A Million Syrian Christians Can Thank Hindu Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

By Jason Jones & John Zmirak Published on November 22, 2016

This week, Donald Trump surprised the world — and frightened entrenched interests in the GOP ranging from hair-trigger interventionists to military contractors — by meeting with Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. You might not have heard of her, but this Hawaii Democrat has been one of the loudest voices in Congress speaking for the protection of Middle Eastern Christians and other religious minorities. Here is part of Rep. Gabbard’s statement:

President-elect Trump asked me to meet with him about our current policies regarding Syria, our fight against terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria], as well as other foreign policy challenges we face. …

I felt it important to take the opportunity to meet with the President-elect now before the drumbeats of war that neocons have been beating drag us into an escalation of the war to overthrow the Syrian government — a war which has already cost hundreds of thousands of lives and forced millions of refugees to flee their homes in search of safety for themselves and their families.

As The Hill reported: “Gabbard told Trump she opposes a no-fly or safe zone in Syria, calling it ‘disastrous’ for the Syrian people and the U.S.”

Indeed it would be, since such a U.S. intervention — beyond risking war with nuclear-armed Russia — would allow radical Sunni Muslims aligned with al Qaeda to take over Syria and commit genocide against religious minorities numbering in the millions, including Syria’s Christians. You know, the way they did in Iraq. That is why Syria’s Christian leaders have been begging Western Christians since 2013 to avert such a reckless intervention.

Should We Shatter Syria as We Did Iraq?

During the GOP primary campaign this crucial issue got too little play in media. The question, to be blunt, was: Would the U.S. do to the Christians in Syria what the Bush administration did to the ancient Christian communities of Iraq? That is, would they topple the secular dictator who wasn’t singling them out for persecution, with no plausible plan for protecting them afterward from the firestorm of unleashed Islamist hatred?

A U.S. intervention — beyond risking war with nuclear-armed Russia — would allow radical Sunni Muslims aligned with al Qaeda to take over Syria and commit genocide against religious minorities numbering in the millions, including Syria’s Christians.

Several of the Republican candidates repeated the shopworn talking points of the neoconservative wing of the party, and promised to do just that: to confront Putin’s Russia using military force, to stop Russia aiding the secular Assad regime — and offer direct military aid to the “Syrian rebels,” who by that point had been almost completely taken over by radical Islamists funded from nasty Muslim theocracies like Saudi Arabia, and directly connected to al Qaeda.

That was the plan of GOP globalists, who never offered a plan for protecting Syria’s Christians, Alawites, Shi’ites, or other religious minorities, should their “moderate” rebels turn over their guns to al Qaeda (as they did), lose out in the power struggle with radical Islamists (as they did), or fade into irrelevance (as they have). Protecting Christians from ISIS-style persecution wasn’t a priority for these people, as it wasn’t in 2003. Since we have friends who are Middle Eastern Christian refugees from the last careless and catastrophically expensive failed intervention in the region, we took this issue personally — and called out the candidates who endorsed this reckless policy. We did so again after the election, urging Sen. Marco Rubio not to let himself be used as a megaphone for the GOP’s bumbling war party.

On this issue, the election of Donald Trump is unabashedly good news, since he owes nothing to that wing of the Republican party, and is under no illusions that al Qaeda-linked Islamist militias are in any way U.S. allies. They are cats’ paws for Saudi Arabia and Turkey, two countries involved right now in the mass colonization of Europe by Muslim immigrants repackaged as “refugees.” If they take power, they will wield it not much differently from ISIS — though doubtless in a more organized and bureaucratic fashion. In Saudi Arabia, those who “insult” Islam by professing Christianity are only executed after formal trials. That makes all the difference, doesn’t it?

God bless Tulsi Gabbard and Donald Trump, and keep them strong in their rejection of another poorly-conceived and callous U.S. intervention in a region we barely understand and should stop pretending we are able somehow to bomb and occupy until it magically turns into Switzerland.

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  • Charles Burge

    This is interesting to me, because I’m also a reader of World Magazine, and Mindy Belz from that organization has spoken in favor of a no-fly zone, pointing out that America’s policy of non-intervention has led to disastrous consequences. She has spent a lot of time personally in the region and spoken to every-day people there, and wrote a book on the subject called “They Say We Are Infidels”. I bring that up in order to point out that I trust her judgement.

    This may be one of those issues where there is legitimate disagreement between conservatives, but it’s hard to tell because there has been so little written on the subject in the popular press. I’d like to hear more from the Stream about this topic, because I think it’s an important one.

  • Howard Rosenbaum

    Sweden almost appears to be in the process of subjugating itself to the very ideology that it purports to disdain. As astutely noted by the authors, western countries are facing as much a process of colonization ( perhaps more so ) as they are facing an appeal for a safe haven by those who are perceived to be escaping an intolerant political system/culture . So if the west sincerely wanted to aid the legitimate refugee, would it not have been more expedient( politically, economically & conscientiously ) to have simply counted the cost of a mass immigration of displaced people groups,many w/ideologies incompatible w/western thought .
    As the authors point out, there must first be a plan to deal w/the potential casualties of such a strategy. The Master Himself commented on this concept when implying it’s the fool who goes to war w/out an acceptable alternative to defeat. May we learn & learn well from these miscalculations.

  • When executed properly to completion, nation building works. Japan, Germany, and South Korea are prime examples. When left half finished with no thought to culture, you are left with Iraq.

    I also want to point out that Syria is already shattered. Allowing Russia to strengthen an existing stronghold or allowing the ISIS/Al Qaida linked rebels to prevail will neither change the shattered state of Syria nor serve any U.S. or U.S. ally purpose. Some intervention is prudent and should therefore be considered necessary. However, in the spirit of obeisance I will support President-elect Trump’s action and watch with interest what results. I pray it’s good whichever action he takes.

    • When Bush left office, Iraq was holding free elections and was an ally and stable–as much as could be asked for in the mid-East. Qaddafi had voluntarily surrendered his WMDs to Bush, started paying reparations for that plane bomb over Scotland, and said he would be an ally for us as indeed he was. It was Obama and Hillary that blew up the mid-east making it the unstable and war torn place it is now.

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