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TULSI TIME: Hawaiian congresswoman continues to call for diplomacy in face of pounding war drums

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U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) has been critical of the U.S. govt's lack of interest in a diplomatic solution to ongoing row with North Korea.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – In the days after a false ballistic missile alert sent the entire state of Hawaii into a state of sheer panic and terror, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) kept a cool head, made some calls, and within 12 minutes learned it was a false alarm.

It took Hawaii’s Gov. David Ige 38 terrifying minutes to reassure the citizens of the Aloha State that there was no incoming nuclear missile back on Saturday, Jan. 13th.

For Gabbard, who served in the Hawaii Army National Guard and served two tours in the Middle East in the mid-2000's, she understands the notion of “chain of command.” She also has a far better sense of how the world works than does President Donald Trump, the dithering buffoon who was likely out on one of his golf courses and probably laughed it all off.

Meanwhile, Gov. Ige reassured the public Tuesday that the “state will improve its emergency management operations.” Ige also accepted the resignation of Hawaii Emergency Management Agency administrator Vern Miyagi.

The so-called “button pusher” accepted “full responsibility” for the unfortunate mistake and he will be replaced, at least temporarily, by Brig. Gen. Moses Kaoiwi, director of joint staff of the Hawaii National Guard, according to a story in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Of course what is most concerning is that this “mistake” took place at a time when tensions between the US and North Korea are at a critical point.

The Garden Island newspaper, which covers the Hawaiian island of Kauai, featured an article headlined “The people must be informed about North Korea.

In the article, the writer notes that Gabbard has been calling for diplomatic solutions with North Korea and Kim Jong Un.

It is a travesty and a total failure of leadership, by both Republican and Democrat administrations, that their short-sighted policies over the last 40 years have left the people of Hawaii and this country, our homes and communities, and generations to come, under the dark cloud of a nuclear threat from this point forward,” Gabbard said in a press release republished in The Garden Island newspaper.

Continuing, Gabbard said: “The only possible option to remove this dark cloud will come through the pursuit of serious diplomacy, and that will only be successful if two things happen … First, we must negotiate directly with North Korea and Kim Jong Un. Second, we have to understand why he is holding on so tightly to their nuclear weapons — it is because he sees them as his only deterrent from the U.S. coming in and trying to topple his regime.”

Speaking from experience, having seen firsthand what America’s “regime change” madness does to distant lands, Gabbard would repeat her position on This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

Panic. Terror. Chaos. Confusion. These are the words Gabbard used to accurately describe what befell her home state as the alert made many people wonder if they’d ever see their loved ones again. For Gabbard, though, this was a wake-up call for both state officials and those in charge of protecting Americans from nuclear missile attacks.

Talking to Stephanopoulos shortly after the false missile alert, she said the basic, ballistic missile defense system for both Hawaii and the mainland US needs to be bolstered.

“Our country’s history of regime-change wars has led countries like North Korea to develop and hold onto these nuclear weapons because they see their only deterrent against regime change. And this is what is important for President Trump to recognize. It is critical that we end our policies of regime change wars to provide that credible guarantee that the United States is not going to go in and topple the North Korean regime, so that these conversations can begin, towards denuclearization.”

With Trump’s dangerous talk of “fire and fury” and bigger “buttons,” a simple mistake, like the one that occurred earlier this month in Hawaii could lead to an actual exchange of nuclear weapons, likely changing life on Earth for many, many years. It is urgent, Gabbard said, to have talks with North Korea.

After all, a Dallas, Texas-based Christian pastor that is close to Trump, Robert Jeffress, told the Fox News Channel that “The Bible gives President Trump the moral authority to use whatever force necessary – including assassination and even war – to take out an evildoer like Kim Jong Un.”

Jeffress continued, saying: “I think most Christians understand that.

That's a frightening statement!

Gabbard, the first Hindu and Samoan American to serve in Congress, takes a decidedly different view than most reactionary, warmongering Christians like Jeffress and their ilk, including the far-right Washington Times, whose opinion writer, Cheryl Chumley, said Gabbard was "naive" and "dulling the reality and pressing U.S. leaders to soften get-tough foreign policy platforms."

Meanwhile, a clearly irritated Stephanopoulos tried to nail down Gabbard’s positions on regime change, from Saddam Hussein to Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi and now to Kim Jong Un.

Noting that after Libya was “toppled into chaos” following Gaddafi’s gruesome death, and the ongoing chaos throughout the Middle East, Gabbard told Stephanopoulos that “North Korea sees what we did in Iraq with Saddam Hussein, with those false reports of weapons of mass destruction. And now seeing in Iran seeing how President Trump has decertifying a nuclear deal that prevented Iran from developing their nuclear weapons, threatening the very existence of the agreement that was made.

“So yes,” Gabbard said. “We’ve got to understand that North Korea is holding onto these nuclear weapons because they think it is their only protection, for the United States to come in and do to them what the United States has done to so many countries.”

Stephanopoulos, a loyal servant to the State, tried to force Gabbard into the hot seat and directly ask her if it was a mistake to take out Gaddafi and Hussein.

Gabbard was having none of it, however, mincing no words: “It was. Absolutely.”

No vacillations. No mealy-mouthed excuses. Gabbard takes a position – after much thought and consideration – and sticks with it. Straight to commercial ... 


It is no secret that we here at Red Dirt Report are big advocates and supporters of Congresswoman Gabbard and her sensible approaches to situations of all kinds. We said as much in our April 10, 2017 post "Tulsi Gabbard is standing up against the military-industrial complex." 

And she has stuck to her guns (pardon the pun). Gabbard is loathed by the Democratic establishment, figures - "old crusties" - like Hillary Clinton and Howard Dean, both of whom are all-too comfortable with America’s endless warmongering and bellicosity – which Trump embodies, much to Wall Street’s satisfaction.

Also, with increased interest in Gabbard as a young, fresh, up-and-coming progressive voice - with military and leadership experience, to boot - we sense that the "establishment" Democrats - the same ones upset about her decision in 2016 to support Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign - don't want Gabbard to make it far. In their mind, she's a loose cannon, and I suspect the whisper campaign to make her look "different" because of her Hindu beliefs and reported links to a controversial Hare Krishna leader. In a Honolulu Civil Beat article from 2015 - "Krishna cult rumors still dog Tulsi Gabbard" - you sense that the article is trying to paint her as just a little too out there for mainstream, Christian America - and this is a paper in Hawaii!

But Gabbard handles the criticism well, turning it back on her detractors, saying: "I make the most of every opportunity I get to tell the world that Hawaii is a place where people live the dream of Martin Luther King - where a person is judged not by the color oftheir skin, ethnicity, or religion."

We earnestly agree! We are a diverse nation and we always will be, despite the bigoted rhetoric of reactionary Trump supporters and their enablers in the media.

Meanwhile, we learn today that the U.S. military conducted an unsuccessful missile defense test, where a missile launched from land failed to intercept an incoming target launched from an aircraft in Hawaii, at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, according to Department of Defense spokesman Mark Wright.

The Standard-Missile (SM)-3 Block IIA missile “represents a key advancement in US defense capabilities as it is designed to eventually intercept the type of intercontinental range missile that North Korea has vowed to launch against the US, reports CNN.

In the meantime, Congresswoman Gabbard is working hard for the people of the 2nd District of Hawaii and for all Americans, from environmental issues, peaceful solutions to world problems and the ongoing horrors of human trafficking, among many others.

As she said in response to President Trump's appallingly reactionary and divisive State of the Union address earlier this week: "Rather than pour fuel on the fire of divisiveness and hatred, we must come together in the spirit of aloha and work toward bipartisan solutions for the many challenges that face us today—crumbling infrastructure, lack of affordable housing, a broken healthcare and immigration system, the need for criminal justice reform, and so much more."

Tulsi Gabbard is an American with potential of being a future president. Hopefully sooner rather than later, because the way things are going now, we can't afford more Trumpist chaos and division. 

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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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