Not sure why you have chosen to continue attacks on Tulsi, seemingly when she does something that gets wide press (“What was Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Thinking When She Went To Syria,” Feb. 2, 2017). Perhaps [former Congressional candidate] Shay [Chan Hodges] is urging you on.
Regarding your latest effort, on Syria, I notice you rely heavily on Human Rights Watch (HRW) reporting for your judgment. Here is an excerpt of a letter, signed by at least 100 respected scholars and peace activists who find faults with HRW reporting.
“The issue of Human Rights Watch (HRW) and their close links to the US government has been highlighted by a recent letter sent to Ken Roth on behalf of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and Mairead Maguire; former UN Assistant Secretary General Hans von Sponeck; current UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Richard Falk; and over 100 scholars.
The letter focuses on HRW’s closeness to the US authorities and the “revolving door” phenomenon whereby key personnel revolve between HRW and the US government.
Undoubtedly, HRW is wedded to an interventionist agenda which minimises the importance of social and economic rights and which sees US bombing as the answer to human rights problems.”
You go on to close article with a considerable rant for peace and justice which will supposedly be furthered if only Tulsi would condemn more people more often, particularly Assad. So far, this tactic has not worked very well for our government. Instead, it appears to have aggravated the situation.
(This could open up a long discussion on the Russian role in Syria, a country near to its southern border, which appears to reflect other US/NATO activity on its northwestern border. A common factor is US State Dept. actions under Hillary [Clinton] and her diplomatic mentors, but that is another story.)
I do not think, given the sum of USA involvement in the Middle East since the 1950s, that we can be said to have made things better–rather, sharply to the contrary. We have now escalated our crimes and interference with Iran to a level that Trump may be planning to justify nuclear warfare.
Regarding Tulsi’s meetings and statements in Syria, I think it is fair to say she knows more about policy and results of USA military involvement in the Middle East, our war on terrorist groups and how support to locals has worked out than you or I do.
Maybe best if you let facts speak for themselves, and not cherry pick them for interpretation.
-Daniel Grantham, via email
What are YOU thinking? You like Human Rights Watch because they’re “not selective, because they’re not trying to favor any one regime over another.” But you object to Tulsi meeting with both sides to try to stop the civil war?
You don’t like Assad because he’s a brutal dictator. Do you like our allies the Saudi princes who decapitate more more people than ISIS? And, by the way, what are we doing in Afghanistan besides protecting our allies the Opium Warlords as they smuggle opium to Pakistan and then heroin to Turkmenistan and on to Europe and America? Are we mad at Iran because their oil pipeline to Pakistan is in competition with the Russian Trans Afghan Pipeline going to the same customers in Pakistan and India.
What are we doing there? Why don’t we leave? Tulsi’s right, it’s time to come home.
-Ed Felien, via email
Anthony Pignataro responds: The point of my story, which seems to have been lost on the above individuals, was that it’s possible for a person to both oppose American military action in Syria and refuse to grant legitimacy to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. That’s it.
Photo: Abraham Williams