Tulsi Gabbard’s Mixed Record

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Tulsi Gabbard’s Mixed Record

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

An undemocratic Dem congresswoman since elected in November 2012, she largely voted along party lines throughout her tenure.

After the February 2014 US coup in Ukraine, replacing democratic governance with illegitimate Nazi-infested fascist rule, Gabbard supported supplying the regime with “military assistance,” shamefully claiming America can’t stand “idly by while Russia continues to degrade the territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

No “Russian aggression” existed then or now. Yet Gabbard disgracefully claimed otherwise, urging “more painful economic sanctions” on Moscow, pretending the regime in Kiev is a “peaceful, sovereign neighbor.”

In July 2017, she supported legislation imposing illegal unilateral US sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea.

She opposes US military involvement in Syria “without adhering to our constitutional requirements.”

After endorsing pro-dirty business as usual Bernie Sanders for president in 2016, she supported war criminal/racketeer Hillary after her nomination – a woman I called the most ruthlessly dangerous presidential aspirant in US history.

In 2016, anti-war activists praised Gabbard’s Stop Arming Terrorists Act (SATA), at the time saying:

“(W)hen it comes to the war against terrorists, I’m a hawk. When it comes to counterproductive wars of regime change, I’m a dove.”

She opposed condemning Bashar al-Assad, saying targeting him was “a thinly veiled attempt to use the rationale of ‘humanitarianism’ as a justification to escalate our illegal, counterproductive war” – its aim to topple him and his government.

Her SATA got scant congressional support. A press release introducing it said it “would prohibit the US government from using American taxpayer dollars to provide funding, weapons, training, and intelligence support to groups like the Levant Front, Fursan al Ha and other allies of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, al-Qaeda and ISIS, or to countries who are providing direct or indirect support to those same groups.”

On the House floor, she said “(u)nder US law it is illegal for any American to provide money or assistance to al-Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist groups.” 

“If you or I gave money, weapons or support to al-Qaeda or ISIS, we would be thrown in jail. Yet the US government has been violating this law for years, quietly supporting allies and partners of al-Qaeda, ISIL, Jabhat Fateh al Sham and other terrorist groups with money, weapons, and intelligence support, in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government.”

“The CIA has also been funneling weapons and money through Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and others who provide direct and indirect support to groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda.” 

“This support has allowed al-Qaeda and their fellow terrorist organizations to establish strongholds throughout Syria, including in Aleppo.”

In January 2017, she spent a week in Damascus, Aleppo and Beirut, witnessing firsthand the impact of war on the Syrian people.

There are no so-called moderate rebels involved in the conflict, she said, adding: “That is a fact.” They’re all terrorists, “trying to overthrow Assad.”

She met with him in Damascus, on return expressing “even greater resolve to end our illegal war to overthrow the Syrian government.”

She met with ordinary Syrians, “heard heartbreaking stories of how this war has devastated their lives.” Asked why America is helping ISIS, al-Nusra and other terrorist groups, “I had no answer,” she said, adding:

“From Iraq to Libya and now in Syria, the US has waged wars of regime change, each resulting in unimaginable suffering, devastating loss of life, and the strengthening of groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS.”

On July 18, she and Walter Jones introduced HR 922 – “Defining presidential wars not declared by Congress under Article I, section 8, clause 11 (Declare War Clause) as impeachable ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ within the meaning of Article II, section 4 of the Constitution and defining the meanings of war and cobelligerency for purposes of the Declare War Clause and Impeachment provisions.

115th Congress (2017-2018) | Get alerts.”

Gabbard and Jones did the right thing but should have gone further. Only Security Council members may authorize war by one country or countries on other nations – not presidents, Congress, or the courts.

Yet Gabbard was correct saying “(f)or decades, Congress has ceded its Constitutional responsibility of deciding whether or not to declare war, to the President.” 

“As a result, we have found ourselves in a state of perpetual war, without a declaration of war by Congress and without input from the American people.” 

“Since 9/11 alone, our country has spent trillions of dollars on interventionist regime change wars, costing the lives of many Americans, taking a toll on our veterans, and causing people in our communities to struggle and suffer due to a lack of resources.” 

“Our bipartisan resolution aims to end presidential wars, and hold Congress accountable so it does its job in making the serious and costly decision about whether or not to send our nation’s sons and daughters to war.”

The resolution is admirable despite having no chance to become law. The vast majority of House and Senate members are pro-endless wars of aggression, anti-peace.

They support wealth, power and privilege exclusively, an agenda harming ordinary people in America and abroad.

A Final Comment

In October 2017, Gabbard opposed reimposing sanctions on  Iran, at the time saying the Islamic Republic is fully complying with JCPOA provisions.

It “should be certified as such,” she said, adding “(w)alking away from this deal…would have far-reaching negative implications.”

Following Trump’s pullout in May, they’ve been unfolding in plain sight.

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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”


Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.