Whatever happened to the old radically antiwar Bernie Sanders?

He’s no longer challenging the establishment, he’s endorsing it.

Bernie Sanders’ radicalism has long inspired his fans and been a target of his foes. The self-described socialist, who some saw as the leftwing version of the staunch antiwar libertarian Ron Paul, was considered to be radically opposed to war for most of his career.

In the wake of the 2020 U.S. assassination of Iranian military leader Qassim Suleimani under President Donald Trump, The Nation’s Jeet Heer wrote, “Sanders is the candidate best positioned to use the ramping up of hostilities in the Middle East as an opportunity to highlight his alternative policy. He’s had a long record as an anti-war activist, going back to the Vietnam War. In 2016, he gained some traction by contrasting his vote against the Iraq War with Hillary Clinton’s vote in favor. In the current race, Sanders has staked out a radical foreign policy that includes ending the forever wars…”

Throughout his presidential campaigns, Sanders’ opposition to the Iraq War was constantly compared with Clinton’s vote for it. If you were Left and wanted an anti-establishment leader, Bernie was your guy. He was fearless. Sanders pulled no punches.

Until now.

Here’s what the supposedly brazen revolutionary recently had to say about the Ukraine conflict and the U.S. role in it.

Independent journalist and very much left-leaning personality Glenn Greenwald observed:

This is not an unconventional stance on the Left at the moment. It is different for Sanders given his past views and the current views of a number of his antiwar peers.

For example, here’s where Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the feminist antiwar group Code Pink, stands:

Here’s where legendary lefty intellectual Noam Chomsky lands on this:

Even Ralph Nader recognizes billions of U.S. dollars – with the full blessing of the Biden administration – are simply going to the military-industrial complex:

Granted, most of the Democratic Party, including the once reliably antiwar members of the far-left “Squad,” seem to have bought the Biden narrative on this conflict. The harcore progressive Left attempted to retreat to their old antiwar ways briefly in October of last year – calling for diplomacy – but then immediately retracted that approach seemingly due to party pressure.


The current broad mainstream Democratic stance is that the U.S. must continue to endlessly fund Ukraine in their battle against their Russian aggressor until Ukraine wins.

But neither side can “win.”

At the moment, the most current political resistance you will find to the U.S. proxy war with Russia is on the Right.

That large faction of conservatives along with the minority of old school antiwar figures cited here all note that, as a practical matter, this is an unwinnable war with negotiations being the only reasonable end.

But for our purposes here, the same handful of old school antiwar types cited in this piece… THEY were Sanders’ people. They are, or were, the types of high profile Left thinkers and activists who supported him so feverishly. They were the intellectual hearts and souls of his populist movement.

He was ONE OF THEM, not only in political temperament, but generationally.

Now his response to the most pressing foreign policy issue of the moment that the U.S. continues to play a major role in is somewhere between ‘I haven’t been paying attention’ and ‘Biden’s got this?’

On this issue, Sanders has gone full establishment.

Hillary and Bernie currently agree on America’s most major foreign policy front. No more contrasting Sanders with Clinton.

And for now, apparently no more antiwar Bernie Sanders.

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Jack Hunter
Jack Hunterhttp://LibertyTree.com
Jack Hunter is a freelance writer, the co-author of Sen. Rand Paul’s 2011 book ‘The Tea Party Goes to Washington’ and the former politics editor for Rare.us.