Col. Ann Wright: Why I Support Tulsi Gabbard Going to Syria

I served my country for 29 years in the U.S. Army/ Army Reserves and retired as a colonel. I also served 16 years in the U.S. diplomatic corps in U.S. Embassies in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan and Mongolia. I resigned from the U.S. government 13 years ago in March 2003 in opposition to President Bush’s regime change war on Iraq.

Since my resignation I have traveled to many countries where the U.S. government did not want me to go – to Cuba, Iran, Gaza, Yemen, Pakistan, North Korea, Russia and back to Afghanistan. I didn’t agree with many of the policies of the governments in power in those countries. But, I wanted to see the effects of policies of our government, in particular the effects of attempts of regime change. I wanted to talk with citizens and government officials about the effects of U.S. sanctions on them and whether those sanctions lessened their support for the government the U.S. was attempting to change or overthrow by non-military means.

For making those trips, I have been criticized strongly. I have been called an apologist for the governments in power. Critics have said that my trip has given legitimacy to the abuses of the government. And I have been called a traitor to the United States to dare question or challenge its policy of regime change.

I am not an apologist, nor a traitor … nor is Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard for her recent trip to Syria and meeting with Syrian President Assad.

It is important that we have representatives in our government who will go to countries where the United States is either killing citizens directly by U.S. intervention or indirectly by support of militia groups or by sanctions.

We need representatives to sift through our government and media reports to find out for themselves the truth, the shades of truth and the untruths.

We need representatives to be willing to take the heat from both their fellow members of Congress and from the media pundits who will not go to those areas and talk with those directly affected by U.S. actions.

We need representatives who will be our eyes and ears to go to places where most citizens can not go.

Tulsi Gabbard is not the first international observer to come back with an assessment about the tragic effects of U.S. support for lethal regime change in Syria. Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire began traveling to Syria three years ago and now having made three trips to Syria – and came back with the same comments – that U.S. support for regime change of the secular government of Syria would result in the deaths of hundreds of thousand of Syrians, the resulting mass migration of millions who are fleeing the carnage of the destruction of the country and the possibility of an extremist religious based group taking power.

U.S. support for regime change in Syria by rebel groups it supports or by ISIS, al-Qaeda, al Nursa, groups that are funded by U.S. allies – Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey but ironically that the U.S. is battling in Iraq and Afghanistan – has shown clearly several of the major dangers of international regime change, that groups even worse than the regime being overthrown may come to power.

The possibility of a group imposing perverted extremist religious views on the secular state of Syria is high due to international meddling in the internal affairs of Syria. It has also shown that allies will come to the defense of their friends as the international war in Syria expanded and the deaths of civilians increased as Russia came to the aid of its ally Syria.

During the Obama administration, Congresswoman Gabbard spoke critically of the U.S. propensity to attempt regime change and its resulting chaos and loss of civilian life. On Dec. 8, 2016, she introduced a bill entitled the “Stop Arming Terrorists Act” which would prohibit the U.S. government from using U.S. funds to provide funding, weapons, training, and intelligence support to groups like the Levant Front, Fursan al Ha and other allies of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, al-Qaeda and ISIS, or to countries who are providing direct or indirect support to those groups.

Now in the first days of the Trump administration she traveled to Syria to see the effects of attempted regime change and offer a solution to reduce the deaths of civilians and the end of the war in Syria. A national organization Veterans For Peace, to which I belong, has endorsed Congresswoman Gabbard’s trip to Syria as a step toward resolution to the Syrian conflict.

The congresswoman is a brave person willing to take the criticism for challenging U.S. policies that she believes are wrong. I am proud to have her as one of our Congress persons from Hawaii and I urge her to continue to search for the truth about the effect of U.S. government policies.

Ann Wright served 29 years in the US Army/Army Reserves and retired as a colonel. She also was a U.S. diplomat for 16 years and served in U.S. Embassies in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan and Mongolia. She resigned in March 2003 in opposition to the war in Iraq. Reprinted from Civil Beat News with permission.

  • I’ve said it a dozen times, I’ll say it again, Tulsi Gabbard for president 2020.

    • Don

      You need more evidence. So far she hasn’t provided any more reassurance than Trump provided on his approach toward Russia. And look at how that’s turned out!
      For now just suspect that she’s found herself a niche in the rhetoric which can work for her with ‘some’ people. But not very many people. So few in fact that her niche she things will work for her will possibly be non-existent by the time it rolls around to a pres election again. Not to even have to mention that anybody who looks like posing a challenge to the establishment, will be destroyed long before 4 years by them.

      On the other hand, she could be legit. It’s just too soon to commit to it.

      • survivor

        Yes, Trump is absolutely doing a 180 on Russia. Just lip service. His team including the VP are all anti-Russia and even back to their old ways toward them. Nothing changes; just Trump’s entertainment.

    • basileus ✓ᵀʳᵘᵐᵖ ˢᵘᵖᵖᵒʳᵗᵉʳ

      She’s certainly a great person in Congress and would possibly do well as President. Hard to beat a resume like hers and her position on Syria is going to guarantee that she’s not going to be financed by Zionist backers.

      • Don

        First consideration is, is she pretty enough? If so then she’s halfway there.
        Second consideration is, is she antiwar? If so then she’s toast with the American people.

        Two truths to ponder. And it’s worth pondering because it’s our downfall as antiwar people. No matter if she has the biggest prerequisite for a presidential contender, she’s screwed with the second one.

  • Don

    When an ex-military person starts a story with something like this:
    “I served my country for 29 years in the U.S. Army/ Army Reserves and retired as a colonel. I also served 16 years in the U.S. diplomatic corps in U.S. Embassies in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan and Mongolia.”

    I immediately think that the person should have started the story like this:

    I confess that I am an ex-military person and that personal history lessens my credibility somewhat, but please believe me that I have changed and no longer think like an army Colonel. ” I also served 16 years in the U.S. diplomatic corps in U.S. Embassies in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan and Mongolia.”

    That’s because the first war against Iraq was just as phony and dishonest but the 03 one is the only one the criminal perps can no longer claim to be legitimate. And in fact, they’re all illegitimate and criminal right back to WW2.

    • “That’s because the first war against Iraq was just as phony and dishonest”

      At least.

      • Don

        Yes. See above reply to NC. There’s something wrong with this picture?

    • jgmoebus

      i wonder how You reacted to this statement by an ex-military person who called lots of things this nation did “illegitimate and criminal,” long before WW2:

      “I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

      ― Smedley D. Butler, from “War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America’s Most Decorated Soldier”

    • arnieus

      I agree. No matter how noble their intentions US military has been nothing but plundering corporate enforcers. But it goes “right back” past WW2 to the conquest of the Philippines where the US killed 200,000 people bringing demo-crazy to them. WWI, was a zionist contrived war that the US people were duped into. Then there is the “good war” contrived by banker agents FDR and Churchill to eliminate the German threat to their hegemony once and for all. If you are not familiar with him do a search for Mike Rivera’s “All Wars are Banker Wars”.

  • Don

    She has bragging rights for a whole string of countries. And she used them too!