To The Daily Sun,
In 2002, when the neo-conservatives in Washington were beating the drumbeats of war and urging George Bush to invade Iraq, then U.S. Rep. Bernie Sanders stood up on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to outline his opposition to the war.
His reasons for opposing the war included, among others, the likely destabilization of that part of the world and the laws of unintended consequences, as well as probable damage to counterterrorism efforts worldwide.
The resolution authorizing the war in Iraq passed both houses of Congress, with the great majority of Republicans voting in favor. The two lone Independents, Rep. Bernie Sanders and Senator Jeffords, both of Vermont, voted against the resolution.
After the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, the U.S.-led civilian government in Iraq, headed by Paul Bremer, banned the Baathist Party (primarily Sunni) and then disbanded the Iraqi Army (also primarily Sunni). These moves resulted in scores of outraged Sunni men with nowhere to go. Many of them were armed and had military training. Many joined the Sunni insurgents in Iraq, who eventually became al-Qaida in Iraq, then IS (Islamic State), then ISIS. They took over various territories in Iraq, then moved into Syria. They are now based primarily in Iraq and Syria, but as we all know, have moved into other parts of the world, where they rack havoc and horror.
Laws of unintended consequences? If only Bernie Sanders had been joined by Congress in his opposition to the war, the world would likely be a much safer place today.
When going to the polls in February 2016, I urge my fellow New Hampshire citizens to vote for someone who has shown the foresight and judgment to see past angry rhetoric and analyze situations in a measured and thoughtful way. Senator Sanders consistently follows his conscience, without influence from super-PACS, poll numbers or the vagaries of popular opinion. He is a leader in the truest sense of the word.