during Q&A, Sanders yelled at two of the audience’s most vocal opponents to his position and told them to leave if they didn’t like what he had to say.” Critics from Vermont occupied Sanders’ Burlington office in protest, even dubbing him “Bernie the Bomber” in local newspaper columns.
Lebanon: In 2006, Sanders voted for House Resolution 921, which gave full support to Israel’s murderous war on Lebanon.
Libya: In 2011, Sanders co-sponsored a Senate resolution calling for regime change.
Israel: In 2014, Sanders didn’t object to having his name included — by unanimous consent — in S.498, which backed Israel’s brutal, summer-long military assault against Gaza.
Somalia: In 1993, Sanders voted in favor of S J Res 45 “Authorization for Use of US Armed Forces in Somalia.”
Following the 9/11 attacks, Sanders voted in favor of H J Res 64 “Authorization for Use of Military Force,” which allowed President Bush to use military violence against anyone involved with 9/11 and any nation that harbors these individuals.
Military waste: Sanders has championed the $1.2 trillion F-35 fighter that’s considered to be one of the bigger boondoggles in Pentagon history. He persuaded Lockheed Martin to place a research center in Burlington, VT, according to Newsweek, and managed to get 18 Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets stationed at the city’s airport for the Vermont National Guard.
In 1985, protesters massed at the General Electric plant in Burlington, VT, to object to the plant’s manufacturing of machine guns to fight socialists in Central America. Mayor Sanders had them arrested.
In 1995, he voted against a measure which would have prohibited local police acquisition of military hardware like tanks and armored vehicles.
The point is not whether these votes were right or wrong, but whether this voting record indicates Sanders is the anti-war hero his campaign wants us to see him as. Be aware.