Dem Lawmaker: No Such Thing as “Moderate Rebels” in Syria









In some ways, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat from Hawaii, has more in common with President Donald Trump than lawmakers in his own party. Certainly, when it comes to using U.S. military forces for the purpose of interventionism, Gabbard and Trump appear to be on the same page.

In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, Gabbard said she took a covert trip to Syria recently to get a true sense of what things were like on the ground in the war-torn nation.

“I wanted to see if there was in some small way, a way that I could express the love and the aloha and the care that the American people have for the people of Syria, and to see firsthand what was happening there, to see that situation there,” Gabbard said.

Gabbard, who talked with everyday Syrian citizens as well as President Bashar al-Assad, said the U.S. was making a major mistake by supporting Islamic extremists in an effort to topple the government.

“I’ll tell you what I heard from the Syrian people that I met with, walking down the street in Aleppo, in Damascus, hearing from them,” she said. “They expressed happiness and joy at seeing an American walking through their streets. But they also asked why the U.S. and its allies are providing support and arms to terrorist groups like al-Nusra, al-Qaida or al-Sham, ISIS who are on the ground there, raping, kidnapping, torturing and killing the Syrian people.”

Gabbard continued: “The reality is – every place that I went, every person that I spoke to, I asked this question to them, and without hesitation, they said, there are no moderate rebels. Who are these moderate rebels that people keep speaking of?”

Who, indeed?

In Syria, the U.S. is making the same mistake we made in Afghanistan. We’re trading one evil for another. We’re pouring billions of dollars into funding Islamists who want to turn Syria into yet another extremist theocracy. How many years will pass before today’s “moderate rebels” become tomorrow’s terrorists?

There’s no need to pretend that Assad is a friend of the U.S. or a legitimate president any more than we needed to pretend that Saddam Hussein was a good guy. But the fact is, we aren’t gaining anything by swapping out one brutal dictatorship for another.

“The fact that our resources are being used to strengthen the very terrorist groups we should be focused on defeating should alarm every American,” Gabbard said.

Hopefully, under the common-sense leadership of President Trump, we can put those days behind us.