Allen B. West

Chutzpah: Dem congresswoman and combat vet Gabbard dares to challenge Obama over Islamic extremism

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There are some things just as predictable as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west — and it’s very true in politics as well. A good friend of mine, Lieutenant Colonel Rich Berry (Army, Ret) told me to be on the lookout for one young Democrat running for Congress from Hawaii named Tulsi Gabbard. Well, this Army combat veteran was elected in 2014 and has been making her voice heard.

Last week I had the good fortune to meet Rep. Gabbard and share some quick comments. But, I warned her of one thing — watch yer six!

Fox News writes that Rep. Gabbard was born in American Samoa as one of five children and moved to Hawaii as a toddler. Her parents, strict social conservatives, were elected to public office in Hawaii — her father, Mike Gabbard, to the state Senate, and her mother, Carol Gabbard, to the statewide Board of Education.

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“In 2002 at age 21, Gabbard was the youngest person ever elected to the Hawaii Legislature. The following year, she enlisted with the Hawaii National Guard, and was voluntarily deployed in 2004 to Iraq with the 29th Brigade. On the military front, she made a name for herself, awarded the Meritorious Service Medal during Operation Iraqi Freedom and designated a distinguished honor graduate at Fort McClellan’s Officer Candidate School.”

But she may be facing her biggest challenge, just for speaking the truth.

“She was Hawaii’s golden girl after winning a seat in Congress with support from top liberal groups, but now that Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has been critical of President Obama, her political reputation in the bluest of blue states is taking a hit. That isn’t stopping the twice-deployed 33-year-old Army veteran from continuing to challenge the president, her home state’s favorite son, over his refusal to identify terror groups like the Islamic State as driven by “radical Islam.”

“Every soldier knows this simple fact: If you don’t know your enemy, you will not be able to defeat him,” Gabbard told Fox News. “Our leaders must clearly identify the enemy as Islamist extremists, understand the ideology that is motivating them and attracting new recruits, and focus on defeating that enemy both militarily and ideologically.”Gabbard has been hitting this message for weeks now, putting her at odds with many in her party who toe the line that the Islamic State should not be associated with Islam.”

Last Friday morning I ran into Rep. Gabbard for the second time, at the Fox News DC bureau when she was recording this interview. She has quickly become a very popular figure on the top-rated cable station.

So there you have it ladies and gents, Rep. Gabbard has doubly angered the gods of liberal progressive collectivism — she speaks her own mind in disagreement with the leader of her political party. And she appears regularly on Fox News — that hated news channel.

Therefore Rep. Gabbard has once again entered into a combat zone — one I deployed onto as well — the battlefield called politics. (And I must admit having members of your own party redraw congressional district lines to your disadvantage was eye opening for me, to say the least).

Well, Rep. Gabbard is about to have an eye opening experience as well.

“Gabbard called “mind-boggling” Obama’s refusal to associate ISIS with the Muslim religion, even though the terrorist army is emphatic it is enforcing a strict interpretation of Islam. “[Obama] is completely missing the point of this radical Islamic ideology that’s fueling these people,” she said. Her comments have stunned political experts in her home state. “It is very, very unusual for a junior member in the president’s own party to criticize him,” said Colin Moore, assistant professor at the University of Hawaii Department of Political Science. “Especially for someone considered a rising star in the party. This is a serious gamble for her.” Michael W. Perry, of Hawaii’s most popular KSSK Radio’s “Perry & Price Show,” said that “while Gabbard is correct in her ’emperor has no clothes’ moment, she may have lost her future seat on Hawaii’s political bench.” He said she’s committed “a mortal sin” by challenging Obama, and “now the knives are out.”

Can you imagine the outcry if someone on the center-right referred to Rep. Gabbard’s future in politics by stating, “now the knives are out?” What is her offense? Having a brain and a thought of her own and not being a lock-step zombie of the apocalypse known as today’s progressive socialist Democrat Party?

Now, I don’t know Rep. Gabbard’s complete voting record and stance on other issues, but she’s spot on when it comes to national security and foreign affairs. Where is Nancy Pelosi, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Elizabeth Warren, or Sandra Fluke? Surely this is representative of the “war on women” — and a combat veteran at that! Such an incredible hypocrisy. I warned Rep. Gabbard when I saw her to watch it and that her outspoken truth would eventually be a problem — sadly it seems my assessment was correct, even sooner than I thought.

And so it begins — this bright young female combat veteran now goes under the progressive socialist knife.

“The editorial board of the online political news journal Civil Beat, owned by eBay Founder Pierre Omiydar, said “the bright-red Right” is promoting her criticism but she is not “presenting serious policy arguments.”

“One wonders where Gabbard is going with this. Sure, the Iraq war veteran and rising political star is achieving national prominence in a high-profile discussion. But at what cost?” the editorial board wrote, saying her comments could be dismissed “as pandering from a young pol with lofty ambitions.”

“Bob Jones, columnist for the Oahu-based Midweek, wrote a scathing piece suggesting Gabbard should be challenged in 2016. “I take serious issue when somebody who’s done a little non-fighting time in Iraq, and is not a Middle East or Islamic scholar, claims to know better than our President and Secretary of State how to fathom the motivations of terrorists, or how to refer to them beyond the term that best describes them — terrorists,” Jones said.”

See here is how it works. Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal can “misremember” being in Vietnam but no big deal — as long as he toes the liberal progressive line. VA Secretary Robert McDonald can “misremember” that he was not a member of Special Forces — no big deal as long as you lie about firing VA bureaucrats and cut the budget of the Choice Act.

However, if you are a junior congresswoman, a combat veteran and speak out against President Obama, you are referred to as “somebody who’s done a little non-fighting time in Iraq.” As well, you are categorized as “not a Middle East or Islamic scholar, (who) claims to know better than our president and secretary of state how to fathom the motivations of terrorists.”

In other words, to these progressive socialists, Captain Tulsi Gabbard, US House of Representatives Member, is just some dumb woman.

So where is the outrage liberals, about this abhorrent castigation and sentiment towards this veteran? How many of you don’t see this as utter hypocrisy by the left as Rep. Gabbard has gone from Democrat darling to a non-fighting dummy in their estimation? How typical of the Alinskyites and their mantra of character assassination, even to their own. You see, what Rep. Gabbard will learn is that progressive socialists don’t care for our warriors. Her goal was to be just be there in Congress and provide cover for the House Democrat caucus.

Just like former Democrat Members of Congress, Joe Sestak and Patrick Murphy, both from Pennsylvania who were elected in 2006 – Gabbard’s role was to support Democrat anti-military stances, then it was to speak out against the combat operations in Iraq.

And I hate to say this, but Illinois Representative Tammy Duckworth has fallen in line with they Democrat collective — one would think she’d speak out more strongly against the reconstitution of al-Qaida in Iraq as ISIS. Funny, you don’t see anybody talking about “the knives are out” when it comes to Rep. Duckworth — I guess she knows how to play the game of politics and stay silent. Sadly, she does not speak up or out for fellow veterans — and she was once a VA bureaucrat.

But don’t expect this warrior from Hawaii to back down. “I’m not naïve,” Gabbard said. “It could hurt me politically, but I don’t worry about it because that’s not what I care about. … Our national security and the future of our country is infinitely more important than partisan politics or my personal political future.”

And others are noticing her courage. “Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who directed the Defense Intelligence Agency, said this should not be a political issue. “[Gabbard] has taken a very courageous stand in a party that just refuses to face reality,” he said. Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who directed the Defense Intelligence Agency, said this should not be a political issue. Decorated intelligence officer and noted specialist on Islamic law, Stephen Coughlin, who authored the book “Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad,” set for release in March, also sided with Gabbard. “Rep. Gabbard is correct as a matter of history, she is correct as a matter of current events, and she is correct of published Islamic law.”

“It is encouraging to see a bright young woman like Congresswoman Gabbard in politics in Hawaii, speaking up the way she is doing,” said retired Lt. Col. Orson Swindle, a native of my mom’s hometown of Camilla, Georgia and a former Hawaii GOP congressional candidate who spent seven years in a POW camp in Vietnam, and was awarded 20 military decorations for valor in combat including two silver stars and two purple hearts.

Well, you can add me to that list of folks standing with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii because soldiers don’t leave their buddies on the battlefield. As I told her last Wednesday beneath the Capitol after voting – if you need me, I will be there to support and assist.

This treatment is horrific and should not stand, just because she speaks the truth.

And if she is only a one-term Member of Congress, her future will be even brighter. If the liberal progressives of Hawaii challenge Rep. Gabbard in a primary there will be many of us behind the scenes lending support to this veteran — one of our own.

Because the progressives are showing she’s not one of their own, the modern Democrat Party is not the party of John F. Kennedy and is not open to dissenting views and have no place for conservatives — at least the Republican Party allows open debate and has moderates and even progressives. We embrace the individual and reject the collective.

My message to Rep. Gabbard, Army strong!

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