Bernie Sanders Blasts ‘Mass Chaos’ of Trump’s Iran Policy: Assassinating Soleimani ‘Unleashing International Anarchy’
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders condemned the “mass chaos” of President Donald Trump’s Iran policy, just hours after the Pentagon had to conduct damage control after publicly releasing a letter mistakenly announcing the withdrawal of all US troops from Iraq.
The Defense Department’s embarrassing gaffe came in the wake of the Trump administration’s highly provocative—and roundly criticized—decision to kill Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps leader Qassem Soleimani in an airstrike on January 3rd. When CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked Sanders about the Trump administration’s actions on Iran, the Vermont senator did not hold back.
“The administration hasn’t a clue about what it is doing,” Sanders said. “It’s creating a very dangerous world scenario. Just yesterday, you had Trump saying very loudly that if the Iraqis want us to leave, the Iraqi government want us to leave, we’re going to impose trillions of dollars of sanctions, they’re going to have to pay for everything that we spent. And the next thing we hear is, ‘Oh, we respect the sovereignty of Iraq. We’re taking our troops back, out.’ And then a few hours later, we say, ‘Oh, that was a mistake. We are still in.'”
Sanders went on to analogize the Trump White House’s refusal to publicly release the evidence of an “imminent threat” it cited for the Soleimani killing to the faulty WMD intelligence used to justify the original invasion of Iraq in 2003 by President George W. Bush.
“What frightens me most is what we are seeing now sounds very much like what I observed and the American people observed in terms of the war in Iraq,” he said. “We lost 4,500 brave soldiers. Thousands more were wounded. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were displaced and died. We spent trillions of dollars on that war, that should have been spent at home, providing health care or rebuilding our infrastructure. And now at the end of all of that, the government, the country that we were trying to save, to liberate says, get out, we don’t want you anymore.”
The 2020 candidate also called out the strike on Soleimani as an “assassination,” and warned that it constituted a reckless decision that could lead to dangerously unexpected consequences.
“I think it was in violation of international law,” Sanders explained. “This guy was — was a bad news guy, but he was a ranking official of the Iranian government. And once you get into violating international law in that sense, you can say there are a lot of bad people all over the world running governments. Kim Jong-Un in North Korea, not exactly a nice guy—responsible for the death, perhaps, of hundreds of thousands of people in his own country. To name one of many, you know? The president of China now has put a million people, Muslims, into educational camps. Some would call them concentration camps. But once you start this business of a major country saying: ‘Hey, we have the right to assassinate,’ then you’re unleashing international anarchy.”
You can watch above, via CNN.
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org