Last year, we noted with some incredulity that when it comes to US foreign policy in the Mid-East, someone inside the Beltway actually "gets it".
That someone is Hawaii Democrat Tulsi Gabbard who knows something about the region thanks to the fact that she served in the Middle East - twice. Now, she’s sponsoring a bipartisan bill to stop what she calls an “illegal” war against the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
It’s not necessarily that Gabbard is a fan of Assad.
Rather, she understands that overthrowing “dictators” very often (and by “very often” we mean “every single damn time”) ends in tears for the locals who at best end up with a regime that’s even more brutal than its predecessor and at worst see their country descend into outright chaos.
Asked about human rights abuses allegedly perpetrated by the Assad government, Gabbard said the following in November:
"People said the very same thing about Saddam (Hussein), the very same thing about (Moammar) Gadhafi, the results of those two failed efforts of regime change and the following nation-building have been absolute, not only have they been failures, but they've actually worked to strengthen our enemy."
Now, another US politician is speaking out against Washington's Mid-East policy. This time it's Virginia state Senator Dick Black who spoke to RT about what he believes are the "two greatest dangers to world peace."
Like Tulsi, Dick knows a thing or two about war and about the Mid-East. Here's a bit from his official bio:
He enlisted in the Marines in 1963. By age 21, Black became a second lieutenant and was among the Marines' youngest aircraft carrier-qualified pilots. He flew 269 combat helicopter missions in Vietnam. Ground fire struck his aircraft on four different occasions.
Black also engaged in bitter ground combat with the 1st Marine Regiment. His radiomen were killed and he was wounded during an attack against enemy positions across the Hoi An River. Black served in small-unit actions where two fellow Marines--PFC Gary Martini and SSgt. Jimmie Howard--won the Medal of Honor. While in office, he was the only member of the Virginia General Assembly who held the Purple Heart Medal for wounds received in battle.
Dick left the Marines to attend the University of Florida. There, he was twice elected to the Student Senate. He graduated with honors from the School of Business in 1973 and earned a law degree in 1976. He practiced law in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, before accepting a commission as a Major in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps (JAG).
Black headed the Army's Criminal Law Division at the Pentagon. He developed Executive Orders for the President's signature, and laws that were enacted by Congress. He advised senior government officials on issues of national significance. He testified before the U.S. Congress, representing the U.S. Army, on four occasions.
When it comes to assessing what really represents a threat to peace and security in the world, Dick hits the nail on the head. “I believe that Saudi Arabia and Turkey are the two greatest dangers to world peace,” Black told RT. “It is Saudi Arabia, through the Wahhabist doctrine, that is spreading terrorism across the globe. It’s not Iran, it’s not Syria or any other country.”
He's also right on target with his assessment of Syria's civil war:
“Virtually all arms, ammunition, equipment, supplies, jihadists, medical support – all of it comes from Turkey. Right now, ISIS sends 44,000 barrels of oil per day – stolen barrels, most of it from Syria – across the border into Turkey. The State Department has publicly said that there’s only a trickle of oil that gets into Turkey, but I have personally spoken to Kurdish activists … [who] observed hundreds of ISIS oil tankers carrying stolen Syrian oil into Turkey on a daily basis.”
"Turkey is actively assisting the ISIS rebels and helping the Al-Nusra rebels which are linked with Al-Qaeda.”
“In both places we’ve got terrorists, and in both places their major support comes out of Turkey. And it comes out of Turkey with approval from the highest levels of government.”
And here's Black on Erdogan:
“Erdogan has a dream of becoming a new Ottoman Empire,” Black said. “He’s a very calculating, very vicious individual and, I think, a great danger. Erdogan won an absolute majority of the Turkish parliament, which will enable him to rewrite the constitution. Once he had that total power to impose an absolute dictatorship – which he intends to do – and he publicly said that his model is that of Adolph Hitler.”
And on the latest spat between Saudi Arabia and Iran:
“What’s happening is that they [the Saudi family] are trying to restore some of the hostility between Shiites and the Sunnis. The Saudis massacred 47 people. I’m sure some of them were genuine criminals, but many of them were simply political opponents. And then there was an inevitable reaction which they knew there would be. And the Saudis, in typical fashion, have now shown a sense of outrage that people would be angered by the level of their debauchery – and this is typical of the Saudis.”
So this is a war hero and a lawyer who worked on Executive Orders for the President shouting from the rooftops that Washington's Mid-East policy not only amounts to lunacy, but in fact makes the world a more dangerous place.
Actually, it's worse than that. Black is suggesting that the US knowingly and openly supports the two governments that pose the greatest threat to global peace and security.
And he's exactly right.
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