Hawaii Tribune-Herald, 19 January 2017, p. A3.
Reporter: Mary Clare Jalonick (Associated Press).
Accessed on 20 January 2017, 02:55 hrs, UTC.
Reporter: Joh Hudson (“Foreign Policy” Magazine).
Hawaii Democratic congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has completed an unannounced “fact-finding” mission to Lebanon and Syria. The secret trip to the war-torn region came two months after discussing world tensions with President-elect Donald Trump.
Gabbard, a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard who served in Iraq, criticized outgoing President Barack Obama’s Middle East policy and warned Mr. Trump that establishing a no-fly zone to protect civilians from bombing missions would escalate the ongoing Syrian Civil War.
On Wednesday, Gabbard spokeswoman Emily Latimer said the Hawaii congresswoman “has long been committed to peace and ending counterproductive, interventionist wars.”
Latimer told the Associated Press that Gabbard “felt it was important to meet with a number of individuals and groups including religious leaders, humanitarian workers, refugees and government and community leaders.”
Latimer said she was not at liberty to discuss whether a meeting was held with Syrian President Bashar Assad.
It may be prudent for Mr. Trump to listen to the independently-minded representative from my home state (Hawaii). Ms. Gabbard has served in Iraq and knows the complex issues the United States faces in that tense region. In this case, Ms. Gabbard speaks from experience. Mr. Trump should weigh carefully what she says.
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