Tulsi Gabbard’s Homophobic Remarks Surface

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Tulsi Gabbard’s Homophobic Remarks Surface

Postby seemslikeadream » Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:15 pm

Tulsi Gabbard’s Homophobic Remarks Surface After 2020 Presidential Announcement

The Hawaii Democrat’s previous stance on same-sex marriage has come back to haunt her after she announced her bid for the White House.

Carla Herreria
It’s been one day since Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) announced she was running for president in the 2020 election, and parts of her conservative past are already coming back to haunt her.

Those come in the form of homophobic remarks the congresswoman made over a decade ago. At least twice the Hawaii Democrat publicly called the LGBTQ community and supporters of same-sex marriage “homosexual extremists.”

In one instance in February 2004, Gabbard, at the time a 22-year-old state representative, was testifying against a bill aimed at legalizing same-sex civil unions.

“To try to act as if there is a difference between ‘civil unions’ and same-sex marriage is dishonest, cowardly and extremely disrespectful to the people of Hawaii,” she said. “As Democrats, we should be representing the views of the people, not a small number of homosexual extremists.”

Six months later, Gabbard spoke more candidly while replying to an email originally sent to her father, Mike Gabbard, who was a Republican city councilman in Honolulu running for Congress.

“I smell a skunk,” Gabbard told Honolulu Magazine. She was responding to an email that was originally addressed to her father asking about his ties to the leader of a Hare Krishna movement in Hawaii, according to the magazine.

“It’s clear to me that you’re acting as a conduit for The Honolulu Weekly and other homosexual extremist supporters of Ed Case [Mike Gabbard’s opponent],” she wrote.

Gabbard was elected to the U.S. House in 2012 and became the first Hindu member of Congress, as well as one of Congress’ first female combat veterans.

She quickly became a star of the Democratic Party with her own rogue brand of progressive leadership.

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Gabbard’s remarks from 14 years ago were bound to resurface as she walked even further into the national spotlight with her presidential bid.

And while Gabbard, 37, has evolved since then ― she once backed a bill targeting discrimination based on sexual orientation and famously endorsed Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid at the expense of her post as Democratic National Committee vice chair ― some people, including journalists from Hawaii to D.C., wouldn’t let her off easy for her homophobic remarks.

Gabbard may back legislation that supports the LGBTQ community, but it’s unclear if her personal views have evolved with her career.

A 2016 profile of the combat veteran published in Ozy suggests otherwise: “She tells me that, no, her personal views haven’t changed, but she doesn’t figure it’s her job to do as the Iraqis did and force her own beliefs on others,” noted reporter Sanjena Sathian.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tu ... 93e00a5952
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Re: Tulsi Gabbard’s Homophobic Remarks Surface

Postby JackRiddler » Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:24 pm


These comments did not "surface." They have always been known. They have been repeatedly thrown at her, without saying anything about what her current, actual position is. Reviving these now is a campaign attack, nothing more.

She was 22. TWENTY-TWO. She was also holding the same positions on gay marriage as Clinton and Obama at the time.

Long ago, she changed her stance (like they did) and her voting record in recent years has been excellent.

It is incredible how different the reality is from the falsehods being put out here for whatever reason.


Tulsi Gabbard on LGBT

Key Points

Tulsi is a vocal advocate of equality for our LGBTQ+ community
She is a member of the LGBT Equality Caucus in the House
Tulsi has been endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBT lobby organization in the country

"With the many challenges facing the LGBT community, we're honored to count Tulsi as an ally in standing up for issues of fairness. From her cosponsorship of the Equality Act to supporting marriage equality for same-sex couples and fighting for persons with HIV/AIDS, we applaud Tulsi's commitment to fundamental equal rights for all." - Mike Mings, Director Human Rights Campaign PAC

The Human Rights Campaign represents a force of more than 1.5 million members and supporters nationwide. As the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization, HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

Tulsi believes that “equal treatment and opportunity are fundamental rights for all Americans. Discrimination on the basis of national origin, sexual orientation, disability, religious belief, gender, or race undermines core American principles of respect and individual freedom.”

Tulsi is committed to fight to ensure all individuals are treated equally under the law regardless of race, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

H.R. 2282 Equality Act of 2017 which amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation in places of public accommodation
H.R. 1755 Employment Non-Discrimination Act
H.R. 2839 Restore Honor to Service Members Act
H.R 2532 Respect for Marriage Act
H.R. 197 Repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act
H.R. 683 Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act
H.R. 1199 Safe Schools Improvement Act
H.R. 932 Healthy Families Act
H. Res. 549 Designating June 26th as LGBT Equality Day
H. Res. 208 Equality for All Resolution, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in areas that include credit, employment, education, federally funded programs, housing, jury service, and public accommodations
H.R. 3273 LGBT Data Inclusion Act
Signed the Marriage Equality Amicus Briefs

Advocated for LGBT Housing / Privacy Rights
Advocated to End Bullying and Harassment in Schools

Tulsi signs letter urging President Trump to reverse transgender military ban https://votesmart.org/public-statement/ ... BfzFBNKikZ
Last edited by JackRiddler on Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tulsi Gabbard’s Homophobic Remarks Surface

Postby seemslikeadream » Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:35 pm

Tulsi Gabbard vs Mazie Hirono: Hawaii Political Spat Shocks State and Democratic Party

By Tom Porter On 1/13/19 at 9:14 AM
Before announcing her candidacy for the presidency Friday, Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii criticized fellow Democrats for “weaponizing religion.

In an op-ed in The Hill Tuesday, Gabbard wrote that Democrats had “weaponized religion for their own selfish gain.”

The piece was a thinly veiled criticism of party colleague, Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, who had questioned District Court judicial nominee Brian Buescher in hearings over his membership of a Catholic group, Knights of Columbus, and asked about its views on abortion and reproductive rights.

GettyImages-583541306 US representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) on the second day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 26, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Getty `Images

In her op-ed, Gabbard wrote that if "If Buescher is “unqualified” because of his Catholicism," then former President John F. Kennedy, who was also a Catholic, would be "unqualified."

She also criticised Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein of California for her questioning of U.S. Circuit Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett in 2017, and her remark that Barrett's "dogma" was of concern.

"While I absolutely believe in the separation of church and state as a necessity to the health of our nation, no American should be asked to renounce his or her faith or membership in a faith-based, service organization in order to hold public office," she wrote.

Hirono hit back in a statement, accusing Gabbard of echoing right-wing talking points.

“Over the past two years, the Senator has been attacked by right wing ideologues for her examination of Donald Trump’s ideologically-driven nominees to the courts. It is unfortunate that Congresswoman Gabbard based her misguided opinion on the far-right wing manipulation of these straightforward questions,” Will Dempster, Hirono’s spokesman, said in a statement to media outlets.

Hawaii News Now political analyst Colin Moore said that the argument marked a rare division in Hawaii’s congressional delegation.

"Congresswoman Gabbard goes so far as to call this a form of religious bigotry, which I think is really shocking. Although she doesn't mention Senator Hirono by name, she's certainly talking about her line of questioning," said Moore. “I think this is quite a shocking break in the delegation.”

He went on to speculate that Gabbard—who had been rumored to be mulling a presidential did before formally announcing her candidacy—likely made the comments to distinguish herself from other contenders in what is expected to be a packed field of Democrats vying for the nomination.

Gabbard, 37, is the first Hindu elected to Congress. A veteran of the Iraq war, she supported Senator Bernie Sanders in the race for the 2016 Democratic nomination, who eventually lost out to Hillary Clinton.

The representative is no stranger to controversy, having been criticised by Democrats for meeting with President Donald Trump during the transition after his November 2016 election, and travelling to Syria to meet dictator Bashar al-Assad, and subsequently questioning whether he was responsible for the Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack in 2017.
https://www.newsweek.com/tulsi-gabbard- ... nd-1289404
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Re: Tulsi Gabbard’s Homophobic Remarks Surface

Postby seemslikeadream » Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:17 pm

The Mail

Letters in response to Patrick Radden Keefe’s article on the Sackler empire and the opioid crisis, and Kelefa Sanneh’s Profile of Tulsi Gabbard.

Kelefa SannehNovember 20, 2017 Issue
Selling Addiction

I thought I was inured to the skulduggery of Big Pharma, but then I read Patrick Radden Keefe’s article about how the philanthropic Sackler family promotes opioid addiction through its company Purdue Pharma (“Empire of Pain,” October 30th). It is time for the beneficiaries of the Sacklers’ name-buying largesse—the Metropolitan Museum, Harvard, Columbia, and the Louvre, to name just a few—to scrutinize the provenance of large donations. They might also consider installing in the lobby of each Sackler Wing, Gallery, Museum, and Institute a large plaque reading “This building is thanks to the generosity of the Sackler family and Purdue Pharma, which started and continues to fuel the epidemic of prescription-opioid addiction that is responsible for two hundred thousand overdose deaths.”

Burns Woodward

Waban, Mass.

Keefe’s article makes painfully clear how Purdue and the Sacklers have benefitted from being able to legally operate in the dark. Purdue, by gaining F.D.A. approval and aggressively marketing a drug that is so highly addictive, has taken full advantage of the law. Even when it has been forced to settle liability suits, business has continued to grow. Its coffers are barely dented, its owners are not personally liable, and nondisclosure agreements have kept adverse publicity to a minimum. As a privately held company, Purdue is under no legal obligation to publicly disclose the details of its business, as would be the case if it were publicly traded. But shareholders and prospective investors are not the only people who have legitimate reasons to know how a company is generating huge sales and profits, and if it is risking liability, damaging the environment, or endangering public health. We all do. While there is no substitute for stronger regulation, privately held companies of a certain size play too large a role in our economy and our society not to be held to the same standards of disclosure and transparency that apply to publicly traded companies.

Nathaniel Spiller

North Chevy Chase, Md.

In 2002, Theresa Sackler acquired in a charity auction the right to name a new variety of rose. She chose to honor her husband, Mortimer. I have an example of this beautiful rose. For many years, as I mulched and pruned, I imagined a Morty of my own: a charming and diffident librarian, a fine public servant whose wife sold their modest house in preparation for a life in a comfortable retirement home.

Oh, dear. Well, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, and mine is now called Rosa Perez, in honor of Jill and Marianne. It will perhaps be a somewhat dolorous rose, but no less beautiful for that.

Barry Coleman

Northamptonshire, U.K.

I’ve been a heart surgeon for three decades and, at sixty-two, an occasional patient as well. I prescribe opioids to my patients, although only the short-acting variety, and usually without ongoing refills. I had a major chest surgery at the age of fifty, and can attest to the wondrous relief from acute, severe pain that these medications can provide. I took them for several weeks postoperatively, in tapering doses, and then stopped “cold turkey,” in order to return to my operating and on-call duties. So I can also attest to the powerful effect of abrupt cessation. The Sacklers’ true genius was understanding how to sway the hearts and minds of physician prescribers. This vision has blossomed into the direct-to-consumer marketing currently practiced by most major pharmaceutical manufacturers. In the latest iteration of this marketing, the consumer, instead of being pitched the medication itself, is being “sold” a disease for which, conveniently, there just happens to be a pill or an injection available. Patients often arrive in a physician’s office demanding an advertised medication. Given the number of heavily promoted drugs, the industry obviously hopes to actively and expensively medicate millions of people.

Daniel J. Waters

Clear Lake, Iowa

The Real Tulsi Gabbard

As Representative Tulsi Gabbard’s aunt, it gives me no pleasure to publicly air my doubts regarding my niece’s political agenda, which Kelefa Sanneh describes in his Profile (“Against the Tide,” November 6th). However, I take my role as a citizen seriously, and I would be remiss not to share my concerns. Sanneh raises the issue of Gabbard’s lifelong immersion in the Science of Identity Foundation, an opaque religious organization that she and its founder, Chris Butler, have attempted to reframe as a “resource.” Gabbard’s answer to a basic question about Butler is troubling: despite calling him her “guru dev” (spiritual master) in her own promotional video, she denies that he is more important than any of her other teachers. She also has a notably mixed voting record, and associations that veer from certain progressive causes to the apparent courting of such strongmen as Narendra Modi, Bashar al-Assad, and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (not to mention Trump)—this zigzagging path through positions is vexing. Sanneh’s article walks the fine line of investigation and exposition in a way that points to shadows worthy of further illumination.

Caroline Sinavaiana Gabbard

Honolulu, Hawaii

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Re: Tulsi Gabbard’s Homophobic Remarks Surface

Postby Grizzly » Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:22 pm

Tulsi Gabbard, another Hope and Change! :wink :wink
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Re: Tulsi Gabbard’s Homophobic Remarks Surface

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:14 pm



Glenn Greenwald went on the White Nationalist Tucker Carlson’s FOX News show last night defending her and attacking her critics. Greenwald denies Gabbard is pro-Kremlin stooge, despite her explicit and committed support for Putin’s bombardment of Syria.
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Re: Tulsi Gabbard’s Homophobic Remarks Surface

Postby Elvis » Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:36 am

seemslikeadream wrote:Greenwald denies Gabbard is pro-Kremlin stooge, despite her explicit and committed support for Putin’s bombardment of Syria.

That doesn't make her a "stooge." :roll:

By "bombardment of Syria" I assume you mean bombing ISIS invaders out of Syria which turns out to be not a bad thing. Nobody else would do it. I agreed with it; am I therefore a Kremlin stooge?

As far as Gabbard's past same-sex marriage stance goes, most presidential candidates of the recent past have made similar about-faces (Obama, Clinton, et al.). If she's outgrown that, I don't think it should be held against her.
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Re: Tulsi Gabbard’s Homophobic Remarks Surface

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:38 am

Sorry I neglected to put that in quotes....yes I did post that quote......although they are not my words I have read here at RI comparable critiques of other persons

Oz Katerji

Glenn Greenwald went on the White Nationalist Tucker Carlson’s FOX News show last night defending her and attacking her critics. Greenwald denies Gabbard is pro-Kremlin stooge, despite her explicit and committed support for Putin’s bombardment of Syria.

The link to the other screen cap is

https://mobile.twitter.com/charliearchy ... 4049782784

I am not fond of Cassandra Fairbanks Tulsi or Greenwald...and there is so much more about Tulsi than her views on Syria

89CEC80C-79B7-471E-B5D8-4BAFA14E6259.jpeg (207.84 KiB) Viewed 678 times

An Open Letter to the Democratic Party of Hawai`i and ACLU Hawai`i

Aloha Democratic Party of Hawai'i and ACLU Hawai'i! I hope the​ Democratic Party of Hawai'i convention is going well this weekend and that it brings a much-​needed economic boost to the Big Island.
I would like to ​share concerns regarding U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and violations of constituents' First Amendment rights. My intent in exposing this is not to create a political rift, but to spark a needed discussion in the wake of Wednesday's federal circuit court ruling that Trump violated the First Amendment by blocking dissidents on Twitter. My concerns about Gabbard include and go far beyond Twitter.

I would like to disclose that I am impressed by Sherry Campagna, Gabbard's Democratic primary challenger, and I welcome her campaign. I am a resident of Hawai'i's 2nd Congressional District. I do not work for Campagna, and I was not involved ​in her decision to run for Congress. I am a member of the Hawai'i State Teachers Association, which endorsed Campagna earlier this week. I am not one of the leaders of HSTA. I played little to no role in HSTA's decision to endorse Campagna. I am a full-time teacher and part-time journalist.

Last year,​ I exposed Gabbard's deep involvement in the Science of Identity sect, which is led by Kris Butler (aka Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, etc.). I also exposed this sect’s ties to an international money laundering ring. I knew little about Gabbard and nothing about Campagna when I decided to research this interesting group in my community.

The First Amendment also, of course, protects freedom of religion. Gabbard clearly has the right to participate in this sect​'s activities, so long as those activities do not violate others' human or civil rights. Despite accusations from Butler disciples​, I am not a religious ​bigot.​ I have defended both Gabbard and Senator Mazie Hirono against actual religious bigotry on social media.

For over a year now, I have experienced and witnessed harassment and violations of the First Amendment rights of Gabbard's constituents. I have six key concerns, which relate to 1) Twitter 2) a publicist being paid to discredit me as a journalist 3) cyberattacks 4) online defamation 5) Butler disciples coming to my home after a Gabbard town hall and 6) false reports to U.S. Capitol Police.
https://www.meanwhileinhawaii.org/home/ ... clu-hawaii

052CDB28-17CA-4F0E-9A89-9B7942AAF931.jpeg (169.65 KiB) Viewed 675 times

Part one of our expose on Tulsi Gabbard and her ties to violent far right Hindu nationalists. Guest Pieter Friedrich of the Organization for Minorities of India. Debuted 7/31/18 on KONA LPFM 100.5 Written and produced by Irminsul for the station.

Tulsi Gabbard’s Legislation to Send Muslims to the Back of the Refugee Line

Jun 3, 2017
Two months before Democratic Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard voted to make it virtually impossible for Syrian and Iraqi refugees to come to the U.S., she introduced discriminatory legislation that would have prioritized certain refugees over others on the basis of religion.

H.Res.435 — “Recognizing the persecution of religious and ethnic minorities, especially Christians and Yezidis, by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as Daesh, and calling for the immediate prioritization of accepting refugees from such communities” — would have sent Sunni Muslim refugees from Iraq and Syria to the back of the line by putting Christians and other persecuted religious minorities first. Republican Presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, and Donald Trump also embraced this reactionary idea and soon the country was debating whether or not to ban Syrian refugees or just Muslims.

No wonder Breitbart’s Steve Bannon “loves” Tulsi Gabbard. She takes Trumpian positions often before Trump does.

https://medium.com/@pplswar/tulsi-gabba ... bd5dd9fc32

100+ Progressive Reasons to Oppose Tulsi Gabbard for President

Jan 11

Below is a 125+ post Twitter thread documenting Democratic Congresswoman and 2020 presidential contender Tulsi Gabbard’s indefensible political record covering everything from her unchanged hatred of LGBTs to praising Putin’s war crimes in Syria to saying Black Lives Matter protesters engaged in terrorism to voting to allow mentally ill veterans buy guns.
Each post contains hyperlinks to evidence and screenshots so that people can see for themselves that she is no progressive.


Tulsi Gabbard is so progressive she has received more than $278,000 from BJP supporters. (BJP is a neoliberal anti-secular Islamophobic Hindu-supremacist party in India.)

Tulsi Gabbard is so progressive she reacted to Occupy by introducing legislation allowing cops to seize the property of homeless people+protesters. Her bill 54 is still being used today against the homeless

Tulsi Gabbard is so progressive she voted against giving emergency contraceptives to RAPE VICTIMS.

Tulsi Gabbard is so progressive she voted with the House GOP to let mentally ill veterans buy guns (props to @LeanOnAndLead for the tip on this one).

Tulsi Gabbard is so progressive she raises a lot of money for/from India's right-wing anti-secular Muslim-bashing neoliberal BJP. Here she is at a fund-raiser wearing BJP gear.

Tulsi Gabbard is so progressive she voted with the GOP to help dismantle part of 'Obamacare' after taking $10,000 from Kaiser Permanente

Tulsi Gabbard is so progressive she often appeared on Fox News to bash President Obama for not using the phrase "radical Islam" or as Trump called it, "radical Islamic terrorism."
Tulsi Gabbard is so progressive she couldn't stop applauding and standing up for @realdonaldtrump during his first address to a joint session of Congress in 2017.

Tulsi Gabbard is so progressive she blames "Washington" for Puerto Rico not having electricity 100 days after Hurricane Irma instead of blaming trump

Tulsi Gabbard is so progressive she actually has the worst voting record on environmental issues compared to the rest of Hawaii's congressional delegation.

Tulsi Gabbard is so progressive she says she's "conflicted" on the use of torture.

Tulsi Gabbard is so progressive Indian religious minorities have written an open letter to her asking why she supports Indian fascists and militarists known as the RSS.

Tulsi Gabbard is so progressive she paid Kremlin lobbyist Peter Cooper $20k (https://buff.ly/2NxjYjP ) for "media consulting."

Cooper is trying to repeal the Magnitsky Act.

Maybe that explains her strange silence re: Trump since yesterday

https://medium.com/@pplswar/100-progres ... 510387e5fb

Tulsi Gabbard’s Deceptive Foreign Policy

The Hawaii congresswoman’s anti-interventionism masks an affinity for authoritarians, nationalists, and Islamophobes.

By Evan HillTwitter January 17, 2019
Tulsi Gabbard with Modi
Representative Tulsi Gabbard calls on Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, in New York on September 28, 2014. Prime Minister's Office (GODL-India)
On January 11, Tulsi Gabbard, a four-term Democratic representative from Hawaii, announced she was running for president in 2020. Gabbard’s candidacy is already tainted by her youthful history of homophobia, but her decision to focus on “the issue of war and peace” at a time when the party’s biggest guns are aimed at domestic problems sets her apart in a crowded field.

Gabbard’s heterodox views and military service could yet animate a significant number of voters and shift the debate, but not for the better: Taken together, Gabbard’s positions represent almost everything a left foreign policy should avoid.

In the long shadow of the Iraq War, Gabbard’s vocal opposition to US-led regime change in the Middle East has made her appealing to skeptics of the foreign-policy establishment’s “unquestioning fidelity” to military intervention. In their view, Gabbard is a lonely voice, one of the only politicians to learn the lessons of Iraq, Libya, and Syria: that removing dictators costs American lives and taxpayer dollars, devastates the people of those countries, and spawns humanitarian crises. Writing in The Nation in 2016, Gabbard said that she wanted “to give voice to the millions of Americans, including my fellow veterans, who desperately want to end our country’s illegal, counterproductive war to overthrow the Syrian government,” which risked allowing “ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other terrorist groups…to take over all of Syria.”

Yet it would be a mistake to place Gabbard in the lineage of internationalist, anti-war American leftism that seeks, among other things, to help emancipate and defend the oppressed. In fact, Gabbard’s public record points in a much different direction, toward an “America first” Trumpism of the left that would restore the Middle East’s dictators club as long as it benefits the United States. On closer analysis, hers is a foreign policy that favors authoritarianism cloaked as counter-terrorism, nationalism cloaked as anti-interventionism, and Islamophobia barely cloaked at all.

To begin, Gabbard doesn’t actually oppose military intervention, or the abusive tactics used to prosecute the “war on terror,” as long as they’re directed against those she identifies as Islamic extremists. She summarized her philosophy neatly in 2016, telling West Hawaii Today that “when it comes to the war against terrorists, I’m a hawk. When it comes to counterproductive wars of regime change, I’m a dove.”

Gabbard is a staunch supporter of the United States’ counter-ISIS campaign, but her view of the fight goes much further. During a visit to India in 2014, she told an interviewer that the United States had failed in its “very clear” mission to defeat “Islamic extremism”—the fight she said led her to enlist after the September 11 attacks—and that we needed “to focus all of our efforts and energy” and “root out this evil wherever it is.” When pressed on whether torture could be part of those efforts, Gabbard didn’t reject it, saying some believed it worked. Invoking the fantastical scenario of a ticking nuclear time bomb, Gabbard said that if she were president, she “would do everything in my power to keep the American people safe.” If there was a gap between Gabbard’s philosophy and the forever war, it was hard to spot.

Gabbard’s hawkishness on Islamic terrorism has led in strange directions for someone perceived to be on the left. In 2015, for example, invoking a plan floated nearly a decade earlier by then–Vice President Joe Biden, she told CNN that to defeat ISIS, the United States needed to abandon the “fantasy” of a “unified Iraq” and help divide the country into Sunni, Shia, and Kurdish areas. (Renad Mansour, an Iraq expert at Chatham House, told The Nation that “neither the US nor Iran nor the neighboring countries will entertain the idea of splitting up Iraq.”)

Current Issue

Perhaps most notoriously, she has engaged with brutal authoritarians such as Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in the name of countering “terrorism.” In 2015, two years after he orchestrated the worst mass killing of protesters in modern history, a smiling Gabbard appeared next to a grinning Sisi on a visit to Cairo, after which she praised him for showing “great courage and leadership” in the fight against “extreme Islamist ideology.”

In January 2017—on a trip organized by members of the fascist Syrian Social Nationalist Party—Gabbard met with Assad, explaining herself afterward by saying that no meeting should be off the table “if we profess to truly care about the Syrian people.” That sympathy apparently did not extend to anyone who’d fought against Assad or belonged to the Syrian opposition, to whom she had previously tried to outlaw US assistance. Assad was a “brutal dictator,” Gabbard wrote, but “[e]very Syrian soldier we and our Saudi partners kill is one less soldier available to fight against ISIS.”

All of this might seem out of character for a member of the Democratic Party’s Bernie Sanders wing, but if there is a common thread to much of Gabbard’s foreign-policy worldview, it’s a suspicion of Islam.

Gabbard’s bona fides rest on her military experience: two voluntary deployments with the Hawaii Army National Guard, the first in a field medical unit at the sprawling Camp Anaconda in Iraq in 2005 and the second as a trainer for the Kuwait National Guard in 2009. When she came home from Kuwait, Gabbard later wrote, she had a realization: “The contrast between our society and those in the Middle East made me realize that the difference—the reason those societies are so oppressive—is that they are essentially theocracies where the government and government leaders wield the power to both define and then enforce ‘morality.’”

Discovering this, Gabbard explained, led her to reevaluate her own opposition to homosexuality. Freedom was precious, and no government should “dictate these most personal aspects of our lives,” she wrote.

But Gabbard’s military service overseas had led her to a fundamentally mistaken conclusion about the Middle East. Though she’d correctly identified some of the symptoms, her diagnosis was backward. The most abusive and dictatorial governments, by and large, have not been theocracies but nominally secular regimes. Many of the worst crimes—Assad’s chemical attacks and extermination camps, Sisi’s massacre of protesters, Muammar Gaddafi’s hangings and mass executions, Saddam Hussein’s genocide against the Kurds—have been committed by the kind of “secular” autocrats Gabbard wants to stay in power.

Gabbard’s crusade against “extremist Islam” appeared to blind her to this reality. In her statement following her meeting with Assad, she blamed the “regime-change war” led by the United States, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and “Gulf states” for the deaths of more than 400,000 Syrians and the creation of millions of refugees. Left unmentioned was the real origin of the conflict: the Assad regime’s decision in 2011 to suppress peaceful protests with force, and the radicalization of the opposition through a brutal crackdown, beginning with the arrest and torture of children in the city of Deraa. After the Trump administration struck air bases to punish the Assad regime for a likely chemical attack in 2017, Gabbard accused the government of acting “recklessly” and risking the “strengthening of terrorists.” Left unmentioned was the long, clear and nonpartisan evidence of the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons.

Opposing intervention and regime change was one thing, but Gabbard went much further, adopting Sisi and Assad’s talking points, denying their opponents agency and humanity, and effectively endorsing their systematic abuses of human rights as long as they were directed against the right people.

What laid behind this? Gabbard’s story about her time in Kuwait, including the “eye-opening” sight of “women covered from head to toe with burqa,” points to a years-long suspicion of Islam and a dalliance with Islamophobic strains in American politics that precedes the Trump presidency. In 2015, for instance, Gabbard spoke at a conference of Christians United for Israel, an organization led by John Hagee, a leading Islamophobe. Hagee—whom John McCain renounced in 2008 after Hagee said Adolf Hitler hastened God’s plan by forcing Jews back to Israel—has written of a “theological war” to prevent the spread of “global shari’ah.”

Echoing right-wing critics like Hagee, Gabbard chastised President Obama for not using the words “radical Islam” to characterize groups like ISIS, which Obama had avoided so as to not vilify the religion as a whole. Years before Trump’s travel ban, Gabbard supported the SAFE Act, which would have effectively frozen the admission of Syrian and Iraqi refugees by requiring unanimous approval for each person from the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, and director of national intelligence, and she introduced a bill to suspend the Visa Waiver Program for anyone from a country whose citizens had gone to fight with ISIS.

One year later, Gabbard introduced a resolution calling for prioritizing the admission of refugees who were ethnic and religious minorities, “especially Christians and Yazidis.”

Unsurprisingly, Gabbard’s brand of nationalism—which involves pulling back from the Middle East but allying with the region’s worst authoritarians and shutting the borders to refugees but not the Christian ones—caught the eye of Steve Bannon, who arranged a 2016 meeting with President-elect Trump. “He loves Tulsi Gabbard. Loves her,” a source familiar with Bannon’s thinking told the Hill at the time. “She would fit perfectly too [inside the administration].… She gets the foreign policy stuff, the Islamic terrorism stuff.”

This was the Gabbard who earned a fawning 2015 profile in National Review (the headline called her “tough” and “beautiful”) and praise from the president of the American Enterprise Institute. It was also the Gabbard who befriended controversial nationalist Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi—long denied a visa to the United States for his role in the bloody 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat, where he was chief minister—and gave him the Bhagavad Gita on which she’d sworn her oath of office as a gift.

Gabbard’s defenders have argued that she rightly seeks to “get out” of the Middle East and focus on greater threats, like terrorism and China. But that’s not where Gabbard’s policies would actually lead. The indefinite war against “extremist Islam” requires the United States to be very much “in” the Middle East, working hand in glove with some of the region’s worst actors. Gabbard’s strategy simply transfers the cost from our citizens to theirs.

In a perceptive 2017 article for Jacobin, Branko Marcetic wrote that Gabbard’s worldview “is nationalism in antiwar garb, reinforcing instead of undercutting the toxic rhetoric that treats foreigners as less deserving of dignity than Americans.”

As the Democratic Party’s foreign-policy debate evolves, leftists and progressives should stand for an internationalism that rests on the principles of equality, justice, and human rights. Complex questions surrounding humanitarian intervention remain, but allying with dictators for our own parochial interests and shutting the doors on those who flee them are not the right answers, nor can Islamophobia be tolerated. The left can do better.
https://www.thenation.com/article/tulsi ... ign-islam/

In 2015, she spoke at a conference of Christians United for Israel – an organization whose leader and founder, Pastor John Hagee, is a strong supporter of West Bank settlements. A spokesman for CUFI told Haaretz that while Hagee himself has 'expressed skepticism' towards the two-state solution, that does not represent the organization's official position, which is to 'never oppose Israeli efforts to advance peace.' CUFI had a leading role in fighting Obama’s policies in the Middle East; Hagee, for example, is an outspoken supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump; Hagee was invited by the Trump administration to speak at last year's ceremony marking the transfer of the US. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
In 2016, Gabbard received an award from Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a New Jersey-based rabbi with close ties to casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson (the largest donor to the Republican Party). A year before Gabbard attended Boteach’s gala dinner and received his “Champion of Freedom” Award, Boteach published full-page ads in leading U.S. newspapers in which he accused Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, of being responsible for the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. (Leading Jewish groups denounced the ads, and Boteach later apologized.)

with philanthropist Miriam Adelson and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii at our Gala Dinner on 5 May
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.pr ... -1.6831029
- trump May 17, 2017

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