Tulsi Gabbard Continues to Court Extremists While Being Courted by Other Extremists

With all the brazenness of John Bolton revelling in unilateral hostility against Venezuela, US Congresswoman and Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard took to Twitter to announce that her guest of “honour” during yesterday’s State of The Union address, would be a ringleader of a dangerous terror organisation.

Gabbard proudly announced that during Donald Trump’s address to a joint session of the US Congress, her guest would be Ilham Ahmed, a representative of the “political” wing of the YPG terror group – the Syria based branch of the notorious PKK. While the US Senator Lindsey Graham was recently in Turkey and effectively apologised for the Obama era US partnership with the YPG/PKK, whilst simultaneously promising a more cooperative approach to ensuring Turkish security, Gabbard has clearly shown that she is on the side of the extremists and not that of America’s long standing Turkish partner.

By flaunting a YPG kingpin literally in front of Donald Trump’s face at a time when Congress should be working to help the US President secure an orderly phrased withdrawal from Syria that will pave the way for a Turkish controlled anti-YPG/PKK and anti-Daesh safe-zone in north-western Syria, Gabbard has instead shown her support and devotion to someone from an organisation that is not only a danger to Turkish security but one which poses a danger to anti-YPG Syrian Kurds, Syrian Turkomen and Syria’s Arab majority.

When one understands that even the US administration is distancing itself from the Obama era YPG alliance, it becomes all the more apparent that not only were Gabbard’s actions reckless and dangerous, but furthermore, they could undermine the wider peace process in north-eastern Syria which is contingent upon Turkey-US cooperation.

But just as Tulsi Gabbard was gallivanting around Washington D.C. with a YPG member, she received a stamp of approval from David Duke, an infamous former Grand Wizard of the racist and extremist Ku Klux Klan (KKK). While Gabbard moved to reject David Duke’s endorsement, the fact that she attracted his support in the first place says a great deal about Gabbard’s policies and publicly established associations.

Gabbard has yet to properly disassociate herself from the Indian terror group RSS whilst her ties to the extremist anti-Muslim Indian government of Narendra Modi continue to worry many in the US and in the wider world.

While many believe that the Russian government worked to achieve the victory of Donald Trump in the 2016 US Presidential election, those concerned with foreign governments interfering in the political processes of other states ought to investigate the relationship between Tulsi Gabbard and the India’s BJP government of Narendra Modi. Whilst Donald Trump did not meet the Russian President prior to his election in the US, current Democratic presidential candidate Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard first met the Indian Premier in 2014.

Even prior to that time, Gabbard was rallying for Modi’s cause in the United States. When Modi was Chief Minister of Gujarat, he fanned the flames of the sectarian Gujarat Massacre of 2002 and as a result, was prohibited from entering the United States. Modi’s pre-premiership ban from America was called “a great blunder” by Gabbard, one of Modi’s most consistent and loudest champions in the US Congress. This alone demonstrates Gabbard’s callousness regarding the thousands of casualties caused by the wave of anti-Muslim violence whipped up by the BJP and its then leader in Gujarat, Narendra Modi.

Since then, her ties with the BJP and its armed RSS wing have caused controversy among those following Gabbard’s controversial career. If Trump’s ties to Russia were ambiguous enough to require the lengthy Mueller investigation in order to determine whether he did or did not conspire with Russia to meddle in the 2016 US election, Gabbard’s links to India’s ruling party do not require a special investigation because they are all out in the open. It is not just that Gabbard has been alleged to have received funds from Hindutva organisations in the United States, but beyond this, Gabbard has exhibited hostility towards the same targets that Hindutva radicals in India attack in order to foment extremism.

Gabbard has publicly defamed Pakistan by accusing state authorities of harbouring and collaborating with terrorists. In addition to slandering Pakistan on Twitter, in 2016 Gababrd said:

“People within the Pakistani government continue to provide tacit and overt support for terrorism. This is not new – this pattern of attacks has been occurring now for the past 15 years, and it must end. That’s why I’ve continued working in Congress to cut back US assistance for Pakistan and increase pressure on Pakistan to stop this violence. In the past, the US government took steps to increase pressure on Pakistan, and it’s time to revisit that approach”.

In the same statement Gabbard said that “We stand in solidarity with India…”

Therefore it is clear to see that Gabbard has closer links with India’s ruling faction than Donald Trump may have had with Russia’s prior to his election victory. It is also clear that Gabbard is wiling, ready and able to articulate India’s position vis-a-vis neighbouring Pakistan far more forcefully than for example Donald Trump was able to articulate Russia’s position vis-a-vis Kiev in 2015 and 2016.

Thus, while it is not known whether India’s BJP government is actively supporting Gabbard’s campaign behind the scenes, the favourable coverage she receives from pro-BJP media outlets and her undeniable cultivation of pro-BJP public opinion means that it is almost certain that there is no candidate in the current US election that New Delhi would like to see in the White House more than Tulsi Gabbard.

If people were worried about Donald Trump and Russia, they should be incredibly frightened of Tulsi Gabbard and India.

When one examines Tulsi Gabbard’s  associations with the YPG, BJP, RSS and her endorsement from a former KKK leader, one must necessarily ask why Gabbard thinks that such associations are somehow good for peace. Although Gabbard has wrapped her campaign in the white flag of peace, her associations with those who promulgate violence and extremism indicate something very different. Not only is Gabbard associated with forces opposed to peace and harmonious relations with other races, ethnic groups and religions, but in particular, it appears that her associations have a decidedly antagonistic view towards Sunni Muslims.

Any candidate for America’s highest office ought to immediately clarify her position on each of these matters. But for Gabbard in particular, her claims to be a peace candidate makes it all the more pressing for her to explain to the world what her policies really mean for the US and the world.

Comments are closed.