Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) argued that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and President Obama’s assessments of the US’ ISIS strategies are wrong on Tuesday’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper.”
Gabbard was asked, “Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, during the Democratic debate, she said, ‘we are where we need to be’ in the fight against ISIS, are we?”
She responded, “I would heartily disagree with that. We’ve got a strategy that’s being executed, frankly, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I’ve been calling for an end to the counterproductive, illegal war to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad. And very specifically, talking about how dangerous a no-fly zone in Syria would be. We heard the president talk the other day about his opposition to a no-fly zone, but at the same time we’ve heard from many of our presidential candidates how they’re advocating for a no-fly zone. i don’t see how your head can be screwed on straight if you’re pushing for a no fly zone, when we hear people like Chris Christie and [Sen.] Marco Rubio (R-FL) saying they would shoot down a Russian plane that violates that no-fly zone, kicking off a US-Russia war, an escalation to a world war, or a nuclear war. this is something that points to a very important issue, which is the fact that our political leaders are not operating with a military mindset. … So, if you look at what’s happening in the Middle East now, the mess that we’re in today can be pointed directly, starting with the Bush administration, and continuing to today with that lack of military mindset, that lack of foresight, whether you’re talking about overthrowing Saddam in Iraq, Gaddafi in Libya, the Arab Spring, Mubarak in Egypt, and now Assad in Syria.”
She was then asked, “President Obama told NPR that in his view, the biggest problem in the problem in the ISIS fight is not the strategy itself, he says it’s that his administration could be communicating better what they’re doing and that we in the the media overcovering the terrorist attacks. Do you agree? Are those the main problems in the fight against ISIS?
Gabbard answered, “I respectfully but completely disagree. This is not a so-called communication problem, or issue. There is far more that we should be doing, there should be adjustments and corrections made to this strategy, so that we’re actually focusing on defeating and destroying our enemy, ISIS, al Qaeda, these other Islamic extremist groups. I keep pointing back to Syria because it makes no sense how on one hand we can be — the United States can be waging war to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad, which is exactly what ISIS wants, so that they can take over all of Syria, and on the other hand say that we’re fighting and trying to destroy ISIS. you can’t be doing two things at the same time that are completely opposed to each other.”
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