November 16, 2015
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(ANTIMEDIA) Over the weekend, at some point between Friday and Saturday, the Bernie Sanders campaign ended before the second Democratic debate even started. They don’t know it yet; that awkward memo likely hasn’t even been written. #FeeltheBern activists will probably take umbrage at such a declaration, as it’s still early in the campaign season and the senator still has a feverishly passionate base. But rest assured, Sanders’ hopes for the Democratic nomination went out the door when the mainstream media began its around-the-clock “terror” coverage following the 11/13 Paris attacks.
The reason is as simple as accepting that national security and terrorism will once again trump domestic economic issues in the presidential election. However misguided, the 2016 race will hinge largely on who presents the most resonant plan for containing ISIS terror cells. This became abundantly clear when CBS announced it would reconfigure the structure of the second Democratic debate to focus more on international terrorism. This is just the beginning of what will be the dominant issue of the 2016 election.
To be fair, Sanders is in many ways just as hawkish as Hillary Clinton. Additionally, his campaign made a strategic calculation going into the second Democratic debate by arguing that the United States military intervention in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq and Syria, played a huge role in spurring the growth of the terrorists responsible for the deadliest attacks on Paris since World War II. But in these backwards times, our inverted world sees aggression as the only form of containment. The media will push this narrative with rigid uniformity, having already all but declared over the weekend that ISIS is now as big of a threat to national security as Al Qaeda was directly prior to and in the years following 9/11.
If you listen closely, you can already hear a familiar vernacular being trotted out. Shortly after the attacks, President Obama stated the terror attacks constituted “an attack on all of humanity.” Unfortunately, such verbiage describing a global war against radical Islam too often conceals what could also be viewed as a regional struggle that has been fueled by Western countries — including the U.S, the U.K., and France — arming rebel groups in Syria. However, a ‘clash of civilizations’ ideology is more strategically advantageous in justifying permanent military occupations throughout the world.
The Democratic debate was another grim reminder of the permanence of the post-9/11 security state. However, it shouldn’t be forgotten that pro-war rhetoric among Sanders, Clinton, and O’Malley has been accelerating dramatically for the last year. In fact, the ultra pro-war left was already in place well before Friday the 13th. The Paris terror attacks catapulted us into the next phase of the War on Terror and ensures that fear-mongering and xenophobia will continue to be a major part of the geopolitical landscape, as will blaming refugees for terrorist violence — the very reason they must flee.
The Democratic debate began with a moment of silence and proceeded to fill the air with pro-war vitriol. Hillary Clinton vowed that “[the United States] will support those who take the fight to ISIS,” adding that the terrorist group “cannot be contained, it must be defeated.”
Throughout the debate, Clinton consistently returned to her pro-war accolades, even reminding the moderators that the United States government already has an open declaration of war against terrorists left over from 9/11. She repeatedly praised Obama for his military campaigns, including the one that killed Osama Bin Laden, in which Clinton said she played a major role. In a particularly incredible moment that has received considerable attention on social media, Clinton even invoked 9/11 when discussing her campaign’s Wall Street donations and preferential treatment of banks. Specifically, Clinton said,
“I represented New York on September 11 when we were attacked in downtown Manhattan where Wall Street is. I did spend a lot of time helping them rebuild…”
The reference didn’t make a lot of sense, and she was even called out on it later in the broadcast when the moderator displayed an irate Twitter user’s followup to the question:
“I’ve never seen a candidate invoke 9/11 to justify millions of Wall Street donations until now.”
Clinton, perhaps realizing that people with brains were listening to her strange rhetoric, looked annoyed, proceeding to suggest that supporting Wall Street was in some way a measure taken in reaction to the terror attacks that hit the United States nearly 15 years ago. It’s still unclear what precisely she was trying to say.
Bernie Sanders came right out in his first remarks to say the United States “will rid the planet of this barbarous organization called ISIS.”
After more saber-rattling, the senator attempted to differentiate himself from the former Secretary of State by arguing that the Iraq War, which Clinton voted to authorize, created the power vacuum that led to the rise of ISIS in the region. It is this calculation, however justified, that will cause Bernie Sanders to lose the nomination. Sanders even attempted to discuss the role of climate change in fomenting terrorism — a noble cause that will win him zero support in the new ultra pro-war left, which is perfectly content to justify Obama’s prolific military actions (which include military strikes against seven countries). At the risk of sounding reductive, it seems likely that for no other reason than political expediency, the party will nominate a candidate who looks strong on foreign policy. These days, foreign policy means economic imperialism, and war is the lever that ensures we have control over oil and natural gas-rich nations.
Remember that despite everything we knew about the deceptive tyranny of the Iraq War, George W. Bush still won re-election. Why? Because the media, which might as well be viewed as the entertainment wing of the military-industrial-complex, pushed the national security narrative — and that shaped the election. Over a decade later, the media retains the same power, and you can be sure it will reign supreme in selling the American people on the necessity of a permanent war against the Middle East and Arab nations.
This article (Democratic Debate Showcases the New Ultra Pro-War Left) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Jake Anderson and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email firstname.lastname@example.org.