Fighting ISIS: Bernie Sanders’ new ideas for a new era

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Change is here: It is hammering at the doors of a bankrupt political system and a bankrupt America. New challengers are pressing new ideas on the two big, tired old parties.

On November 19, Sen. Bernie Sanders laid down his latest marker for change: In a speech at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, he offered new ideas to fight ISIS and al-Qaeda: Let the Muslim nations do it themselves, help them, but also work with Russia, not against her. Stop doing old strategies that have never worked.

The plan was highly original, it was daring and it was detailed. Sanders spelled out the need to join forces with Russia and support constructive moderate Muslim nations.

But he also insisted on the need for the United States, the major European nations and Russia together, to pressure Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait to finally end the massive flow of wealth from all of them to support ISIS and al-Nusra.

Sanders also proposed setting up what would be an “alternative NATO,” including Russia as an equal partner, to try and eliminate the causes of support for extreme jihadism through peaceful constructive development of impoverished and fragile societies, rather than just bombing them.

That same day, Hillary Clinton unveiled her ‘new’ plan to fight ISIS. It was not new at all. It wasn’t even a plan worthy of the name. It was a typical Hillary policy statement – an under-cooked reheat of half a dozen previous initiatives that have been tried before and failed before.

The liberal media hailed it. The conservative media briefly sneered at it. Both groups ignored Sanders’ genuinely fresh and practical initiatives.

Instead, both media groupings of right and left continued their old stale big lies that Sanders is weak or non-existent on foreign policy, that he gives it no thought and that he isn’t even comfortable talking about it.

You only have to listen to any relevant sections of Sanders speech for 10 minutes to realize that every pundit and reporter who lazily recycles that ignorant old nonsense should be fired on the spot.

Sanders is 74, Donald Trump is 69: But their ideas, their passion and, in their very different ways, their passion to revive and recreate America is very real.

Will both of them win their parties’ presidential nominations? Will either of them? The odds against them both from the established interests remain overwhelming. But none of the Republican and Democratic Old Guards six months ago dreamed that either of them would last so long or get so far.

As I explained in my 2015 book, Cycles of Change: The Three Great Cycles of American History & the Coming Crises That Will Lead to the Fourth, the old 40-year Republican establishment of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush lost its control over the federal government in 2008: That era is dead. It’s not coming back.

Even if a presentable “old” Republican like Marco Rubio were to scrape through against a discredited Hillary Clinton in 2016, his presidency would be catastrophic. So would Clinton’s if she won. Any attempt to revive a truly-dead past can only destroy a potentially-real future.

America’s only hope for a rapid renewal without a catastrophic crisis intervening would be if either Trump or Sanders won.

The time of Bob Dylan’s prophetic song of 50 years ago has come again. Once, more, “The Times, They are A‘ Changin’” in America.

A time of crisis and transformation are coming. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are its heralds.

Top Photo: Sen. Sanders on the campaign trail in July 2015.
(Courtesy of Wikipedia & Nick Solari)

2 thoughts on “Fighting ISIS: Bernie Sanders’ new ideas for a new era

  • November 30, 2015 at 3:34 PM

    I am absolutely opposed to what our government has been doing in the Middle East.

    The reason arming anti-government “rebels” to fight ISIS didn’t work is because it was a lie. Regime Change in Syria was the true agenda of both the “rebels” and the Obama administration. We have not been fighting ISIS, we’ve been indirectly arming them and providing them the cover of conflict to operate in, just as they’ve provide us with the cover of terror to justify war.

    The last decade of de-stabilization in the Middle East has given rise, cover and opportunity to terrorist groups unlike we’ve ever seen before. Every nation and every leader needs to be united in support of restoring order across the region. The continual pursuit of the Bush era policies of regime change is possibly the worse mistake we can make at this point.

    Our government and military need to back away from their aggressive positions and make an intelligent and responsible decision to stop creating conditions favorable to terrorism, then work toward uniting and empowering leaders world wide to quickly and peacefully restore order.

    The use of pro-war propaganda directed at the American public that demonizes foreign leaders in order to justify wars against their nations is an insult and injustice to Democracy and everything it stands for. The use of psychological manipulation and the exploitation of emotions over logic to create prejudice, hate, racism and fear in the public mind is unacceptable to the American people surrounded by those susceptible to it.

    This is a new era with new opportunities and challenges. When addressing the rise of terror that we’re seeing, the key question we need to be asking is: Who will the people follow and why? This is a question best answered by psychologists, not military advisers. However, I believe the question must first be answered by the voters.

    Bernie is the only candidate with a rational foreign policy position. Everyone else just spews pro-war propaganda and regime change rhetoric.


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