A citizen movement committed to restoring Vermont to an independent republic, free to pursue life, liberty and happiness unimpeded by the demands of an imperial, corrupt and disintegrating United States.
As Vermont decentralists, we have watched with interest the rise of our own junior Senator Bernie Sanders as a viable 2016 U.S. imperial presidential candidate. He is easily the best deliverer of bad news in Washington, DC, and his rhetorical record on publicizing issues of import – the realities of climate change, Wall Street’s trampling of Main Street, the collapsing middle class, Big Media propaganda – is laudable. “Lesser of the two Evils” arguments aside, Bernie is very good at making ordinary Americans – the disaffected and disenfranchised – feel good.
But the reality of his Congressional record – where the rubber meets the proverbial road – reveals a different Bernie than the one so celebrated by his supporters and his campaign. With the help of of the Internet, friends and neighbors, we’ve compiled a reasonably exhaustive record of Bernie’s DC-based activities (along with some of our favorite Bernie memes). The record also reveals, as we’ve suggested here at 2VR, that Bernie long ago made a deal with the Democratic Party leadership to “sheepdog” on behalf of Hilary Clinton, moving disillusioned Americans into the DLF fold in exchange for increased visibility and prominence within the U.S. imperial political ranks.
So what is to be done? First and foremost, withdraw your consent from the corrupt and collapsing U.S. of Empire’s broken two-party political system. Second, work to further all things local in your community – finance, fuel, food, education, the arts. Third, turn off the damn Tee Vee. And finally, instead of #FeelingTheBern, feel the turn – of a 21st century world in which the local will matter more than ever.
Let Bernie’s record speak for itself.
1) Sanders unequivocally supports Israel and has supported Israel’s aggression against Palestine- Sanders supports full US military support of Israel;
2) Sanders supports an increase in Saudi Arabia’s attacks on Yemen;
3) Sanders supports the US Military Industrial Complex;
4) Sanders supported US attacks on Kosovo; Sanders argued passionately in favor of Bill Clinton’s “humanitarian” intervention which resulted in 78 straight days of bombing Yugoslavia and cost the lives of countless innocent civilians;
5) Sanders supports US attacks on ISIS and the entire narrative;
6) Sanders backed the buildup in the Persian Gulf during GHWB Gulf War;
7) Sanders supported sanctions in Iraq even as the Iraqi body count passed 1.5 million;
8) Sanders supported Bill Clinton when he sent military units to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in October, 1994- Bernie supported this because “we cannot tolerate aggression.”
9) He supported US intervention in Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Liberia, Zaire (Congo), Albania, Sudan, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia;
10) Sanders has voted for appropriations bills to fund the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan;
11) Sanders supported pro-war measures–such as a March 21, 2003, resolution stating, “Congress expresses the unequivocal support and appreciation of the nation to the President as Commander-in-Chief for his firm leadership and decisive action in the conduct of military operations in Iraq as part of the ongoing Global War on Terrorism”;
12) Sanders opposed immediate withdrawal from Iraq;
13) Sanders opposed any action on a wave of Bush impeachment resolutions that swept Vermont towns in 2006;
14) Sanders’ supports the troubled F-35 fighter jet, the classic case of a military program that exists only to enrich the military-industrial complex. Although the plane has been plagued with technical difficulties, and has toted up hundreds of billions of dollars in cost overruns, Sanders has stubbornly defended and voted for it because Lockheed-Martin manufactures it in Vermont;
15) Sanders approved a $1 billion aid package to the coup government in Ukraine, aiding and abetting Nazis in Kiev;
16) Sanders supported the objectively racist and mass-incarcerationist Federal Crime bill;
17) Votes with Democrats 96% of the time and caucuses with them actively working against third party candidates who challenge Democrats;
18) Has expressed admiration for Hillary Clinton and has stated he will support her if she gets the nomination;
19) Sanders supports sanctions against Russia. This is an act of war and Sanders does not explain why he is just parroting talking points from former George W Bush advisers and Zbigniew Brezinski;
20) Sanders will continue the racist war on drugs and has only proposed reforms on mandatory minimums already brought up by…..Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush.
21) Sanders has signed declarations for regime change in Iraq and Iran while in Congress;
22) On Iran Sanders, “repeats the discredited mantra that the United States must make war in order to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear nation when even the CIA said that it never had that capability.”;
23) “Sanders has voted for a measure that has advanced urban school privatization, deepened educational race disparities, and deepened the hold of deadening standardized testing pedagogy over minority student: the No Child Left Behind Act. He is a supporter of the state and federal Common Core States Initiative, another key part of the neoliberal-racist schools agenda.” -Paul Street
24) Cast a “Yea” vote for Clinton’s Commodity Futures Modernization Act.
25) While Sanders opposed the Iraq war he proceeded to routinely vote to fund that war: same with Afghanistan.
26) In 2003, at the height of the Iraq war hysteria, then Congressman Sanders voted for a congressional resolution hailing Bush:
“Congress expresses the unequivocal support and appreciation of the nation to the President as Commander-in-Chief for his firm leadership and decisive action in the conduct of military operations in Iraq as part of the ongoing Global War on Terrorism.”;
27) As the drumbeat for war with Iran got louder, Rep. Sanders voted for the Iran Freedom Support Act, which codified sanctions imposed since the fall of the Shah and handed out millions to “pro-freedom” groups seeking the overthrow of the Tehran regime;
28) Sanders labelled Hugo Chavez a “dead Communist dictator;
29) While Sanders voted against the Patriot Act, in 2006 he voted in favor of making fourteen provisions of the Act permanent, including those that codified the FBI’s authority to seize business records and carry out roving wiretaps;
30) Sanders voted no on the legislation establishing the Department of Homeland Security, but by the time he was in the Senate he was regularly voting for that agency’s ever-expanding budget;
31) Sanders voted for an extension of the neo-liberal African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)
In 1993, Bernie voted YEA on HR 2446 – Military Construction Fiscal Year 1994 Appropriations Bill, which provided $3.63 billion for military construction.
That same year, he also voted in favor of S J Res 45 – Authorization for Use of US Armed Forces in Somalia, which authorized President Bill Clinton to use US troops in Somalia for the purpose of providing logistical support to the United Nations peacekeeping force.
In 1994, Bernie voted in favor of HR 4453 – Military Construction FY95 Appropriations bill, which provided $2.52 billion for military construction.
The following year, Bernie voted in favor of HR 3107 – Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996, which “imposes sanctions on persons exporting certain goods or technology that would enhance Iran’s ability to explore for, extract, refine, or transport by pipeline petroleum resources, and for other purposes.”
In 1997, Bernie voted for HR 2159 – Foreign Operations FY98 Appropriations bill, which included: $3 billion for Israel, including $1.8 billion in military assistance and $1.2 billion in economic assistance; $2.12 billion for Egypt, including $1.3 billion in military assistance and $815 million in economic assistance; $770 million for former Soviet Republics; and $215 million for international narcotics control and law enforcement.
He also voted for HR 4059 – Military Construction FY99 Appropriations bill, which provided $2.82 billion for general military construction.
Here is just a small sampling of Bernie’s bending over to please the Owners. Even as he turns on the “populist” rhetoric he votes for the establishment. Examples of this abound if you take the time to look beyond his empty and hypocritical rhetoric.
Title: Authorization for Use of U.S. Armed Forces in Somalia
Bernie Sanders voted Yea (Passage With Amendment) on this Legislation-Joint Resolution.
Question: On the Nomination (Confirmation Sylvia Mathews Burwell, of West Virginia, to be Director of the Office of Management and Budget )
Sanders (I-VT), Yea
Amendment Number:S.Amdt. 1136 to H.R. 2346 (Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2009)Statement of Purpose:To limit the release of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, pending a report on the prisoner population at the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay
Sanders (I-VT), Yea
Nomination Description:Harold Hongju Koh, of Connecticut, to be Legal Adviser of the Department of State
Sanders (I-VT), Yea
Nomination Description:Loretta E. Lynch, of New York, to be Attorney General
Sanders (I-VT), Yea
Loretta Lynch’s Wall Street friends: What you should know about AG nominee’s finance past
And so on….
Sanders supports US interventionism not only in many specific incidents but also as a general practice and an acceptable foreign policy maneuver.
Sanders supports the US Military Complex not only through his voting record but also ardently in many other policy actions- the most notable (but not only by a long shot) one being his support of the F-35 which is the poster child of military waste.
Sanders supports the use of drones- only says (as have many others including Obama) he would use them more “selectively.”
Sanders has supported what are without question war crimes in Kosovo. Did then and does now.
Sanders supports Israel’s slaughter of Palestine and uses the mythological “moral equivalence” to rationalize his support.
Sanders accepts the overall narrative of the phony “war on terror” and supports Obama on this.
Sanders believes the Saudis should be more aggressive against the Yemenis.
Sanders offered his unequivocal support to Nazis in Kiev.
Sanders is a national chauvinist and imperialist. His record is clear on this.
I could go on…
Either you don’t know any of this, are in agreement, are in denial or don’t understand what any of this means
Look at his votes to fund the MIC yourself- this is the very short list:
National Defense Authorization Act (2008) YES
Inclusion of Iraq and Afghanistan Military Operations Funding with the Consolidated Appropriations – Key Vote : YES
Iraq and Afghanistan War Funding- Key Vote YES
2009-2010 Defense Appropriations – Key Vote YES
Fiscal Year 2009-2010 Supplemental Appropriations – Key Vote YES
2010-2011 Defense Authorizations – Key Vote YES
Defense Department FY2005 Appropriations Bill YES
Military Construction Appropriations Act, 2004 YES
Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 – Key Vote YES
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 – Key Vote YES
PATRIOT Act Reauthorization YES
Defense Department FY2007 Appropriations Bill YES
Defense Department FY2006 Authorization Bill YES
Defense Department FY2006 Appropriations Bill YES
Department of Defense Appropriations, Fiscal Year 2003 YES
Foreign Operations FY 2006 Appropriations Bill YES
Authorization for Use of Military Force (September 14, 2001) YES