Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard inspires many Americans with her peacemaking rhetoric, but some skeptics fear that she’s nothing more than another Obama. Many disgruntled Americans applauded the native Samoan’s promise to “end regime change wars” if she wins the 2020 election, and given the Hawaiian congressional representative’s previous deployment in Iraq as part of the National Guard, a lot of people think that she’s sincere with her pledge after seeing the terrors of war firsthand. Part of her appeal is also that she’s considered to be something of a “renegade” after resigning from her post as the Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee in early 2016 to support Bernie Sanders’ ultimately failed candidacy.
The surprise meeting that she had with Syrian President Assad in early 2017 and her condemnation of the Trump Administration for protecting “al-Qaeda and other jihadist forces” earned her hearty praise from anti-war activists on both sides of the aisle, but inadvertently contributed to the political establishment’s smear attacks against her as a so-called “Kremlin puppet”. That weaponized variation of the long-debunked “Russiagate” conspiracy theory is clearly intended to harm her candidacy as revenge against her for dropping the DNC in order to support Sanders, to say nothing of her stance on Syria. That said, there are growing concerns among some skeptics that Tulsi might not be the new hope that she and her supporters are portraying her as.
Some of the political faults that various critics point out are that she’s linked to Hindu nationalists and is close to the Syrian Kurds, the first-mentioned of which has been documented by the Organization for Minorities of India while the latter was just revealed when she invited the co-president of the Syrian Democratic Council as her guest at Trump’s recent State of the Union speech. Cynics allege that she can’t really be as pro-peace as she says if she associates with Hindu nationalists whose movements have been accused of inspiring anti-Muslim lynchings in India, the same as how she supposedly can’t be all that pro-Syrian if she’s siding with an organization that wants to de-facto internally partition the country.
Tulsi’s undoubtedly one of the hottest political forces to throw her hat in the 2020 election, but just like Obama turned out, she might also be too good to be true.
Andrew Korybko is joined by Don DeBar, host of a syndicated daily radio newscast CPR News heard across the US and Patrick Henningsen, Executive Editor of the news and analysis website, 21stCenturyWire.com.