Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii is taking intense and emotionally charged criticism because some believe that she was somehow showing deference to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad by suggesting that Congressional oversight, including appropriate production of evidence, is required in the aftermath of the U.S. bombing and the role Assad played in the chemical attacks on the Syrian village that took place a week ago. We strongly support Tulsi's courage and determination to end regime change wars and to grow support for her legislation call on the U.S. to Stop Arming Terrorists, HR608 in the House and SR532 in the Senate, including those ISIS rebels in Syria.
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is the Senate sponsor of companion legislation to HR608, and when he introduced the bill in the senate, Sen. Paul said, "One of the unintended consequences of nation-building and open-ended intervention is American funds and weapons benefiting those who hate us. This legislation will strengthen our foreign policy, enhance our national security, and safeguard our resources.” In one of the few areas since November 8th, 2016, to see any bi-partisan cooperation, Rep. Gabbard and Sen. Paul found some common ground. We are pleased with that, and we are surprised that some Democrats have criticized Tulsi as they have.
We believe that if defeating ISIS is the number one foreign policy priority for the Trump regime, it seems fundamentally hypocritical to provide arms and weapons to ISIS anywhere around the globe and most certainly in Syria. We do not gain ourselves any level of moral authority or civilized, just leadership role among the powerful nations on earth by waging regime change wars using our own red, white and blue bombs that also kill innocent people when we unilaterally decide it is in our own political or national interests. We must not allow the terrible images of little children suffering and dying in Syria cloud our judgment so that we cannot ask questions—if we believe in peace, we must honor those tiniest, most vulnerable of war casualties by doing our level best to bring about a more peaceful world where those who violate international law are brought to justice according to that international law.
Finally, we do not ever forget that Major Tulsi Gabbard of the Hawaii Army National Guard has served a tour of duty in Iraq in defense of our nation took the following oath when she enlisted and pledged to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States. She has done so much to demonstrate her courage and willingness to uphold that oath, and that includes standing up in some very difficult situations. Many others might shrink from that duty, and even when Tulsi stepped down from her DNC role in order to be a surrogate for Bernie Sanders during the primary, she showed remarkable independence and the courage of her convictions. She has said that if it is proven that Assad did indeed use chemical weapons on his own people, Tulsi commits that she will stand confidently to call for Assad prosecution as a war criminal. We take her at her word.
Thank you, Tulsi, for standing in the gap for us all for peace. We know very few people have stood with you this week. For peace and in thanks for your service to this nation, I proudly rise.