WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders defended his anti-war views forcefully in an interview with the editorial board of the Des Moines Register, the leading newspaper in the important caucus state of Iowa.
"War should be in my view, the last resort of a great nation. We should explore every other option — and I know that opens up the political types: ‘Oh, you’re wimpy. You don’t want to go to war’," Sanders acknowledged in the interview on Thursday.
However, the 73-year-old Senator who opposed the Vietnam War in his youth and the 2003 Iraq War, stood his ground against political media patriots who were not exposed to the risks and costs of war themselves.
"I’m not sympathetic to people who say, ‘Oh yeah, not a problem, we’re gonna go to war," Sanders continued. "I’ve talked to too many people who came home without legs, without eyesight, with traumatic brain injury."
Sanders — who is closing the gap with Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton in politically crucial Iowa — also pointed out that the readiness of the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations to start wars and continue them had proven ruinous to the United States.
"The cost of war is real — not to mention putting us in the hole $3 trillion to $6 trillion," Sanders insisted.
Commenting on Sanders’ remarks, the Huffington Post pointed out that the Vermont Senator had a strong record of fighting for veterans’ care throughout his career.
As chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Sanders in 2014 negotiated a $17 billion agreement to reform the much-criticized US Bureau of Veterans Administration (VA) and reduce backlogs at VA hospitals.
Sanders started out trailing Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton in Iowa by more than 30 percent, but according to a new Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll, he has closed the gap to seven percent, pulling 30 percent support to only 37 percent for Clinton.