Bernie Sanders has defended his rival for the Democratic presidential 2020 nomination, Elizabeth Warren, after her policy against pre-emptive use of America’s nuclear weapons was attacked by the daughter of one of the architects of the Iraq war.
Warren reiterated her support for a “no first use” policy on nuclear weapons during the second round of Democratic presidential debates this week.
“It makes the world safer,” the Massachusetts senator said during the debate. “The United States is not going to use nuclear weapons pre-emptively, and we need to say so to the entire world.”
Liz Cheney, a Republican congresswoman from Wyoming, attacked Warren’s policy on Twitter, asking “which American cities and how many American citizens are you willing to sacrifice with your policy of forcing the US to absorb a nuclear attack before we can strike back?”
Cheney is the daughter of former vice-president Dick Cheney, a key advocate of the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States and its allies.
The Bush administration’s primary justification for the pre-emptive war, that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and that his regime presented an escalating threat, was discredited after the invasion.
The war in Iraq, now in its 16th year, has resulted in an estimated 200,000 documented civilian deaths from violence, according to Iraq Body Count, although estimates vary widely, particularly estimates that factor in hundreds of thousands of additional war-related civilian deaths. More than 4,000 members of the US military have been killed.