Bernie Sanders On Syria: Why Engaging In The Middle East Again May Be ‘Disastrous’

For the many who had fervently hoped that Bernie Sanders would be president of the United States, there is curiosity as to what Bernie’s stance on Syria is right now. With Hillary Clinton appearing to agree that an attack on Syria was necessary and President Donald Trump threatening further action, what does Bernie Sanders think we should be doing to deal with Syria, and does he approve of the recent missile strike that Trump ordered?

While Bernie Sanders has not outright condemned the strike in Syria, Bustle reported that he is “deeply concerned” about what lies ahead for the United States and has suggested that starting another war in the Middle East is something that could have very grave consequences for America as a nation.

“I’m deeply concerned that these strikes could lead to the United States once again being dragged back into the quagmire of long-term military engagement in the Middle East. If the last 15 years have shown anything, it’s that such engagements are disastrous for American security, for the American economy, and for the American people.”

Protests over the American missile strike in Syria in New York on April 7, 2017.

Bernie Sanders does not appear to be suggesting that the United States should completely ignore what is happening with Assad and Syria, however, and believes that working in a diplomatic fashion may be the best solution at this point in time. Sanders maintains that with nearly half a million deaths in Syria, it is crucial that America works with the international community in order to try to bring about peace and stability to the country.

“As the most powerful nation on earth, the United States must work with the international community to bring peace and stability to Syria, where over 400,000 people have been killed and over 6 million displaced.”

One idea that Bernie Sanders is quite vocal about is that of bringing displaced Syrian refugees to the United States. This is in marked contrast to President Trump, who placed a ban on refugees from Syria entering the United States when he signed his recent executive order. Donald Trump once falsely claimed that Bernie had wanted to transport 65,000 Syrian refugees to America, but his numbers were wrong. What Bernie Sanders actually did say was that he agreed with Barack Obama’s previous proposal to allow 10,000 Syrian refugees to come to the United States in 2016.

While President Trump believes that the military strike he ordered on Thursday on a Syrian air base was justified, Bernie Sanders cautioned that Americans are now keenly aware of the fact that it is much easier to start a war in the Middle East than it is for the United States “to get out of one.” Sanders has said that Trump’s missile strike could lead to further engagement in the Middle East and this, in turn, could lead to another Iraq. Bernie Sanders feels that it would be extremely difficult to extricate America from Syria once the military is fully engaged in war there.

“I’m deeply concerned that these strikes could lead to the United States once again being dragged back into the quagmire of long-term military engagement in the Middle East.”

Bernie Sanders is well aware that Assad is what he called “a war criminal,” but The Hill reports that he believes if the international community works together that it is perfectly feasible that the civil war in Syria could be contained or stopped altogether.

“The U.S. must work with all parties to reinforce longstanding international norms against the use of chemical weapons, to hold Russia and Syria to the 2013 deal to destroy these weapons and to see that violators are made accountable.”

Bernie Sanders speaking at a news conference on March 14, 2017.

Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers side with Bernie Sanders and believe that President Donald Trump needs to appear before Congress and explain what his future strategy is when it comes to dealing with Syria and Assad. Sanders has spoken about the need for Trump to explain precisely why he feels that a military engagement with Syria will help the situation there and said that it is the duty of Congress to “weigh in” on whether the United States should be taking military action in Syria.

“As the Constitution requires, the president must come to Congress to authorize any further use of force against the Assad regime.”

What are your feelings about President Trump’s recent missile strike in Syria and do you agree with Bernie Sanders that Trump needs to be running his plans on Syria through Congress?

[Featured Image by Scott Eisen/Getty Images]