Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) is making waves as she criticizes President Obama on his refusal to “legitimize” ISIS by calling them Islamic.
According to ABC News:
“Known as a rising political star, the Hawaii Democrat is one of the first two female combat veterans elected to Congress. She did [two] tours in Iraq, and doesn’t hesitate to make her opinions known when it comes to defense issues. For instance, in 2013, she broke with the Obama administration by refusing to support airstrikes against Bashar al-Assad in Syria.”
In a 2013 piece for The Huffington Post, Gabbard explained her reasons for going against the administration on Syria:
“War is hell. But, as a soldier and combat veteran, I know it is sometimes necessary…Intervention of this sort requires a high bar for me to support–that it is in our nation’s security, diplomatic and moral interest…
The proposed intervention in syria does not meet this test. I spent the last week with an open mind, examined the evidence, heard the Administration’s arguments…I have concluded that intervention in syria goes against America’s national security, international credibility, economic interest, and moral center.”
Gabbard is no pushover, nor is she one to agree with the party line. Gabbard has made her opposition to President Obama’s refusal to label ISIS as “Islamic” known, appearing on both CNN, and Fox News to explain her concerns.
During an interview Wednesday with Fox’s Neil Cavuto, Gabbard explained her motivations in three parts:
First: If we don’t identify our enemies, we cannot defeat them.
“Unless you accurately identify who your enemy is, then you can’t come up with an effective strategy, a winning strategy to defeat that enemy. My concern here with the summit that’s happening right now in Washington is that it really is a diversion from what our real focus needs to be, and that focus is on this Islamic extremist threat that is posed not only to the United States and the American people, but around the world.”
Second: The administration’s explanations for extremism are incorrect.
“From what we’ve heard so far, the administration is really claiming that the motivation or the — the thing that’s fueling this terrorism, around the world, is something that has to do with poverty, has to do with a lack of jobs, or lack of access to education, really a materialistic motivation. And therefore, they are proposing that the solution must be to alleviate poverty around the world, to continue this failed Bush and Obama policy of nation building.”
Third: ISIS is radically theological, not simply materialistic.
“The danger here is, again, that you’re not identifying the threat, and you’re not identifying the fact that they are not fueled by a materialistic motivation, it’s actually a theological, this radical Islamic ideology that is allowing them to continue to recruit, that is allowing them to continue to grow in strength and really that’s really fueling these horrific terrorist activities around the world.”
Gabbard’s position against the President has garnered some bad press. The editorial board at The Honolulu Civil Beat published a scathing piece on Gabbard, arguing that her positions are simply semantics:
“Gabbard’s argument largely boils down to…dubious ideas…only in specifically, publicly tying terrorists to their religious ideology can the White House truly understand where the terrorist organizations recruit, how they think, etc. [and] his failure to use Gabbard’s preferred phrasing means he doesn’t ‘get’ any of this in the first place. Let’s be clear: These are not serious policy arguments.”
The article goes on to question Gabbard’s motivations for going against Obama, strongly implying that she simply wants to further her political career.
The attacks on Tulsi Gabbard date as far back as 2012, when The Daily Kos railed against Gabbard, suggesting that ties to her father–a former State Senator–was a sign of nepotism, and a source of dangerous policy ideas.
Regardless of the ongoing attacks on her character, and her policy, Congresswoman Gabbard doesn’t seem to be interested in backing down.
—Courtesy of IJ Review