Tulsi Gabbard fans shouldn’t set their hopes too high, but the Afghanistan Papers do vindicate her iconoclastic foreign policy views. From Marco at idsent.wordpress.com:
Three very interesting things happened today in Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign for the Democratic nomination for the US Presidency. First, there was a huge story in The Washington Post about the so-called “Afghanistan Papers,” which reveal thousands of pages of confidential interviews with hundreds of key US government officials telling how the Bush, Obama and Trump administrations lied to the American public about the prosecution of the 18-year US war in Afghanistan—how successive US administrations manipulated data about the war to paint a much rosier picture of US and Afghan government achievements throughout the conflict.
How big is this story? Think “Pentagon Papers.” Daniel Ellsberg. Think Vietnam big.
The story should suck up a lot of oxygen over the next few weeks, and it is one that should produce some unusually positive coverage for Tulsi, given that the issue of the failures of US military interventionism overseas has been the primary focus of her campaign. The second interesting thing is the story has the potential to tie into another story involving a management consulting firm called McKinsey & Company that performed confidential contract work in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Tulsi Gabbard is the only Democratic candidate who is talking about, and criticizing US foreign and military policy. Incredibly, she’s being criticized for not talking about things that “matter.” From Doug Bandow at theamericanconservative.com:
Meanwhile, her fellow Democrats appear abysmally unconcerned about the human and financial toll.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard in August 2019. (Flickr/Creative Commons/Gage Skidmore)
The Democratic establishment is increasingly irritated. Representative Tulsi Gabbard, long-shot candidate for president, is attacking her own party for promoting the “deeply destructive” policy of “regime change wars.” Gabbard has even called Hillary Clinton “the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party.”
Senator Chris Murphy complained: “It’s a little hard to figure out what itch she’s trying to scratch in the Democratic Party right now.” Some conservatives seem equally confused. The Washington Examiner’s Eddie Scarry asked: “where is Tulsi distinguishing herself when it really matters?”
In the year prior to a presidential election, Thanksgiving is usually when primary races for party nominations begin to come into focus. Donors have had most of the year to assess the candidates and the voters are starting to pay attention. The first test is a little over two months away, so all of the candidates have their people in the field. The boots on the ground test is one of those unofficial measures that tell us something about the organic and financial support for each candidate.
According the polls, Mayor Pete Buttigieg is the favorite to win the Iowa caucus, currently polling at 25%. Warren and Sanders are tied for second at a little under 20% each, while Biden is at 12%. The Iowa caucus is not a great predictor, but it does tend to winnow the field. That means the four plausible candidates at the moment are the four at the top of the polls. The rest of the field is in low single digits. Mayor Bloomberg does not appear to be running in the state at this point.
New Hampshire has always been the bellwether and the numbers there tell us it is a four human race as well. The latest polls have Warren, Buttigieg, Sanders and Biden clustered together in the teens. Tulsi Gabbard is the only minor candidate showing any support, which bears watching. New Hampshire has a habit of elevating a minor candidate when the leaders appear weak. Gabbard is the chaos option for frustrated voters in the state. Bloomberg could also be an option.
With just a few minutes of airtime, Tulsi Gabbard and Donald Trump Jr. pulled back the curtain on The View. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:
The unbearable harpies of The View that gather every weekday on ABC to show the world what toxic femininity looks like reached their peak of relevance this week thanks to two Presidential candidates, Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Donald Trump Jr. (R-Future).
Both Gabbard and Trump Jr. sat in the middle seat and commanded it like they owned it, doing what most of America has been begging for for years, to put both the panel and their hand-picked audience in their place.
Since she entered the race for the Democratic nomination Gabbard has been under consistent attack by the establishment. They repeatedly make the arrogant mistake of trying to bully from their pulpit believing they can destroy a person of obvious character into submission who dissents from foreign policy orthodoxy, the true third-rail of American politics.
The hope is that Gabbard will make a mistake which can be then played ad nauseum, ad infinitum until she slinks off the stage in shame.
A former soldier comes to the defense of a comrade in arms. From Danny Sjursen at truthdig.com:
“The trouble [with injustice] is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There is no innocence. Either way, you’re accountable.” —Arundhati Roy
Once again, Arundhati Roy—the esteemed Indian author and activist—more eloquently described what I’m feeling than I could ever hope to. After tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, a lifetime in the Army and burying several brave young men for no good reason, I couldn’t remain silent one moment longer. Certainly not about the madness of America’s failed forever wars, nor about domestic militarization of the police and the border, nor about the structural racism borne of our nation’s “original sin.” Still, most of my writing and public dissent has stayed within the bounds of my limited expertise: the disease of endless, unwinnable and often unsanctioned American wars.
Saying the US has officially gone insane leaves no room for even more insanity, like Trump being forced from office, because “insaner” is not a word. However, what we have now surely looks like we’re on the verge of insanity. From Finian Cunningham at strategic-culture.org:
The low-ball mudslinging and pantomime palaver among America’s political class is like a theater of absurd. Any form of vilification is now acceptable. President Trump and his Twitter rants may have helped set the bar of indecency to an all-time low, but Democrats and Republicans have quickly joined the descent into madness.
The sanity test was spectacularly failed recently when former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton lashed out at her party member Tulsi Gabbard, inferring she was a “Russian asset”. The Hawaii congresswoman, who is vying for a run at the presidency in next year’s elections, was defended by some fellow Democratic politicians. But many Clinton aides and media pundits doubled down on Clinton’s smear campaign, reiterating that Gabbard was “working for the Kremlin”.
Did a US admiral call for a coup? Why isn’t Hillary Clinton in jail? From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:
There was what might be described as an extraordinary amount of nonsense being promoted by last week’s media. Unfortunately, some of it was quite dangerous. Admiral William McRaven, who commanded the Navy Seals when Osama bin Laden was captured and killed and who has been riding that horse ever since, announced that if Donald Trump continues to fail to provide the type of leadership the country needs, he should be replaced by whatever means are necessary. The op-ed entitled “Our Republic is Under Attack by the President” with the subtitle “If President Trump doesn’t demonstrate the leadership that America needs, then it is time for a new person in the Oval Office” was featured in the New York Times, suggesting that the Gray Lady was providing its newspaper of record seal of approval for what might well be regarded as a call for a military coup.
McRaven’s exact words, after some ringing praise for the military and all its glorious deeds in past wars, were that the soldiers, sailors and marines now must respond because “The America that they believed in was under attack, not from without, but from within.”
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