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The Iowa Speech Bernie Sanders Never Delivered

Good evening. I have purchased this television time tonight on every available media outlet here in Iowa, just days in advance of the 2016 caucuses. I address you, because the choice you make in a few days time could well determine whether we live in peace or go to war, possibly nuclear war. The very survival of humanity could hang in the balance. And it hinges on whether you vote for me or for my principal opponent, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Let us be blunt, she has never seen a war she did not like. And looking at the wars of the last 25 years, she has been an ardent supporter in every case and a principal architect of most of them.

This campaign in Iowa has a bit of déjà vu to it. In 2008, Iowans gave a victory to Barack Obama in the caucuses, the first step in derailing the Clinton presidential candidacy back then. You did so because Obama presented himself as the peace candidate whereas Hillary Clinton was already known as an implacable hawk. You voted for peace. Unfortunately, Obama let you down and pursued a more warlike course, in no small part due to pressure from then Secretary of State Clinton and her allies in and out of government. I do not intend to let you down. I want to make that crystal clear tonight.

My new view of America’s place in the world in the 21st Century, which I wish to enunciate this evening, is a further development of my vote against the Iraq War. In short I now commit myself to a principled anti-interventionist stand. Let us have no more wars. That is within our power. My present view results from an intense discussion with activists in my campaign and more importantly from progressives who refused to join the campaign because of my earlier weak stance on interventionism. I thank them. I owe far more to them than those who simply went along to get along. I hope that those who refused to sign on to the campaign will do so now. I welcome them in advance and congratulate them on their integrity.

Perhaps the shortcomings of my earlier views had to do with my devotion to Israel. But we must face facts: Israel is an apartheid state, as former President Jimmy Carter so forcefully and eloquently demonstrated in his book, “Palestine. Peace Not Apartheid.” We can no more claim to be just in supporting Israel than we could when we supported apartheid South Africa. I now repudiate my earlier defense of Israel’s barbaric bombing of defenseless Gazans. I was wrong to defend that criminal action. And I commit myself to ending apartheid in historic Palestine in a decisive way.

Perhaps I have also been too committed to the idea of a campaign that is polite. But that too has been wrong. By any reasonable standard Mrs. Clinton is a war criminal and mass murderer. And no war criminal deserves to be treated with kid gloves. To do so is to disrespect the thousands of American lives unnecessarily lost because of her policies. And it is to disrespect the millions of Muslims and others in the Middle East and North Africa who have lost lives, families, loved ones, home and hearth. She criticizes Donald Trump for his statements about some Muslims. But her charge rings hollow when there is so much Muslim blood on her hands. Killing is worse than slandering by far.

But let me be more specific. The Clinton administration of the 1990’s enjoyed the benefit of the end of the Cold War. It could have opened an era of peace. Instead of treating Russia with respect and taking a stance of peace, the Clintons repeated the error of the Treaty of Versailles, lording it over Russia and beginning the expansion of NATO to the East. That expansion has culminated in the coup and crisis in Ukraine engineered by a protégé of both Ms. Clinton and Mr. Cheney, the arch neoconservative Victoria Nuland. And that action has pushed us deep into a new Cold War with Russia, which according to former Secretary of Defense in the Clintons’ administration, William Perry, makes nuclear war a greater threat today than in the first Cold War! That is the precipice to which Mrs. Clinton and other neoconservatives and “humanitarian” warriors have driven us.

Ms. Clinton has not been satisfied with the development of a Cold War in Europe alone. She has also, along with President Obama, set us on a course of conflict with China, with her so-called “pivot to Asia,” using Japan as the cat’s paw for new anti-China confrontations. The Chinese idea of a win-win interaction among nations, indeed the plea for it by China, has fallen on deaf ears in our media and has been firmly rejected by Ms. Clinton and her cabal in the Obama administration.

With regard to China I must ask: What is she thinking? For over a year now, China now has been the number one economy in the world in Purchasing Power Parity terms according to the IMF. It is now building up its arms at a more rapid pace in response to our threats. The antagonism of our government to China in an attempt to weaken it and bring it down is a futile course and a dangerous one. It needs to be reversed at once, as does our bellicosity to Russia.

I also note in fairness to Barack Obama, that his administration, since the departure of Secretary Clinton, has moved, however gingerly, into more peaceful waters where she did not wish to sail. The opening to Cuba and then to Iran and some signs of a developing détente in the meetings of Secretary Kerry and Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov are testimony to that. They did not occur while the belligerent Hillary Clinton was at the helm of State.

Let me finally say something about the emails on Benghazi that Ms. Clinton decided to hide in her secret server, illegally I might say. I have tried to be gallant on this issue, not least because some in Congress have used it in a trivial and partisan way. That was wrong of me, because Ms. Clinton like the rest of us should not be above the law. But focusing on the crime of hiding the emails may distract from greater crimes in the actual content of the emails.

Seymour Hersh has laid out the case that the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was the site for a gun running operation to jihadists in Syria. This is what the CIA calls a “rat line,” a term we should all be familiar with and consign forever to the past. The late U.S. Ambassador who served under Mrs. Clinton was most likely involved in implementing that “rat line.” Of course that gun running and destabilization of both Libya and Syria on Mrs. Clinton’s watch has resulted not only in hundreds of thousands of dead but has also precipitated the massive immigration crisis engulfing Europe. We need a full investigation of the intervention in Libya, the illegal gun running, including Mrs. Clinton’s role in it. Her illegally hidden emails may well contain crucial information on this matter. We need to see them, all of them, before the Democratic Party makes its choice of a candidate for President.

Thank you for listening to this message. I hope you will vote for me in the caucuses coming up in just a few days. The avoidance of nuclear catastrophe and perhaps the very survival of the human race may well depend upon the rejection of those, like Mrs. Clinton, who would lead us down a road to more wars and conflict.

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John V. Walsh can be reached at John.Endwar@gmail.com

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