It’s amazing what 59 Tomahawk missiles can do to your politics, separating the war hawks from the peace doves. For Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), she’s experiencing firsthand what happens when you don’t tow the Democratic party line.
After President Trump ordered an airstrike targeting an airfield in Syria following the use of chemical weapons in the town of Idlib that killed 74 and injured over 500, Gabbard expressed skepticism that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was behind the attack.
In a statement, Gabbard said, “It angers and saddens me that President Trump has taken the advice of war hawks and escalated our illegal regime change war to overthrow the Syrian government. This escalation is short-sighted and will lead to more dead civilians, more refugees, the strengthening of al-Qaida and other terrorists, and a possible nuclear war between the United States and Russia.”
With these remarks, Gabbard has gained the ire from the likes of Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden and former DNC Chairman Howard Dean, who feel she should no longer be in office.
People of Hawaii's 2nd district - was it not enough for you that your rep met with a murderous dictator? Will this move you?1 https://t.co/jbwGuZIJ6R— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) April 7, 2017
This is a disgrace. Gabbard should not be in Congress. https://t.co/yDTh43GZam— Howard Dean (@GovHowardDean) April 9, 2017
Gabbard, who served in the Iraq war, called the Democratic Establishment on their hypocrisy of supporting war in Syria.
Establishment: Resist, resist, resist! Except when it comes to waging war on Syria. #ResistTrumpsWar— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) April 10, 2017
In January, Gabbard took a trip with former Rep. Dennis Kucinich to Syria on a fact-finding mission. However, they met with Assad and didn’t inform top Democratic leaders.
“Initially I hadn’t planned on meeting him,” Gabbard said to CNN’s Jake Tapper. “When the opportunity arose to meet with him, I did so, because I felt it’s important that if we profess to truly care about the Syrian people, about their suffering, then we’ve got to be able to meet with anyone that we need to if there is a possibility that we could achieve peace. And that’s exactly what we talked about.”
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has expressed that regime change is now inevitable in Syria.
“Getting Assad out is not the only priority,” Haley told CNN. “So what we’re trying to do is obviously defeat ISIS. Secondly, we don’t see a peaceful Syria with Assad in there. Thirdly, get the Iranian influence out. And then finally move towards a political solution, because at the end of the day this is a complicated situation, there are no easy answers and a political solution is going to have to happen.”
Rep. Gabbard has not yet responded to a request for comment for this story.