Hawaii Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard appeared on multiple Sunday news shows a day after her state's false ICBM emergency alert sent the islands into a tense 40 minutes of panic before it was revealed to be a message sent in error, where she slammed the mainstream media's reporting on the North Korean nuclear threat, saying, "We've got to understand that North Korea is holding onto these nuclear weapons because they think it is their only protection from the United States coming in and doing to them what the United States has done to so many countries throughout history."
She further called for Trump to hold direct talks with Kim Jong Un in order to prevent the real thing from ever happening.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) Gabbard is an Army reserve officer who previously served two tours in the Middle East, including in Iraq. Image via the Ron Paul Institute
On Saturday Gabbard had immediately criticized President Trump for mishandling North Korea, taking to MSNBC to proclaim that "our leaders have failed us. Donald Trump is taking too long... he's not taking this [nuclear] threat seriously..." During Sunday interviews she elaborated on a plan of action, advising Trump to enter talks with Pyongyang which should “happen without preconditions” and that Trump should “sit across the table from Kim Jong Un” in order stamp out the climate of fear which contributed to the “unacceptable” alert issued on Saturday.
We've got to understand that North Korea is holding onto these nuclear weapons because they think it is their only protection from the United States coming in and doing to them what the United States has done to so many countries throughout history. pic.twitter.com/EVmPBEg0Ay— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) January 15, 2018
“We’ve got to get to the underlying issue here of why are the people of Hawaii and this country facing a nuclear threat coming from North Korea today, and what is this President doing urgently to eliminate that threat?” Gabbard said on CNN’s State of the Union. She added that Pyongyang sees its nuclear weapons program as "the only deterrent against the U.S. coming in and overthrowing their regime there" after decades of the US exhibiting a pattern of regime change when dealing with rogue states, which she said makes setting up preconditions for talks a self-defeating step.
And concerning the potential for an "unintentional" nuclear war, Gabbard said, "It’s not just the President making a decision to launch a nuclear weapon. It’s these kinds of mistakes that we have seen happen in the past that bring us to this brink of nuclear war that could be unintentional.”
When the people of Hawaiʻi got this message yesterday, they were literally going through this feeling of "I've got minutes to find my loved ones, to say my last goodbyes, to figure out where could I possibly find shelter that would protect me from a nuclear attack." pic.twitter.com/5Qb7OteSpP— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) January 14, 2018
HAWAII - THIS IS A FALSE ALARM. THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE TO HAWAII. I HAVE CONFIRMED WITH OFFICIALS THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE. pic.twitter.com/DxfTXIDOQs— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) January 13, 2018
The Hawaii lawmaker, who has garnered a lot of attention over her non-interventionist stance on Syria while angering establishment pundits for doing things like visiting Damascus last yearon a fact-finding mission, left ABC's George Stephanopoulos visibly flustered during an interview on Sunday's "This Week". She said:
We know that North Korea has these nuclear weapons because they see how the United States in Libya for example guaranteed Gadaffi - 'we're not going to go after you, you should get rid of your nuclear weapons.' He did, then we went and led an attack that toppled Gaddafi, launching Libya into chaos that we are still seeing the results of today. North Korea sees what we did in Iraq with Saddam Hussein, with those false reports of weapons of mass destruction. And now seeing in Iran how President Trump is decertifying a nuclear deal that prevented Iran from developing their nuclear weapons, threatening the very existence and the agreement that was made.
At this point an incredulous Stephanopoulos stopped the Congresswoman and asked, "Was it a mistake for the United States to take out Gaddafi and Hussein?" Gabbard responded firmly with, "It was, absolutely." Apparently this was enough to end the interview as a presumably shocked Stephanopoulos had no response at that point.
For those unfamiliar, Gabbard is an Army reserve officer who previously served two tours in the Middle East, including in Iraq, and has been an outspoken critic of regime change and Washington's interventionist foreign policy.