Tulsi Gabbard’s criticism of US regime change is incredibly refreshing

Gabbard announces, 2019
John McEvoy

Democratic representative Tulsi Gabbard is hoping to run for the US presidency. And her campaign has set out to be staunchly (and refreshingly) anti-interventionist.

It’s time for her Democratic colleagues to take note.

US regime change

Gabbard, an Iraq war veteran, entered the White House 2020 race in January. She told her Hawaiian constituency:

We must stand up… against powerful politicians from both parties who sit in ivory towers thinking up new wars to wage [and] new places for people to die.

[We] will end the regime change wars that have taken far too many lives and undermined our security.

She has since been a vocal critic of the Western-backed attempted coup in Venezuela and the possibility of intervention in Iran. “We must stand united and stand strong,” she claimed recently, “against those in both [Democratic and Republican] parties who never tire of war”:

And she highlighted the falseness of the US ‘humanitarian intervention’ narrative:

She is also one of few US politicians to criticise Washington’s complicity in the Saudi-led war on Yemen and Israel’s actions in Palestine:

Gabbard discussed her foreign policy position at greater length on Joe Rogan’s show in September 2018:

Gabbard vs the US war system

Gabbard’s opposition to US regime change has been far more impressive than that of her Democratic colleagues. And that includes Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders, whose opposition to US intervention in Venezuela has to date been lukewarm.

Popular resistance to the US war system comes at a price, though. And just hours before announcing her candidacy, NBC News smeared Gabbard with alleged links to Russia. Hillary Clinton’s political adviser Adam Parkhomenko also described her as “Putin’s favourite Congresswoman”:

As The Canary recently argued:

The likelihood of being smeared as a Russian stooge seems to be directly related to the popularity of your anti-war message.

In this sense, Gabbard has become the victim of her message’s success. And becoming the ‘new Jill Stein’ is certainly nothing to be ashamed of.

A good thing

Gabbard is far from perfect. Though a vital critic of US regime change, she has also been previously supportive of both the Hindu nationalist government in India and the military dictatorship of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Egypt.

But whatever you think of her, her vocal and dogged criticism of US interventionism is changing the narrative of mainstream US political discourse. She’s asking questions that the powerful don’t want asking. And that can only be a good thing.

Featured image via screengrab/Tulsi Gabbard

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