ICYMI: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Discusses Islamic Extremism on CNN’s The Situation Room

January 24, 2015
Press Release
ICYMI: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard discusses Islamic extremism on CNN’s The Situation Room
Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) appeared on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer to discuss Islamic extremism and American foreign policy.
Key points:
TULSI GABBARD, 4:09 : Well, the first thing, the first and most important step—and I talked to you about this last week when I was on your show—is we have to identify exactly who they are. Something happened today where Secretary Kerry made a statement which I think was very evident of the problem that we're seeing, where in the speech he talked about how these Islamic extremists, that they are engaged in an, and I quote, “criminal conduct rooted in alienation, poverty, thrill-seeking, and other factors.” And he went on to say that “ultimately this fight will be determined by our success in creating prosperity that’s widely shared.” This is completely missing the point of exactly this radical Islamic ideology that’s fuelling these people, and mistakenly—a huge mistake—thinking that somehow, OK, well, look, if we give them $10,000 and give them a nice place to live, that somehow they're not going to be engaged in this fighting. Osama Bin Laden is a perfect example. Multi-millionaire who left his mansions, went and lived in the desert because of this radical ideology that was fuelling his actions, his attack on the United States and these attacks that we're seeing further now.
TULSI GABBARD, 5:30: … it's really unfortunate and disturbing to me to see Secretary Kerry doubling down on that refusal to use those words. And the words matter. It’s not just empty words. The words matter because words are an expression of understanding and feeling and intention. If you refuse to understand this simple concept of who exactly is our enemy, who is posing a threat to the American people and why, then we can't even begin to talk about how do you defeat them. That's a whole separate conversation that can only happen once that identification takes place.
TULSI GABBARD, 7:29:  What I’m focused on here, again, I think it's important that we take a step back from the minutia that's happening and evolving hour by hour on the ground and really look at what are our capabilities in fighting against our enemy, and fighting against Al Qaeda and ISIS and other Islamic extremists groups and in places like Yemen. We've got to look at it and make sure our military is mobile, that we're taking advantage of our superior technology, of our superior war fighters, and evolving with the dynamics on the ground.
TULSI GABBARD, 8:16: When you look at the whole region across the Middle East, there is so much unrest in many different places and different situations, and we've got to be able to fight not only in stable and settled environments but, especially given the threat that’s being posed to us now, even more so we've got to be able to be highly flexible and mobile and able to operate especially in these highly chaotic environments.
TULSI GABBARD, 9:19: Libya is a perfect example of the mistake that we should not make again. When Obama and Secretary Clinton made that decision to go in and try to get rid of Gadhafi, there was no after plan. There was no plan on what happens next. And as a perfect example of why we should not allow the United States to get involved in these civil wars or these sectarian wars that are happening in many different places, especially across the Middle East, and why it's so critical for us to answer that all-important question: what's in the best interest of the United Statesʻ We’re not and should not be in this nation-building regime-changing business that's only caused this chaos.

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