When asked on Monday if she will “stop U.S.-supported murder” as president, candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren said, “I like your frame on this.”
Warren, D-Mass., made the comment Monday in a town hall at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, where she addressed a crowd of hundreds of students, faculty members and residents.
During the town hall, a man identified as Isaiah is heard saying, “The office of the president also has an amazing responsibility to people outside of the United States given the power and position, and right now the United States is bombing at least seven countries.”
“Columbia economist Jeffrey Sachs reported that between 2017 and 2018, United States sanctions on Venezuela caused over 40,000 deaths. And we also have sanctions on many other countries like Iran, North Korea, and you can name many more.
“So, I’m wondering, as president, will you stop U.S.-supported murder, whether it’s through sanctions, arms support or boots on the ground?”
Warren then immediately responded by saying, “So, I like your frame on this.”
“You know,” she continued, “here’s how I see this. [If] we want to be a great nation, lead the world, then we need to live our values every single day. And that means we don’t support, for example, what’s going on in Yemen. The worst man-made humanitarian crisis in generations.”
Warren went on to say, “And yet, we continue to support the Saudis as this war goes on and on and on. Children die, people die by the thousands, by the tens of thousands in this country. We need to say no. We need to be willing to back up. We need to bring our combat troops home.”
Almost 100,000 people have been killed since 2015 as the Yemen war rages on, according to data unveiled by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) this summer.
The report – which collated statistics in partnership with the Yemen Data Project – charts the number of civilian deaths since the beginning of the Saudi-led coalition intervention in their neighboring country in March 2015.
The United Nations has for more than a year declared it to be “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.”
“A great nation does not fight endless wars. We should not be in combat in Afghanistan, we should not be in combat in the Middle East. This is not where we should be,” Warren added, as the crowd applauded.
She then went on to talk about foreign policy.
“We have military, we have a great military. We have people who have signed up to make the ultimate sacrifice. Their families sacrifice for them to be there,” Warren said. “There are people who will do whatever we ask them to do. But we should not ask our military to solve non-military problems.”
“And the example of that is Afghanistan,” she added.
Warren went on to say, “The Afghan government controls less than 60 percent of land mass in Afghanistan after 16 years of our being there and losing our own people and losing so many Afghans in it.”
She said the poppy and heroin trade is bigger than ever.
Warren went on to say, “We need to think about our diplomatic tools, we need a state department that has diplomats, people on the ground who understand the language, the economy, the local politics, we need to use our economic tools.”
American soldiers for five years battled alongside Kurdish-led fighters and succeeded in bringing down the rule of the Islamic State group across a third of Syria at the cost of thousands of Kurdish fighters’ lives.
Trump initially announced his intention late last year to begin withdrawing troops from Syria, a decision that prompted the resignations of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Brett McGurk, special presidential envoy for the global coalition to defeat ISIS.
At the time, there were about 2,000 American troops deployed to Syria.
The U.S. pullout announced last month largely abandoned Syrian Kurdish allies who have fought the Islamic State group alongside U.S. troops for several years. Between 200 and 300 U.S. troops are to remain at the southern Syrian outpost of Al-Tanf.
“We want to be a great nation, we got to know the difference between dictators and stop sucking up to dictators,” Warren said as she continued to answer Isaiah’s question on Monday. “And our allies, we should be friendlier to Canada than we are to North Korea.”
“But for me, that’s the heart of it. We’ve got to be a country that’s willing to get out there and recognize the worth and dignity of every human being. To work with our allies to try to make this a safer world.”
According to a set of new surveys from The New York Times Upshot and Siena College, Trump leads Warren but trails former Vice President Joe Biden in the battleground states likeliest to decide if he’ll win reelection, The Times reported on Monday.
Fox News’ Hollie McKay, Andrew O’Reilly and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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