Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: I Remain Concerned about Clinton’s Interventionist Foreign Policy
US foreign policy must not repeat the same mistakes that were made in Iraq and Libya, said Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.
Gabbard also said she is “concerned about Secretary [Hillary] Clinton’s policies” on Syria.
“We’ve seen her move on a number of different issues throughout this campaign, important issues like trade, Keystone pipeline and others, but unfortunately we haven’t seen any movement at all on her interventionist foreign policy, in particular her commitment to not only continue but to escalate this regime change war in Syria, and I remain concerned, very concerned,” said Gabbard.
Gabbard also said that the superdelegates system should be ended because it does not ensure that “the people’s voices through these elections are heard in a fair and transparent way.”
PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Hi, I’m Paul Jay. We’re in Chicago at the PEople’s Summit.
Now joining us is Tulsi Gabbard. She’s a member of Congress from Hawaii. Thanks for joining us.
TULSI GABBARD: Thank you.
JAY: First of all, you gave a talk on foreign policy. You attacked US policy in Syria, you called for an end to the attempt to overthrow the Assad government. Before we get into that, it’s almost the only words I’ve heard here about foreign policy. It’s like there isn’t the rest of the world.
GABBARD: [laughs] Well, I didn’t have a part in organizing the events. I know they have a lot of really incredible people here speaking on a variety of different issues, but it’s also why I felt it was important for me to come and to be able to share my thoughts on this important question, this important issue that is not something that is, you know, theoretical. It’s something that’s real and that we are facing now and requires action right now. It requires action by the people gathered here, by the American people, to learn more about what’s happening right now in Syria–
GABBARD: –Because as you learn more then you will feel, as I do, the urgent necessity of taking action so we don’t continue the same mistakes as we saw in Iraq, as we saw in Libya. Continuing those mistakes would only certainly end up with more human suffering, [what] to speak of the fact that it would strengthen our enemy and, in Syria in particular, put us into a direct conflict with Russia.
JAY: Some people are suggesting that Hillary’s at least stated foreign policy and her record is very interventionist–As you’ve mentioned, Libya, Syria, her vote for the Iraq war, and at least on the face of it, if one is to believe anything Trump says, that Trump is actually less interventionist in rhetoric than Clinton is. What do you make of that?
GABBARD: Well, the problem that I see with Trump, one of the many problems that I see with Trump is that I don’t know what he believes. I don’t know what he would do. That is not clear to me at all.
I have raised and continued to be concerned about Secretary Clinton’s policies. We’ve seen her move on a number of different issues throughout this campaign, important issues like trade, Keystone pipeline and others, but unfortunately we haven’t seen any movement at all on her interventionist foreign policy, in particular her commitment to not only continue but to escalate this regime change war in Syria, and I remain concerned, [crosstalk] very concerned–
JAY: [interceding]–Yeah, she continues to support the no-fly zone.
Let’s change to the Democratic Party, because I don’t have too much time with you. You’re calling for a campaign to get rid of superdelegates. Senator Sanders has called for a campaign to try to reform, transform the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party is this kind of united front of different classes, if you will. You’ve got hedge fund guys, you’ve got, sections of the billionaire class that Sanders attacks are who the corporate Democrats are. Then you have trade unions. You have millions of ordinary people.
It’s not just a difference of ideas or policy. It’s a difference of fundamental interest. It’s a real conflict. The struggle within the Democratic Party, if you follow it to a conclusion, it’s like a civil war. Is that what needs to be waged? Because, and do you think it’s a constructive thing? Is it possible to change what the Democratic Party’s about?
GABBARD: I don’t know that it’s constructive to look at it as a civil war. You’ve got to look for what that constructive path forward is. I think there are a number of reforms that need to take place and those reforms should be centered around empowering the voice of the people through our democratic process and the Democratic Party being a platform through which to uplift people’s voices. So as we look at the many different issues that have been raised, the superdelegate issue is at the forefront I and many others are bringing up that should end is because of that. This is a process that does not best serve making sure that the people’s voices through these elections are heard in a fair and transparent way.
JAY: I interviewed Senator Sanders, and when I asked him, what do you do if you don’t win the nomination and he said, I said, and what do you tell your supporters in terms of supporting Secretary Clinton? He said, well, it’s not going to be up to me. It’s going to be up to them–
GABBARD: –That’s right–
JAY: –And they’re not going to support her if she doesn’t really take on the billionaire class, and he gives the examples of what that would mean. But there’s sections of that billionaire class who control the DNC, who are the real hidden hand behind, you know, corporate Democrats. That’s the way I say it. Maybe civil war is an inflammatory way to say it, but it’s a real struggle here of interests.
GABBARD: There are people who, there are a tremendous number of people who are coming to this Democratic convention for the first time, who’ve never been involved with Democratic politics before but who are involved now because they’ve felt inspired by this movement that has shown them that their voice matters. So, you know, we’re seeing it in local and state parties, a lot of these changes already occurring.
You can talk about the DNC, but the DNC is nothing without the state parties, the state party leadership and the people who make up those parties so, you know, the opportunity and the possibility for change comes about by people getting involved in the process, as so many people are actually doing and bringing forward some of these changes at the convention as we plan to here next month.
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