Like her or not, I have respect for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a rarity among member of the US Congress. She’s standing up for what she believe’s in (not some corporate interest), and is a genuine character. Do we agree on everything? Not at all. I’m anti-Bernie. She felt the Bern. But that does not matter. What matters is what we can agree on, and that often is found to be foreign policy.
Representative Gabbard was recently over in Syria, which is actually a big deal. All of the info we’ve been hearing from Syria recently has come from the Mainstream Media and their connections within the (un)Intelligence Community. That information is tainted, to say the least. But when someone, like a Representative from the House goes over, details her accounts and findings on social media and blog posts, then a different story comes to light.
For the most part, the worries about the non-existence of “moderate rebels” and the weapons and other aid that have been sent to them by the Obama Administration are becoming more and more provable and concretely true by the day. I express my thoughts with the following gif:
What did she find? She writes:
Their message to the American people was powerful and consistent: There is no difference between “moderate” rebels and al-Qaeda (al-Nusra) or ISIS — they are all the same. This is a war between terrorists under the command of groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda and the Syrian government. They cry out for the U.S. and other countries to stop supporting those who are destroying Syria and her people.
But there’s a lot more to her story than simply this. She talked with not only officials in the opposition, the government, etc…, but she also talked with regular people on the street and around cities like Aleppo and more.
Here’s a few things she recounts:
I heard testimony about how peaceful protests against the government that began in 2011 were quickly overtaken by Wahhabi jihadist groups like al-Qaeda (al-Nusra) who were funded and supported by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, the United States, and others. They exploited the peaceful protesters, occupied their communities, and killed and tortured Syrians who would not cooperate with them in their fight to overthrow the government.
I met a Muslim girl from Zabadani who was kidnapped, beaten repeatedly, and raped in 2012, when she was just 14 years old, by “rebel groups” who were angry that her father, a sheep herder, would not give them his money. She watched in horror as masked men murdered her father in their living room, emptying their entire magazine of bullets into him.
I met a boy who was kidnapped while walking down the street to buy bread for his family. He was tortured, waterboarded, electrocuted, placed on a cross and whipped, all because he refused to help the “rebels” — he told them he just wanted to go to school. This is how the “rebels” are treating the Syrian people who do not cooperate with them, or whose religion is not acceptable to them.
These accounts are some pretty gruesome and horrifying accounts, and are just a few in a war-torn country that also serves as the battlegrounds for a proxy war; with the United States, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and other Middle East powers on one side, and Russia and Iran on the other side.
Is Assad a great leader? Probably not. He’s like many Middle Eastern dictators, except in the fact that the government is more secular than others. Thus is the reason why Syria has been able to be more of a safer haven for Christians and Jews in the Middle East. The overthrowing of the Assad regime would mean the end of this cultural mixing pot and a violent cleansing of these groups from Syria. Assad may not be great, or even good, but compared to who would come into power if this scenario played out, it would end up being either al-Qaeda or ISIS. The choice for the Syrian people has been Assad, fearing for their lives and not wanting to be subject to the rule of ISIS or al-Qaeda.
Yet, despite these stories, there will be people calling for more aid. Despite the clear evidence that there no longer exist “moderate rebels” in Syria, Marco Rubio will stand up and call for more assistance to be made available to the “moderate rebels”. Despite the clear reality that the war is between the Syrian Government and terorrist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS, John McCain will stand up and lie to the American people about who the “moderate rebels” are. He will, of course, be joined by Lindsey Graham, and the rising neo-conservative Tom Cotton. These four will beat the drums for war, for more “military advisors” to be sent over, for more training programs that will end terribly with no good results, for more destruction and destabilization of the Middle East. It will be these four, as always. But now that Trump is President, they may be joined by some senior members of the Democrats, such as Chuck Schumer and possibly Nancy Pelosi.