Will Tulsi Gabbard face punishment for her trip to Syria?

Gabbard In Syria: Upset Is Mostly About Avoiding A Future #TulsiOrBust [Opinion]

If Tulsi Gabbard, the young Democratic congresswoman who personally flew to Syria on a fact-finding mission, maintains her political trajectory, she will be the president of the United States one day. In the meantime, we will have to contend with a steady stream of negativity aimed at Rep. Gabbard from the corporate media and the democratic establishment. Why? Because they don’t want Tulsi in the White House. They barely even want her in Congress.

Let’s face it, neither the democratic establishment, nor the corporate media have been pleased with Tulsi Gabbard since she resigned from her post as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee to endorse Bernie Sanders when he was up against Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primaries.

After Congresswoman Gabbard’s resignation announcement, the DNC removed her biographical page from the DNC website, but it once portrayed Gabbard very favorably.

“Congresswoman Gabbard is the first American Samoan and Hindu member of Congress, and along with her colleague Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, she is also one of the first female combat veterans to serve in Congress. Her story is an inspiration, and her dedication to public service showcases the best of our party’s values.”

Her popularity among the longstanding members of the DNC dropped significantly right after Gabbard took Sanders’ side and slid further during each public appearance in which she was seen still by his side, allowing Progressives to imagine Gabbard as Sanders’ eventual running mate.

Progressives fell in love with Gabbard.

Tulsi Gabbard opposes regime change war in Syria.
Tulsi Gabbard, now facing even more DNC criticism, is pictured above in 2016 after introducing Sen. Bernie Sanders at a rally in Florida. [Image by Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP Images]

It’s not just Progressives though. Gabbard is an appealing choice among the leading third party voters as well. On the Issues, a non-partisan informational website that rates and categorizes lawmakers and candidates, described Tulsi Gabbard as a “Libertarian-Leaning Progressive” based on her voting record. Even some Green Party voters might be behind Gabbard. After all, Tulsi received a 100 percent score from Environment America.

A Progressive that also appeals to Libertarians, environmental activists, and veterans is a real threat to the status quo that the democratic establishment and the corporate media seem so desperate to return to, so it’s no surprise that Tulsi’s in hot water any time she acts outside the box. Gabbard’s trip to Syria, which was not funded by taxpayers, has brought the water temperature up to a near boiling point though. The rebellious act was the perfect story with which to try to derail the plan Progressives have for Gabbard.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard speaking at the inaugural Justice For Vets Veterans Treatment Court conference in 2013. Gabbard, a combat veteran, has been outspoken about the regime change war in Syria and veteran issues. [Image by Paul Morigi/AP Images]

Gabbard was accused of violating the Logan Act with her trip to Syria, according to Lawfare in an article that also said this would be a hard accusation to pursue considering that Rep. Gabbard spoke only on her own behalf.

“Whether Rep. Gabbard acted with official approval also remains hazy. On one hand, she didn’t seek authorization from the Speaker of the House, and it’s been reported that neither the State Department nor the Defense Department were involved in the planning. On the other hand, Rep. Gabbard appears to have obtained prior authorization from the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, and it’s plausible that the Administration quietly endorsed the trip: The Pentagon knew about it in advance, and yet there’s no public evidence of an objection.”

Reportedly, the House could impose disciplinary measures, though Lawfare stated that it is unlikely. It’s also unlikely that Tulsi’s trip to Syria will negatively impact the Progressive opinion of Rep. Gabbard. If anything, her supporters are even more proud of her.

Though the mainstream press and establishment lawmakers are up in arms over Gabbard’s assessment of the situation in Syria, the Iraq War veteran says that she has seen the chaos that can come from misguided regime change projects first-hand. She’s not alone in her assessment. Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire has made multiple trips to Syria, and agrees that U.S. support for the regime change is contributing to the deaths of hundreds of thousands and claimed that if the efforts are successful, it could lead to a takeover by armed religious-driven fanatics, according to Consortium News.

In Honolulu Civil Beat, veteran and former U.S. diplomat Ann Wright, who resigned from the U.S. government in 2003 in opposition to Bush’s war on Iraq, wrote that she has traveled to Cuba, Iran, Gaza, Yemen, Pakistan, North Korea, Russia, and Afghanistan. She wrote that she has also been criticized and called a traitor for challenging the U.S. policy of regime change.

“I am not an apologist, nor a traitor … nor is Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard for her recent trip to Syria and meeting with Syrian President Assad.

“It is important that we have representatives in our government who will go to countries where the United States is either killing citizens directly by U.S. intervention or indirectly by support of militia groups or by sanctions.

“We need representatives to sift through our government and media reports to find out for themselves the truth, the shades of truth and the untruths.

“We need representatives to be willing to take the heat from both their fellow members of Congress and from the media pundits who will not go to those areas and talk with those directly affected by U.S. actions.

“We need representatives who will be our eyes and ears to go to places where most citizens can not go.”

Gabbard is serious in her opposition to U.S.-supported regime change wars. In December, almost immediately after returning from the camps near Standing Rock where she joined other veterans in acting as human shields for water protectors who were actively protesting the Dakota Pipeline, Tulsi Gabbard announced that she would introduce H.R.608, also known as the Stop Arming Terrorists Act.

H.R. 608 has seven co-sponsors and is a bi-partisan effort that would “prohibit the use of United States Government funds to provide assistance to Al Qaeda, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and to countries supporting those organizations, and for other purposes.” It was introduced in the House on January 23, 2017, and has been referred to House Intelligence and House Foreign Affairs committees, where it currently sits.

Establishment lawmakers and the corporate media will continue to chastise Gabbard for her trip to Syria. They will vilify her as though she is a treasonous danger to our democracy. They will portray her as naive, though she holds the rank of a major in the U.S. Army, is a combat veteran, and once held the second highest position within the DNC. Meanwhile, Gabbard will continue to try to work within the Republican controlled government to improve the lives of the American people and to improve global diplomacy. Tulsi Gabbard will do her job. She will spend this Congressional term crossing the aisle in bi-partisan efforts and follow her conscience at a time when so many lawmakers on the left are busy simply trying to herd Progressives back into the Democratic Party.

In her persistence, Rep. Gabbard will be noticed and praised by an increasing number of voters. The number of Americans calling for her to lead the country will increase. Then, when it’s Tulsi’s time, democratic elites and the mainstream media will regurgitate Gabbard’s “scandalous trip to Syria” in an attempt to discredit her. They’ll bring up Tulsi’s meeting with a President-elect Trump. They’ll say that she works with Republicans, that she leans Libertarian and that she’ll let Republicans keep their Second Amendment rights, as though those things would be frowned upon by the average American voter. Except, the average voter, especially the independent voters, will love her even more for these things.

Tulsi Gabbard was the first woman to finish as the distinguished honor graduate in Alabama Military Academy’s 50-year history, so she’ll have an impressive so-called “woman card” to fall back on. If she chooses to run, or rather, when she chooses to run, Tulsi Gabbard will be unbeatable. The democratic elite know they wouldn’t stand a chance against a #TulsiOrBust campaign, so we should expect the corporate media, once referred to by Bernie Sanders as an “arm of the ruling class of this country,” to try to prevent such a campaign from ever beginning.

[Featured Image by Lynne Sladky/AP Images]

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