Tulsi Gabbard on Afghanistan Drone Strike: 'The American People Deserve Honesty'

Former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), formerly a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, stressed the importance of accountability regarding the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and a drone strike in the midst of that withdrawal that killed seven children in an interview with FNC’s Tucker Carlson that aired on Monday.

Gabbard argued a bigger part of the problem was the policy objective, which included nation-building that never fully had the support of the people in Afghanistan.

“I mean, this kind of accountability is critical,” she said. “I want to point out first that anytime there are civilian casualties in war, it is tragic and terrible. War is a terrible thing, and I think it’s important for the American people to understand that Islamist jihadists are continuing to wage war against us, and the Islamist ideology is not the same as the religion of Islam, but this Islamist ideology, which is a political ideology that inspired the terrorist attacks on our country on 9/11 is the greatest threat that we’re facing right now in this country and the world. It is the foundation of governance of so-called Islamic countries like Turkey and Iran and Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, and it’s what’s behind the discriminatory policies that they have in these countries against Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, and others.”

“So as long as these Islamist jihadists are waging war against us, we have to work to defeat them, militarily and ideologically, and militarily we have two choices in how we do that,” Gabbard continued. “Number one, we can continue to invade and occupy and nation-build in countries around the world just as we did in Afghanistan at great cost. Number two, we can take a targeted approach using airstrikes, using our Special Forces to go in and go after these terror cells. The reality is that the cost to the American people, the cost to our troops, the cost to civilians will be far less if we take this very targeted approach to go after these jihadist terrorist cells than if we continue making the very same mistakes that we saw in Afghanistan and other parts of the world of invasion, occupation, and nation-building.”

The former lawmaker also emphasized the need for honesty about the decision.

“The American people deserve honesty,” Gabbard added. “They deserve leaders who lead with integrity and not those who shy away from their own responsibilities to the American people or look for a lower-ranking fall guy to take the hit. The American people deserve strong leadership that looks out for their best interests and the best interests of our country.”

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Jeff Poor