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Tulsi Gabbard is standing up against the military-industrial complex

Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report
Scott Rankin of Lawton is a fan of Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a popular progressive. This was at the OKC Women's March in January.
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I grew up with the Aloha spirit. We try to treat everyone with respect. Like family.” – Tulsi Gabbard

OKLAHOMA CITY – When I was on the Hawaiian island of Oahu in 2012, I noticed political signs for a U.S. House candidate named Tulsi Gabbard. Even though I had never heard of her, her first name – “Tulsi” – stood out in my mind because it was so close to the name of Oklahoma’s second-largest city – Tulsa.

Little did I realize at the time (she would go on to win the House seat representing Hawaii’s second district, after serving on the Honolulu City Council) that Gabbard would be one of the few, true mavericks to serve in the U.S. Congress.

Oh, and that name, “Tulsi”? It is Sanskrit, for the holy basil plant, which is sacred in Hinduism. Gabbard is a practicing Hindu.

People, including myself, began taking notice of Gabbard when, as the vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee she expressed concern with DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s role in making sure the Democratic debates aided Hillary Clinton, resulting in a clear conflict of interest, which Gabbard boldly pointed out.

Gabbard was a Bernie Sanders supporter and this angered the warmongering, Democratic establishment. She would be uninvited from attending the debate in Las Vegas and Gabbard refused to stand down, saying, “It's very dangerous when we have people in positions of leadership who use their power to try to quiet those who disagree with them. When I signed up to be vice-chair of the DNC, no one told me I would be relinquishing my freedom of speech and checking it at the door.”

But both Democratic and Republican elites despise alternative points of view. Gabbard was increasingly seen as a problem and she would resign as DNC vice chair to openly endorse Sanders.


Fast-forward to this past January, when Congresswoman Gabbard (she is also a major in the U.S. Army and served in the Iraq War) took a “secret trip” to Syria to meet with Syrian Pres. Bashar al-Assad. As a member of Congress, Gabbard wanted to find out for herself what Assad was up to and what the true nature of the Syrian conflict was all about.

This got her in hot water with establishment politicos and media figures. Some accused Gabbard of violating the Logan Act and House ethics rules, but this did not sway her from seeking the truth as America continued to spin further into a full-fledged war over the Syrian situation. Like a responsible representative and someone who assessed many “situations” while serving in Iraq, Gabbard did the responsible thing and sought information. She apparently tripped up because she did not inform House Speaker Paul Ryan and House leadership before going to Syria - not to support Assad, but to see for herself what is really going on, there on the ground.

While there, Syrians asked Gabbard why America was “supporting terrorist groups like al-Nusra and al-Qaeda.”

Gabbard, having served in battle, is anti-war. She was against the war in Iraq and called for troops to be pulled out of Afghanistan. She came back from Syria introducing her Stop Arming Terrorists Act (with U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky introducing it in the Senate), which would prohibit “any Federal agency from using taxpayer dollars to provide weapons, cash, intelligence, or any support to al-Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorist groups.” Gabbard has done her homework.

Sounds, well, damn reasonable, right? Ironically it echoes the 1980’s-era Boland Amendment which prohibited the funding and support of CIA-backed Nicaraguan Contras in that decade, during their battles against the Soviet-backed Sandinistas.

In case you haven't heard, echoes of the Eighties are popping up in Nicaragua, even today.


When President Trump launched missiles into Syria last week, Gabbard wasted no time in telling Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson that the strike was “an illegal and unconstitutional military strike” that was drawing the U.S. closer to “military conflict with Russia.”

The Tomahawk missile strikes, Gabbard said, were “an escalation of a counterproductive regime change war in Syria that our country’s been waging for years, first through the CIA covertly, and now overtly.”

She added that with Russia closely allied with Syria and “the United States and Russia being the two nuclear powers in the world, it should be a cause of great concern for everyone.”

Gabbard further enraged the Democratic wing of the military-industrial complex by expressing “skepticism” over Assad’s role in the chemical attack that killed innocent people in Syria, saying that the Trump administration should present “evidence and facts” and “share it with Congress … and the American people.”

“Why should we just blindly follow this escalation of a counterproductive regime-change war?" Gabbard told CNN war junkie Wolf Blitzer.


It didn’t take long for the Dems to send their has-been attack dog Howard Dean (and noted Hillary supporter) after Gabbard (who serves on the Armed Service and Foreign Affairs committees), tweeting that Gabbard was a “disgrace” and should not be in Congress.

The smears are coming hard and heavy against Gabbard as she tries to be intellectually honest in an environment that only rewards obsequiousness and a slavish "towing of the line." Gabbard is none of the above, and this worries them as momentum builds in support of Tulsi Gabbard's stances on issues - stances that Trump said he would take but, instead, has ignored, in favor of ignoring the Constitution and bettering our "standing in the world" by pursuing war.

Shockingly, there are growing numbers of supporters backing Gabbard for a potential run against President Trump in 2020. There is a Facebook page called “Run Tulsi Run” calling for her to run for president. She would be 39 as of Election Day 2020. 

In the meantime, this new video says "The Knives are out for Tulsi Gabbard" being subject to "vicious attacks" from detractors, including Democratic "hacks." These trolls are also trying to tie Gabbard to the odious "alt-right." 

The video is well-worth listening to if you want a better sense of what Congresswoman Gabbard is up against.

Red Dirt Report will continue to monitor the undeniable rise of Tulsi Gabbard in coming months and years. We only wish the congresswoman the best.

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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