So over the past several days David Ravicher and myself have been having a bit of a feud over the super-hyped Tulsi Gabbard, who apparently has captured the hearts and minds of a certain group of clueless progressives. Let me start out by saying that I find the notion of an antiwar Democrat to be as credible as the proposition of a flying pig (and honestly I have seen at least one episode of The Simpsons with an airborne oinker…) The Gabbard cult where her acolytes proclaim “Gabba Gabba Hey” in unison at the drop of a hat is a pale imitation of the Ron Paul banana boat from 2012, a noteworthy comparison for multiple reasons, as will be shown…
Start with her disturbing ties to current Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his fascist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). There is a long and vile history of BJP and its street cadre, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), sowing chaos in national politics, such as germinating the milieu that produced Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin and inciting pogroms against various minorities. Modi in particular is universally blamed for the 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat, where he was Chief Minister, a bloodbath that killed upwards of 2,000 people according to some estimates and resulted in multiple injuries and rapes. Some have gone as far as describing the tragedy as having all the features of a genocide. (See the award-winning documentary Final Solution directed by Rakesh Sharma for more information.)
In July 2015, Arun Ferreira said “With the Modi government in power, it has provided for an umbrella-like cover for all the reactionary forces. There has been an increase in attacks on Muslims and Christians. In some places riots are engineered, in others targeted attacks are done [against] progressive activists such as Govind Pansare, etc. Though the Modi government has denied any explicit role in these attacks, the fact remains that there is an increase in aggressive Hindutva and anti-minority propaganda by leading members of the BJP or Sangh Parivar (the affiliated organizations of the RSS). While innocent Muslims are detained and falsely arrested in the name of countering terror, the key conspirators in all the anti-Muslim pogroms are scott free.”
So what in the name of any deity would make Tulsi Gabbard present Modi with the book she took her Congressional oath of office upon, the Hindu religious text Bhagavad Gita? If a Republican Congressperson were to ever present Marine Le Pen with a copy of the Bible they took their oath upon, progressives (such as those in the Gabbard fan club) would cry havoc and loose the dogs of war! The double standard could not be more blatant.
Modi was on my radar years ago and I am extremely skeptical of anyone who would not alienate themselves completely from his fascist politics. As a good counter example, recall how Bernie Sanders and the Congressional Black Caucus skipped attending the address to Congress made by Benjamin Netanyahu (done behind the back of President Obama in blatant racist spite) as an attempt to scuttle the so-called Iran deal. Another good example is the matter of racist rants in the Ron Paul newsletters, which Paul was not the author of (instead they were authored by fellow moonbat Lew Rockwell) but then again, what does it say that you have any professional writing relationship at all with Lew Rockwell in the first place?!
In the past several years, Gabbard has rebranded herself as a progressive by supporting Bernie Sanders in 2016. I read this as cynical opportunism on the part of an advantageous politician who wanted to get her ticket stamped by a good thing when she saw it because, despite her posturing now, she began her career as a pretty conservative operator, opposed to same sex marriage and abortion. I can’t judge which policy positions she actually believes in, it could be that she horse trades these ideas to gain political leverage, not unlike how Barack Obama approached marriage equality during his presidency.
But if that’s the case, I would argue that shows how suspect her antiwar credentials should be also. By trafficking in Modi-styled rhetoric about “Islamism,” she shows her cards as not actually a dove as much as a proponent of a modified execution of the War on Terror, which has always been nothing more than ideological sophistry combined with brutality. In reality, there is no unified and multinational force composed of thousands of Muslim sleeper cells in waiting for activation by a supreme authority such as Osama bin Laden or Daesh, instead there are millions of isolated and individual groups of men who turn to a combination of religious faith and desperation that can become violent owing to socio-economic brutality inflicted upon them for being poor and/or Black/Brown as well as Muslim. And in those instances, the phenomenon crosses religious lines and can be committed by even atheists (and in fact explains the rise of Modi and the BJP in the first place). Attribution of this behavior solely to Muslims, as Gabbard does, is the most dangerous and irresponsible kind of rhetoric imaginable.