There are nearly 10,000 US troops in Afghanistan & probably an equal number of US-hired mercenaries. When Obama announced last October that he would keep 5,500 troops in Afghanistan after he leaves office in 2017, Bernie Sanders & Hillary Clinton were asked if they supported that decision.
Clinton said Obama made “the right decision.” Sanders said, “Well, yeah, I won’t give you the exact number. Clearly, we do not want to see the Taliban gain more power, & I think we need a certain nucleus of American troops present in Afghanistan to try to provide the training & support the Afghan army needs.”
Let’s not beat around the bush. Opposing war & occupation has been the sine qua non not just of transformational but of progressive politics for over 100 years. The US wars in Iraq & Afghanistan are so monstrous that to support them takes a special kind of political criminality on the part of politicians & half-witted racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia on the part of working people–a majority of whom oppose the war. But since Sanders talks a good line on student loans, what’s a few decades more of massive bombing & occupation in those two countries? They’re not Americans after all so they’re not really human.
(PS: for those Sanders supporters who call themselves socialists, it would be valuable to review the history of WW1 when support for the war among most socialist groups created a massive international rupture in the movement from which it has not recovered. But go ahead, campaign for Sanders since you’re probably not marching against the wars anyway.)
(Photo of Sanders by Scott Olson/Getty Images)