It is dribbling into the press that Bernie Sanders applied for Conscientious Objector status during the Viet Nam War. At the time he believed in pacifism.
Something he still does, but with a strong corollary. It has to be clear that diplomacy comes first, and going it alone is not an option. If a battle to defend this country is necessary or if some monstrous genocidal slaughter is occurring, this country must put a halt to it with a committed alliance of other like minded countries. He has stated he believes in a strong military.
He voted against the first Iraq War(The Gulf War) because he thought enough of a coalition of forces had been assembled so Hussein would withdraw from Kuwait. Indeed Saddam was retreating before the first bombs were dropped on his forces. Senator Sanders had taken a correct stance.
Kuwait also had an oppressive regime, and was slant drilling for oil in Iraqi territory. The American Ambassador at the time intimated in a letter that the US does not interfere in Arab/Arab conflicts. Saddam took it as a green light to invade, and he did. Iraq was in desperate shape after a war with Iran, and needed money from oil. Not only did Kuwait steal his oil, but glutted the market driving the price down. The two oppressive dictators had the habit of taunting each other.
But on with the original story. His application was denied, and he was never drafted because of his age. In the end he was not a draft dodger. He honored the decision of the US Draft Board, and continued to protest the war on American soil. So, in effect, IA was what remained on his draft card, ready to defend this country, but not in senseless wars if he could help it within the law.
Bernie Sanders no longer demonstrates in the streets for peace, and has learned when armies should be enlisted to invade a country. He voted for the Afghan War. He had hope that George W. had some sense how to conduct the war. He goofed on that one.
For sure it made the Senator dead set against invading Iraq a second time, understanding the duplicity and incompetence of President Bush II much better.
So can someone who applied, but not granted CO remaining IA status, be commander-in-chief. I say a resounding yes, given the context of that war, and the refinement of how he thinks this country should be protected.
He would have the people of our fighting force in mind if for some reason that dreadful decision would have to be made again. He will be open with the American people. Only the most reliable information would be used to show war was necessary, and that it was a last resort.
I leave you with Mark Twain’s “War Prayer