Opinion: Any blue will do — except Tulsi Gabbard

Richard Martin makes his case.

Richard Martin makes his case.

With nearly one year to go until the official start of the Democratic primaries, there are already 16 major candidates who are officially running and another six who are likely to announce a run of their own. As always, there are policy disagreements between the candidates. Yet, whatever differences the Democratic candidates have on policy, nearly all would be, at least, a decent president, which is a vast improvement over the incumbent. I say nearly all because there is one glaring exception — U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii)..

Gabbard represents Hawaii’s second district in the House of Representatives and is an active member of the Army National Guard. Before her election to Congress, Gabbard served in the Hawaii State Legislature and in combat in Iraq. Gabbard is a self-described progressive who supports medicare for all, the Green New Deal, expanding the social-safety net, protecting civil rights, reversing Trump’s tax scam and discontinuing American military intervention abroad. Gabbard’s domestic agenda is relatively innocuous and is reasonable for the most part. Her foreign policy, however, is dangerous, and should disqualify her from the presidency

The president has always been delegated broad powers in foreign policy, going back to George Washington’s administration. Any candidate’s foreign-policy positions are, in some sense, more important than his/her/their domestic positions because, as president, he/she/they will have more power to implement his/her/their agenda, thanks to the constitution and the unmatched strength of the American military.

It is noteworthy, then, that Gabbard has pledged to pull out of Afghanistan immediately; cease American involvement in Syria; renege on our commitments to our allies both inside and outside of NATO; and reconfigure our defense posture to defend America from its shores.

While I strongly disagree with such an approach, I can understand Gabbard’s consistent opposition to military intervention. She served in Iraq — service for which I and the rest of the country should be grateful — but she saw firsthand the most spectacular failure of military intervention in American history.

Unilaterally withdrawing from Afghanistan would likely send that country into chaos. Either China will deploy their military to stabilize Afghanistan or terrorists will regain their footing there, from which they can threaten America and our interests. American military and intelligence assets provide critical support for secular rebel forces in their campaign against the Islamic State and the Assad regime. Abruptly halting that support would gift Assad with more latitude to continue waging total war, regardless of civilian casualties; allow Russia and Iran to expand their influence in the Middle East; and signal to other actors on the world stage that the U.S. will accept the use of chemical weapons against civilians.

Perhaps more telling than the aforementioned positions, though, are the values from which these positions are inspired. As a member of Congress, Gabbard felt it appropriate to meet with Bashar Al-Assad after the dictator had gassed his own people. Since that meeting, Gabbard went on to claim that Assad was “not our enemy.”

Such statements and actions indicate something deeper and more troubling than the simple naiveté of a non-interventionist novice. They point to an ignorance toward American values that is unacceptable for anyone trusted to serve in elected office, much less as commander-in-chief.

What makes the U.S. unique is that it was born from an idea — not shared blood and soil. Our military is obligated to defend more than just American territory: We must use the tools at our disposal to defend democracy, humanity and the rule of law.

This includes both diplomatic and military implements. Without the credible threat of the use of force, diplomacy is practically useless when confronting tyranny.

At the surface, pulling out of international entanglements isn’t completely unreasonable. Intervention is expensive, has a mixed record of success at best and has proven to result in blowback. In a perfect world, without rising authoritarian powers eroding American power, pulling out of foreign wars would make perfect sense.

But, we don’t live in a perfect world; we are far from it. Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping are giddily awaiting America’s exit from center stage. Only then will both be able to maneuver forces and, ultimately, shape events in congruence with their authoritarian values and interests.

Gabbard’s foreign-policy logic amounts to a poorly constructed iteration of radical anti-imperialism. Like all up-and-coming politicos of my generation, I grew up seeing the dangers of having a reckless hawk as president. Equally dangerous, however, is a reckless dove who is so committed to the principle of “leading with love” that the consequences of global withdrawal don’t register. Tulsi Gabbard is one such dove.

Richard Martin is a senior at the university and is the Director of Political Communications at College Democrats at UD. He can be reached at richmar@udel.edu.


Wordpress (13)
  • comment-avatar
    Valerie 2 years

    Talk about naive.

  • comment-avatar
    Nowarprofits 2 years

    “Unilaterally withdrawing from Afghanistan would likely send that country into chaos.”
    Circular reasoning like that of this author is an excuse for the concentration of wealth via military intervention which harms US soldiers, US taxpayers, harms innocent civilians in those countries creating enemies, justifying endless war…for their resources.

    Enough is enough. Prosecute war profiteers, whether their cloak themselves in humanitarian or rhetoric of false enemies “threatening” us. Huge profits for the few, misery and moral compromise for the many. Tulsi 2020 absolutely the safest bet for stabilizing world conflict, that is caused by false narrative like this warmongering article.

    • comment-avatar
      ST 2 years

      “.. would send that country into chaos” .. As if Afghanistan is right now safe. What was the US doing the last 18 years? Just accept your failure and get out.

    • comment-avatar
      Terri Nopp 2 years

      Read the well researched response by a student.

      Richard Martin is exposed as a pandering DNC fool. Not an original thought in his head, just trying to figure out how to use all the messaging and positioning he was given as they instructed him on what to write.

      He was OWNED by the student. Exposed for his lack of research and hysteria around keeping the US at war. Typical corporate establishment Democrat. Bet he’s hoping for a Biden/Beto run. Guarantee you he voted and supported Hillbot over Bernie.

      Wonder if he is paid by the DNC?

    • comment-avatar
      Terri Nopp 2 years

      Here is a kid who did the actual research and didn’t cut and paste from a CNN article.


  • comment-avatar
    Mindy Lampert 2 years

    Very well written and well stated. 

  • comment-avatar
    Rick 2 years

    You’re a tool.

  • comment-avatar
    Terri Nopp 2 years

    The author is obviously pro war and regime change. He believes the US is the world’s cop and he likes it that way. His logic about Gabbard borders on the hysteria driven smears that tge DNC has enacted.

    Richard Martin is a neocon war mongering puppet spoon fed journalist. Having been in PR for 30 years, I am continually amazed at the lack of research and the tendency to copy and paste opinions. No thought, just a regurgitation of DNC speaking points.

    Let me guess … you’re for the Biden/Beto match up, right?

    Anybody can write a smear article, it takes brains to form a real opinion, something you obviously lack.

    Now, go read what Gabbard has done legislatively and maybe, just maybe formulate a REAL thought or opinion outside of the mainstream news smears perpetrated by the DNC.

    Bet you endorsed Hillbot over Bernie as well, huh? Gotta love the corporate Dumocrats.

    When did these become Dem platforms:
    Anti Universal healthcare
    Anti Green deal
    Anti College tuition reimbursements
    Pro TPP
    Pro war
    Pro Fracking
    Pro Clean coal
    Pro Mass incarceration
    Pro Private prisons
    Pro Dark act
    Pro Monsanto protection act
    Pro wall street
    Pro Big pharma


  • comment-avatar
    Trevor Hay 2 years

    Imagine being so misinformed and undereducated on the nuance of military interventionism that you sat down and read this article and thought it had any good points or was in any way reflective of reality… It’s truly sad that we have people that write articles like this that call themselves journalists.

  • comment-avatar
    Thomas McHugh 2 years

    How many boots do you have to lick to be this up the military industrial complex’s ass? Where do they find people this stupid or intentionally intellectually dishonest to write these smear articles that look like they are copied and pasted from Raeytheon and MSNBC themselves?

  • comment-avatar
    KittyP 2 years

    Not any Blue will do. I’ll vote Tulsi before corporate sell-outs like Kamala,Corey and Beto!
    Speaking of corporate cronies, wonder how much Richard Martin was paid to write this propaganda piece? How much does journalistic integrity go for these days?

  • comment-avatar
    Rich 2 years

    Hey Richard, take a policy class, or better yet, an English class!

  • comment-avatar
    William Rice 2 years

    When Tulsi speaks at the debates she will win vast support from the American people. No doubt in my mind. She is the only one who understands and sees through the propaganda lies. To quote Eisenhower, “The people want peace so badly that someday the government will have to get out of the way and let them have it.”

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