One of the main concerns about Tulsi Gabbard seems to be her apparent “support” of dictators like Assad in Syria.
The main concern is how the US cannot be involved in replacing a tyrant who uses chemical weapons against his own people. Clearly the US needs to get involved.
Many people cite a GPPI (The Global Public Policy Institute) report, stating that they have evidence that the Syrian military uses consistently chemical weapons, and that they have hundreds of instances of Syrian Government Forces using them against the population.
The credibility of the GPPI and its mission to “ improve global governance through research, policy advice and debate.” make is a very difficult to refute report, and yet, there is a problem.
The GPPI’s report relied on second hand opinions, and reports, and it consistently lists the Assad regime as the main perpetrator of Chemical Agent attacks between 2012 and 2018. And list the Syrian government as having used Sarin gas multiple times (Page 40 of the report).
However, only the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) which was the group tasked by the UN was given access, has the technical capabilities to investigate the attacks. The OPCW issued in July 2018 a report stating:
“ The results show that no organophosphorous nerve agents or their degradation products were detected in the environmental samples or in the plasma samples taken from alleged casualties. Along with explosive residues, various chlorinated organic chemicals were found in samples from two sites, for which there is full chain of custody.”
“ The FFM [Fact Finding Mission]cannot confidently determine whether or not a specific chemical was used as a weapon in the incidents that took place in the neighbourhood of Al-Hamadaniyah and in the area of Karm al-Tarrab. The FFM noted that the persons affected in the reported incidents may, in some instances, have been exposed to some type of non-persistent, irritating substance.”
This is consistent with General Mattis’ statement.
“ The U.S. has no evidence to confirm reports from aid groups and others that the Syrian government has used the deadly chemical sarin on its citizens” -Defense Secretary Jim Mattis (February 2nd 2018)
The GPPI report scores with a confidence level, the trustworthiness of the report, and yet, the only technically equipped organization, failed to find sufficient evidence of chemical weapon attacks at all the sites they investigated.
There is no doubt that the Syrian government has been fighting rebel forces, and there have been civilian casualties. Just like our own strikes have led to the dead of innocent civilians. With the US military admitting our operations in Syrian soil have killed 1139 civilians as of December 2018. Are those deaths somehow less important because they were not caused by “chemical weapons”?
What kind of moral ground do we have killing innocent citizens of another country in their own country?
That’s precisely what Major Gabbard wants to prevent. Not because the regime of Assad is free of sin, but because our intervention in that civil war -as in many others- has caused destruction and the unnecessary death of thousands of innocents.
It is time to stop.