Of all the Democratic presidential hopefuls, I’m most exited about Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Democrat of Hawaii, because she has the potential to blow open the debate on US foreign policy and empire.
“There’s one main issue that is central to the rest, and that is the issue of war and peace”, said Gabbard, appearing on CNN on January 12, where she declared for the presidency.
Gabbard is one of the few Democrats in the 2020 mix who has experience as a combatant in war. In 2004, she volunteered for duty with the Hawaii National Guard as it was deployed to Iraq.
However, Gabbard is different than the type of military, and intelligence veterans that the DNC ran in 2018, in that she has been an outspoken critic of US foreign policies of regime-change and use of terrorists like al Qaeda and ISIS. She has even introduced HR 608, Stop Arming Terrorists, bill in Congress, in an effort to force the issue.
In 2018, Gabbard delivered a courageous speech on the House floor just two days after the nation memorialized 9/11, where she slammed Washington’s longtime support to anti-Assad jihadists in Syria, while also sounding the alarm over the current build-up of tensions between the US and Russia in the Middle-East.
“Two days ago, President Trump and Vice President Pence delivered solemn speeches about the attacks on 9/11, talking about how much they care about the victims of al-Qaeda’s attack on our country. But, they are now standing up to protect the 20,000 to 40,000 al-Qaeda and other jihadist forces in Syria, and threatening Russia, Syria, and Iran, with military force if they dare attack these terrorists.
This is a betrayal of the American people, especially the victims of al-Qaeda’s attack on 9/11 and their families, first responders, and my brothers and sisters in uniform who have been killed or wounded in action and their families. For the President, who is Commander in Chief, to act as the protective big brother of al-Qaeda and other jihadists must be condemned by every Member of Congress.”
Not only is Gabbard a dark horse candidate for president but she’s an outlier in a Democratic Party that’s become increasingly belligerent since the election of Donald Trump.
Writing in The Intercept on January 11, Glenn Greenwald summed up the new tendency in the Democratic Party: “What’s happening here is far more insidious. A core ethos of the anti-Trump #Resistance has become militarism, jingoism, and neoconservatism. Trump is frequently attacked by Democrats using longstanding Cold War scripts wielded for decades against them by the far right: Trump is insufficiently belligerent with U.S. enemies; he’s willing to allow the Bad Countries to take over by bringing home U.S. soldiers.”
It’s hard to say if average Democrats are pro-war or if it’s just knee-jerk opposition to Trump. If Trump says he wants to get out of Syria and to draw down in Afghanistan, well, that’s the cue for Democrats to take the opposite position. Such is the team Red vs team Blue, kayfabe that passes for political discourse here in the homeland.
For all his faults, Trump came into office promising to dial back tensions with Russia, while severely criticizing US regime-change policies. Now, thanks to the constant drum-beat of Russia-gate, led by erstwhile liberals like Rachel Maddow, Trump has turned out to be just like Obama, who turned out to be just like Bush. Apparently, it doesn’t matter much who sits in the White House or which political party controls Congress, the same political forces are dominant and the same neocon inspired foreign policy is implemented.
I’ve been warning since the beginnings of Russia-gate that it would end up devouring progressive policies and create a dangerous new Cold War, but here we are. And now, even as America’s 2020 presidential race is barely in its infancy, we’re already beginning to see Russiagate used to smear anyone to the left of Hillary Clinton as Russian dupes.
The first example is from the Twitter account for the Russiagate documentary Active Measures, and it received thousands of shares: “Bernie was the one Democrat not to vote to keep sanctions on Deripaska (he also voted against Russia sanctions and Magnitsky),” the post reads. “@SenSanders won’t stand up to billionaires in Russia and he wants you to to believe he’ll stand up to them in America. #fraud”
The second comes from professional linguist and engineer John Rehling, who has over 50 thousand Twitter followers, and it received hundreds of shares: “Kamala Harris is immediately the front runner for the Democratic nomination, and if Russia is predictable, they will create armies of bots attacking her from the *left*,” reads Rehling’s (now deleted) tweet. “If you’re left of Kamala Harris, I’m sure you are honestly, but you’ll be doing Putin’s work, like it or not.”
I’m a Russian-bot?
I guess that’s why I’ve developed a raging thirst for vodka.
Seriously, if Gabbard’s candidacy catches on enough for her to become a threat to the national security consensus in Washington, expect to see more of this. Gabbard is one of the very few politicians to not only acknowledge but criticize US foreign policies of regime change, where we employ Sunni or Nazi terrorists to overthrow governments that our plutocratic owners oppose.
You can also expect to hear more about how Gabbard is an Assad sympathizer, the “butcher of Syria,” and also, of course, under the spell of Vladimir Putin, the devil incarnate in the eyes not just of Clintonite liberals, but also of the anti-Trump “conservatives” who have overrun CNN, MSNBC and FOX, and all of the national security state “experts” that are on all day on these increasingly unwatchable cable networks.
Update: This is your bi-partisan foreign policy America.
“The establishment as a whole, from left to right, are joined at the hip with Trump in their rank hypocrisy and subservience to the war by any and all means caucus. Every fraud who has been droning on and on about Russia interfering in US’s elections should crawl back under the rock they crawled out from given that the same neoliberal mob are currently waving pompoms while Trump and the permanent-state bureaucracy meddle in the affairs of Venezuela. We can’t say that we were not warned, these are the same perils that Eisenhower spoke about during his farewell address.”
Update #2: This is your democracy America.
“Tulsi Gabbard should be awarded zero opportunity to participate in a DNC debate. Absolutely none. I’m sure she has this in the back of her mind, so let’s just get that out of the way.”