Last Thing We Want Is War in Iran (Sen. Bernie Sanders)

The war in Iraq, which Bush misled us into, has been a disaster.  It caused us, and the Iraqi people, a great deal of suffering: more than 3,700 American casualties, more than 70,000 Iraqi casualties,  2 million Iraqis displaced within Iraq by violence fear, and another 2 million Iraqis living as refugees in Syria and Jordan.  It has cost our nation a great deal of money, money which could have been better used in educating our children, providing health care to every American, rebuilding our bridges and infrastructure, and helping us move toward a new green economy.

And, ironically, it has made us less safe from the very serious problem of international terrorism.

Osama bin Laden is alive and well and, according to the National Intelligence Estimate, Al Quada is growing stronger throughout the world.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban is reemerging as a powerful adversary, using terrorist skills they learned in Iraq, and the situation there is becoming more difficult.  One of the reasons for the reemergence of the Taliban is, in my view, that in order to fight the war in Iraq, the Bush administration has diverted military, intelligence and reconstruction resources away from Afghanistan.

In the midst of all this, the United States, because of Bush’s actions, is held in lower regard by the international community than at any time in the modern history of our country.

And, now, there are increasing rumblings that Bush and Cheney are thinking of waging an attack on Iran.  They are considering the possibility of bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities, and are also considering the possibility of cross-border raids into Iraqi territory.

I believe that the American people understand that with all our problems in Iraq and Afghanistan, and with our active duty military and National Guard significantly over-extended, the last thing in the world that we want is a war in Iran.  That is why I introduced S. Con Res. 13 – which would express the sense of Congress that the president should not initiate military action against Iran without first obtaining authorization from Congress.

A war with Iran, combined with what’s going on in Iraq and Afghanistan, would be a horrendous disaster.  Here’s what Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor, wrote recently: “An attack on Iran would be an act of political folly, setting in motion a progressive upheaval in world affairs.

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