In an interview with The Intercept, Bernie Sanders delivers some much needed perspective into the US foreign policy debates.
“I consider [Saudi Arabia] to be an undemocratic country that has supported terrorism around the world, it has funded terrorism. … They are not an ally of the United States.”
The Vermont senator accused the “incredibly anti-democratic” Saudis of “continuing to fund madrasas” and spreading “an extremely radical Wahhabi doctrine in many countries around the world.”
Speaking to The Intercept, Sanders called for a “rethink, in terms of American foreign policy … vis-a-vis Iran and Saudi Arabia.” The senator suggested the United States should consider a pivot toward long-standing adversary Iran and away from traditional ally Saudi Arabia. The latter, he claimed, “has played a very bad role internationally, but we have sided with them time and time and time again, and yet Iran, which just held elections, Iran, whose young people really want to reach out to the West, we are … continuing to put them down.”
In a wide-ranging interview ahead of his set-piece speech on foreign policy in Fulton, Missouri, on Thursday morning, the independent senator said the United States is “complicit” in Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories and said he would be willing to consider voting to cut U.S. aid to the Jewish state. He also offered tentative support for a “face-to-face” meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un; described U.S. drone strikes against innocent civilians as one of the “root causes” of terrorism; and called for a re-examination of U.S. foreign policy “unilateralism.”
Asked if he agreed with ESPN’s Jemele Hill and The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates, who have both called Trump a “white supremacist,” Sanders said he preferred to use the word “racist” to describe the president.