Representative and Iraq War veteran Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) argued that the Obama administration “refuses to recognize who our enemy is” on Friday’s “Situation Room” on CNN.
“It sickens me, Wolf, like so many other people who I served with and service members, who served both in Iraq and in other places, unfortunately we lost friends there who paid that ultimate price, and what is so frustrating now as we look at the situation there, our administration refuses to recognize who our enemy is. And unless and until that happens, then it’s impossible to come up with a strategy to defeat that enemy. We have to recognize that this is about radical Islam, this is as much a military war as it is an ideological war, and we’ve got to understand what that ideology is and challenge it, understand it so that we can defeat it and protect our citizens, protect the American people. That’s something that has to be done, in order for us to look at places like Iraq, places like Syria, and places really, in different parts of the world, North Africa, Nigeria. This is not just about one group called ISIS, or another group called al Qaeda. This is about an overall threat posed by this radical Islamic extremist agenda that exists all around the world as we’re seeing, unfortunately, most recently in Paris and in Europe” she said. And “I’m upset that the president and the White House, whether it’s today, or yesterday, or tomorrow, is not actually saying ‘this is a war that the Islamic extremists are posing against the United States and against the West, and we recognize who our enemy is, and come up with a strategy to defeat that enemy.’ It’s going to be slightly different in different places. It will be different in Iraq and different in Nigeria, but unless and until you recognize who our enemy is and understand them, then we won’t be effective in defeating that threat and we’re going to continue to see the kinds of tragic incidents that we’ve seen most recently in Paris.”
Gabbard also said that while the US needs to “focus our resources on those who are posing a threat to the American people,” “we may hear a lot more from people who will advocate for greater surveillance, greater NSA programs than we’ve seen already expanding those, which is not the right move. A. Because they haven’t been proven to be effective, that spying on and collecting phone call information on every single American is effective in capturing terrorists, but it also weakens our ability to focus our resources on those who pose a direct threat. And I think this has been a problem that we have seen in the Boston bomber attack, for example, that we’ve seen in Paris, where people fall through the cracks because our resources are not focused on those who are planning these attacks and who do pose that direct threat.”
She also declared “I have called for in the past and continue to call for, a suspension of the Visa Waiver Program until this is brought under control and these borders are controlled, in particular between Turkey and Syria.”
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