By Sean Illing,
Salon via Alternet
In his speech last week, Sanders said what every presidential candidate ought to say about ISIS and the Middle East.
Bernie Sanders’ economic populism and domestic agenda receive a lot of attention, and they should – he’s a unique and important voice on these fronts. But Bernie’s refreshing sanity on foreign policy gets overlooked far too often. This is especially problematic given the most recent Paris attacks and the renewed emphasis on national security.
Sanders gave a major speech last week at Georgetown University, the central theme of which was democratic socialism. Understandably, much of the coverage focused on Sanders’s efforts to situate his brand of socialism in the broader American tradition. However, Sanders also used his speech to talk about our foreign policy dilemma in the Middle East.
His remarks were what we’ve come to expect from Sanders: honest. Because he doesn’t spin the way other politicians do, Sanders brings a kind of clarity to this conversation, a clarity that’s desperately needed in our current climate. Conservatives will likely dismiss Sanders as a dovish liberal who doesn’t understand foreign policy, but that’s because they don’t want to hear what he has to say.
In the speech, Sanders makes clear that he understands both the crisis and the complicated political realities on the ground. “The United States must pursue policies to destroy the brutal and barbaric ISIS regime,” Sanders said, and we must “create conditions that prevent fanatical extremist ideologies from flourishing. But we cannot – and should not – do it alone.” [Emphasis mine].