Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii seized on a question about the removal of American troops in Syria to launch a broadside against one of her favorite foes — the media — both in coverage of her campaign and coverage of the conflict in Syria.
Donald Trump has the blood of the Kurds on his hand, but so do many of the politicians in our country from both parties who have supported this ongoing “regime change” war in Syria that started in 2011, along with many in the mainstream media, who have been championing and cheerleading this regime change war. Not only that but, The New York Times and CNN have also smeared veterans like myself for calling for an end to this regime change war. Just two days ago, The New York Times put out an article saying that I’m a Russian asset and an Assad apologist, and all these different smears.
The Times article Ms. Gabbard referenced, however, merely notes that the congresswoman is a frequent topic of Russian state news media; there is no inference that she is a Russian asset. Ms. Gabbard also met with the Syrian dictator, Bashar al-Assad, in January 2017, and has said the dictator is “not the enemy of the United States.” In August, on CNN, Ms. Gabbard called Mr. Assad a “brutal dictator.”
On Tuesday, she also criticized CNN, one of the debate sponsors, along with The Times.
This morning, a CNN commentator said on national television that I’m an asset of Russia. Completely despicable. As president, I will end these regime change wars by doing two things: ending the draconian sanctions that are really a modern-day siege, the likes of which we are seeing Saudi Arabia wage against Yemen that have caused tens of thousands Syrian civilians to die and to starve, and make sure we stop supporting terrorists like Al Qaeda in Syria, who have been the ground force in this ongoing regime change war.
Ms. Gabbard, 38, has often portrayed her campaign as the victim of a rigged system. She threatened as recently as last weekend to boycott the debate, and accused the Democratic National Committee and “corporate media” of trying to usurp the role of voters. It recalled, Ms. Gabbard has alleged, the party’s “rigged” 2016 contest.
As an Iraq war veteran, Ms. Gabbard has attracted a disparate group of followers with her isolationist foreign policy stance, a tack she struck in her answer criticizing the involvement of the United States in what she calls “regime change” wars.
Ms. Gabbard’s star appeared to be on the rise among Democrats four years ago, but then she rankled the party’s establishment by resigning as D.N.C. vice chair to support Senator Bernie Sanders against Hillary Clinton. She also voiced criticism of President Barack Obama — like many Republicans — for his unwillingness to use the term “radical Islam.”
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