The Apparent Contradiction At The Heart Of Tulsi Gabbard’s Presidential Campaign – OpEd


Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) has presented her opposition to certain United States military interventions overseas as a major issue, and arguably as the primary issue, in her presidential campaign. Yet, there is an apparent contradiction between the way she disparages certain US military interventions overseas and the way she talks up her own past and current employment in the US military.

This apparent contradiction was on display during a Wednesday interview of Gabbard at the ABC show The View.

Gabbard, referring to the show’s hosts, said, “some of you have accused me of being a traitor to my county, a Russian asset, a Trojan horse, or a useful idiot I think was the term you used.” Defending herself from those accusations, Gabbard states:

I want to let your viewers know exactly who I am — set the record straight. I am a patriot. I love our country. I am a strong and intelligent woman of color. And I have dedicated almost my entire adult life to protecting the safety, security, and the freedom of all Americans in this country.

Gabbard proceeds to make clear that she includes 16 years and counting in the US Army as part of her time dedicated to “protecting the safety, security, and the freedom of all Americans in this country.” Responding to criticism of her by Hillary Clinton that was along the same lines as the criticism from hosts of the show, Gabbard declares:

Unfortunately, you doubled down on the baseless accusation that [Clinton] made that strikes at the core of who I am. I’m a soldier.

Gabbard also presents in the interview this criticism of Clinton, who has been US first lady, senator, and secretary of state:

It is indisputable to say anything other than the fact — let me just close this out — that Hillary Clinton, throughout her career, has levered the foreign policy of interventionism and being the world’s police, going and toppling dictators in other countries, that has caused such destruction and loss of life.

See the apparent contradiction here? Gabbard claims Gabbard is good because she has been in the US military and that Clinton is bad because Clinton has helped direct the military to do bad things. Indeed, Gabbard goes on to criticizes Clinton championing the Iraq War in which Gabbard was deployed. “I believed the lies that were told to us” to promote that war, says Gabbard.

Now that Gabbard recognizes those lies and opposes that war, how does she square her work in the US military in that war with her suggestion that she spent that time “protecting the safety, security, and the freedom of all Americans in this country?” Maybe she can. It would be interesting to hear her explanation.

How about the rest of Gabbard’s work in the US military? How has it advanced “protecting the safety, security, and the freedom of all Americans in this country?” An explanation would be helpful.

This article was published by RonPaul Institute

5 thoughts on “The Apparent Contradiction At The Heart Of Tulsi Gabbard’s Presidential Campaign – OpEd

  • November 8, 2019 at 10:29 am

    Hillary Clinton has a history of promoting disastrous interventions in foreign countries, before, during, and after 9/11, from supporting coups to calling for provocative no fly zones to outright military interventions. That’s the difference. Gabbard is looking out for soldiers and civilians alike.

  • November 8, 2019 at 12:37 pm

    My understanding is tat Tulsi worked caring for wounded soldiers.Hillary-supported policies placed our troops in harm’s way for no really good reasons.Bernie/Tulsi 2020

  • November 8, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    she served her country and as many, she trusted and believed their lies, now she opened her eyes and can do a much better job

  • November 9, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    Firstly, perhaps if Tulsi Gabbard was allowed to speak and explain her views, some of these questions might be addressed. But the smears against her have been non-stop and pervasive, though all of them can be debunked. But if she was allowed to explain her position, then she could address some of the possible contradictions in her stance on US foreign policy.

    Secondly, on the rare occasions when she is actually allowed to speak for herself, I think she has made some effort to address this. She identifies as a “hawk” with respect to US military action against Jihadi groups, especially Al Quaeda. I recall that her initial impetus to service in the military was about her response to 9/11. She is making a distinction between groups that want to actively harm the US, or have actively harmed the US, and regimes which are atrocious, but which are not actually a threat to the US. There was a time in the 2000’s when this position was actually the position of a lot of Democrats as was the view that we should try to find some kind of nuanced accommodation with Russia.

    I don’t know that her position is “the answer”. I do think she is at least asking some of the right questions and she could be heard and responded to or criticized or supported on the basis of what her positions actually are. That would be better and more productive than the constant bizarre drumbeat of smears, most of which do actually seem to stem from the Clinton camp.

  • November 9, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    Tulsi serves out of patriotism. She doesn’t serve to protect oil for other nations. She joined the Army National Guard. The purpose of the Guard is to protect the USA and assist in national emergencies. Bush deployed the Guard overseas under false pretenses.


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