by Jerry Alatalo
Hawaii’s U.S. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard appeared recently on the corporate news outlet CNN and shared her thoughts on Syria, causing an enormous amount of viewer jaws to drop in the process. Viewers’ jaws dropped, because it seemed miraculous that a United States elected representative appearing on CNN would somehow actually become allowed to speak the truth about the situation in Syria. For those who’ve followed events in Syria, miracle is the right word to describe her interview.
Ms. Gabbard is a Democratic member of the House Armed Services Committee. When asked for her views on how any collision in Syria between U.S. and Russian forces could be avoided, she answered: “Very simple… U.S. and the Central Intelligence Agency should stop this illegal and counterproductive war to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad, and stay focused on fighting against who our enemy is – the Islamic extremist groups, because right now we’re seeing why this is counterproductive. ”
“By working towards that end, by working towards overthrowing the Syrian government of Assad, we are not only strengthening our enemy the Islamic extremists, who will walk in and take over all of the country of Syria; right now they have about half of the country under their control, but it also puts us in that position of a potential head-to-head conflict with Russia, which brings us to the brink of a potential larger conflict of a World War III-type situation.”
“First of all, there’s not been a vote in Congress to authorize the use of force, to authorize a war to overthrow a sovereign government. …So the American people haven’t had a chance to speak their voice, to approve or disapprove such a war – therefore it’s illegal. Secondly, it is counterproductive because right now U.S. arms are getting into the hands of our enemy al-Qaeda, (and) Islamic extremist groups that are our sworn enemy.”
“…It’s a very simple concept in my mind that you can’t defeat your enemy if you’re arming them and helping them at the same time. It makes no sense to me.”
Ms. Gabbard further noted that Iraq and Libya have both fallen into chaos from military actions taken by the U.S. and other nations, and that Americans need to stand up and demand there is no repeat of what happened to those nations in Syria. CNN host Wolf Blitzer made the common and persistent error, most likely intentional, of putting the blame for all deaths in Syria from the war begun in 2011, between 200,000-300,000, entirely on Bashar al-Assad – suggesting to Ms. Gabbard a reasonable rationale for U.S. efforts to “get rid of him.”
Congresswoman Gabbard responded by saying “The same things are being said about Assad right now that were said about Gaddafi, were said about Hussein, by those who were advocating for the U.S. to go in and intervene, to overthrow those regimes and those dictators. The fact is, if that happens here in Syria, as U.S. and other leaders are advocating for, we will end up with a situation far worse than we’re seeing today. We’ll end up in a situation with far greater human suffering, with far greater persecution of religious minorities and Christians in Syria, and our enemy will be far stronger. They will take over the entire country of Syria, they will have greater weapons and capabilities, and present a greater threat, not only to the people in the region but to the world.”
“I think it’s important for us first and foremost to recognize: a) who our enemy is, and b) what our mission is. Our mission is to defeat our enemy – not to take action that’s counterproductive to that mission and help our enemy get stronger. It’s a very simple premise, and I think it’s important for us to focus on that.”
The video of Congresswoman Gabbard on CNN has become posted on a number of YouTube channels, and after reading most of the comments found men and women viewers’ reactions nearly unanimous in levels of astonishment, surprise and gratitude that some too-rare truth and sanity on Syria went out over the airwaves of CNN. The comments were all positive, including sentiments suggesting Ms. Gabbard should run for President, that she is very brave for speaking the truth, that she would be wise to focus on personal safety, and including a large number of sincere expressions of thanks.
This writer’s reaction to her interview is also one of gratitude and respect for Tulsi Gabbard’s principled, truthful stance. My only negative reaction consists in disappointment that Wolf Blitzer didn’t challenge (he would never) Ms. Gabbard on her assertion of terrorist responsibility for the attacks of September 11, 2001. It would be interesting to hear Ms. Gabbard speak to the “28 Pages”, the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 on 9/11, and how she would respond to the many serious organizations of respected, highly educated men and women still demanding a new, or real, investigation.
Other than that, U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard’s CNN appearance and statements may offer viewers proof that miracles really do happen.
(Thank you to Tulsi Gabbard at YouTube)