Friday, November 25, 2016

Tulsi Gabbard: Possible Trump Cabinet Pick?

Tulsi Gabbard: Possible Trump Cabinet Pick?

by Stephen Lendman

Her web site says she’s “focused on building bipartisan solutions that can actually be passed into law, rather than using the issue as a partisan political football.”

It should say she supports progressive laws exclusively, benefitting all Americans equitably, rejecting all the rest, especially related to imperial wars and regime change schemes.

Representing Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district, she formerly served as DNC vice-chair, resigning in February to support Bernie Sanders, a longtime con man/phony progressive claiming otherwise.

She’s the first Native American Samoan member of Congress, a Hindu by faith, against wars of choice to oust sitting governments, she and Senator-elect Tammy Duckworth (D. IL) the first female combat veterans. How can she be against war by volunteering for service in one?

Both elected officials served in Iraq, Duckworth a severely wounded Army helicopter pilot, loosing both her legs and damaging one arm. On November 8, she defeated Republican neocon incumbent Mark Kirk.

According to University of Hawaii Professor Colin Moore, Gabbard  never “b(ought) into the conventional wisdom…(but) it’s all worked out for her. She’s the most popular politician in the state.”

She’s more soldier/legislator than progressive. “ I’m not Obama. I’m not Clinton. I’m not Bernie Sanders. I’m me,” she said, adding:

“(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.” 

Explaining why she voted against condemning Assad, she called targeting him “a thinly veiled attempt to use the rationale of ‘humanitarianism’ as a justification to escalate our illegal, counterproductive war” to topple him and his government.

“I’m not consciously trying to ‘be independent,’ she said. “I simply look at each issue on its own merits and do what I feel is best for Hawaii and our country.” 

“If that happens to not be in lockstep with certain people, then so be it.” Her willingness to go her own way at times endeared her to Hawaiians. She can lean left or right depending on the issue.

Claiming she has no “grand, longterm, so-called career goals” belies her ambition to advance beyond US House representative. Perhaps a Trump cabinet post? Here’s what she told constituents about meeting with him:

“He asked me to meet with him to discuss our current policies regarding Syria, our fight against terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS, as well as other foreign policy challenges we face.

It would have been easier for me to refuse this meeting. The establishment and social media has been talking about this all day. But I never have and never will play politics with American and Syrian lives.

…I strongly believe that now is the time for us to put our country first, and come together, regardless of political party, and tackle the many challenges we face.

This was an opportunity to advocate for peace  - and I felt it was important to take the opportunity to meet with the President-elect to counteract neocons’ steady drumbeats of war, which threaten to drag us into an escalation of the war to overthrow the Syrian government.

This war has already cost hundreds of thousands of lives and forced millions of refugees to flee their homes in search of safety for themselves and their families. It has also strengthened al-Qaeda and other violent, extremist groups in the region. 

It would have been irresponsible not to accept this invitation. I feel it is my duty to take every single opportunity I get to advocate for peace, no matter the circumstances of those meetings.

I shared with him my grave concerns that escalating the war in Syria by implementing a so-called no fly/safe zone would be disastrous for the Syrian people, our country, and the world. It would lead to more death and suffering, exacerbate the refugee crisis, strengthen ISIS and al-Qaeda and bring us into a direct conflict with Russia - potentially resulting in a nuclear war. 

We discussed my bill to end our country’s illegal war to overthrow the Syrian government and the need to focus our precious resources on rebuilding our own country, and on defeating al-Qaeda, ISIS, and other terrorist groups who pose a threat to the American people.

(W)here I disagree with President-elect Trump on issues, I will not hesitate to express that disagreement. You didn’t send me to Washington to make friends with the political elite. You sent me to represent you, and I am committed to doing just that.

In short: I will never allow partisanship to undermine our national security when the lives of countless people lay in the balance. If that earns me enemies in Washington or at the State Department, then so be it.”

“I hope you’ll continue to stand with me and stay engaged. The cause of peace is too great for us to allow political disagreements or partisanship to stand in our way.”

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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