In lieu of attending the AIPAC conference yesterday, Sanders issued an essay on Middle East policy. He opens by establishing his international credentials.
“Let me begin by saying that I think I am probably the only candidate for president who has personal ties with Israel. I spent a number of months there when I was a young man on a kibbutz, so I know a little bit about Israel.”
He pens a litany of actions that must happen, but offers little insight into what specific actions a president might take.
- “Peace will require that organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah renounce their efforts to undermine the security of Israel. It will require the entire world to recognize Israel.”
- “But peace also means security for every Palestinian. It means achieving self-determination, civil rights, and economic well-being for the Palestinian people.”
- “More inclusive, stable governance in Iraq will be vital to inflict a lasting defeat on ISIS. Otherwise, ISIS could regain its influence or another, similar organization may spring up in its place.”
- “While the U.S. has an important role to play in defeating ISIS, that struggle must be led by the Muslim countries themselves on the ground.”
- “Qatar – which intends to spend up to $200 billion to host the 2022 World Cup – Qatar which per capita is the wealthiest nation in the world – Qatar can do more to contribute to the fight Against ISIS. If they are prepared to spend $200 billion for a soccer tournament, then they have got to spend a lot spend a lot more against a barbaric organization.”
- “What I am also saying is that other countries in the region – like Saudi Arabia, which has the 4th largest defense budget in the world – has to dedicate itself more fully to the destruction of ISIS, instead of other military adventures like the one it is pursuing right now in Yemen.”
- “ISIS has only 30,000 fighters on the ground. So when we ask the nations in the region to stand up to do more against ISIS – nations in the region which have millions of men and women under arms – we know it is surely within their capability to destroy ISIS.”
- “We must counter the destabilizing behavior of Iran’s leaders.”
“Now I realize that given the geopolitics of the region this is not going to be easy,” he writes. “I realize different countries have different priorities. But we can help set the agenda and mobilize stronger collective action to defeat ISIS in a lasting way.”
Nowhere does he offer insight into what new leverage America can bring to the table to convince countries in the Middle East to shed thousands of years of tension, arrive at a collaborative military plan, and send its citizens to war.
Nor does he acknowledge the rest of the 16 countries in the Middle East, like Turkey, a geographically critical US strategic partner grappling with ISIS, authoritarian crackdowns and other turmoil.
Given the Senator’s dead last ranking in bipartisanship, it is difficult to see Sanders as an effective coalition builder internationally.
This post was read 2292 times.