Her public statements, website positions, and body language suggest she’s a genuine anti-war presidential aspirant.
Wanting US wars of aggression ended against nations threatening no one makes her worthy of everyone’s support.
At the same time, it’s important to note that candidates on the stump say one thing, then time and again do things entirely different in office, notably the nation’s highest.
Candidate Obama was anti-war. As president, he bragged about terror-bombing seven countries. On his watch, millions suffered and died from his wars of aggression.
Candidate Trump raged about trillions of dollars poured down a black hole of waste, fraud, and abuse for endless wars.
As president, he escalated inherited wars of aggression on Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen — on the phony pretext of combating the scourge of ISIS the US created and supports.
He’s waging all-out war on Iran and Venezuela by other means, pushing things toward possibly turning things hot.
That said, among the crowded field of about 25 Dem aspirants, Gabbard, and 89-year-old former Senator Mike Gravel’s symbolic candidacy, are the only ones in the race that appear genuinely anti-war and progressive.
Gravel is running to promote what all just societies hold dear, not win. He’ll be age-90 next May, a challenge for anyone his age to work long hours daily — especially in a high-stress position on the world stage.
At age-38, Gabbard has plenty of vigor to handle head of state rigors. This article focuses on her foreign policy positions.
On Russia, she’s falsely called a Kremlin darling, far from it. She voted for illegal US sanctions on the country, along with falsely accusing its ruling authorities of “aggression” in Ukraine.
That was long ago, her views perhaps changed after getting reliable information, dispelling what’s clearly false, misleading and unacceptable.
Asked in May if she believes Vladimir Putin is a threat to US security, she said the following:
“(T)ime and again…our continued wasteful regime change wars have been counterproductive to the interests of the American people and the approach that this administration has taken in essentially choosing conflict rather than seeing how we can cooperate and work out our differences with other countries in the world has been counterproductive to our national security.”
A better answer would have been that the US clearly threatens Russia and all other countries it doesn’t control — not the other way around.
The Russian Federation never attacked another nation, threatening none now. The US wages endless wars of aggression, threatening everyone everywhere.
She added that
“escalated…tensions…between the (US) and nuclear-armed countries like Russia and China…brought us to this very dangerous point where nuclear strategists point out that we are at a greater risk of nuclear war now than ever before in history and we’ve got to understand what the consequences of that are.”
The obvious solution is stepping back from the brink, seeking world peace and cooperative relations with other countries. Instead, policies of Republicans and Dems are polar opposite — indeed risking possible nuclear war by accident or design.
Last February, Gabbard slammed the Trump regime’s trade war with China, tweeting:
It “damaged, not helped, our economy, has undermined our efforts to denuclearize North Korea, and has strengthened the hand of Chinese anti-American militarists.”
She strongly opposes preemptive US wars on any nations. She correctly said
“war with Iran would be far more costly and far more devastating than anything that we experienced in Iraq.”
“So, it would essentially make the war in Iraq look like a cakewalk.”
She’s against illegal US nuclear related sanctions on Iran, stressing the country’s full compliance with its JCPOA obligations.
She opposed Trump’s JCPOA pullout, risking “very dangerous consequences.”
She falsely claimed it will likely “result in Iran restarting its nuclear weapons program” — what it never had, doesn’t want, calling for elimination of these weapons.
She denounced decades of US interventionist policies against the country. She incorrectly believes Iran earlier sought a nuclear deterrent for self-defense.
North Korea developed nuclear weapons for this purpose, not the Islamic Republic.
On the DPRK, she falsely believes the country poses a threat, perhaps unaware that its ruling authorities never attacked another nation throughout its post-WW II history — beginning on August 17, 1945 when the Korean peninsula was divided, changing the course of history negatively.
She supports meeting with Kim Jong-un “without preconditions,” knowing the DPRK developed nuclear weapons over feared US aggression.
She strongly opposes “US regime change war policy because it has been completely counterproductive to US interests and has caused immense human suffering around the world.”
She called for ending “genocidal war in Yemen” and breaking off longstanding US relations with Saudi Arabia, a despotic crime family masquerading as a nation-state, true as well about other despotic Gulf states.
The US should stay out of Venezuela, she said, adding: It’s all “about the oil.”
“Let the Venezuelan people determine their future. We don’t want other countries to choose our leaders, so we have to stop trying to choose theirs.”
Asked if she opposes (US-designated puppet) Guaido, US sanctions on Venezuela, and military intervention, she said “all of the above.”
Despite voting for a nonbinding congressional resolution, condemning the right to boycott Israel in support of Palestinian rights, she pledged to oppose legislation that “restrict(s) freedom of speech by imposing legal penalties against those who participate in the BDS movement.”
On Afghanistan, the longest US war in modern times with no end of it in prospect, she said she’ll “bring our troops home within the first year in office because they shouldn’t have been there this long.”
They shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Osama bin Laden and the Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11 — the mother of all US state-sponsored false flags.
Gabbard joined the army national guard “after the al-Qaeda terror attacks on 9/11 so I could go after those who attacked us on that day,” she said.
An Iraq war veteran, older and wiser, she said the war “was based on lies,” and accused the CIA of “funneling weapons and money through Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and others who provide direct and indirect support to groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda.”
She’s may be the only congressional member boldly stating the above cold hard truths publicly to her credit.
She’s wrongfully criticized for meeting with Syria’s Assad, touring parts of the country, and seeing firsthand the devastation of US aggression.
She called all anti-government forces terrorists, saying so-called moderate rebels don’t exist, stressing “(t)hat is a fact.”
Returning home from Syria, she expressed “even greater resolve to end our illegal war to overthrow the Syrian government.”
She vowed as president and commander-in-chief to “end these regime change wars.”
She said US interventionist wars in Iraq, Libya, and elsewhere caused enormous human suffering, along with “imped(ing) our ability to form relationships with countries that are skeptical of our intentions.”
She calls for “spending the trillions of dollars wasted in interventionist wars on more pressing domestic issues in America, like infrastructure, college debt, (and) healthcare.”
Polls show the vast majority of Americans favor use of the military only as a last resort. The US prioritizes preemptive wars of aggression — against invented enemies. Real ones don’t exist.
In December 2016, Gabbard introduced the Stop Arming Terrorists Act, saying the following at the time:
“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.”
Separately she said
“(i)f 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…direct(ly) and indirect(ly) supports…ISIS and al-Qaeda.”
“This support has allowed (these jihadists) 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.”
She called “the issue of war and peace” central to her campaign, describing herself as an anti-war/anti-Trump progressive.
She also vowed “to fight for equal rights for all.” Is she an ideal presidential aspirant?
No one is. I take issue with some of her views, but admire her opposition to imperial wars and support for social justice.
Polls show she has scant backing sadly, making it highly unlikely for her to become the Dem standard bearer.
Establishment media first ignored her. Then as her name recognition grew, they considered her unqualified for the nation’s highest office for being anti-war and pro-social justice.
History shows no anti-war US presidential aspirant has a chance to win out over challengers — not in a nation addicted to endless wars of aggression.
It’s the longstanding American way. Both extremist right wings of its war party abhor peace, equity and justice.
Candidates with these views for president and congressional leadership positions haven’t got a chance.
As long as Gabbard maintains them, she’s likely destined to be no more a footnote in US political history at most.
It’s a disturbing testimony to what the scourge of US imperialism and neoliberal harshness are all about.
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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Featured image is from Another Day in the Empire