source: Democracy Now
And it seems to me to be time for the American people, or for those aspiring to be the next commander-in-chief, to take stock of this military involvement in the region, which has been going on for decades now, and to ask, "How are we doing? Are we winning? What are the prospects?" And to pose those questions in a serious way would, I think, contribute to a conclusion that the militarization of U.S. policy in that part of the world has been utterly counterproductive and is making things worse, not better.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: There’s some difference of opinion with Secretary Clinton on this. Our differences are fairly deep on this issue. We disagreed on the war in Iraq. We both listened to the information from Bush and Cheney. I voted against the war.
But I think—and I say this with due respect—that I worry too much that Secretary Clinton is too much into regime change and a little bit too aggressive without knowing what the unintended consequences might be. Yes, we could get rid of Saddam Hussein, but that destabilized the entire region. Yes, we could get rid of Gaddafi, a terrible dictator, but that created a vacuum for ISIS. Yes, we could get rid of Assad tomorrow, but that would create another political vacuum that would benefit ISIS. So I think, yeah, regime change is easy, getting rid of dictators is easy. But before you do that, you’ve got to think about what happens the day after.
HILLARY CLINTON: Now, with all due respect, Senator, you voted for regime change with respect to Libya. You joined the Senate in voting to get rid of Gaddafi, and you asked that there be a Security Council validation of that with a resolution.
All of these are very difficult issues. I know that; I’ve been dealing with them for a long time. And, of course, we have to continue to do what is necessary when someone, like Gaddafi, a despot with American blood on his hands, is overturned. But I’ll tell you what would have happened. If we had not joined with our European partners and our Arab partners to assist the people in Libya, you would be looking at Syria. Now the Libyans are turning their attention to try to dislodge ISIS from its foothold and begin to try to move together to have a unified nation.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: I was not the secretary of state.
DONALD TRUMP: I think Islam hates us. There’s something—there’s something there that—there’s a tremendous hatred there. There’s a tremendous hatred. We have to get to the bottom of it.
DONALD TRUMP: Obviously, the war in Iraq was a big, fat mistake. All right? Now, you can take it anywhere you want. And it took Jeb—it took Jeb Bush, if you remember, at the beginning of his announcement, when he announced for president, took him five days. He went back. It was a mistake, it wasn’t a mistake. Took him five days before his people told him what to say. And he ultimately said it was a mistake. The war in Iraq, we spent $2 trillion, thousands of lives. We don’t even have it. Iran is taking over Iraq, with the second-largest oil reserves in the world. Obviously, it was a mistake.
JOHN DICKERSON: So—
DONALD TRUMP: George Bush made a mistake. We can make mistakes, but that one was a beauty. We should have never been in Iraq. We have destabilized the Middle East.
DONALD TRUMP: I think he’s a total traitor. And I would deal with him harshly. And if I were president, Putin would give him over. I would get along with Putin. I’ve dealt with Russia. Putin hates—
ANDERSON COOPER: You think you’d get along with Putin?
DONALD TRUMP: I think I’d get along with him fine. I think he’d be absolutely fine.