Sunday, October 20, 2019

Letter to the Atlantic Magazine re: Tulsi

I haven't heard back from them about this letter, so I think they're not publishing it, so I'm putting it here instead.  This was a response to a recent article

Mystery of Tulsi Gabbard?  Mystery?  Nothing at all mysterious here.

Why is she running?

Did you actually watch Tulsi’s video about what made her decide to run? She was alarmed by the false alarm of nuclear attack in Hawaii. Everyone received messages on their cell phones to take shelter, except that there are no nuclear shelters in Hawaii.  Are you surprised that she persists indefatigably? She’s a soldier.  She’s fighting for our survival.  She will not rest.  It’s not a guru telling her what to do.  It’s her own soldier’s mind.

And why is she so interesting? It’s because she has the x-factor.  She has charisma.  We Democrats have ignored that for too long. We’ve put out brilliant nerds: Mondale, Gore, Hillary — people who are impressive to the educated, but who can’t win swing states.  

Trump has the x-factor.  That’s why he had a successful TV show for several seasons.  Brainy nerds aren’t going to beat him.  She can. 

The fact that she appeals to Trump supporters is regarded by the orthodox left as suspicious.  Hello?  We need to appeal to some of those people in order to win.  


She’s unflappable.  You make that sound like a bad thing.  You know who else was unflappable? Barak Obama, the best president in my lifetime, as far as I’m concerned.  

You know who isn’t unflappable? Donald Trump?  He flies off the handle at the slightest provocation.  The press seems to like that.  It sells more news.  The best thing for the press is not necessarily the best thing for the country.

The smears

Your article promulgates vicious, ill-founded smears against Tulsi Gabbard.

The fact that she isn’t into pillorying a foreign leader, i.e. Assad, is a sign of a good diplomat.  When did verbally abusing foreign leaders become the preferred method of international conversation?  Why would the press insist that she parrot hostile language that the press favors?  Why does the press think it should be putting words in someone else’s mouth?

The fact that the Russians would like a more peace oriented candidate is hardly surprising.  Maybe we should look at why they were so vigorously opposed to Hillary.  Hillary was much more hawkish than Trump.  They must have believed she would actually go to war over Crimea.  Did we really want to go to war over Crimea?  I certainly don’t.  Is it really in our interest to elect hawkish candidates?

The fact that Tulsi doesn’t entirely believe that standard narrative about Assad is also not surprising, given that she was deployed to Iraq and saw thousands die, based on lies.  If you were deployed to Iraq based on lies about weapons of mass destruction, would you believe new allegations about weapons of mass destruction that were being used to justify war?  There’s a saying “fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.”  

There are a number of alternative versions of what’s going on in Syria out there that do not meet the standard government narrative.  Have you listened to Jeffrey Sachs, professor at Columbia University, about Syria?  

And why are we such self-righteous hypocrites about weapons of mass destruction?  We are the only country to have used nuclear weapons in combat.  We dropped napalm and agent orange in Viet Nam — chemical weapons.  Where is our moral high ground?

I am totally in sympathy with her position that we do more harm by provoking war in Syria than we resolve.  Have you looked at Libya recently?  We overthrew Gaddafi and the result was violent anarchy.  Similarly, we overthrew Hussein in Iraq and the result was violent anarchy that still hasn’t been completely resolved.  

Afghanistan has been in a state of constant war for decades due to our meddling.  If we had left things to the Russians there, there would be no Taliban now.  We trained the Taliban.  We trained people who we knew were opposed to equal rights for women, people who were fighting Russia because they wanted to oppress women.  

These “insurgents” who we keep helping in Muslim countries, often at the behest of Saudi Arabia, are typically right wing religious bigots.  We’re overthrowing leaders with more feminist policies in the name of “freedom.” Granted they weren’t democratically elected, but the suffering we inflict on those countries is far worse than their leaders inflict.

We have to stop being paid mercenaries of Saudi Arabia, paid by oil drilling licenses to our oil companies.  We need to be politically independent.

The press favors war, because war sells news.  The press is a business that sells negative drama.  War is great fodder — the best negative drama.  The press is constantly promoting continuous war.  The press was thrilled to be embedded in Iraq, making sellable news, by killing innocent people.  Did any mainstream media refuse to be embedded?  Refuse to promote this evil act of war? I don’t think so.

We need Tuisi.

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