At the Houston She the People forum, Democrat Congresswoman and presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard stood her ground defending her non-interventionist and anti-regime change stance.
When asked by one of the moderators about her stance towards U.S. involvement in Syria and view of the controversial Assad regime, Gabbard replied:
“Our military’s mission and purpose is to keep the American people safe. Our troops deployed to Syria initially to work with the Kurdish forces on the ground to go after and defeat ISIS, and that mission has largely been accomplished. Unfortunately, as this was happening since 2011, covertly initially with the CIA, there was a regime change war that was launched during that time as part of that war, and many of you might not be aware of it but our taxpayer dollars were being used to provide both direct and indirect support to terrorist groups in Syria like Al Qaeda and others in order to go in and topple the Assad government.
I had a chance to go to Syria where I heard from the Syrian people, I heard from religious leaders who pleaded and begged for the United States to stop its support because they knew whether there were some that supported the Assad government, and others wanted to see him go, they knew that if the United States and other countries were successful in this regime change war the most powerful force on the ground would fill that vacuum and the most powerful force were these terrorist groups whose sole mission was to wipe out Christians and other minority groups…”
To date, the U.S. has spent $5.6 trillion dollars from post-9/11 related conflicts around the world since 2001, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of killed and displaced people throughout the Middle East.
Gabbard, a U.S. Army veteran who was both critical of the Obama administration’s interventionism in North Africa and the Middle East, as well as the Trump administration’s aiding of the Saudi Arabian involvement in the Yemenese civil war, has been a consistent voice against the military-industrial complex as well as unconstitutional military intervention overseas.
In the wake of the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka, Gabbard released a scolding video aimed at the Trump administration’s cozy relationship with Saudi Arabia, who she blamed for propagating the extremist Wahhabi Salafism ideology which inspired the mastermind of the bombings.
Both Republicans and Democrats have found common ground in targetting Gabbard’s anti-regime change stance, showing that constant war is perhaps one of the only bipartisan issues in D.C. today. Still, harmful entangling alliances and tolerance of hostile regimes is a habit formed by both parties.
According to a piece from Adam Dick at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity back in 2018, Dick pointed out that, “Trump’s commitment to Saudi Arabia is in line with a long history of United States presidential administrations, both Republican and Democrat, supporting governments around the world — including the Saudi Arabia government — that have been doing horrible things, while basing that support, including the providing of military and intelligence assistance, on nebulous claims of ‘national security.’”
Gabbard’s record of working across the aisle regarding non-interventionist strategies overseas as well as her military record show that the United States’ true enemy might be our own ignorance towards our impact overseas and how our actions are affecting our prosperity at home.