American politician Tulsi Gabbard is an Iraq War veteran who made history in 2012 as the first Hindu elected to the US Congress. She has since entrenched herself as a rising star within the Democratic Party.
But as one of the few Democrats to meet with Donald Trump following his election victory, Gabbard’s unorthodox positioning has drawn criticism. This has only been enhanced by her highly controversial visit last year to Syria where she met with Assad.
Breaking with most Democrats, Gabbard has also embraced the use of the phrase “radical Islam”. But she also criticised the Republican administration for its involvement in the Syria conflict.
Syria: Another Iraq?
On 13 September 2018, she lambasted President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence of protecting “al-Qaeda and other jihadist forces in Syria,” all the while “threatening Russia, Syria, and Iran, with military force if they dare attack these terrorists.” Gabbard continued:
“This is a betrayal of the American people, especially the victims of Al Qaeda’s attack on 9/11 and their families, first responders, and my brothers and sisters in uniform who have been killed or wounded in action and their families. For the President, who is Commander in Chief, to act as the protective big brother of al-Qaeda and other jihadists must be condemned by every Member of Congress.”
She also condemned American allies Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar for its support of radical Islamist extremism presently fighting against Assad, and would replace his despotic regime with something much worse:
“There is no doubt that if the United States and its allies are successful in their war to topple Assad, the most powerful forces on the ground (Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups) would take over, and religious minorities or anyone who disagreed with Al Qaeda’s theology/ideology would be targeted.
When I visited Syria, I met with Christian leaders in Aleppo who took me to a few of their historic churches that had been targeted and bombed to rubble by terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS who adhere to the extreme Wahhabi Salafi ideology, propagated by Saudi Arabia around the world, believing that unless you adhere to their extremist exclusivist ideology, then you must be killed or enslaved.”
United States of Jihad
America is a very poor student of history. In 1971 President Nixon of Watergate notoriety, along with his war criminal sidekick Henry Kissinger, backed Pakistan and radical Islamic groups such as al-Badr militia in order to suppress the liberation movement in what became Bangladesh. Back then it was the Democrat Party’s Senator Edward Kennedy who submitted a report on to the US Senate Judiciary Commit-tee (November 1, 1971) on the genocide of between 1 and 2 million mostly Hindu Bengalis by the Pakistan jihad machine and its local collaborators: all armed by America.
A decade later Reagan was to back the Afghan mujahedeen against the Soviets and their puppets in Kabul, as well as breaking his own embargo by selling arms to Iran in order to finance Contra rebels in Nicaragua. Reagan’s arming of Pakistan’s military Islamic fundamentalist regime of Zia-ul-haq led that weaponry finding its way into Islamabad-supported jihad in Kashmir. America was rewarded for its support of Islamic militias by having its embassy burnt down in 1979 by religious fanatics while General Zia averted his gaze from the carnage.
In like manner Gabbard has revealed that America is funding and supporting Islamic extremists who support the very Saudi terrorists who attacked New York in 9/11. Due to American efforts against Assad using jihadi outfits, Syria has now become more dependent on Russia and Iran. American intervention was creating a situation similar to what happened in Libya when the overthrow of Gaddafi allowed ISIS affiliates to cause civil war and bloodshed. Yet as 2018 drew to a close, President Trump himself tweeted that American troops would be withdrawn from Syria.
This has come as a shock to his own Republican Party allies, as well as Israel and Kurdish Peshmerga who feel it will embolden the Assad regime, Russia, Iran, Turkey and above all ISIS. On 19 December 2018, Donald Trump ordered a full, rapid withdrawal of over 2,000 US troops in Syria, declaring victory over the Islamic State.
Although in different parties, and on paper political polar opposites, Gabbard and Trump are the face of a new kind of American politics. Indeed it is an incredible irony that this withdrawal from Syria by a right-wing Republican president so beloved of the altright white nationalism, conservative voters, evangelical Christians, big business, and constantly associated with redneck racism and the ‘peckerwood’ subculture of working-class whites, has parallels with what Gabbard has been calling for. Tulsi Gabbard in many ways reflects the new demographics.
Of mixed ethnic background and open in her Hindu beliefs, the Congresswoman and war veteran is the icon of America’s changing demographics. Politically she has been linked to the Bernie Saunders brand of socialism in the Democratic Party, which vies against Trump’s populism for support from the still largely white working-class which make up America’s proletariat. But on Syria the polar opposites converge. Trump wants to see ‘America First’, a slogan used by aviator and later pro-Nazi isolationist Charles Lindbergh in wanting to keep the USA out of Word War 2.
That means putting America’s interests first. For Gabbard she sees trillions of dollars wasted and countless American and other lives frittered away on yet another foreign escapade which far from spreading democracy, will only help the very forces which wish to destroy America.
This is most notable with Trump’s unwavering support for Saudi Arabia which has caused devastation and famine in its much poorer neighbour Yemen, all with western arms. In addition Saudi’s fanatical Wahhabis have preached hatred of the west and America by staffing mosques worldwide as part of Riyadh’s decades old information war. It is in these mosques that radicalisation has taken place leading to tragedies such as 9/11 and 7/7. Yet apart from Gabbard few are prepared to criticise the American-Wahhabi axis as it would risk jobs in America and American interests in the Middle East. But it is that same realpolitik apologetics which led Nixon and Kissinger to ditch Taiwan in favour of China in 1973, and manifested decades later in the ideological offspring of Chairman Mao, the Cultural Revolution and its Red Guards enjoying a great economic leap forward over America and the present trade war.
Scapegoating the Hindu Politician
The attacks from the Left have come not so much because of Gabbard’s position on Syria and wasting taxpayers money on futile wars which only help terrorist outfits in their pursuit of jihad, but by forces which are more concerned by her Hindu beliefs. On 10 August 2018 Sabrina Siddiqui wrote in that Hinduphobic mouthpiece The Guardian how Gabbard was a paradox for the Left in that she has“aligned herself with nationalist figures such as Narendra Modi of India.”
Gabbard has been accused of being supportive of the ruling BJP, Narendra Modi and linked RSS. Hence she has been painted as a Hindu extremist for supporting international yoga day, being against the denial of Modi’s entry to America, and for raising the plight of Indigenous Hindus worldwide.
This is despite the fact that the Congresswoman has candidly said that she would condemn India if it were to persecute minorities in the same manner that Hindus are treated in neighbouring Islamic states, and has also expressed her lack of partisanship towards the BJP or any other political party in India.
This has been linked to other crackpot conspiracy theories leading to absurd results. So in this alternate reality we have the supposed crypto-Muslim president of America (Obama) welcoming the supposed Hitler-worshipping and anti-Muslim fanatic (Narendra Modi) with the red carpet. Coming back to actual reality, Modi has in fact been welcomed by actual Muslim rulers in actual Islamic states, notably Iran where India has irked America by ignoring trade bans in order to have access to oil (yet ironically that same America ignores Saudi Wahhabi terrorism to arm Riyadh and have access to the world’s largest oil reserves), and also the UAE. In 2013 Syria’s Ambassador to India, Riad Kamel Abbas, even called on India to play a bigger role in resolving the Syrian conflict.
On the other hand she has also attracted the ire of the right-wing Christian fundamentalism that so permeates America. In 2016 Angela Kaaihue, Republican candidate standing against Gabbard in Hawaii, denounced the Democrat as being a devil worshipper. Kaaihue had previously denounced Japanese in a racist rant, and expressed her negative views on followers of religions other than her own Christianity.
Yet far from being supported by Hindu Americans, Gabbard has been relegated to an inferior positions by a community enthralled with Trump and who take pride in being associated with the right-wing label. As in UK, and perhaps even more so, Hindus in America have little understanding of the political narrative.
In India the only means of getting ahead is to latch onto a local politician to be a crony, feudalised tenant or other ‘beggar’ in order to avoid falling into the pit of impoverished masses.
While America in theory offers any person with talent and effort to get ahead, the stranglehold of lobbyists, referred to as “the swamp” by Trump, has created eerie parallels from the Third World quagmire from which they escaped. Hence instead of supporting Gabbard they support those who are seen as ‘successful’.
This does not only include the businessman and TV celebrity president who now lords it over them, but also Nikki Haley and Bobby Jindal who openly disavow their religious background in order to fit in, and link with the very right-wing Christian fundamentalists who link up with resurgent Marxism to label anything Hindu as right-wing and fascist. That includes Tulsi Gabbard.
Uncomfortable American Truths
The Hindu factor in all this is not irrelevant. In fact it is central. The very same Leftists who denounce Gabbard as a Hindu extremist would be lining up to take selfies of surviving ancient cultures and indigenous peoples.
That would include their very own Native Americans who suffered terribly as democracy and ‘freedom’ spread throughout the North America. Once inhabitants of an entire continent, these indigenous people suffered almost complete extermination such as the Trail of Tears when they were marched off on a long trek to what is now Oklahoma.
As America expanded and the continent opened up, disease, alcoholism, lynchings, dispossession and attacks by the US military confined the Native Americans to a few reservations or social destitution’s on the margins of what was now a white man’s country. If this was not enough right up into the twentieth century, children were removed from their parents and families, and put into boarding schools where they were forbidden from speaking their own languages, following their ancestral beliefs, and disconnected from their ancient culture as they had Christianity forced down their throats.
The result today can be seen in the severe social problems and family dysfunction which plague indigenous communities. This is the resultant fallout of what was deemed ‘progress’. By following her Hindu beliefs, Gabbard provokes the ire of the Left which sees her beliefs as backward, regressive and superstitious. On the other hand the right sees them as pagan, heathen idolatrous and diabolical.
Yet some Hindu Americans once again to pin their hopes on a resurgent populist right. In this they demonstrate crass ignorance, not just of the treatment of Native Americans, but also its roots in the hardcore Calvinist beliefs and Protestant messianism which harks back to the founding of America itself. The original English colonies were not founded as a refuge from lack of democracy in the motherland and to create a more equal society in Virginia and elsewhere.
The Pilgrim Fathers felt England was too lax in its adherence to Christianity. In North America they would set up the ideal state and expunge the native heathen masses.
Neoconservative Great Leap Backwards
The rise of ISIS was caused by that ill-founded invasion of Iraq and subsequent clumsy and half-hearted attempts to support insurrection in Syria. In this we had the convergence of evangelical Christian and neoconservative ideas; the former, with their roots in America’s Calvinist genesis, saw the overthrow of Saddam as proof that Biblical prophecies in Revelations were being fulfilled; the latter were infected with the Leninist dogma and flawed progressivism of their largely Trotskyist past in believing that they were bringing freedom and democracy to a benighted people.
In this Gabbard uses realism and pragmatism to find a means out of the imbroglio which now exists. In this she breaks through the dominant narrative which seeks to ascribe the often outdated terms left and right to positions which are taken in both domestic and foreign policy. As to the allegations of being linked to Hindu extremists and thereby guilty of Islamophobia, it is again incredible how such haters are blinded by reality.
American military and political involvement which caused the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and almost snuffed out Bashar Assad, has directly caused more deaths of Muslims than the non-interventionist stance.
In the name of progress, freedom and democracy vicious fighting between Sunnis and Shia, as well as Muslims against Christians, Kurds against ISIS and al-Nusra, jihadi groups against Syria’s ruling Alawites, ISIS against Shias, Christians and Yazidis have led to casualties which could have been avoided.
It has led to a burgeoning refugee crisis, the rise of the Far Right, xenophobia and populism across Europe and America, the proliferation of lone wold terrorism, the copying of jihadi tactics by neo-Nazi cells, and a resource for free market human traffickers to prey on the destitution created.
Unfortunately when you do not recognise or realise the intense religious fervour, millenarianism, messianism and chiliasm on which the original American colonies were founded your entire world view is flawed, broken and bankrupt. Underneath all the calls for liberty and democracy, it is that undeniable dogma which makes America fertile soil for all sorts of cults, quack theories and paranoia. However the truth cannot be suppressed and in interview with Jimmy Dore, Gabbard breaks through the political impasse which has obscured the verifiable facts for so long.
Dore is an American stand-up comedian and political commentator best known for hosting The Jimmy Dore Show and co-hosting The Aggressive Progressives on The Young Turks network. His political views can be described as populist, leftist, anti-establishment and anti-war. Dore has been an aggressive critic of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and other mainstream Democrats with connections to the country’s political elite.
His style and narrative represents the new wave of political discourse, one that does not follow the dictates of the mainstream media and the corrupted political elite which has become the nemesis of American democracy itself. Instead of being fed lies and Orwellian propaganda in the so-called war on terrorism, the American public has access to what has long been hidden from them. In this slow but long overdue breakthrough, Dore’s interview with Gabbard demonstrates the latter as not only the beacon of hope for millions of Americans yearning for truth, but a serious presidential candidate who can get past the snowflake virtue signalling and right-wing populism.
Jimmy Dore Show
Save America: Vote For Tulsi Gabbard