Debates 2020

Tulsi Gabbard Called Out Mainstream Media, Both Parties, Democratic Candidates for Supporting Disastrous Regime Change in the Middle East

"As president I will end these regime change wars."


Tulsi Gabbard (D–Hawaii) had one question for rival Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) and Mayor Pete Buttigieg: "Will you end the regime change wars?"

Both equivocated: Warren said that the U.S. should not have a military presence in the Middle East, but that our troops needed to be withdrawn slowly and carefully. Buttigieg asserted that quickly pulling out troops—as President Donald Trump has currently ordered—represents a betrayal of our Kurdish allies, and thus constitutes America breaking its word. (The best way to protect the Kurds would actually be to let them come into this country, not commit the U.S. to an endless war on their behalf.)

Former Vice President Joe Biden later criticized Gabbard, saying that the U.S.'s involvement abroad was not just for the defense of the Kurds, but was intended to tie terrorists down and prevent them from hurting Americans at home. That he initially confused Iraq and Afghanistan did not make his remarks more persuasive.

Indeed, Gabbard was the only candidate on the stage Tuesday night to advocate a unilateral, immediate end to the disastrous policy of intervening in every conflict in the Middle East with the goal of changing the regimes. As she wisely noted, such schemes have backfired in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, and likely would have backfired in Syria if undertaken there as well.

Refreshingly, Gabbard called out both parties and the mainstream media for their complicity in the U.S.'s foolish foreign policy interventionism.

"Just two days ago The New York Times said I was an Assad apologist, an asset of Russia," said Gabbard. "Completely despicable."

As Reason's Christian Britschgi noted earlier this week, the Times' lazy attack on Gabbard relied on "a mix of thin evidence, guilt by association, and conspiratorial framing of actions that any single-issue-focused dark horse candidate is liable to do."

Gabbard is a progressive Democratic on domestic policy, and supports many policies that are anathema to libertarians. But among the Democratic candidates, on the specific issue of regime change abroad—an issue on which the executive branch has gained nearly unlimited power, given Congress's refusal to check any president's military ambitions—Gabbard is very nearly the sole advocate of foreign policy that is realistic about the manifest failures of the U.S.'s approach to the Middle East since at least the turn of the century.

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      1. Lots of presidents had a side thing.

      2. Food at that wedding was probably pretty tasty.

        1. likely not

        2. Steak tartar?

      3. can talk her into a tag team probably

    1. Concur

  1. I was about to denounce this piece for being insufficiently critical of Putin’s favorite Democrat. But then I got to this part:

    “The best way to protect the Kurds would actually be to let them come into this country, not commit the U.S. to an endless war on their behalf.”

    And I couldn’t stay mad anymore. See, this is why I love Reason even more than Huffington Post. The unwavering commitment to Charles Koch’s immigration agenda is truly inspiring.


    1. You know your argument is a failure when you link to Shikha.

      1. Gotta agree with you on this one.

    2. I knew that sentence would trigger you, lol.

    3. I don’t even understand this line (or Dalmia’s article for that matter). Isn’t the whole point that the Kurds want their own sovereign country? Why the hell would they want to come here then?

      1. Well, we could give the Kurds California. No great loss there.

        1. I’m interested to find out what Kurdifornia would look like. Certainly an improvement over the current mismanagement and despotism.

          1. I doubt they’d be interested – there’s too much pork in the legislation.

      2. BINGO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    4. You suck, suckup and your parody is lame. Wanna see how it’s done? Watch this video of Max Blumenthal walking through a grocery store in Venezuela— and no one dies or keels over due to starvation. My only worry is that it’s just too ridiculous.

      I suppose Tulsi Gabbard would hate on the Venezuelan opposition to since she is a Russian and Cuban agent.

      1. “You suck, suckup and your parody is lame.”

        Look in the mirror, you pathetic piece of shit.

      2. Not many customers there and he only gives the prices of dog food and the most expensive imported olive oil. How much does normal food for humans cost?

      3. OBL’s parody is better than yours.

  2. Tulsi was doing well in the limited time the DNC granted to her, until she parroted the stupid talking point about abandoning the Kurds to Turkey. Lady, stick with your anti-interventionism, it’s the best thing you have going for you besides your fine self.

    1. That’s exactly what I thought the moment she said that. That’s the same old tired excuse used in order to keep us there. It makes me really wonder how sincere she is about her non-interventionist stance.

  3. Does anyone denounce or criticize any more, or is it all “calling out”?

  4. Tulsi is killing it on the Drudge poll.

    1. Gratuitously sexist comment: it would be better if she was killing it on my pole?

      Among the Dems, she seems the most reasonable along with Yang, and it’s no surprise those two generally get the highest marks from internet polls. Whoever is the Dem nominee would do well to consider her as VP.

  5. Gabbard is a progressive Democratic on domestic policy, and supports many policies that are anathema to libertarians.

    This is the Democrat presidential primary camapign. I’m not planning on donating to, or voting for a major party candidate in the general election but I always support, to varying degree, the best option in either party. Tulsi is anti-interventionist, anti-establishment, pro-religious freedom and pretty damn good on the WoDs. Anyone who strongly agrres with her on these issues should be supporting her in the primary.

    1. In a contest between Trump and Tulsi, I’d gladly pick Tulsi. At least she seems serious about not getting us involved in any more stupid ME wars.

      1. It’s ironic that Trump pulling out of Syria has gotten all the Democrats to criticize him for doing so. Wasn’t it almost always the Democrats (Freedom Caucus excepted) criticizing our involvement in foreign wars?

        I also find it interesting, that months ago, Democrats were telling us Trump would get us into a war with North Korea. Then recently, they criticized him for being too chicken to go to war with Iran for shooting down a drone of ours. The Democrats show, they’re all behind the Military Industrial Complex, except for Gabbard.

        It’s also interesting that you’d pick Gabbard over Trump while Trump is at least pulling US troops out of Syria, because “she seems serious about not getting us involved in any more stupid ME wars.” The difference between her and Trump on Syria, is she wants “a negotiated settlement”, which is something Trump sought but participants refused. Now Erdogan just announced he will meet with Pence to stem the bloodshed. Seems like Trump’s approach is working to me.

        1. A surprising number of people are incapable of clear thinking when it comes to Trump.

        2. He’s pulling troops out of Syria, but the billets are just getting shifted to Saudi Arabia, so it’s kind of a wash.

          1. The Military-Industrial/ BS Nation-Building Complex is so friggin’ huge now & so many jobs & our economy are so dependent upon it that even if we pull out troops in the ME & N. Africa, they will have to go somewhere else to continue the money-making rip off of the American taxpayer! New excuses for more ‘spreading freedom” interventions will be invented!

        3. Uh as far as I can recall the Democratic party establishment has been hawkish since like, 1910? Somewhere thereabouts. Literally every war we’ve gotten into since the Wilson administration has had the majority of the blue team supporting it, up to and including the ones under unpopular red team presidents (a la Bush and the Iraq invasion). That isn’t to say there haven’t been blue team critics, but they’ve definitely been a minority.

          Prior to WWII, the red team was reliably anti-interventionist, but afterwards (with the rise of the Soviet Union) they were persuaded to buy into the Washington consensus, and since then we’ve been toppling regimes left and right and bogging down in whatever quagmires presented themselves. There were some realignments in the parties along the way that contributed to this, but what I’m saying is: there are very few politicians from either of the major parties who have ever advocated against getting involved in whatever the geopolitical mess of the day is. They’ve often favored bombing things over invasions, because it gives the appearance of doing something without the risk of significant (american) casualties, but it’s exceedingly rare to find any who say we should just stay the hell out.

  6. I don’t agree with all that she proposes, but she is the only Dem candidate that I have any respect for.

    1. This is why the NYT trashes her.

    2. +1,000,000!!!!

    3. “They do respect her but(t), they love to watch her strut.”

      – Bob Seger

  7. She forgot to mention Shikha Dalmia.

  8. I thought Congresswoman Gabbard’s comments on impeachment were telling. She is ‘dead on’ when she says that impeachment will tear apart the country.

    1. Yet that is the opening the Democrats seek to steal power for eternity.

      1. It’s pretty unlikely they’re even gonna get power for the next four years, much less forever.

    2. How dare we talk about Trump’s crimes. Let’s just pretend like it never happened.

      1. Only Republican crimes are bad; Democrat ones are the cost of doing business.

      2. which ones?

      3. Pod
        October.16.2019 at 7:56 am
        “How dare we talk about Trump’s crimes.”

        If you ever find any which aren’t imaginary, make sure to get back to us, shitstain.

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  10. “…the Times’ lazy attack on Gabbard relied on “a mix of thin evidence, guilt by association, and conspiratorial framing of actions…”

    Almost as if she was a Republican.

    1. One set of attacks is richly deserved. The other not.

  11. Anti Whites insist:
    Black? Fine. Asian? Fine. White? Unacceptable. “Needs diversity”.

    No White person anywhere is allowed to escape the “gift” of “diversity”. Diversity means Chasing Down White Flight.

    White “Privilege” = No Borders.
    Anti racist’ is code for Anti White

    1. You forgot left + right = zero.

      1. Left – Right = 0

        But + might not be wrong either

  12. Gabbard is the only sane person in the entire Democrat debate this cycle. I’m not a fan of medicare for all, but she offers a return to rationale, transparency, and civility, which I am a huge fan of. Also…. She’s easy on the eyes, just saying. I’ve never voted democrat in my life, but I just might in the upcoming primary since nobody on the right seems to have the cajones to challenge Trump.

  13. Yep, like I said before, she’s a closet Libertarian!
    Sevo backlash in 3..2..1..

    1. ‘Yep, like I lied before, she’s a closet Libertarian!’


      1. Took you long enough. Did Drumpf pull you out of his asshole long enough for you to chime in?

  14. Do any of you have a link to last night’s Democratic “debate”? I would like to watch it in its entirety.

    Thank you in advance.

  15. My message to Tulsi would be: Why are you hanging out with these assholes and losers? Let the progressives eat other. They don’t like you. They’re mean people.

    Come to this side. Whatever this is. All I know is this side is much more sane.

    It’s the same message I’d give to Marc Garneau and Jagmeet Singh. You guys seems like nice folk. What the heck are you doing in those shitty Liberal and NDP parties? COME HITHER.

    1. Wishful thinking. She disagrees with you on healthcare, taxes, military spending, abortion and civil rights.

      1. That doesn’t mean she’s a retarded demagogue, unlike your dumb ass.

        1. pretty close, yes, dullard

      2. No one’s perfect. We can work with her.

        You on the other hand….lay off the Tide.

    2. Maybe Rand Paul, Mike Lee & Thomas Massie could recruit Tulsi & start a new party: THE CONSTITUTION & PEACE PARTY!!!

  16. I think Soave and Stossel have hard on’s for Gabbard.

    1. Given that they repeatedly mention that most of her positions are not compatible with libertarianism, I think they just admire the novelty of a congresswoman – from the blue team, even – advocating against getting into these useless wars and getting out of the ones we’re already in.

      Unless you mean literal hard-ons, in which case . . . probably? She’s pretty easy on the eyes for a politician.

      1. looks way over rated for her

  17. Tulsi Gabbard is the only relatively sane person running for the POTUS position for the democrats.
    But breathe easy folks.
    She’ll never get nominated.
    She has some sense in her ramblings which is an automatic disqualifying mandate.
    Fortunately for all us mentally ill folk, there’s Hitlery who will come to the rescue.

    1. Naw….More likely BloomyBerg will step in & give it a shot!

    2. Obama also sounded sane as a candidate: anti-war, pro-Constitution, pro-privacy.

      Once he got into office, he became the master of executive overreach, war mongering, drone killings, domestic spying, and a bit of election interference thrown in for good measure.

      I expect Tulsi would end up pretty much like that.

  18. I don’t agree with all that she proposes, but she is the only Dem candidate that I have any respect for.
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  19. I feel sorry for the gal. The Dem platform is soooo 1850 Red Republican, but the energy planks, pretending to see a warming trend in doctored data as a pretext for ecological national socialism– is NOT working. Even with a good candidate their platform is so suicidal as to even rob it of spoiler value. But if those voters rouse from the stupor and nominate her they may escape extinction.

  20. The Don is again talking about bringing our boys home. Someone is definitely listening to what Tulsi is saying about entangling alliances, and policy is changing before our eyes. Just as important is getting our small nuclear weapons out of those medieval dictatorships before someone has a go at hijacking them.

  21. Lots of presidents had a side thing.
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