Standing on stage at Westminster College, the very place where Winston Churchill delivered his famous 1946 “Iron Curtain” speech and Mikhail Gorbachev declared the end of the Cold War in 1992, Sen. Bernie Sanders offered up his grand vision of US foreign policy.
He spoke of how we can build an idealistic world free of war and famine and terrorism and bloodshed, “a world of peace and economic security for all” in which “people have the decent jobs, food, clean water, education, health care, and housing they need.”
“We must offer people a vision that one day, maybe not in our lifetimes, but one day in the future, human beings on this planet will live in a world where international conflicts will be resolved peacefully, not by mass murder,” Sanders said.
He offered a moving portrait of the world as it should be. What he didn’t offer, though, was any sort of new or innovative or even particularly concrete ideas for how to achieve this grand utopian vision.
Of course, big political speeches like this often present the world as it should be and don’t get bogged down in the details — but especially when it comes to foreign policy, these details really do matter.
Sanders rightly called out America’s many foreign policy sins
Sanders decried the disastrous history of American intervention abroad, reciting a litany of American sins from the 1953 overthrow of the democratically elected leader of Iran to the support for “murderous regimes” in El Salvador, Guatemala, Chile, and elsewhere to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
He slammed the Obama (and now Trump) administrations for supporting Saudi Arabia’s horrific, brutal war in Yemen, which has killed more than 10,000 civilians since its start in 2015 and triggered one of the most devastating humanitarian catastrophes the world has seen.
Sanders also criticized the “global war on terror,” saying it has been “a disaster for the American people and for American leadership”: