Tag Archives: saddam hussein

Sanders Condemns Overthrow of Saddam Hussein, Supports Overthrow of Assad

During the fourth Democratic Debate Sunday night, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders criticized the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, while pledging his support for the proposed overthrow of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

Sanders, a self-declared socialist, has been adamant in the past about the fact that he opposes—and did not vote for—the war in Iraq. During the latest debate, he said he believes the disastrous war in Iraq” was responsible for creating a political vacuum that led to the rise of “groups like ISIS.”

[pull_quote_center]I think the vacuum was created by the disastrous war in Iraq, which I vigorously opposed. Not only did I vote against it, I helped lead the opposition. And what happened there is yes, it’s easy to get rid of a two-bit dictator like Saddam Hussein, but there wasn’t the kind of thought as to what happens the day after you get him and what kind of political vacuum occurs. And who rises up? Groups like ISIS.[/pull_quote_center]

Sanders went on to say that he supported President Obama’s plan to “bring American troops home,” and that he believes the United States’ job is to “train and provide military support for Muslim countries in the area who are prepared to take on ISIS.”

[RELATED: Obama Administration Ends $500 Million Syrian Rebel Training Program]

Democratic rival and former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton said she believes that if there is anyone to blame for the rise of ISIS, “it starts with the prime minister of Iraq,” and is only intensified by Syrian President Assad.

“It is amplified by Assad, who has waged one of the bloodiest, most terrible attacks on his own people: 250,000-plus dead, millions fleeing,” Clinton said. “Causing this vacuum that has been filled unfortunately, by terrorist groups, including ISIS.” 

[RELATED: Reality Check: Proof U.S. Government Wanted ISIS To Emerge In Syria]

In response, Sanders said he agrees with “most of what she said,” and went on to add that he believes there is an “incredible quagmire of Syria, where it’s hard to know who’s fighting who and if you give arms to this guy, it may end up in ISIS’ hand the next day.”

Sanders said Clinton is “absolutely right” when saying, “Assad is a butcher of his own people.” However, he said that while “getting rid of Assad” is a priority, it comes second to “the destruction of ISIS.”

[pull_quote_center]I think in terms of our priorities in the region, our first priority must be the destruction of ISIS. Our second priority must be getting rid of Assad, through some political settlement, working with Iran, working with Russia. [/pull_quote_center]

Sanders has made similar comments about his support for overthrowing Assad in the past. In Oct. 2015, he said he supports President Obama’s effort to “combat the Islamic State in Syria while at the same time supporting those in Syria trying to overthrow the brutal dictatorship of Bashar Assad.”

For more election coverage, click here.

Ted Cruz: The Middle East was Safer Before The U.S. Toppled Hussein, Gaddafi

GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) said on Thursday that he believes the Middle East was safer under the regimes of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi than it is now after intervention from the United States.

During an interview with Joe Scarborough on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Cruz said his foreign policy is “the Reagan approach.” He said he promotes “peace through strength,” and he believes the U.S. “should be defending vital national security interests of this country.”

[pull_quote_center]We’ve seen a consistent mistake in foreign policy, we’ve seen Democrats and a lot of establishment Republicans in Washington get involved in toppling Middle Eastern governments, and it ends up benefiting the bad guys. It ends up handing them over to radical Islamic terrorists.[/pull_quote_center]

[RELATED: Truth in Media: The Origin of ISIS]

Scarborough asked whether Cruz believed the Middle East was safer when Saddam Hussein was in power in Iraq and Muammar Gadhafi was in power in Libya, a question Scarborough said he has asked rival Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) along with other Democratic and Republican foreign policy experts.

“Of course it was,” Cruz answered. “That’s not even a close call.”

“Why won’t people say that?” Scarborough replied. “Because I couldn’t even get Rand to say it, but it’s important to admit, is it not, because isn’t this possibly where we’re guided in the future that maybe we don’t topple secular regimes, as offensive as they are.”

[RELATED: Reps Gabbard, Scott Introduce Bill to End U.S. Effort to ‘Overthrow Syrian Government of Assad’]

Cruz noted the cases of Egypt and Libya where the U.S. toppled dictators and as a result, Islamic terrorists were able to gain power, something he said President Obama along with rival candidates such as Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Sen. Marco Rubio promoted.

[pull_quote_center]Then you look at Syria. It seems Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and people like Senator Rubio have not learned the lessons of Libya and Egypt, because what are they trying to do – topple Assad. Now Assad is a bad man, he’s a monster, but if they succeed in toppling Assad, ISIS will take over Syria. It will be worse.[/pull_quote_center]

[RELATED: Reality Check: Proof The U.S. Government Wanted ISIS To Emerge In Syria]

“My view, instead of getting in the middle of a civil war in Syria, where we don’t have a dog in the fight, our focus should be on killing ISIS,” Cruz said. “Why? Because ISIS has declared war on America. They’re waging jihad. We shouldn’t keep trying to find these mythical moderate rebels, that we keep being told – like the purple unicorn – they’re going to exist, but they turn out to all be jihadists.”

For more election coverage, click here.

Fmr CIA Deputy Director: Drones Do Radicalize But “No Other Alternative”

Washington, D.C.- Drones are “the most effective” weapon the US has in the war against terrorism, and while collateral damage does occur, “propaganda” makes it seem far worse than it actually is, according to former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell.

Morell sat down with Ben Swann to discuss drones, as well as a wide range of national security issues, including Iraqi WMDs and the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Morell tells Swann that the information the CIA had gathered on Saddam Hussein prior to the Iraq war was convincing but unfortunately was dated.  Morell goes on to say that the CIA did warn the Bush Administration that there was no link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda and that it was the office of Vice President Dick Cheney who pushed the CIA to find a link between the two.

In the interview with Morell, Swann asks about the Seymour Hersh article on the killing of Osama bin Laden.  It is in that conversation that Swann asks a question Morell is unwilling to answer.