On Wednesday, Hawaii congresswoman and declared 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) doubled down on her longstanding moral confusion with respect to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
Gabbard was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and again assigned to the 29th Brigade Special Troops Battalion of the Hawaii Army National Guard-this time to serve as the Military Police Platoon Leader, and she continues her service as a Major in the Army National Guard. Elected back in 2012, she is the first Samoan-American member and the first Hindu member of the United States Congress.
"Join me in putting this spirit of service above self in the forefront and stand up against greed and corruption", Gabbard said.
In 2016, the Iraq War veteran quit as Democratic National Committee vice chair and threw her support behind Senator Bernie Sanders's run for president.
The Hawaii congresswoman and Democratic presidential candidate, appearing on MSNBC's "Morning Joe", dodged when asked to more specifically categorize Assad's relationship to the United States but admitted "it's possible" Assad has used chemical weapons on his own people. She met with Assad in 2017.
Gabbard recently announced her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, and she has pledged to draw down U.S. military efforts overseas.
"I have strongly denounced David Duke's hateful views and his so-called "support" multiple times in the past, and reject his support", she told The Post in a statement Tuesday.
To reduce Gabbard to some kind of Russian stooge, as NBC did, would mean buying into the idea that it's implausible for someone who has seen war close up to want to avoid it if other alternatives exist.
Democratic nominating contests begin in February 2020. "There is no battle we can not win", said Gabbard, who is not of Indian descent but comes from a Hindu family in Hawaii.
"There is one main issue that is central to the rest, and that is the issue of war and peace", she said. She also grew up in a socially conservative household and, as a very young woman, she participated in her activist father's campaigns against the legal recognition of same-sex partnerships as marriage.
"Assad is not the enemy of the United States because Syria does not pose a direct threat to the United States", Gabbard said.
The congresswoman later said USA troops should not be in Syria.
In 2015, she parted with many Democrats by criticizing then-President Barack Obama for refusing to use the term "Islamic extremism" to describe members of Islamic State and other militant groups.