Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Urges Congress To Oppose Authorization for War Against Iran

For Immediate Release
May 22, 2018

Media Contact:
Emily Latimer, (202) 604-2330

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) spoke on the floor today urging support for her amendment in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that upholds Congress’s constitutional power to declare war. The congresswoman’s amendment strikes the language of Section 1225 of the FY2019 NDAA that authorizes the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State to develop and implement a strategy to counter the “destabilizing activities of Iran” and only afterwards inform Congress. The amendment will be on the House floor for a vote tomorrow, May 23.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said:

“Make no mistake – the authorization in Section 1225 of the underlying bill authorizes our U.S. military to go to war with Iran, which is one of the main reasons why I voted against this bill in committee. This provision authorizes the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State to ‘develop and implement a strategy with foreign partners to counter the destabilizing activities of Iran.’

“The provision does not define what destabilizing activities they want our troops and taxpayer dollars to counter. It does not define a clear objective or end-state for our troops to achieve. In addition, this provision shuts the American people out from this decision entirely by circumventing Congress’s constitutional responsibility to declare war and giving unilateral power and unending authorization to ‘counter Iran’ to this and future Administrations – without defining in any way, shape, or form what the objective really is.

“It sidelines Congress and the American people entirely, with the only requirement being that the Administration report to Congress after their plan is being implemented, and only for the next 4 years, while the authorization for war has no expiration date.

“It gives after-the-fact license for what is already happening in the Middle East. Since 2015, without express Congressional authorization, US troops have been providing direct military support to Saudi Arabia in Yemen through information sharing, logistical support, and refueling Saudi warplanes which have dropped U.S.-made bombs on Yemeni civilians. The most recent attack was on a Yemeni wedding party, with two rounds of bombing killing more than 20 people and wounding dozens of others. This Saudi-led interventionist war has created one of the worst humanitarian disasters in history, worsening a situation that has led to mass starvation, cholera outbreaks, devastation, thousands of civilian deaths, and tens of thousands of injuries.

“It gives total authority to the Administration to keep US troops in Syria, or any other country in the Middle East, as long as they deem it necessary – an intention clearly stated by members of this Administration. To name a few examples, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said last month that US troops would stay in Syria indefinitely until their goals are accomplished – namely to counter Iran. National Security Advisor John Bolton said in a 2015 op-ed entitled ‘To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran’ that ‘the United States could do a thorough job of destruction, but Israel alone can do what’s necessary. Such action should be combined with vigorous American support for Iran’s opposition, aimed at regime change in Tehran.’ Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently advocated that the US will ‘crush’ Iran with economic and military pressure unless it changes its behavior in the Middle East.

“It’s clear that if left unchecked, war hawks in the Trump Administration will drag our country into more Middle East wars, leaving destruction in its wake around the world and here at home. Trillions of taxpayer dollars have already been spent on these regime change wars in the Middle East since 9/11. Rather than dumping more taxpayer dollars in these wars as this provision authorizes, we should instead be investing in rebuilding our communities right here at home.

“For too long, the US has engaged in military adventurism and interventionist wars, sending our troops overseas, with no clear objective or end state. ‘Countering Iran’ is not an end state that our military or diplomats can achieve. Without a clear objective, you end up in endless war. So what is the objective of this authorization for war? Is it regime change in Iran? Regime change in Syria? More war against Iran in Syria? Yemen? I strongly urge my colleagues to consider the serious consequences of Section 1225 being enacted because it would authorize any or all of these actions. It is Congress’s responsibility and constitutional role to declare war. The American people have a right to a real debate on such a declaration. I urge my colleagues to support the passage of my amendment.”

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) is a leading voice for peace in Congress, advocating against counterproductive, regime-change wars, and standing up for Congressional authorization before military action. Most recently, she joined a bipartisan coalition of 88 Members of Congress urging President Trump to consult and receive authorization from Congress prior to ordering the use of US military force against Syria. She has also advocated for ending the regime change war in Syria and condemned US support of Saudi Arabia in the Yemen civil war.

19 thoughts on “Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Urges Congress To Oppose Authorization for War Against Iran”

  1. Tulsi is all alone out there. The Dems and Trump are running a race to see who can be the bigger hawk, thus that’s how we got the NDAA. They’re all cowards now.

      1. No one has ever had a moderation problem on this site because he or she supports Tulsi Gabbard.

        Some people have moderation issues on this site when they include links in their comments.

        But by all means, don’t let the facts get in the way of an opportunity to play the victim.

        1. My link was a continuation of my comment because it was written by me. Today, as far as I know, is the only time I’ve commented on your site. Do you disallow links or did you find the content of the link objectionable?

          1. Neither — that is, we do allow links, nor do I find the content of the link objectionable (although it’s not about ME finding it objectionable, to be clear).

            But, we do have both “factory-installed” filters to catch spam, and keywords, etc. that watch for content which might violate our guidelines. The spam filters in particular seem pretty sensitive to links, especially from new commenters.

            I’m not sure how, but it seems that that sensitivity goes down with respect to a particular comment over time. That is, the first time you comment with a link, it is almost certain to hold the comment for a human (me) to look at. Assuming the human approves your comments, by the 10th time it almost certainly WON’T be held just because it has a link.

            Which makes sense, because 90% of the time, a comment that gets held for a link is from a user we’ve never seen before and will never see again, and has a link to a site selling penis enlargement pills, the services of escorts in Dubai, or the ability to get your high school book report written for you for five bucks.

            Sorry for being brusque and rude about it. I had just come from another part of the site where someone who knew better had flooded the moderation queue with maybe 15 variations of the same comment, trying to get around having to wait for comment approval, so I was in a mood :D

  2. Tulsi Gabbard is one of the best in US politics. Courageous, intelligent, a leading voice for peace, I love her. I wish more Americans would listen to her.

    1. Tulsi Gabbard for president! Congress has abdicated it’s responsibility as the declarer of war. Our Founding Fathers didn’t intend for the president to declare war anyplace he wants, against anyone he wants, and for any reason he wants. Trump swore to uphold the Constitution, but obviously has no regard for it. The sooner he’s out of the White House, the better off we’ll be and the better off the world will be.

  3. For a politician or a media person if you are a relentless cheerleader for Israel at all times on all matters life will be easy.

    If you are willing to try, now and then, to do the right thing like Barack Obama did with the Iran Deal AND like Ronald Reagan did in 1982 when he demanded Israel but a stop to its massacre of civilians in Beirut you will be reviled as a “betrayer, a jew hater and an antisemite.”

    Both of those Presidents were so attacked. For Reagan, check out his
    Autobiography, Page 416. For Obama, visit any comment board any day in the last 10 years.

    The Adelson-Netanyahu wing of the Israel Lobby is sitting in the catbird seat.
    Trump is their useful idiot. Bolton and Pompeo are facilitators. Senators Cotton
    and Cruz, cheerleaders.

    If they conclude a war with Iran will save their bacon before the Mid Terms,
    they’ll get their way.

    It’s time for Democrats to put on their Woman and Man Pants.

    Good For Rep. Gabbard!

  4. I think I everybody an apology. I didn’t see my original comment go up so I thought it was rejected. Now, belatedly, I see both of my comments up.
    I’m a semi-low tech guy and this is my first time commenting on this site.


    1. Tom, it’s pretty easy to get a complex about “ideological filtering” passing for moderation on online forums, if you’re used to dealing with sites like “Daily Kos” and “”. The only reason for comments not being approved on, for the most part, that I have seen, is blatant ethnic, religious or racial bigotry. The folks are pretty cool here, and there is a diversity of ideological opinion. The only completely common ground is support for peace and opposition to aggressive warfare.

      1. And, irony meter pegged, your comment got held because it interpreted two of your site name as URLs and therefore as links. Since it’s you and you have a long comment history, it probably wouldn’t have held it for one link, but two links tripped it :D

  5. I am so ashamed of my vote for Trump. Hes such a neocon draft dodging neocon coward! I thought I voted for the peace candidate and all we got was Hillary but with WWE style bravado. Thank God for Tulsi! Where is Ron Paul when we need him? I give Rand an A-

  6. Tulsi Gabbard is one of the few politicians left with some semblance of conscience. I say if the old men and women want a war so badly, let THEM go fight it, instead of devouring our young.

  7. Anybody know where Walter B. Jones, Republican from North Carolina’s Second District, is on this? He represents the region where Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune are located. After initially supporting W Bush’s wars, he turned against them and has been one of the few anti-war Republicans. Despite facing well-funded primary challengers, backed by the Republican establishment, Jones wins easily over and over. He seems to genuinely care about the fighting men he represents.

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