Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: No air strikes in Iraq

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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii Democrat, said Friday she doesn’t even support the U.S. providing limited air strikes that the Iraqi government is asking for to help stabilize a civil war in the country.

“What real difference would it make on the ground?” she said on MSNBC. “Is it in the best interest of the United States to do that? And I would say those questions are not being answers in a way that would make me support that. This is a religious civil war.”

Ms. Gabbard is one of only two female combat vets in Congress who spent about a year deployed outside of Baghdad. She said the turmoil now in the country shows that despite the opportunity, weapons and training provided by the U.S. during the war, the decision to have a free country can only be made by the people of Iraq.

“I think what we’re seeing now is a symptom of the fact that no one can make the choice for that outcome other than the Iraqi people,” she said.

She said going into Iraq the first time was a huge mistake and we should not go back now that the situation in the country has devolved. America should not try to be the world’s policeman, she said, and should consider what’s best for the United States above all else.

“I think the United States’ obligation first and foremost is the interest of the United States , the national security interest of protecting our people and taking care of what’s important to the United States,” she said. “It makes no sense for us to consider going back there and getting involved in what is truly a religious civil war.”

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