Tulsi Gabbard Emerges As Most Outspoken Anti-War Candidate in Decades Warfare State Politicians and Media Continue Relentless Attacks

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Of all the politicians campaigning for the 2020 presidential election, Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is the most outspoken anti-war candidate. “As commander-in-chief, I will work to end the new cold war, nuclear arms race and slide into nuclear war,” Gabbard reported. “That is why the neocon/neolib warmongers will do anything to stop me.”

Smeared and vilified in the media, critics have assailed some of her past positions while ignoring her progressive platform and her focus on ending America’s thirst for regime change around the world.

Countering the media assaults, Gabbard has made comparisons with 1950s Cold War “McCarthyite hysteria,” while shining light on the multibillion-dollar corporate war machine.

“Our freedoms and democracy are being threatened by media giants ruled by corporate interests who are in the pocket of the establishment war machine,” she said. “When journalism is deployed as a weapon against those who call for peace, it threatens our democracy as it seeks to silence debate and dissent, creates an atmosphere of fear and paranoia, and stokes the rhetoric that could lead to nuclear war.”

Back in 2017, Melbourne-based journalist Caitlin Johnstone in The Policy revealed the threat that Gabbard poses to the establishment on both sides of the aisle. “Make no mistake, the political establishment is terrified of Tulsi Gabbard,” Johnstone wrote. “The mainstream media propaganda machine isn’t constantly smearing Gabbard at every opportunity in the name of truth and journalistic integrity; they’re doing it because she poses a direct threat to their agenda.

“The increasingly-indistinguishable Republican neocons and corporate Democrats didn’t condemn her fact-finding trip to Syria because it was the wrong thing to do, they condemned it because it was the right thing to do. They condemned it because facts are poison to their plans for installing a puppet regime in a nation whose geographical location plays a pivotal role in the fossil fuel wars. They condemned it because they have all been lying to the American people about Syria, and the corporate media has been helping them.”

Independent journalist Michael Tracey noted that anti-war candidates like Gabbard, “are always subject to extra-intense smearing, vilification, and attack. That’s just how the media operates.” He added: “For someone who supposedly has no chance, Tulsi sure attracts a regular torrent of frenzied attacks from major media outlets.

Those attacks include weekly assaults in Honolulu Civil Beat including this recent diatribe: “Her current lack of mojo has roots tracing back to soon after she was elected to Congress.” And noting, “Gabbard has already received an enormous amount of scrutiny, most of it negative.” Nowhere in the critical article does the author, a UH professor, even mention Gabbard’s important anti-war/regime change platform.

Unlike all the other potential candidates Gabbard has experienced the folly of war firsthand. A decorated combat veteran, who volunteered twice to serve in Iraq, she attended the Accelerated Officer Candidate School at the Alabama Military Academy, becoming the first woman in the school’s 50-year history to graduate with the highest distinguished honor in her class.

A primary trainer for the Kuwait National Guard, she was the first woman to ever set foot inside a Kuwait military facility and was also the first woman to ever be awarded and honored for her exceptional work in their training program. Promoted to the rank of Major in the Hawaii Army National Guard, she is still a member of the reserve forces.

At her campaign kick-off in Waikiki she lambasted Washington’s warmongers, treating troops like “political pawns and mercenaries for hire in wars across the world… thinking up new wars to wage, and new places for people to die, wasting trillions of our taxpayer dollars.”

Gabbard has fearlessly railed against America’s fixation on regime change. “Trump campaigned against regime change wars when he ran for President but now bows to the wishes of the neocons around him, clamoring for the regime change wars he claimed to oppose, this time in Venezuela and Iran,” she tweeted.

“We must stand against powerful politicians from both parties who sit in ivory towers thinking up new wars to wage and new places for people to die,” she stated. “Wasting trillions of dollars, hundreds of thousands of lives, undermining our economy and security, and destroying our middle class.”

It’s about the oil, not democracy.

With Democrats and Republicans lined up in support of deposing Venezuela’s president and fermenting a coup, Gabbard stressed: “Coups are inherently undemocratic. I don’t like Maduro, I don’t like any dictator. Intervention is not the answer. This is about oil. The administration has already said it. That’s why Chevron and Haliburton are still doing business in Venezuela despite the sanctions.”

“(John) Bolton just exposed real motive for intervention (talking on Fox) in Venezuela: ‘We’re in conversation with major American companies now…It would make a difference if we could have American companies produce the oil in Venezuela’.”

The U.N.’s Special Rapporteur, Alfred de Zayas, has characterized US sanctions against Venezuela as “economic warfare, comparable with medieval sieges of towns.”

Taking a firm position against Trump’s potential armed invasion in Venezuela, she suggested that the real blame for the deluge of illegal migration lies with US imperialist policies. “The root cause of mass immigration on our southern border is our history of US military intervention in Latin America that left countries destroyed. Before we talk about a wall, we need to end our ongoing threats of intervention – this time in Venezuela.”

“President Trump campaigned against regime change wars, but now he bows to the wishes of the neocons who surround him.”

Condemned for meeting with Syria’s Assad, Gabbard has long claimed: “The war to overthrow Assad is counter-productive because it actually helps ISIS and other Islamic extremists achieve their goal of taking control of all of Syria.”

On ABC’s The View today Gabbard explained to some of the ill-informed hosts: “There’s no disputing the fact that he (Assad) has used chemical weapons and other weapons against his people. This is not something that I’m disputing, nor am I apologizing or defending these actions. My point is that the reality we are facing here is that since the United States started waging a covert regime change war in Syria starting in 2011, the lives of the Syrian people have not been improved. Their well-being has not gotten to a better place, their suffering has not decreased, it has increased, in addition to the fact that al-Qaeda is stronger in Syria today than ever before.”

Countering administration claims, the Center for Strategic & International Studies recently estimated Syria still has somewhere between 43,650 and 70,550 Islamic militant fighters. https://www.csis.org/analysis/evolution-salafi-jihadist-threat.

Refusing to take PAC money, Gabbard has earned an A+ rating from Restore The Fourth and Fight for the Future, for protecting civil liberties and our fourth amendment rights, and opposing mass surveillance.

During her announcement speech Gabbard warned: “We must stand up against overreaching intelligence agencies and Big Tech companies who take away our civil liberties.”

She co-sponsored the USA FREEDOM Act, which included amending the USA PATRIOT Act to minimize the acquisition and retention of information and to prohibit its unauthorized dissemination.

Falsely painted as a Hindu fundamentalist Gabbard withdrew from speaking at the 2018 Hindu World Congress, while other Democratic and Republican Congress and Senate members did not withdraw.

She has condemned religious bigotry- “Whether Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, atheist—whatever path people have chosen—every one of us must stand up and condemn those who foment bigotry based on religion, race, or gender.”

A member of the LGBT Equality Caucus in the House, she has received a 100% rating by the Human Rights Campaign for her voting record in favor of LGBT legislation. And she has spoken out against the transgender military ban, which “dishonors the thousands of trans Americans who currently serve in our military. Discrimination against these troops is despicable, especially after they’ve put their lives on the line to protect us.”

Like Bernie Sanders and unlike the other Democrats running for the presidential nomination, Gabbard has been a leading advocate for GMO labeling.

She has also courageously criticized Monsanto for falsifying pesticide safety studies. “Monsanto proves they’ll do anything to pad their pockets, including manufacturing “scientific studies” to influence the EPA while destroying small farmers. They unleashed the scourge of Roundup on us and should be held accountable for the consequences.”

Gabbard has called for universal healthcare, Wall Street reform (including reinstating Glass Steagall Act), and supported legislation to protect air and water quality and endangered species, while she has questioned the Green New Deal as too vague.

On justice reform she has railed against a “broken criminal justice system,” and the abuse of private prisons. That same system, she said, “puts people in prison for smoking marijuana while allowing corporations like Purdue Pharma, who are responsible for the opioid-related deaths of thousands of people, to walk away scot-free with their coffers full. This so-called criminal justice system, which favors the rich and powerful and punishes the poor, cannot stand.”

For a Democratic politician who has been portrayed as cozy with Trump, she has declared: “This president is incapable of unifying our country. He is a great divider. He was elected by and governs by fomenting division amongst us. His calls for unity are hollow. This is the state of the union.”

The race to derail and demonize Gabbard’s presidential campaign hit warped sped when an NBC News article basically pilloried her as a stooge of the Kremlin. The ludicrous claim was quickly shot down by Glenn Greenwald in The Intercept, who pointed out the so called evidence, came from an obscure cyber security company which had previously been caught manufacturing a smear campaign against an Alabaman Republican politician.

“The whole story was a sham,” Greenwald wrote. “The playbook used by the axis of the Democratic Party, NBC,MSNBC, neocons, and the intelligence community has been, is, and will continue to be a very simple one: to smear any adversary of the establishment wing of the Democratic Party – whether on the left or the right – as a stooge or asset of the Kremlin.”

During an interview later on NBC News, Gabbard reported she views Russian President Vladimir Putin as a U.S. adversary.

The NBC smear is part of a pattern of bogus narratives spread by the media to undermine her. These attempts have all ignored evidence from tweets and Congressional votes that demonstrate she’s one of the most socially progressive candidates in the 2020 race.

Recently quoting celebrated activist Noam Chomsky’s “There are two problems for our species’ survival – nuclear war and environmental catastrophe – and we’re hurtling towards them,” Gabbard tweeted: “Chomsky got it right. We are on our way. In a world where there is a threat of nuclear catastrophe, climate disruption and terrorism, we have the responsibility to remember that we are all in this together.”

Summing up Gabbard’s appeal pundit Caitlin Johnstone posted: “Her presidential campaign is shaking the foundations of the establishment narrative control matrix more than anything else that’s going on right now. Anyone who throws a monkey wrench in the works of this propaganda machine is going to be subjected to a tremendous amount of smears, and I’m glad to see Gabbard fighting back against those smears. ”

 

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Jon Woodhouse

Jon Woodhouse

Jon Woodhouse is the Managing Editor of The Maui Independent. Moving to Maui 36 years ago, he feels blessed daily to live here. He writes weekly for The Maui News and has worked for the Department of Education since 2001.

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