Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

March 2, 2016

Tulsi Gabbard: a real piece of work

Filed under: Bernie Sanders,Islamophobia,Syria — louisproyect @ 6:39 pm

Tulsi Gabbard: “antiwar” Democrat getting decorated

I had never come across the name Tulsi Gabbard until October 30, 2015 when Mike Whitney, the go-to guy for Baathist talking points, advised CounterPunch readers that “Everything You Needed to Know About Syria in 8 Minutes” could be found in a video interview with the House member from Hawaii for which he furnished a transcript, bless his crooked heart.

It originated in a CNN interview with her conducted by the atrocious Wolf Blitzer of CNN. This exchange is obviously what got our boy’s juices flowing:

Blitzer:  So what you are saying is that the Russian military involvement in the air and on the ground Iranian involvement in Syria right now, the Hezbollah involvement, they are actually doing the US a favor?

Gabbard:   They are working towards defeating our common enemy. When you look at the groups that are on the ground there, the most effective fighting groups who are fighting to overthrow the Syrian government of Bashar Assad, they are predominantly ISIS, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra and these other Islamist extremist groups. They make up the vast majority of these so-called “Syrian rebels.” They are the most effective force, who has gained the most territory. So the people they (Russia and their allies) are attacking, and the Russians are dropping bombs on are these al Qaeda people who are our enemies who attacked us on 9-11.

Interesting to see a leftist like Whitney getting so enthusiastic over a politician whose rhetoric barely differs from Blitzer’s, a warhawk who cheered on George W. Bush’s war in Iraq as a necessary step to protect us from another 911 attack. This is also the mindset incorporated in Barack Obama’s far-flung drone war on wedding parties and the like—a necessary preemptive strike to make sure the bad guys don’t attack the Homeland.

The big news this week, of course, is that Gabbard has resigned from the DNC and joined the Bernie Sanders campaign as Ben Norton reported for Salon.com, a reliable source of Baathist propaganda:

Gabbard, who is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, has condemned U.S. policy in Syria. In late 2015, she introduced a bipartisan bill that called for “an immediate end to the illegal, counter-productive war to overthrow” Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

“The war to overthrow Assad is illegal because Congress never authorized it,” she said, calling the U.S. policy of arming and training rebels “counter-productive because it actually helps ISIS and other Islamic extremists achieve their goal of overthrowing the Syrian government of Assad and taking control of all of Syria — which will simply increase human suffering in the region, exacerbate the refugee crisis, and pose a greater threat to the world.”

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, has continuously called for a more aggressive U.S. policy in Syria. She pushed for the Obama administration to bomb Syria in 2013, and has persistently called for a no-fly zone, which critics warn could lead to a new international war.

Before Norton got on the Salon payroll, he probably would have been a bit more critical of Gabbard’s spiel, especially in light of a blog article he wrote on December 10, 2014 that called attention to how “The ‘Anti-Imperialist’ Nations of Iran, Syria, and Libya Participated in the CIA Torture Program”. Referring to a map that depicted countries that tortured on behalf of the CIA, Norton commented:

Take a look at the map of the nations involved and you’ll see that, in spite of the insistence of the fervent authoritarian, RT- and Press TV-watching pseudo-“leftist” (or, in actual leftist parlance, “tankie”) to the contrary, the supposedly “anti-imperialist” nations of Iran, Syria, and Libya indeed participated in the CIA torture program.

He is singing a different tune now, sounding much more like the execrable Patrick L. Smith at Salon who is about as bad as Mike Whitney. When I see such a transformation, I am glad that I was a programmer rather than a professional left journalist who must be mindful of his publisher’s agenda or else be out of a job.

As I have said on numerous occasions, support for Assad from people like Gabbard and Whitney is fueled by the same kind of “al-Qaeda is gonna get your mama” hysteria that was pervasive during the war on Iraq, particularly from Christopher Hitchens, Paul Berman and Michael Ignatieff except in this instance it is the Kremlin rather than the White House that symbolizes Enlightenment values, diversity, tolerance and decency. Did the massive casualties in Iraq ever cause Christopher Hitchens a sleepless night? No more so, one would assume, than barrel bombing and sarin gas discomfit the likes of Tulsi Gabbard and Mike Whitney.

Alternet’s Zaid Jilani summed up her worldview succinctly: “To Gabbard, the fact that Syria and Iraq have been through years of brutal civil war, wrecked economies and massive displacement is irrelevant; the only reason they have an extremism problem is because of Islamic theology.”

And here is Gabbard having a grand old time with arch-Islamophobe Bill Maher. Just go to 5:00 and hear her nodding her head in agreement with Maher about Islam being the problem:

To show that she is open to engagement with people clearly not in line with the Sanders campaign, here she is hobnobbing with Fox News’s Neil Cavuto, where she lashes out at the White House for even talking to American Muslims.

Although my view of Salon.com is obviously disdainful, I give credit to one of their reporters for recognizing where Gabbard is coming from. Written just one day after Whitney’s valentine to Gabbard, Sarah Burris titled her article “Bill Maher’s nasty new Islamophobia recruit: ‘Real Time’ turns ugly on ‘barbaric’ Muslim beliefs”. She writes:

Bill Maher hates religion, but he really hates Islam. On Friday evening’s “Real Time,” the host spoke to Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii about their shared quest against Muslims.

Gabbard told Maher she believes it is “crazy” that Secretary of State John Kerry says that extremism comes from poverty — and that President Obama won’t say “Islamic extremism” instead using the words “violent extremism.” She thinks it’s important to “identify our enemy so that we can defeat them.” Secretary Kerry’s comments are particularly absurd to her because she thinks that giving someone a house to live in and a skateboard isn’t going to solve the problems of violence abroad.

I don’t know about houses and skateboards but you can bet your ass that not using drones on wedding parties would help. Speaking of drones, Gabbard supports them. This is something that deeply troubled the Maui Time, a newspaper that regarded her statement okaying their use overseas as reflecting her solidly “pro-military” views. You can bet that Gabbard’s support for drone warfare did not disqualify her in Bernie Sander’s eyes since he too believes they are necessary to protect the Homeland.

In doing some searches for “Gabbard” on CounterPunch, where I suspected there would be other effusive takes on her “antiwar” stance, I found that David Lindorff was cheered over her enlistment in the Sanders campaign since “She had the courage to introduce a bill in a Congress filled with war-besotted ‘chicken-hawks’ to require the US to end its illegal intervention aimed at ‘regime change’ in Syria.”. For his part, Binoy Kampmark was delighted that she introduced legislation that would terminate an “illegal war” to overthrow the Assad regime. As I continued my search, I found an article by Stephen Zunes, a name I usually don’t associate with the Baathist left. The name “Gabbard” came up in the article, however, in a rather different context. Zunes reported:

On July 29, the U.S. House of Representatives, with more than 100 co-sponsors from both parties, passed a resolution by unanimous consent insisting that the Israeli attacks were exclusively “focused on terrorist targets” and that Israel “goes to extraordinary lengths to target only terrorist actors.” Co-sponsors included such prominent Democrats as Alan Grayson (FL), Jared Polis (CO), Eric Swalwell (CA), Richard Neal (MA), Joseph Kennedy (MA), Tulsi Gabbard (HI), Jan Schakowsky (IL), Brad Sherman (CA), Elliot Engel (NY), and Debbie Wasserman-Schulz (FL).

Now that’s some cast of characters Gabbard is lining up with: Alan Grayson, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Elliot Engel—three of the more hard-core Israel lobby old reliables you can find in what Alexander Cockburn once called Washington Babylon. Were Whitney, Lindorff or Kampark aware of this? Probably not. When you are in the cherry-picking business, things tend to slip past you.

And to show you how steeped in Likudnik filth Gabbard is, just go to the Christians United for Israel website linked in this picture and take a look at the featured speakers. Guess what. Gabbard is one of them.

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 1.05.11 PM

Let me conclude with a passage from Ziad Jilani’s Alternet article on Gabbard, which is the best I have seen. In addition to nailing her Islamophobic beliefs, he investigates her ties to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in India, an outfit that is widely regarded—accurately—as fascist. While of American Samoan descent, Gabbard is a convert to Hinduism and likely has absorbed its fundamentalist wing’s hatred of Muslims.

Laments about Congress’ polarization are common, and it’s rare that large numbers of Republicans and Democrats can agree, especially on progressive legislation. But in November 2013, a group of 26 House Democrats and 25 House Republicans introduced HR 417, which called on India to improve the human rights situation of its religious minorities, especially citing the case of Gujarat.

The text of the bill is fairly unoffensive; it does not single out Hindus as perpetrators of religious violence, but rather calls for all groups in India to be treated fairly and given full human rights. However, Gabbard made it her personal mission to crusade against the bill.

The following December, Congressmember Tom Lantos’ Human Rights Commission held a hearing on religious freedom in India. Rather than review the litany of abuses that have occurred in the country, Gabbard mused she did “not believe that the timing of this hearing is a coincidence….I am concerned that the goal of this hearing is to influence the outcome of India’s national elections.” She went on to state that even holding a hearing on the issue was “an attempt to foment fear and loathing purely for political purposes.”

In other words, her concern was that Modi’s electoral chances would be hurt by an honest look at religious persecution in India.

HR 417 was never voted on, and Modi won his election.

Why did Gabbard work so hard to shield BJP abuses from congressional review? The answer lies in her base of supporters. The BJP draws on support from the large Indian expatriate community through an organization called the Overseas Friends of BJP. In August of last year, the group convened a large number of Indian American BJP supporters in Atlanta as part of an eight-city tour designed to prepare for Modi’s first visit to the United States the following month.

Gabbard attended the meeting, posing with a sash adorned with the BJP’s party logo. Here she is with BJP activist Vijay Jolly:

Ironically, she spent much of her Atlanta speech condemning religious persecution—of Hindus and Iraqi Christians, not Muslims in India.

“There was a resolution supported by a few congressmen, it was basically anti-Modi, as well as anti-India resolution. And at that time, the congresswoman got up and said, ‘That, no this is wrong. We are interfering in the internal affairs of India. And that’s why this resolution should not be passed.’ So you can see that’s what she’s been doing for us,” said one BJP speaker introducing Gabbard at the event. “It is necessary that we support [a] person like Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. Whatever the donations you make, it is not enough, because she needs to win this 2014 election, that’s important for us.”

That’s Tulsi Gabbard for you, a real piece of work.

19 Comments »

  1. I had no idea Dr. Charles Stanley, Senior Pastor First Baptist Church in Northern Atlanta, was so knowledgeable on Middle East issues. I certainly intend read whatever I can find by him dealing with the Middle East.

    WIKIPEDIA: First Baptist Church (Atlanta), is a megachurch located at 4400 North Peachtree Road at Interstate 285 in Dunwoody, Georgia. It is commonly known as First Baptist Atlanta. It is an evangelical, Christian church, and is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention. Dr. Charles F. Stanley, former President of the Southern Baptist Convention, has been Senior Pastor of the church since 1971. . .
    . . . The church is a theologically conservative congregation, and Dr. Stanley has longtime links to Jerry Falwell, Bill Bright and others in both evangelical and Baptist circles. . .
    . . . First Baptist Church Atlanta began a television and radio ministry in 1972, one year after Dr. Stanley became the senior pastor. It is now known as In Touch Ministries. Together, the teaching of Dr. Stanley and beliefs of FBA are available globally—translated into more than 100 languages via radio, television broadcast, audiotapes, videotapes, CDs, DVDs, pamphlets, books and a monthly devotional magazine, In Touch. . .

    ARTICLES:
    • Two preaching giants and the ‘betrayal’ that tore them apart – http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/17/us/andy-stanley/index.html
    • Dr. Charles Stanley And Son Andy Stanley – Two Georgia Pastors On Separate Ministry Paths – http://www.gospelherald.com/articles/55237/20150423/dr-charles-stanley-and-son-andy-stanley-two-georgia-pastors-on-separate-ministry-paths.htm
    • Dr. Charles Stanley (Taken from Chapter Nine of the book “New Neutralism II: Exposing The Gray Of Compromise”)m – http://www.cnview.com/on_line_resources/charles_stanley.htm

    • Charles Stanley’s Divorce Dilemma with his Wife Anna – http://www.divorcedebbie.com/charles-stanley-divorce-anna/

    • Andy Stanley’s stance on homosexuality questioned – http://www.bpnews.net/37742/andy-stanleys-stance-on-homosexuality-questioned
    • Atlanta pastor rejects anti-gay rhetoric of his dad – Project Q – http://www.projectq.us/atlanta/atlanta_pastor_rejects_anti_gay_rhetoric_of_his_dad?gid=16821

    ● Don’t Be Shocked by Jewish Honor for Anti-Gay Pastor Charles Stanley – http://forward.com/opinion/218757/dont-be-shocked-by-jewish-honor-for-anti-gay-pasto/
    ● Pastor Charles Stanley Declines Jewish Award for His Support of Israel – http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2015/april-web-only/charles-stanley-declines-award-israel-zionism-gays-atlanta.html
    ● Update: Charles Stanley declines award after Jews question his views on gays – http://www.religionnews.com/2015/04/21/update-charles-stanley-declines-award-jews-question-views-gays/

    VIDEO:
    ■ Charles Stanley – When We Turn Our Back On Israel [VIDEO, 01:23] – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaDgy6S4JrM
    Last Days Now!
    5 years ago 7,961 views
    When we turn our back on Israel, we will not escape the judgment of God! http://www.godssimpleplan.org/gsps-english.html

    P.S. I very much enjoy your film reviews on CounterPunch!

    Comment by dickerson3870 — March 3, 2016 @ 11:27 am

  2. You say Trump isn’t fascist (which I agree with) because there’s no workers movement threatening capitalism, but then you say the BJP is fascist a few days later. As far as I know there is no workers movement challenging capitalism in India or anywhere else in the world. I’m wondering why you use the fascist label for the BJP.

    Comment by Forty five pound — March 3, 2016 @ 3:34 pm

  3. I use the term fascist for the BJP because it spearheaded a pogrom against Muslims in Gujarat in 2000 that led to the deaths of up to 2000 and the displacement of 200,000. You are right that India is not facing a proletarian revolution in the near future but violence against Muslims based on Hindu obscurantism is a long-standing problem.

    Comment by louisproyect — March 3, 2016 @ 3:42 pm

  4. Viktor Krasnov faces a potential year-long jail sentence after he was charged with “offending the sentiments” of Russian believers over an internet chat in which he wrote “there is no God.” The law was introduced in 2013 after Pussy Riot performed in Moscow cathedral. —The Guardian

    How do pro-Putin atheists like Mahr deal with this?

    Comment by Forty five pound — March 3, 2016 @ 3:52 pm

  5. Thanks for clarifying. I think the BJP is a Hindu communal and nationalist party. You can have these things without being fascist, like Ghandi who the BJP was inspired by. If the BJP was fascist we could expect a fascist revolution in India since it’s the largest party in the country and in charge of the executive office.

    Comment by Forty five pound — March 3, 2016 @ 3:56 pm

  6. It is completely possible that a country (say, the U.S., India, etc.) contains individual politicians who have fascistic tendencies or are outright fascists and may even hold public office, yet the entirety of the whole system of governance of the country is not fascistic.

    That is not to say whether or not Trump (or BJP, etc.) is fascist. It’s just to point out the fact that the two issues need not be conflated. The two issues (the individual level and the system as a whole) need to be evaluated accordingly.

    Comment by Reza — March 3, 2016 @ 11:35 pm

  7. Yes, Reza hit the nail on the head. Hitler was a fascist in 1923 at least but it took nearly a decade for big business to back him. Our emphasis should not be in identifying individuals by their ideas but on tracking mass rightwing movements. What we learn from the current period is that the Tea Party had zero traction. In fact Trump’s popularity runs counter to Tea Party politics except on the immigration issue. I strongly suspect that once Trump is denied the Republican candidacy or loses to Clinton, that will bring an end to all the chatter about fascism just as it did once the Buchanan campaign ended in 2000.

    Comment by louisproyect — March 3, 2016 @ 11:42 pm

  8. It is important to pay attention to the insurgent Republican base Trump’s rhetoric is energizing. The sentiments Trump is singing to are old sentiments. The storm-troopers of the possible fascistic system that *can* arise are the likes of KKK, well-known motor-cycle gangs, the militia movements (the Bundy types), the Christian right, etc.

    The origins and the lineage of most of these types of groups go back to the days of slavery, which were the keystone of capitalist development in this country. As Marx pointed out in the 18th Brumaire, the old ideologies do not necessarily die out when their corresponding economic systems die out.

    In all capitalist societies, when the time comes to go full force against the population, the fascistic contingents draw their foot soldiers from the most ideologically reactionary sub-classes of the society.

    In this context, it is of import (at least for me) to see how the Republican popular base is in obvious uproar against the establishment Republican leadership. The thing is, this base carries a very confusedly mixed package of ideas. Some of the facts they point to are the same facts the leftists would point to, to show that the system is stacked against the ordinary citizens. But, a lot of their ideas are based on racism, xenophobia, religious bigotry, etc. Exactly due to this confused thinking, the likes of Trump can come along and present simplistic ‘solutions’ and ‘explanations’, and lead the herd by the nose. But, that’s exactly how it starts. This crowd CAN be led by the nose, and it is a potentially extremely dangerous crowd. And it’s not going anywhere.

    The Tea Party didn’t go far, but the crowd that went along with the Tea Party is still around, and most likely they’re liking what Trump is preaching. They will continue to be around, and they will continue to seek a ‘voice’ that will lead them, and they will be ready when the time comes.

    This leads to another necessary factor for a fascistic formation to take over the system. If we go by Poulantzas, another necessity (besides sharp class-struggle) is deep split within the ruling class, as to how to contain the insurgent population. The class struggle may not seem to be in favor of the labor at the moment, but that does not necessarily mean that the class struggle is not sharp. One could make a good argument that it is indeed very sharp *against the labor*, if we consider the other side’s wins are pretty impressive. And here we come to another of Poulantzas’s insights: Fascism actually arises *after* major set backs for the working classes.

    Considering the fact that the western working classes have been taking a good beating for the last 30-some years, maybe the ruling classes want to go for broke, but are at a split over how to ‘sell’ any realistic solutions that can appease a majority of the population, and we may indeed be (historically speaking) on the verge of a split (again) among the rulers in western ‘democracies’ over how to sell this economic system that cannot, under the current hegemony of finance capital, benefit a majority of the population. The current economic system guarantees a perpetual well of insurgency among the population.

    On the flip side, the left-leaning sentiments of the majority of the people is also still around and will continue to seek realistic solutions.

    Comment by Reza — March 4, 2016 @ 1:02 am

  9. The fascist term for the BJP is very real, due to its association with the RSS. The RSS is a armed militia that is organised and has many victims over the years. The lack of an armed militia is one of the main factors that differentiates Trump from other far right/fascists movements.

    Comment by Piergiorgio Moro — March 4, 2016 @ 2:33 am

  10. Piergiorgio,

    Actually, now with KKK’s (not so) implicit endorsement of Trump, he does have a ready army of goons and their associated and adjacent organizations. Not that he would overtly adopt them any time soon, but he knows he can count on them to do the dirty work if/when necessary.

    Comment by Reza — March 4, 2016 @ 2:57 am

  11. Speaking of the BJP, just got this from a comrade on the Marxism list:

    Comrades,

    The last 15 days have seen a remarkable change in the Indian public mood since the Hindu fascist BJP swept to power 20 months ago. Modi seemed invincible and the whole media was agog eulogising him. Slowly, his carefully constructed facade startrd fading and it is now proven that this man is a pigmy compared to what he was made out to be. But the real power lies with the RSS, a parent secretive organization that controls the BJP, the present ruling party. The RSS is built with the inspiration Mussolini’s Black Shirts and Hitlers Storm troopers. They are singly responsible for many axcts of terror against minority religions and regularly fanning religious riots to gain electoral advantage.

    That the Indian Left failed to check their advance can not be denied.But now, a young 28 year old communist and PhD student from the prestigious Jawarharlal Nehru University in Delhi and the president of the students union, was charged with sedition and arrested. The whole of the RSS apparatus and the government went on an overdrive linking him to terrorists and heaping all sorts of accusations on him. The whole corporate visual media became hysterical and began maligning the students of JNU, calling them enemies of the nation and that the JNU should be disbanded. JNU is the incubator for Leftist intellectuals and many eminent leftist intellectuals like Economist Pabhat Patnaik, Historial Romilla Thapar had taught there and the University had a rich tradition of encouraging free thinking and spirited debates on social issues. It is precisely this that the fascist forces resented and they had targeted JNU and its student leader. Videos of his speech were doctored, purportedly showing that he had called for the disintegration of India. Students and teachers of JNU and journalists were beaten up in the presence of full force of police and the police were mere spectators.

    Obviously, the Home Minister, Mr. Rajnath Singh had given instructions. The next day, when the student leader, Kanhaiya Kumar was brought to the court, RSS goons wearing lawyers coats entered the corut and in the presence of the judge, began hitting the under-trial. In spite of his repeated request to the police to save him, the police were looking the other way. Then the attackers boasted that they will kill Kanhaiyya in custody. The Supreme Court of India had dispatched a team of eminent lawyers to give a report and again the team of lawyers were attached.

    The police had simply let off the attackers. Now a Government Forensic Lab had established that audio of anti-Indian slogans were added to the video footage of Kanhaiya’s speech at JNU, he had delivered in 11the February. Yesterday, the Delhi Magistrate ahd certified that Kanhaiya had no link with anti-India slogans on that day, the 11th of February. And to top it all, it is learned that an aide of the central minister in-charge of education (she herself is a dim-wit and gave false declaration in her election nomination about her educational qualification) Ms. Smriti Irani had released the doctored videos. Kanhaiya was granted 6 months bail and yesterday he gave a fiery speech at JNU saying that he is prepared to wage a long battle.

    I can proudly say that he has become the darling of millions of youth in India and now he wants to mobolize youth and students.A new star had risen on the Indian horizon, to challenge Modi and RSS.See for more details: A Re-Cap Of The JNU Row: Govt, Police, BJP, Media, All Stand Exposed

    Vijaya KUmar M

    Comment by louisproyect — March 4, 2016 @ 3:49 am

  12. It’s of course possible to have fascist individuals and parties in any society, but it’s unlikely for them to be elected outside of a fascist movement.

    For example none of the hundreds of fascist and racialist grouplets or leaders like David Duke have any chance of getting elected to the executive office in present US climate. A major change would be required that not only mobilized a base but also won the support of at least a significant section of the ruling capitalist class.

    In India the BJP has a significant base and the support of a large section of the ruling class which is why it is in charge of the state there. It is not fascist which we know because there’s no workers movement to react too and because the BJP has been in control for some time yet has not institued a way of doing things even resembling fascism. The BJP is a Hindu communalist and nationalist party and everything it does is consistent with that.

    Trump is populist demagogue. Everything he does is consistent with that.

    Liberals and leftists have a habit of marking Republican candidates as “fascists” in order to single them out as “worse than normal capitalism” and making them a threat that needs to be beaten which of course can only be done by voting Democrat. This is the class collaborationist program made famous by the popular front and is the basis for class-blind leftists marking Reagan, Bush and now Trump as “fascists as bad as Hitler” who must be defeated by voting for Democrats, the other party of American imperialism that brought us the Vietnam War, smashed welfare and called out the tanks against the Local P9 strike.

    Comment by Forty five pound — March 4, 2016 @ 1:08 pm

  13. Regarding Reza & Lou’s comments,6 & 7, I believe it was Trotsky who 1st pointed out that, sociologically speaking, history’s first Fascists were the White Army leadership, Kolchak, Denikin, etc.

    Comment by Karl Friedrich — March 5, 2016 @ 2:53 pm

  14. […] Sanders bid for the presidency.  That’s for good reason because on international issues (as Louis Project clearly pointed out) she’s far, far from the Left.  On Israel she’s about as far Right as you can get, appearing […]

    Pingback by Should We Be Surprised “Anti-War” Gabbard Auditions for Trump? | Economic Uprising — November 26, 2016 @ 5:55 pm

  15. The author speaks with all the authority of a seasoned scholar on subjects that he knows less than nothing about. Here I present my dissection of this author’s most moronic and ignorant assumptions based on my knowledge.

    1. In addition to nailing her Islamophobic beliefs, he investigates her ties to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in India, an outfit that is widely regarded—accurately—as fascist. While of American Samoan descent, Gabbard is a convert to Hinduism and likely has absorbed its fundamentalist wing’s hatred of Muslims.

    The author is quick to pass judgement on the BJP as ‘fascists,’ claiming that it is ‘accurately’ and ‘widely regarded’ as such. Not even ‘seemingly fascist,’ just plain fascists. And yet he provides no citation to the same. Pray tell, in which circles is the BJP ‘widely regarded’ as fascists? Probably the author’s own. Is the author an expert, or even familiar with Indian politics? Has he even traveled to India? And what qualifications does the author have to validate such a statement as accurate? What sources has he obtained this information from?
    The author is quick to back up his moronic assumption by citing Gujrat. A commonly heard refrain by Americans commenting on India and Narendra Modi. To this I ask, is the author aware that Modi was investigated, thoroughly, and cleared of wrongdoing by the Indian Supreme Court? Or does the author intend to imply that the Indian Supreme Court was complicit in a massacre? Or that he knows India better than the Indian Judiciary?

    http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2013/12/26/court-clears-narendra-modi-in-riots-case/

    A simple google search would have told the author all he needed to know. But why fact check? After all the author is the expert. No proofreading needed.

    2. But in November 2013, a group of 26 House Democrats and 25 House Republicans introduced HR 417, which called on India to improve the human rights situation of its religious minorities, especially citing the case of Gujarat.

    To this, I submit a blog written by one David Cohen, a former US Deputy Assistant Sec. of the Interior

    http://dailycaller.com/2014/04/21/congresss-misguided-crusade-against-india/

    Some choice passages from the article:

    • With exquisite timing, Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) is pushing a dishonest resolution that gratuitously insults the man who is the odds-on favorite to win (the Indian national) election.

    • It is a ham-fisted attempt to influence India’s election. While it will not succeed in doing that, it could certainly succeed in souring our relationship with what should be an important natural ally if passed.

    • The resolution creates the impression that Christians are persecuted in India, but the primary example used to support that notion is fairly dated: a single outbreak of Christian-Hindu violence that occurred seven years ago (and had nothing to do with Modi).

    • The Supreme Court of India appointed a special investigation team that cleared Modi of any wrongdoing, but the authors of Resolution 417 somehow forgot to mention that.

    • By ignoring the Supreme Court’s findings, Ellison and his comrades are essentially impugning the integrity of India’s highest court. What evidence do they have that Modi was indeed at fault?

    • But there is simply no comparison between India, where the government and dominant culture strive to accommodate religious diversity under very difficult conditions, and the many countries (including several in India’s neighborhood) where the government and dominant culture work together to systematically stamp out religious diversity.

    • Muslims and other religious minorities practice their faith freely in Modi’s Gujarat; there are few places in the Muslim world where Hindus, Christians, or other minorities are given the same respect.

    • Also perhaps the author would like to weigh in on why similar resolutions were never passed against countries like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Does the author believe that they are more tolerant than India?

    • Also this: http://www.hafsite.org/whats-new/hindu-american-leaders-applaud-rep-perrys-withdrawal-support-anti-hindu-resolution

    • And this: https://www.petition2congress.com/13113/stop-further-damage-to-us-india-relations-oppose-hres-417

    When the esteemed author talks about religious persecution in India, perhaps he should keep in mind these articles, all written by individuals from Western countries:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/philip-goldberg/missionaries-in-india_b_4470448.html

    https://mariawirthblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/christians-are-not-under-attack-in-india/

    https://mariawirthblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/christian-missionaries-harm-india/

    And by no means the least:
    http://www.uscirf.gov/sites/default/files/resources/2012ARChapters/india%202012.pdf

    And then to top it all off, the author presents a ‘letter’ from a nobody that has no verifiable credentials and we are supposed to accept it as fact. Even if the letter is genuine, how exactly is the writer qualified to write on the topic? Where is he from? What does he stand for? How reliable is he? We don’t even know who the writer is.

    If I claim that I have received unshakeable evidence that the author is a serial killer and mass murderer, and present a ‘letter’ detailing ‘testimony’ to that effect from persons unknown, should that be taken as fact?

    In the future, I’d beseech the writer to actually research his positions before he pens his drivel.
    But then, that is Louis Proyect for you.

    A hack and a real piece of work.

    Also I am well aware that the post will likely never make it past moderation. The author won’t want to lose face in front of his readers. No matter, as long as I made the author aware of the depths of his ignorance, I’m happy.

    Comment by Saurabh Kudterkar — December 26, 2016 @ 10:56 pm

  16. What a surprise. No reference to her being a keynote speaker at an ultra-right Christian fundamentalist conference. Nice evasion.

    Comment by louisproyect — December 26, 2016 @ 11:12 pm

  17. All one needs to know about Ms. Gabbard is she solicited the Big Donaldo for a job in his cabinet, a true basket of deplorables if there ever was one.

    Comment by Karl Friedrich — December 26, 2016 @ 11:43 pm

  18. I am not aware of her being a keynote speaker at an ultra-right Christian fundamentalist conference, or the details of such. Can the author provide links from a reliable source?

    Comment by Saurabh Kudterkar — December 27, 2016 @ 8:36 am

  19. And in any case, the points that I have listed still stand, something that the author has chosen not to comment on. Nice evasion.

    Comment by Saurabh Kudterkar — December 27, 2016 @ 8:37 am


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