Trump's in-kind contribution to Bernie
Trump's claim that the general had to be taken down to abort an "imminent" attack on Americans, including attacks on not one but four U.S. embassies, is being derided. The justice of killing the general seems less the issue now than the wisdom of the act, and a storm is brewing over whether Trump and his aides have been dissembling.
Nancy Pelosi has already pushed through the House a nonbinding resolution asserting that Trump has no authority to carry out acts of war against Iran without Congress' consent. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Trump supporter from Florida, stunned the president by voting for the Pelosi resolution.
Sen. Mike Lee broke with Trump to denounce the briefing that Congress received, about attacks on Americans being imminent, as both contemptuous and the worst briefing he ever had.
The general may have gotten the justice he deserved in that SUV departing Baghdad airport, but the unintended consequences of his execution are now coming in.
Trump has elevated the Middle East wars as a major issue in 2020, not his strong suit. For, as the military says, "The enemy gets a vote!" as to how much blood, including American blood, will be shed in 2020.
Also, by sending the 82nd Airborne to Kuwait and Iraq, Trump underscored the truth: We are still mired in the "endless wars" of the Middle East despite his promise to extricate us.
Fractures have appeared in the conservative-populist coalition that put Trump in office. War Party interventionists, who have long sought to have the United States do to Iran what Bush 43 did to Iraq, are exhilarated by what they believe the Soleimani killing portends -- an inevitable war with Iran.
Trump has also energized the anti-war majority in the Democratic Party, specifically the candidacy of Bernie Sanders, whose anti-war and anti-interventionist credentials are as long-standing and solid as is his fidelity to socialism.
Sanders voted against both the Bush II Iraq War that Sen. Joe Biden voted to support, and George H.W. Bush's Desert Storm expulsion of the Iraqi army from Kuwait.
With the killing of the general and the possibility of a U.S.-Iran war rising, Bernie is the Democratic candidate whose anti-war credentials are the longest and strongest and whose position of avoiding war with Iran is most in sync with the majority of the party he seeks to lead.
Sanders could ride anti-war sentiment to victory in Iowa and New Hampshire and have the wind behind him going into South Carolina and Super Tuesday.
His socialism may be a bridge too far for most Americans, and an insuperable obstacle to his ever becoming president, but should he win the nomination, he could occupy in 2020 the space Trump occupied in 2016, as the anti-interventionist, anti-war candidate.
And if Bernie ran a "Come Home, America" campaign, half a century after the slogan's author, George McGovern, lost in history's largest landslide, Sanders could change the face and future of American politics.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever." To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.Copyright 2020 Creators Syndicate Inc.