Politics

Bernie Sanders says it’s time to bring the troops home

Photo of Laura Donovan
Laura Donovan
Contributor

Vermont Sen. and self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders came to the nation’s capital on Tuesday to promote his new book and discuss politics with D.C.-area residents.

Sanders, who famously delivered an 8-hour speech on the senate floor late last year in opposition to extending the Bush-era tax cuts, appeared at D.C.’s Busboys and Poets eatery to read excerpts from his book, “The Speech: A Historic Filibuster on Corporate Greed and the Decline of Our Middle Class.”

Upon joking to audience members that he’d finally stop talking and begin the Q&A session at 4 a.m., Sanders took questions from attendees.

When asked by The Daily Caller what Osama bin Laden’s death means for the war on terror, Sanders said the question needed to be re-phrased.

TheDC went on to question whether the war on terror would pose more dangers for the United States.

“One can’t predict that,” Sanders told TheDC. “Look, you got a guy out there, and one doesn’t know in the last few years how actively he was involved in terrorist movements because he was kind of isolated, and we’ll learn more about that I suspect in the next few weeks.”

Sanders stressed the importance of eliminating Osama bin Laden.

“But this is a guy who not only on 9/11…killed thousands and thousands of innocent men and women and children, and I think the world is better off without him,” Sanders said.

Sanders said he feels the same way about the situation in Afghanistan as he did before the announcement of bin Laden’s killing.

“My view didn’t really change the day before he was killed or the day after. We have been there for ten years, and I was in Afghanistan a couple of months ago,” Sanders said. “The goal here in Afghanistan is to make sure that this Taliban never again assumes power, that would be very bad for a wide variety of reasons.”

Regardless of al-Qaeda’s destructive nature, Sanders says the U.S. needs to remove its troops from the area.

“After ten long years, I believe that the time now is to bring our troops home as quickly as we possibly can,” Sanders said.

Addressing the fact that he spoke for nearly eight hours without using the restroom, Sanders said he wouldn’t reveal how he managed to do it.

“That’s my secret, I’m not telling,” Sanders said. “The answer is, my profound answer is, it’s hard…Interestingly enough, the after-effect hit me pretty hard when I found myself very, very tired.”

This article has been updated. An earlier version of this story misstated that Sanders expressed opposition to the war on terror, but Sanders’s communications director Michael Briggs says this is an inaccurate claim.