In a recent op-ed article, Sen. Bernie Sanders warned against the Trump administration potentially declaring war against Iran after the downing of a U.S. military drone and other reported events. Sanders asserted that a war with Iran would be an “absolute disaster.”
On Friday, The Guardian published an op-ed written by Sanders titled, “We must stop the US from going to war with Iran.”
In the article, Sanders wrote, “Just today we learned that the US came very close to striking targets inside Iran in response to the downing of a US drone in the Persian Gulf. Last week the White House announced that a 1,000 additional troops would be sent to the Middle East in response to an alleged Iranian attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Last month, the New York Times reported that the Pentagon had presented a plan to the White House that envisions sending as many as 120,000 troops to the region to fight Iran.”
Sanders reminded his audience of the thousands of U.S. soldiers who died in Iraq under false pretenses of weapons of mass destruction. The senator also noted that Congress must ultimately decide whether to declare war against Iran, not the Trump administration, including warmonger John Bolton, the president’s national security adviser.
Sanders added, “I want to be clear on this: Iran pursues many bad policies. It violently represses its own population and supports extremist groups around the region. The same could be said of our longtime partner Saudi Arabia. We need to take a more even-handed approach to the Middle East, and not simply support one side against another in a regional conflict. The US is strong enough to deal with these issues diplomatically, working with allies around the world, and that is what we should be doing. We must not fight another unnecessary war.”
In an interview this weekend on “Face the Nation,” Sanders stated that Trump’s strategy in the Middle East is comparable to “somebody setting fire to a basket full of paper and then putting it out. He helped create the crisis, and then he stopped the attacks.”
On Friday, Sanders issued a press release opposing the transfer of $8 billion in weapons to Saudi Arabia and other states. The senator wrote, “The Trump administration’s attempt to do an end-run around Congressional disapproval in order to transfer weapons to the Saudi and Emirati regimes is a violation of the law, and an affront to the Constitutional order.
“Repeatedly, we see this president using phony ‘emergency’ declarations to sidestep the law to get what he wants. The fact that he is transferring these weapons at a time when the Saudis and Emiratis are waging a catastrophic war in Yemen, a war that a bipartisan majority in Congress has declared to be unauthorized and illegal, is even more outrageous.
“It’s time for the president to respect the will of a convincing majority of the Senate and follow the law. I will do everything I can to assert Congress’s power over the purse to end the war in Yemen and block these weapons from being used by the Saudis in that war. Trump should not do the bidding of the repressive, undemocratic regime of Saudi Arabia, which was exposed this week by the United Nations for the premeditated killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the coverup of that crime.”