Why Sanders, Schiff and their cronies have never met a war they didn’t like ~ an enVolve exclusive
If you were born in the last 40 or 50 years then no doubt you can recall when the Democratic party was hyped as the party of peace and were (for the most part) decidedly anti-war and vehemently opposed to what was referred to as the Military Industrial Complex. So what’s changed? It seems that Liberals like avowed Socialist Bernie Sanders and Clinton stooge Adam Schiff have discovered that war and the weapons used to wage it have a significant profit margin.
Whereas support for the military is obviously an admirable trait in a politician, support for the Military Industrial Complex is not necessarily the same thing. In fact supporting the Defense Industry can sometimes be the polar opposite of supporting the soldier.
In an article titled “How Liberals Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Military Industrial Complex” written by Alan Macleod and publish on “minipressnews.com” Macleod explains that:
“… Liberals and progressives have traditionally been more critical of war and militarism than their conservative counterparts. But in the age of Trump, everything seems up for debate, and the media is trying to sell the military industrial complex to a more discerning, liberal audience.”
It would seem as if the “liberal audience” mentioned above is listening and has learned to love the Defense Industry, especially the members of which contribute huge sums to the campaigns of liberal politicians. This would seem to explain how Bernie Sanders has leveraged himself to become the leading benefactor of political contributions (on the right or left) from Defense Contractors as revealed in an article appearing on “The American Conservative” website. In the article entitled “Defense Industry Gives More to Bernie Than Any 2020 Candidate” the author of the article Winslow T. Wheeler points out the disturbing fact that:
“Among the top five defense contractors (Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and General Dynamics), Sanders typically out-collected Trump by multiples. His receipts from Lockheed Martin and Boeing more than doubled Trump’s; his intake from General Dynamics was almost threefold that of the president and his contributions from Northrop Grumman about fivefold. Only in the case of Raytheon did he fail to at least double the president’s take.
Sanders also out-collected all of his Democratic rivals. His total defense industry contributions ($172,803) roughly doubled those of Buttigieg ($88,494) and Elizabeth Warren ($83,429), and more than tripled those of Joe Biden ($49,540). The rest fall even further behind. He also out-collected his Democratic rivals among each of the top five defense corporations, except in the case of Raytheon, which gave Buttigieg 8 percent more.”
As Wheeler points out, this money does not come from PACs, but rather
….it all comes from what the OpenSecrets.org data show as “Individuals,” who are allowed to give only up to the federally allowed limit of $2,800 per election. Thus, the money shown from corporations like Lockheed Martin is from individual donors who specified an association with Lockheed Martin in the paperwork associated with their contribution.
This is an important distinction, Elizabeth Warren has recently been lambasted by both sides of the aisle for her abandonment of the resolution endorsed by all Democratic Presidential Candidates which committed the candidates to refusing PAC donations for their campaigns (as outlined by “NPR”), the method by which Sanders accepts these defense industry donations allows him to deny the use of PAC funding and after all, who ever heard of a hypocritical liberal (or Socialist or Democratic Socialist or whatever Sanders calls himself these days)?
Sander’s collecting the majority of defense contractors dollars is alarming, but you need look no farther than the 2016 election to note the last time the Defense Industry backed a progressive candidate over Donald Trump. That candidate was the infamous Hillary Clinton. Writing for “The American Spectator” during the 2016 Presidential campaign Jeremy Lott opined:
Military contractors are overwhelmingly favoring Hillary Clinton for president with their political contributions this year. Though Republicans normally enjoy a slight fundraising advantage here, she currently leads Donald Trump 5-to-1 among donations from employees of the top 25 firms in this extremely lucrative, highly government dependent industry.
An article in Politico last week tried to put a good face on this for Clinton. One consultant called Trump a “totally unknown quantity” and “scary.” Unnamed “defense watchers” say that Clinton “offers what weapons makers crave most: predictability.”
Can it be that the defense industry finds Sanders more “predictable” and more prone to initiate military intervention than Trump?
Sanders and Clinton are hardly the only Liberal politicians to benefit from the Defense Industry’s largess – Adam Schiff who acts as an antagonist against all things Trump is another liberal who benefits significantly from his ties to the Defense Industry, Schiff’s military adventurism is explained in a recent article appearing in “Jacobin Magazine” entitled “Who is Adam Schiff” Branko Marcetic writes that:
Schiff’s hawkishness isn’t limited to Russia. He voted for the original AUMF that has served as the legal basis for the war in Afghanistan and all other aspects of the “war on terror” since. He was an early supporter of the Iraq War, joining twenty-eight other Democrats in handing Bush the keys to invade Iraq, and he insisted on staying the course for much of the 2000s. He also backed Obama’s war in Libya, pushed for the military destruction of ISIS, and called for “greater involvement” in Syria, including setting up a “no-fly zone.”
The article goes on to explain that:
Perhaps not surprisingly, Schiff’s list of campaign contributors in recent years is littered with the names of prominent defense contractors. Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Orbital ATK, Harris Corporation, and Raytheon all make an appearance. The latter has given the California representative a total of $64,015 over the course of his career, and in 2013, its PAC held a fundraiser for him at the Verizon Center headlined by Beyoncé. That same year, Schiff was treated to a fundraiser by Igor Pasternak, a blimp manufacturer who returned to Ukraine and, inspired by the 2014 revolution, began working with the country’s defense ministry.
Elizabeth Warren is another Presidential wannabee who has her own ties to the Defense Industry. Warren who became extremely wealthy defending big corporations in court (while lambasting them in public) has enacted the same strategy with the defense industry. In his recent article in “The Daily Beast” Lachlan Markay discusses the fact that although portraying herself as an enemy to military spending, her history doesn’t quite jive with that. Markay writes that
Warren’s campaign portrayed her recent hostility as a presidential candidate to the industry as perfectly in line with her legislative work. “Continuing her work in the Senate, Elizabeth will fight to end the intense coziness between defense contractors and the Pentagon as president,” campaign spokeswoman Saloni Sharma said in an emailed statement. “She has a plan to end the influence of defense contractors so we can start making deep cuts to our bloated defense budget.”
But when it comes to projects more specific to her own state, Warren has often operated like the traditional politicians she often decries. In 2017, Warren secured $138.5 million in pork for a handful of military projects in the state, including improvements to multiple Massachusetts bases and $45 million in new Army research funding. That funding, Warren hoped, would end up at advanced research facilities like Natick’s Army Soldier Systems Center.
Peter Schweizer’s excellent book “Profiles in Corruption” has an exhaustive chapter on the depth of Warren’s hypocrisy in her dealings with Wall Street and the Military Industrial Complex.
Surprisingly, it is not just liberal politicians who continue to advocate for global military action – whether as an appeasement to the corporate donors that they are so beholden to (as is the case with Sanders, Warren and Schiff) or just to see a big bump in the prices of stocks they own (some or all of which were purchased with the knowledge that military actions would cause their stocks to rise significantly and quickly – looking at you Nancy Pelosi) but Trump’s hesitancy to commit US Forces to each and every military venture cooked up around the world (say, Syria) has actually led to the growth of the Never Trump movement.
One time prominent (or at least well known) “Conservatives” such as Max Boot have turned their backs on the Republican Party (for which we are ever thankful) in part because Trump was not hawkish enough.
Regarding some of these Never Trumpers, Sarah K. Burkis’ addressed their current love affair with the Democratic party in an article aptly entitled “Here are 4 conservatives we’d like to go back to hating after Trump is gone” which appeared in “Raw Story” (hardly a Conservative publication) :
Boot was never part of the really old guard of warhawks, but he spent most of President Barack Obama’s term assailing the president for trying to draw down troops in Iraq. He was one of many voices that proclaimed “they hate our freedom.”
To make matters worse, Boot seemed to support that the US should endeavor to replicate in Asia “the sort of enlightened foreign administration once provided by self-confident Englishmen in jodhpurs and pith helmets.”
She continues by discussing the aforementioned Billy Kristol
“Kristol tirelessly advocated for the disastrous 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, which badly damaged the GOP in the minds of American voters,”
Kristol actually did a lot more than that, he advocated for military intervention everywhere and anywhere. In his "Breitbart" article about Kristol entitled "Bill Kristol: Republican Spoiler and Renegade Jew" David Horowitz writes:
…Contrary to Kristol, far from being a non-interventionist, Obama conducted two interventions against dictators in Egypt and Libya with disastrous consequences. The intervention in Libya, which Kristol supported, has created two million refugees, hundreds of thousands of corpses, and a terrorist state. One might suppose that a little re-thinking of interventionism would be in order. Trump’s readiness to rethink interventionism is hardly the same as Obama’s strategy of retreat and surrender.
President Trump is certainly no dove, nor is he hesitant to commit American military resources where necessary. What he is NOT is in a position where he is beholden to the Military Industrial Complex for anything. This gives him the ability to access military action WITHOUT concern as to what failure to take action would do to his stock portfolio and that is something for which all Americans should be eternally grateful.