Friday, December 09, 2016

Tulsi Gabbard's Stop Arming Terrorists Act

Tulsi Gabbard’s Stop Arming Terrorists Act

by Stephen Lendman

Among the reported eight or so candidates Trump is considering for secretary of state, one possible choice more deserving than names mentioned is omitted - Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the state’s most popular politician.

“(W)hen it comes to the war against terrorists, I’m a hawk,” she said. “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.

If Trump is serious about wanting more diplomacy and less war, his choice for secretary of state should be someone with likeminded views. A refreshing new face would be welcome, a woman polar opposite war goddess Hillary.

On December 8, a press release from her office said the following:

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard…introduced the Stop Arming Terrorists Act today. The legislation 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.”

“The legislation is cosponsored by Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT-AL), Barbara Lee (D-CA-13), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA-48), and Thomas Massie (R-KT-04), and supported by the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) and the US Peace Council.”

On the House floor, Gabbard 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.”

“That is why I’ve introduced the Stop Arming Terrorists bill - legislation based on congressional action during the Iran-Contra affair to stop the CIA’s illegal arming of rebels in Nicaragua.”

Gabbard’s legislation requires the Director of National Intelligence to identify nations, groups and individuals involved in terrorist activities or supporting them. 

She endorses ending US interventionist practices against nations like Syria threatening no one. Her measure is a courageous act with no chance for congressional passage.

It’s also a shot across the bow to the incoming Trump administration to stop US wars of aggression on humanity.

Will it work, even partially? The fullness of time will tell.

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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