- The Washington Times - Friday, January 3, 2020

Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont said Friday that President Trump’s decision to launch the airstrike that reportedly killed Iran’s top security and intelligence commander has “tragically” put the nation on a path to another war that could pull more money away from programs that could address the needs of the American people.

Mr. Sanders, a top contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, told voters in Iowa the United States would be better off focusing on doing the difficult job of working with the international community “to end conflicts, to end the threat of war - not to promote war as President Trump is doing.”

“This is how the true power of the United States is shown and that is how I will use American power as president,” Mr. Sanders said, drawing applause from the crowd in Anamosa.

Mr. Sanders, who voted against the Iraq War and opposed the nation’s involvement in the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, said it is time for Congress to “reassert its constitutional authority over matters of war” and “commit to ending the U.S. military presence in the Middle East in an orderly manner - not through a Tweet.”

The 78-year-old has been a vocal critic of Mr. Trump’s decision to authorize a drone strike that killed Qassem Suleimani Friday in Iraq.

General Suleimani has been accused of masterminding the deaths of hundreds of American troops during the Iraq War.

Mr. Sanders said Mr. Trump has worsened the situation in the Middle East.

He said Mr. Trump was wrong to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement the Obama administration hammered out that called for Tehran to freeze its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

“The wise course would have been to stick with that nuclear agreement, enforce those provisions and use that diplomatic channel with Iran to address a wide range of concerns - including their support of terrorism,” Mr. Sanders said.

“Unfortunately, Trump ignored the advice of his own security officials…and listened to right-wing extremists, some of whom were exactly the same people who got us into the war in Iraq in the first place,” he said. “As we all remember Trump promised to end endless wars, tragically his actions now put us on the path to another war - potentially one that could be even worse than before.”

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