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Tulsi Gabbard: WH Extremism Summit ‘Diversion’

Representative and Iraq War veteran Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) argued the White House’s summit on violent extremism was “a diversion from what our real focus needs to be, and that focus is on this Islamic extremist threat” on Wednesday’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto” on the Fox News Channel.

“Unless you accurately identify who your enemy is, then you can’t come up with an effective strategy, a winning strategy to defeat that enemy. My concern here with the summit that’s happening right now in Washington is that it really is a diversion from what our real focus needs to be, and that focus is on this Islamic extremist threat that is posed not only to the United States and the American people, but around the world. From what we’ve heard so far, the administration is really claiming that the motivation or the — the thing that’s fueling this terrorism, around the world, is something that has to do with poverty, has to do with a lack of jobs, or lack of access to education, really a materialistic motivation. And therefore, they are proposing that the solution must be to alleviate poverty around the world, to continue this failed Bush and Obama policy of nation building. The danger here is, again, that you’re not identifying the threat, and you’re not identifying the fact that they are not fueled by a materialistic motivation, it’s actually a theological, this radical Islamic ideology that is allowing them to continue to recruit, that is allowing them to continue to grow in strength and really that’s really fueling these horrific terrorist activities around the world” she said.

Gabbard continued, reacting to Attorney General Eric Holder’s remarks about the terminology of terrorism, “the difference is how you define our enemy is directly linked to the strategy that you come up with in how you defeat them, in what you’re doing about it. And this is why it’s so critical and so important. And I’ll look back to my own experiences, like so many Americans after 9/11, I raised my hand and I enlisted because of this call to action from our leaders at that time saying we will go to war and we will seek out and defeat these Islamic extremists who attacked and killed so many Americans on 9/11 and kill them. Just a few short years later, though, we were diverted from that, and we ended up in a nation-building mission in Iraq, deposing Saddam Hussein, pushing forward this Western ideal of democracy in Iraq, costing trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives, and to what end? So, this is the point of why we must learn from the lessons of the past in order to make sure that we don’t go through this same thing again, and these two things are directly linked. We must identify the enemy in order to figure out what is the effective strategy to defeat them.”

Gabbard also commented on Iran, stating “each of these different things that we hear have do with the same common theme, which is it is about their radical Islamic ideology, which is fueling, whether it’s their statements, or their actions, or these attacks by ISIS, or each of these things around the world, and that’s where we’ve got to really look at that and understand it, define it, identify it, and then understand how we must defeat it. And one of the main things that we have to do in order to address this growing certain of ISIS, why they have foreign fighters coming, as you mentioned from well-off families, from democratic societies, is letting them know loud and clear there are two things that will happen if you join this fight with Islamic radical extremists. Number one, you will be killed. Number two, after you’re killed, you’re not going to heaven. There’s this promise of going to heaven and enjoying all of — you know, the things that they’re promising is not a fact. You will go to hell, there’s not — defeating that ideology is really my point.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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