Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
November 23, 2015
By Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI District 2 [non-urban Oahu & neighbor islands] Democrat)
As a veteran, I know that you cannot defeat your enemy while simultaneously strengthening them.
The U.S. is waging two wars in Syria. The first is the war against ISIS and other Islamic extremists, which Congress authorized after the terrorist attack on 9/11. The second war is the illegal war to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad.
That’s why I introduced a bipartisan bill that would bring an immediate end to the illegal, counter-productive war the U.S. is waging to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad.
Here are 10 reasons why we must end this war to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad:
1. Because if we succeed in overthrowing the Syrian government of Assad, it will open the door for ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other Islamic extremists to take over all of Syria. There will be genocide and suffering on a scale beyond our imagination. These Islamic extremists will take over all the weaponry, infrastructure, and military hardware of the Syrian army and be more dangerous than ever before.
2. Because overthrowing the Syrian government of Assad is the goal of ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other Islamic extremist groups. We should not be allying ourselves with these Islamic extremists by helping them achieve their goal because it is against the security interests of the United States and all of civilization.
3. Because the money and weapons the CIA is providing to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad are going directly or indirectly into the hands of the Islamic extremist groups, including al-Qaeda affiliates, al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham, and others who are the actual enemies of the United States. These groups make up close to 90 percent of the so-called opposition forces, and are the most dominant fighters on the ground.
4. Because our efforts to overthrow Assad have increased and will continue to increase the strength of ISIS and other Islamic extremists, thus making them a bigger regional and global threat.
5. Because this war has exacerbated the chaos and carnage in Syria and, along with the terror inflicted by ISIS and other Islamic extremist groups fighting to take over Syria, continues to increase the number of Syrians forced to flee their country.
6. Because we should learn from our past mistakes in Iraq and Libya that U.S. wars to overthrow secular dictators (Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi) cause even more chaos and human suffering and open the door for Islamic extremists to take over in those countries.
7. Because the U.S. has no credible government or government leader ready to bring order, security, and freedom to the people of Syria.
8. Because even the ‘best case’ scenario—that the U.S. successfully overthrows the Syrian government of Assad—would obligate the United States to spend trillions of dollars and the lives of American service members in the futile effort to create a new Syria. This is what we have been trying to do in Iraq for twelve years, and we still have not succeeded. The situation in Syria will be much more difficult than in Iraq.
9. Because our war against the Syrian government of Assad is interfering with our being one-pointedly focused on the war to defeat ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and the other Islamic extremists who are our actual enemy.
10. Because our war to overthrow the Assad government puts us in direct conflict with Russia and increases the likelihood of war between the United States and Russia and the possibility of another world war.
Our primary mission should be the war against ISIS, al Qaeda, and radical Islamic extremists that have operations both inside and outside of Syria and Iraq. Those groups have carried out attacks on American allies, and are currently threatening attacks on our homeland. This represents a clear and present danger to our citizens, and I support eliminating these radical Islamic terrorists through any means necessary. Working to remove Assad at this stage is counter-productive to what I believe our primary mission should be. For more info on the bill I introduced, click here.