Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders said President Barack Obama was “right” in saying that the Islamic State group will be destroyed by a global coalition in which Muslim forces on the ground get support from world powers. Obama gave the address Sunday, days after the San Bernardino, California, shooting, suspected to have been carried out by two ISIS supporters.
In his speech, Obama said that a number of Muslims across the world have been victims of terrorist attacks. He added that Muslim communities should be seen as “our strongest allies” instead of being shunned through suspicion and hate.
“President Obama is right. ISIS will be destroyed with an international coalition in which Muslim troops on the ground are supported by the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia and other leading powers. We must learn the lesson of Iraq. American troops should not be engaged in perpetual warfare in the Middle East. Further, as we destroy ISIS, it is essential that we do not allow fear and division to undermine the constitutional rights that make us a free people,” Sanders said, in a statement.
In November, Sanders called for a new coalition of the U.S. with its closest allies, Russia and some Arab nations to defeat the ISIS and al Qaeda. He stressed that Muslim countries should fight the ISIS with strong support from their global partners.
“We must create an organization like NATO to confront the security threats of the 21st century -- an organization that emphasizes cooperation and collaboration to defeat the rise of violent extremism and importantly to address the root causes underlying these brutal acts,” Sanders said at the time.
The 74-year-old Vermont senator had also criticized several U.S. allies, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, saying they have “contributed far too little in the fight against ISIS.” Sanders noted that Qatar spent a reported $200 billion on the 2022 FIFA World Cup, “yet very little to fight against ISIS.”