Sanders Campaign gets Sparks and Sparkle

by Bryan Hemming

On February 12th this year Dan Froomkin, the influential Washington Editor of the Intercept, used an article slamming Hillary Clinton’s slavish adherence the doctrines of Henry Kissinger to solicit likely names for a ‘dream foreign policy team’. Taking up the challenge, I dashed off an email expressing grave doubts as to whether there were anywhere near enough politicians in the U.S. political establishment possessing sufficient knowledge of foreign affairs to form a whole team.
Having said that, I do believe there is one politician eminently qualified to lead a dream foreign policy team, and she might even get to do it.

“I cannot remain neutral any longer; the stakes are too high.”

Using those words Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard resigned from her post as vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee on February 28th to endorse the candidacy of Bernie Sanders. Announcing her resignation on NBC’s Meet the Press she cited her main reason as being that members of the committee were proscribed from expressing their opinions in the primaries. And Gabbard has plenty of opinions, particularly on the abysmal failure of U.S. interventionist foreign policy. You’re welcome, Mr Froomkin.
Judging by the rousing reception Gabbard received as she introduced Bernie Sanders at the Michigan primary, the Clinton clan probably slapped each other on the back for managing to keep her away from the microphones for as long as they did.
Her short, but sparky, intro might go some way to explain why her views have mostly escaped the attentions of a corporate media besotted with La Clinton. Compliant journalists record Hillary’s every word with the eagerness puppies lap up spilt milk. They lick the floor around her right up to the last drop. Her europhia at recalling how a leader of a faraway land was taken out by sodomising him with a bayonet had some hacks swooning. If only Emperor Nero had survived to see himself being so outshone. Meanwhile, those same hacks choose to ignore Congresswoman Gabbard’s statements regarding the viability and wisdom of taking military action without first weighing up all the various outcomes and their possible long-term consequences.
Away from the main pack, CNN anchor man Wolf Blitzer interviewed Gabbard several times on foreign policy  last year (view here, here, and here). Though the aura of telegenic appeal she exudes is undeniable – she flashes smiles that could melt ice cream at the North Pole – it is her refreshing honesty and evident lack of guile that set her apart. Increasingly rare among U.S. politicians, she comes across as both well-informed and principled. What is worse for them; she isn’t shy when it comes to speaking her mind.
Up until now, Bernie Sanders has been criticised by the corporate media for not having a coherent foreign policy. It may not be coherent to the unelected hawks that have been dictating Western foreign policy for far too long but when have neo-cons and their puppets been noted for coherence? To a growing number of American voters the ideas on foreign policy Tulsi Gabbard brings to the Sanders camp make good sense. Many are tired of shelling out diminishing incomes to pay for endless wars that seem to serve no purpose when viewed from fraying sofas in Amarillo, or from homes on wheels in Wichita. They are tired of the media distorting facts and figures so they don’t show the reality of how U.S. foreign policy is failing big time.
The accusation against Sanders is especially rich considering the dog’s dinner Hillary Clinton made of foreign policy in her role as Secretary of State before she set her crosshairs on the White House. Not only is Madam Clinton a slavering disciple of Condor Kissinger but she is also a keen fan of husband and wife team Robert Kagan and Victoria Nuland’s slash and burn policies that helped ‘free’ Ukraine, Iraq and Libya from tyranny and brought them the neo-con, Newspeak version of democracy, where majority votes are swiftly morphed into minority vetos. Investigative journalist Robert Parry described the Kagans as A Family Business of Perpetual War.
Under the watchful eye of State Secretary Hillary Clinton the United States has lurched from disaster to disaster, as she transformed each local dispute into an international crisis.

The Cheney Matrix

As long ago as 1991 Dick Cheney set the matrix that would mold U.S. foreign policy for the next quarter century. Despite a growing list of failures it still does today. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Cheney set about re-organising NATO in preparation for a creeping mission into Eastern Europe that would take the U.S. military might right up to Russia’s doorstep. It was Cheney who led NATO into the war on terror, based on lies, which destroyed Afghanistan and Iraq at the cost of thousands of U.S. soldiers′ lives and countless billions of dollars. That hardly compares to the cost in lives to nations targeted by Cheney. The figure is estimated to be in the millions and still rising. Clinton has proved herself a fine apprentice. Conspiring to enmesh the U.S. in even further foreign interventions into North Africa and the Middle East, things have gone from bad to worse. Thanks to failures in Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, to name but a few, U.S. foreign policy successes can now be counted on the fingers of a man with no hands.
Allowing the CIA, and a cabal of unelected politicians harbouring ambitions of ruling the world, to run foreign policy was always the height of madness. But that’s exactly what transpired when ultra-conservatives, Robert Kagan and Victoria Nuland, were handed the reins. We only have to look at the results of Nuland′s meddling in Ukraine to see that.
It should come as no surprise Victoria Nuland served under Dick Cheney for two years from 2003. Having delved into Cheney′s bag of tricks, she and her flock of fellow lunatics now plot death and destruction on a global scale from the comfort of their own well-appointed libraries far away from the chaos they seed so generously. Like pampered aristocrats out of the unlikeliest Lewis Carroll tale, no matter how many times they fail, they convince themselves that each rout is a victory more magnificent than the one before. Their favourite tinpot warrior generals pore over maps and intelligence they can barely affect to comprehend. The fact they can’t comprehend the information received is reflected in a miserable string of defeats marked by the shiny medals pinned to their chests. Yet it’s growing doubtful all U.S. generals will remain content to suffer never-ending defeats that are as much the result of incompetent politicians’ impossible demands as inappropriate military strategy. After all, nobody likes to lose all the time; the odd victory here and there helps buoy flagging morale.

The US media bullhorns

From the Washington Post and New York times to Fox News the U.S. corporate media bullhorns have foisted their gung-ho message onto Americans with a barrage of lies, disinformation and propaganda. Blinded by ambition, Hillary Clinton now does little more than play puppet to a group of unelected neo-cons becoming ever more desperate to continue pulling the strings on U.S. war-led foreign policy from behind the scenes. Like all wannabes before her, she will become as dispensible as last year′s iphone, should she fail to deliver what her masters demand. Hardly five minutes into the game, Tulsi Gabbard is already proving a much-needed and effective counterweight.
A looming problem for Hillary Clinton is that she has never actually got close to the battlefronts of the wars she is so eager to promote. A position made far worse by the imaginary incident in Bosnia, where she claimed to have come under fire from snipers. Unfortunately,  film of the incident reveals her to be a liar, or, as she would have it, was ‘mistaken’. A “At first they looked like snipers with rifles, but they turned out to be little girls bearing flowers” sort of thing. It happens to us all.
As a war veteran Tulsi Gabbard’s understanding of the conflict in Syria is based on personal experience of war in Iraq and facts on the ground, and not the endless vomit fed to Western media outlets by government spokespersons or NGOs sponsored by oligarchs. Enlisting into the Hawaii National Guard in 2003, she first volunteered for a 12-month tour in Iraq in 2004. She has also served in Kuwait. Last year she was promoted, and now holds the rank of major. Gabbard doesn’t just talk war she’s been there, and she doesn’t like it.
Often seeming a lone voice in Washington, Gabbard has consistently spoken out against rushed military actions in the Middle East and North Africa. Despite giving voice to what growing numbers of Americans think, the corporate media has chosen to ignore her, as she doesn’t fit the narrative they are following.
It is the neo-con warmongers who will feel most threatened by Tulsi Gabbard’s endorsement of Bernie Sanders. Few politicians and news anchors will be able to debate her convincingly on Syria or the Middle East. And the thought of meeting her face to face is not something most of them will relish. Should Sanders be nominated things aren’t going to get any easier come July. From then on it might be Tulsi who gets to choose who she talks to first. And she might be the one everyone wants to watch.

Cover caricature – Bryan Hemming © 2016


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Mar 14, 2016 5:36 AM

Reblogged this on Siem Reap Mirror.

Mar 14, 2016 5:29 AM

This is literally incredible. As well as Donald Trump’s son-in-law being a zionist with a fraudster father, the Clintons’ zionist son-in-law’s father is also a convicted fraudster. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_Mezvinsky.
Just what the hell is going on in America?
You can see inter-connections between the Clintons and Wall Street money at http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/23/business/dealbook/for-clintons-a-hedge-fund-in-the-family.html?_r=0
So, either way round – Clinton or Trump – it seems Netanyahu’s next man – or woman – in the White House will likely be inclined favourably towards the zionist cause.
You could not make this Noam Chomsky-style Kafkaesque nonsense up! Is any of this is being reported in the US media?
The only real hope for the US and the planet is if Sanders can win the nomination and the POTUS election!

Brad Benson
Brad Benson
Mar 13, 2016 11:48 PM

Sadly, the campaign is not using her properly.

Jerry "Peacemaker"
Jerry "Peacemaker"
Mar 13, 2016 10:54 PM

One could surmise Ms. Gabbard based her courageous decision on a combination of personal experience while in Iraq on a medical team, and her personal spiritual worldview (she’s the only adherent of the Hindu tradition in the U.S. Congress), developed from her readings of the profoundly deep sacred texts of Hinduism. There is no doubt that both Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders belong to that group of rare individuals in public service who are genuine – persons of true integrity.

Mar 13, 2016 10:10 PM

I suspect that you will find that this piece is rather controversial. I am reluctant to give currency to speculation but I gather that the Congresswoman has links to politically questionable foreign interests.in India.
I will wait and see what more knowledgeable commentators bring to the discussion.

Mar 14, 2016 1:39 AM
Reply to  bevin

“I gather that the Congresswoman has links to politically questionable foreign interests.in India.”

Perhaps Bevin is referring to the following hit piece that appeared in Alternet, which a friend sent me: http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/curious-islamophobic-politics-dem-congressmember-tulsi-gabbard
At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I base my support for Gabbard on what I’ve heard her say myself, and direct interviews like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3r9L62HFBY&feature=youtu.be&list=PL2RjqBtdSxrkRjloak0-jWBSedHPTqwDM
and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7Q8X60KQ9Q
the latter being one of the interviews referenced in this off-guardian article. I don’t agree with her Jan 29, 2015 interview where she basically supports the dissolution of Iraq into 3 separate states and sees no problem with Congress inviting Netanyahu to speak, but In the remaining interviews, she opposes US policies of “regime change,” and specifically in Syria recommends we work with Russia and Assad to defeat our real enemies, the terrorists.
The main reason she gave for endorsing Sanders is that she believes he will put brakes on such interventionist policies. It’s TBD whether she is right about Sanders. I personally don’t like what he’s said about drones and about Saudi Arabia taking a more active role in the ME, but I have no doubt he is the lesser hawk between himself and Clinton, and I have no doubt that’s why Gabbard supports him.
Back to the Alternet article, I was not aware Gabbard has “tied herself closely” to the BJP. Most of the rest of the article is focused on BJP, and I see it as guilt by association. It reads like a hatchet job, like somebody is out to discredit Gabbard. I’m not sure why, but there are certainly Muslims who believe “Assad must go.” Is the author one of them? Most of the knee-jerk Alternet commenters pile on with little thought, probably ignorant of the links I cited. But one of them, Abdullah, I think nails it far better than I could without spending a lot of time researching all the allegations:

These are lies being spread here actually:
1. Tulsi has voiced her concerns against "radical islam" and not "islam". We should fight all forms of radicalism. Infact many moderate Muslims are also saying the same thing. Is that Islamophobic. Kamran Mahmood a wharton student, after attacks on Pakistani schools by Taliban said - "Ashamed to be a muslim". More moderate muslims have said similar things - more information can be found here - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... This article is written by a Muslim no less. I think it is time for introspection for all of us for our respective communities. What the author says here is not very different from what Tulsi has said.
2. Modi won in a general election with unprecendented votes. Is the author trying to say that Hindus are merciless? The truth is that perhaps Indians believe in court systems, which have exonerated Modi. Bush visa issue was from a time when the case was still under consideration.
2.a. Indian Muslims voted for Modi in larger than ever number, but the author sitting in US has a problem. Gujarat Riots were a "two-sided affair" started when a train carrying hindu pilgrims was burnt down, "allegedly" by Muslim leaders. There was significant loss of life on both sides. The "vent out the anger" theory propagated by some was duly trashed by courts because the officer who had made such allegations had inconsistenicies in stories, to the tune that he was actually rebuked by the courts.
3. Was Tulsi wrong about not timing a bill here, with Indian elections. Probably not. As we saw in recent Delhi state (read municiplaity elections) president's statements were taken out of context and used against BJP. The opposition parties, planted fake attacks on churches, and used tainted maulvis to issue "fatwas" in elections. Only one party communalized this election and it was not BJP. Infact Modi won the 2014 election on development plank.
4. Why do we as a nation want to undermine a woman who served in Iraq and fought for the country risking her life? Being an armchair critic is so easy. The leaps of logic that this writer has made linking Tulsi with BJP is a great work of fiction.
5. What kind of straw man of an argument is that Tulsi's fundraiser was attended by so and so. Did the writer also oppose president's visit to Saudi Arabia as we all know that King Abdullah was no reformer. Are we picking on peaceful Hindus as they have relatively low votes, and no oil.

I also believe Gabbard is right when she says the disorder in the ME is not caused by lack of jobs or opportunity. My view is that most of the disorder is fomented by Saudi Arabia, with the encouragement of the US government and CIA. KSA spreads its evil Wahhabi ideology all over. They now openly support al-Nusra and al-Qaeda, and while they don’t support ISIS, they agree with its ideology except for who should be the one leader, the Caliph. Both are Salafi in the extreme, willing to declare takfir and kill anyone who disagrees with them, including Sufi, Shia and even non-Salafi Sunnis. Such jerks certainly do not represent the majority of 3.5 billion Muslims, and their beliefs conflict with the basic beliefs of most other Muslims, but to say these takfiri, Salafist head choppers are not Muslims is less accurate than saying Pentecostals are not Christians.
The center of the infection is Saudi Arabia. While I don’t advocate bombing KSA or Qatar, I see no reason we should continue selling them weapons, supporting their genocidal efforts in Yemen or fail to discourage the spread of their vile ideology. I believe Tulsi agrees with that view and is not trying to paint all Muslims as terrorists. Here is an article explaining the difference between Wahhabis and “orthodox Sunnis,” and why orthodox Sunni scholars believe Wahhabis are in error (but would not presume to declare them un-Islamic or takfir). http://sunnah.org/articles/Wahhabiarticleedit.htm

Mar 14, 2016 7:34 PM

Congresswoman Gabbard is one of the important voices of a new generation of leaders. As a veteran of the Iraq war she has seen first hand the cost of regime change wars – this is an interesting interview that clearly answers why she calls ISIS ” islamist extremists”, and also gives us an insight into her maturity on foreign policy, Tulsi surely has foresight and a deep understanding of the situation we are now facing http://www.rediff.com/news/interview/exclusive-why-tulsi-gabbard-doesnt-want-hillary-as-prez/20160309.htm

Mar 14, 2016 4:55 AM
Reply to  bevin

Tulsi Gabbard has two people on her staff (chief of staff Kanoa Ramananda Penarosa and office manager Anya Anthony) who are members of a Hare Krishna cult called Science of Identity, led by Chris Butler aka Jagad Guru. Among other things, this cult is opposed to homosexuality which might explain why for a number of years Gabbard dragged her feet on the issue of same-sex marriages.
The cult apparently had links years ago to a drug-smuggling ring based in New Zealand that imported marijuana and hashish from Afghanistan while it was under Taliban control.
Other links to websites and blogs with an axe to grind over Science of Identity:
Tulsi Gabbard has met Narendra Modi of the BJP in the past as well. Before he became Indian MP, Modi’s main claim to fame was as Gujarat Chief Minister in the early 2000s, during which occurred the 2002 Gujarat riots in which Hindus attacked Muslims over a train fire that killed 58 Hindu pilgrims, for which Muslims were blamed. Nearly 800 Muslims and over 250 Hindus were killed in the violence and thousands were made homeless. There are those who say that the violence occurred with the complicity of Modi and others, and that the riots fit the definition of ethnic cleansing and genocide.
Incidentally Gabbard rejected HR 417 in 2013 which condemned Hindu violence on people of minority faiths in India.

Mar 14, 2016 7:36 PM
Reply to  Jen

I judge a political leader by their character, integrity, positions, and votes, not their religion. I don’t believe it’s right to try to foment fear and division based on religion. The Hillary Clinton campaign spread smears and conspiracy theories all over the place against Obama in 2008, and I’m glad that America proved we are better than that by electing him.

Mar 14, 2016 11:12 PM
Reply to  Andew

My comment was in reply to Bevin’s comment which voiced some misgivings about Tulsi Gabbard’s association with Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party which has as part of its platfrom a commitment to Hindu nationalism. I put up links to show that what I mentioned in my comment is not mere hearsay.
Do you not think it strange that Gabbard opposed HR 417 which condemned Hindu violence against minority-faith people in India?
Among other things, HR 417 singles out Narendra Modi as having condoned the violence in Gujarat that may have killed nearly 2,000 people, left 100,000 displaced and which targeted Christians as well as Muslims.
Do you also not think it strange that Gabbard employs two people, one of whom apparently had little political experience before his appointment, who happen to be members of a religious sect (within the Hare Krishna community) to which her family is also linked?

Mar 15, 2016 12:38 AM
Reply to  Jen

Unfortunately, there are many people like Jen who suffer from Hinduphobia or Krishnaphobia. They have an unreasonable fear of Hindus and Krishna devotees. Their goal is to try to vilify and demonize and dehumanize Hindus and Krishna devotees so as to make discrimination against such Hindus socially acceptable. We need to reject such religious bigotry and Hinduphobia.

Mar 15, 2016 12:19 PM
Reply to  Delsanto

Unfortunately there are also people like Delsanto who like to pass judgement on me and cast the first stone, accusing me of bigotry, on the basis of a couple of comments I made about Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party and the Science of Identity sect within the Hare Krishna community in the US.
Where have I demonised Hindus and Hare Krishna followers or attacked their beliefs? Extremism and cults or cult-like behaviour can arise in any society or community. Religion is often a convenient cover for some individuals to prey on others and persuade or manipulate people into committing morally ambiguous or repugnant acts. I am not the first person to suggest that Modi and the BJP like to play Hindus against non-Hindus in India by targeting and exploiting their fears and vulnerabilities. Gabbard might not be aware she is being played for a sucker.
I am only warning commenters here that Tulsi Gabbard is no knight (or dame) in shining armour and that she does have some questionable associations with certain individuals and a religious cult that may not be truly representative of the faiths they claim to profess, and that these associations do have some influence over her decision-making and appointments. If she joins Bernie Sanders’ campaign and he decides to give her a major role (perhaps as his running mate for the Vice Presidency), then Gabbard has to be prepared to answer questions from the Republican Party or Trump’s campaign about her closeness to the Modi government and her and her family’s links to the Science of Identity sect.

Mar 13, 2016 10:02 PM

After all it would need a miracle to have Sanders nominated. It might need a second miracle to have him voted. And it might need another miracle to make him survive and live to the day of his Inauguration (“Weird Single Shooters” are waiting)! Much more probable: the Neocons spearhead in the Dems Party will make it! But we should know what is “in the pipe” of the Neocons:
“US Power Elite Declared War on the Southern Hemisphere, East Asia and all Non-Western Countries in September 2000”: https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2016/03/13/us-power-elite-declared-war-on-the-southern-hemisphere-east-asia-and-all-non-western-countries-in-september-2000/
Andreas Schlüter
Berlin, Germany

Apr 6, 2017 7:39 AM
Reply to  Schlüter

It May take a miracle for Bernie to realize that he is still with the same (D) political party that raked him over the coals.