What do you call a U.S. Representative that’s skeptical of American military interventions, traveled to Syria to speak directly with the Assad administration about their civil war, and has the audacity to ask for some proof of Assad’s alleged gas attack before launching bombs at Damascus? Well, if you’re Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), you get called a Trump apologist that should be ousted from Congress.
This is just the latest in a line of events signalling the total collapse of the antiwar left that started under President Obama’s murderous reign and is finding its hastening under a now warmongering President Trump.
Per The Hill:
Howard Dean, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and Neera Tanden, head of the Center for American Progress, both took to Twitter to bash Gabbard for what they see as a shameful defense of Bashar Assad, the Syrian president long accused of brutal attacks on his own people in the country’s ongoing civil war.
Dean said in tweets that Gabbard “sounds like Trump making excuses” and that she “shouldn’t be in Congress.” Tanden, on the other hand, called on the people of Hawaii’s 2nd District to oust Gabbard for “meeting with a murderous dictator.”
There was a time, not long ago, when one could rely on the left to be antiwar. After all it was the left, with libertarians, that put up any opposition to the Bush administration’s lies in the run up to the Iraq war in 2003 and it was only the left and libertarians that held the administration accountable during the war.
That all changed once Obama took control of the war machine.
Even though Obama campaigned as an antiwar candidate and was bolstered by a Nobel Peace Prize in his first year in office, he left the oval office with the dubious distinction of having been the only U.S. President to be at war for every single day of his two terms. Obama escalated the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan in his first term; and proceeded to indiscriminately bomb Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, and Syria in his second term.
At no point during Obama’s two terms was there any meaningful antiwar opposition from the left. In fact, the left all but abandoned the antiwar movement under Obama. Even when Obama sought congressional approval to enter Syria in 2013, it wasn’t Democrats that stopped him, it was the Republican led House of Representatives.
Under a President Trump, I fully anticipated the antiwar left to return with a vengeance. Needless to say, it hasn’t. Never underestimate the crushing hegemony of the establishment, I guess. In fact, the strongest antiwar sentiments are currently coming from the right-wing, particularly from Trump’s own supporters. Stefan Molyneaux, Alex Jones, Paul Joseph Watson, and even white nationalist Richard Spenser all oppose intervening in Syria.
It’s unlikely that Rep. Gabbard will receive a serious primary challenge in 2018, as she was reelected in November with over 80% of the vote. It does, though, look like she’s learning the lesson of Ron Paul: when you oppose the establishment’s rush to war, you can become very unpopular.