Re: Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, Science of Identity
Date: January 19, 2019 04:58AM

One man's encounter with Tulsi Gabbard:

My Personal Encounter with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s Islamophobia at Standing Rock
Go to the profile of Amer F. Ahmed, Ed.D.
Amer F. Ahmed, Ed.D.Follow
Jan 14 2019

"Despite many courageous actions as well as compelling policies and perspectives held by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), as an American Muslim I feel compelled to share deep concerns regarding her recently announced candidacy for President of the United States. Although I agree with some of her policies and concerns with others, my true concern regarding her candidacy stems from meeting her in person on one of the most profound and memorable days of my life at Standing Rock Reservation.

December 4th, 2016 was a historic day in the history of the United States because the Obama administration blocked an easement to build the Dakota Access Pipeline by Energy Transfer Partners. It was the first time the United States government had ever sided with Native people with regards to land rights and access. Serendipitously, I happened to be at Standing Rock on that historic day. In the days leading up to this historic day, Rep. Gabbard announced that she would be joining a group of Veterans to stand with the people of Standing Rock in opposition to the building of the pipeline. She made a profound and courageous stand alongside her fellow veterans.

Earlier that day, prior to the historic announcement, I flew into Fargo, ND and then drove 3.5 hours to see my friends at Standing Rock. My personal history at Standing Rock extended 10 years prior upon being invited to visit, meet and engage elders, youth and other members of the community. I had been living and working in the region as a Diversity and Inclusion educator at a small, private liberal arts college near Fargo and was honored with many opportunities to engage the Standing Rock community. In the process, I learned about the power of the people and challenges they face. After moving away from the region, my visits became more limited, but I remained profoundly impacted by the experiences and thankful for my ongoing relationships. Given this history, you can imagine how moved I was by the emergence of the #NoDAPL movement.

Despite my support for #NoDAPL, I had not been able to return to Standing Rock prior to Dec. 4th. Thirty minutes prior to my arrival at Standing Rock, my friends called to tell me that the Obama Administration had blocked the easement. I was no longer joining a protest, I would be arriving to a celebration. Rather than going to the camps, I was told that I should go straight to a friend’s home in Cannonball, ND. Upon entering their home that I had visited many times prior, it was clear that their house had been transformed into a base of operations, accommodations and organizing for many key people involved with the #NoDAPL movement.

Among the people in the house was actress Shailene Woodley, who was among the more high-profile people in the movement. There were also several friends and activists including author and journalist Naomi Klein. The house was full of loving celebration, hugs and exuberance for their historic accomplishments. We also closely watched CNN’s live coverage taking place just a few minutes away from us. Over the next few hours, I got to know Naomi Klein as she feverishly typed a new piece for The Nation on her “Lessons from Standing Rock.” After Naomi learned of my academic and professional background working on diversity and inclusion at University of Michigan, Swarthmore College and UMass Amherst; she asked me to edit her piece before publishing it. To say that I was honored by her entrusting me to edit that important piece is an understatement.

Meanwhile, my friend from Standing Rock’s tribal council spoke with a Vice-President from Tesla about how they could support renewable energy efforts in the future. In addition, friends I’ve known for many years, who had spent the previous months defending protesters, shared stories with me regarding the horrific tactics used against protesters that had not been reported in the media. Had nothing else occurred that evening, it would still be one of the most profound experiences of my life and something I would never forget.
We later heard that Rep. Tulsi Gabbard would be coming to the house to greet us and thank activists for their important work and commitment. It was an exciting moment for everyone to know that she would be coming by the house. Upon hearing the news, I felt internally conflicted about meeting her. Although I sincerely appreciated her commitment to indigenous rights and veteran issues, I was also aware of her problematic politics as related to Muslims.
As an Indian-American, I was originally proud to learn of Rep. Gabbard (despite herself not being Indian-American) when she became the first Hindu elected to Congress. However, in the years following her election, I learned about her strong political alignment and alliance with right-wing Hindu Nationalist groups in India and the United States. These groups have since been empowered under the current ruling BJP party led by Prime Minister Modi, a man who rose to power from Hindu Nationalist movements. The current climate of BJP with empowered Hindu Nationalist groups are creating terrible conditions of violence and suppressed rights of religious minorities including Muslims, Sikh and Christians in India. Given that my family is Indian-American Muslim with many still living in India and subject to these rising hateful practices and policies, it is hard for me to not feel disturbed by her alliances.

In addition to Rep. Gabbard’s Hindu Nationalist political alignment, she has also demonstrated negative attitudes regarding Muslims in various parts of the world. In fact, when asked about the suppression and violence directed at Muslims in India, she suggested that their suffering was minimal compared to the experiences of minorities in Muslim-majority countries (Reported in: []). This is an ignorant (not all Muslim-majority countries suppress minorities) and mean-spirited ‘apples-to-oranges’ comparison further revealed her bias regarding Muslims given that conditions in other countries are not relevant to what is occurring to Indian minority groups. Such dangerous rationale’s can be used to justify the oppression of any group in the world by creating arbitrary relativism to justify their oppression. Couple this with her disturbing meeting with Bashar Assad in Syria, support for limiting visas and refugees from Muslim countries, and her alignment with U.S. right-wing hawks in criticizing the Obama administration insisting that rhetoric regarding terrorism must be labelled as “Islamic” terrorism; and I think my reasons for concern are quite understandable.

Despite all of this, I respected Rep. Gabbard’s accomplishments and looked forward to meeting her upon her arrival at the house. She arrived with her spouse and a few other individuals who seemed to have ties with her in Hawaii. She was welcomed and gifted with a Lakota blanket and then went around the room to greet all of us. As Rep. Gabbard and her spouse approached me, we shook hands and I politely said, “Hello, my name is Amer Ahmed, it’s nice to meet you.” Upon saying my name, they both immediately recoiled as she quickly pulled her hand away from me. They then looked at each other perplexed and then looked at me but this time with a look of suspicion. The behavior I am describing was not subtle and was the most obvious visible reaction to an introduction by name that I have ever experienced. I have experienced numerous overt and subtle encounters involving Islamophobia in my life but I had never experienced something this overt with regards to someone’s negative reaction to learning my name. Rep. Gabbard and her spouse then moved on and continued to greet others, hang out and speak to people for a while.
Over their remaining time at the house, I noticed a couple more suspicious looks towards me from each of them from across the room. I was utterly shocked by the fact that this seemed to be occurring but chose not to say anything about it to anyone at the time because I didn’t want to create any discord regarding this joyous moment for everyone in the house. There were a couple times when they were near me again and I thought maybe I was over-interpreting their behavior. I decided to politely make some small talk with her spouse (who was standing next to me at the time). He was visibly uncomfortable while speaking with me and clearly trying to avoid further engagement even though there was no one else around him to speak to other than another person from their group from Hawaii. Before they left, I attempted to speak Rep. Gabbard and her spouse again to test one more time to see if I was crazy. This time, they both tried to avoid me and attempted to engage the host before saying that they needed to leave.

Although I realize that it is unusual to encounter a South Asian-American Muslim at Standing Rock, I strongly believe that their overt suspicion of me was beyond unjustifiable. I’m not sure if they perceived me as a spy, a terrorist or something else but they definitely seemed to have a problem with my presence in the room. Despite knowing about her politics, I had no expectation that she might hold attitudes that would translate into her interpersonal behavior towards me. I personally thought it would simply be a brief uneventful greeting. I’m not sure if her attitudes towards Muslims stem from her service in Iraq or some other aspect of her experience. However, the realization that Rep. Tusli Gabbard’s Islamophobia would cause her to react so strongly to my presence caused me to understand how deeply-held her attitude towards Muslims are.

I am sharing these experiences despite knowing that she has been a strong and vocal supporter of Native rights. I have Native friends who seek for Native issues to get more attention in the upcoming election cycle and her candidacy could create that opportunity. However, given my experience and the reality that we currently have a President who banned Muslims from the U.S., I believe it is important that I share my truth and experience. For those of you who ask why I didn’t say anything about this prior to her presidential announcement, I actually did let people know through my social media accounts in recent years but had not yet written a piece to fully articulate my experience. I also had no desire to have my interpretation of not-so-subtle nonverbal communication publicly challenged and questioned. However, her announcement compelled me to do what I can to ensure that my experience was known, especially by those who respect me enough to trust that I would not share this experience simply to be an alarmist.

It is truly my hope that other candidates will take Native issues as seriously as Rep. Gabbard does so that we don’t have to choose between Native and Muslim rights and issues. The challenges that face both of our communities are critically important and do not need to be pitted against one another. However, in the meantime, I must vehemently state that I believe that Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s Islamophobia should disqualify her from holding any higher office in the United States."

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard with the Hindu Nationalist President of India Narendra

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Re: Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, Science of Identity
Date: January 19, 2019 05:11AM

Mouaz Moustafa: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard Showed ‘Zero Sympathy’ For The Victims Of Bashar al-Assad’s Chemical Attack

Jan 15, 2019

FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2018, file photo, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, greets supporters in Honolulu. Gabbard has announced she’s running for president in 2020. The 37-year-old Gabbard said in a CNN interview slated to air Saturday night that she will be formally announcing her candidacy within the week. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia, File)

Mouaz Moustafa, Executive Director for the Syrian Emergency Task Force, has brought multiple congressional delegations to the Syrian border, including Senator John McCain, explained how Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard showed 'zero sympathy' when she saw the aftermath of chemical attacks against Syrian civilians, including babies who were burned by Assad's chemical attacks.

(Mouaz Moustafa)] I have taken Tulsi Gabbard to the border myself. I had her meet with little babies that have been burned, with medical workers, with civilians that told her directly what the Assad regime, what Iran and what extremists have done to them. She showed pretty much zero sympathy during that period of time. After that trip she went on against the advice of the chairman without the permission of her own party and Ranking Member Engel at the time and Chairman Royce and so on and went and met with Bashar al Assad in the hopes that she somehow would be a mouthpiece for him and a messenger to President Trump and President Trump shut her down pretty hard by saying he doesn't tolerate the gassing of children of God in this day and age and she sort of you know didn't get what she wanted in that. But this Congresswoman, sir, I don't know how she is elected to Congress. It's laughable that she would be running for President, I think her campaign is dead on arrival.

*** Listen to the audio tape of this interview on this page**


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Re: Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, Science of Identity
Date: January 19, 2019 05:20AM

Gabbard, the controversial, long-shot Democratic 2020 candidate, explained
How Gabbard went from rising star to controversial figure.

By Zack Updated Jan 17, 2019, 11:30am EST

When Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) was first elected to Congress in 2012 amid an ocean of positive press, the Iraq War veteran seemed like a sure-thing for a 2020 presidential run. But after she announced her intent to run on Friday, Gabbard didn’t get the marquee treatment her early supporters would have predicted.

That’s because the one-time progressive star has alienated many of her early supporters over her conservative stances on Islam and foreign wars.

Gabbard initially excited the left because she was an outspoken economic progressive and a veteran who objected to American intervention abroad. She was also the first Hindu member of Congress. Nancy Pelosi called her an “emerging star”; MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow predicted that “she is on the fast track to being very famous.”

But in the following years, Gabbard staked out foreign policy positions that shocked her allies. She joined Republicans in demanding that Barack Obama use the term “radical Islam.” She was the member of Congress most willing to advocate for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. She dubbed herself a “hawk” on terrorism. Reporters documented worrying ties to anti-LGBTQ groups — including one run by her father — and anti-Muslim Hindu nationalists.

Gabbard has defenses of these positions, some more persuasive than others. She seems to have sincerely changed her mind on LGBTQ issues, defends her position on terrorism and as a necessary response to the serious threat from jihadism to the United States, and argues that her outreach to the Syrian government is part of an effort to open up space for a peaceful solution to the conflict.

In 2016, she backed Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) insurgent campaign over Hillary Clinton’s. The move isolated her from her friends in the establishment, while getting her little traction with the party’s insurgent left, which remained skeptical of her foreign policy.

In 2020, Gabbard seems likely to run as an economic and social progressive, similar to Sanders on domestic policy in many respects. While she hasn’t yet made a formal announcement of her candidacy, her website from her 2018 reelection campaign boasts of her views on Wall Street reform and her support for health care for all Americans through either Medicare or a public option. She mentioned climate change and criminal justice reform as key issues in an interview with CNN.

But in the same interview, she made clear that she plans to center her distinctive foreign policy views, calling “war and peace” her “central” campaign issue.

It’s exactly those views that have put her nascent campaign in a tough place.

Experts, writers, and political figures on both sides of the Democratic Party’s internal divide have told me the result is that a politician once hailed as the future of the party has no natural constituency and few powerful allies. (Gabbard’s campaign did not respond to multiple requests for comment.) And if Sanders, a dove, runs again in 2020, it’s difficult to imagine his supporters defecting to Gabbard.

The making of a progressive star

For Tulsi Gabbard, politics is a family business. Her mother, Carol Gabbard, was on Hawaii’s State Board of Education; her father, Mike Gabbard, was a political activist and Honolulu City Council member, best known in Hawaii for being one of the state’s leading opponents of LGBTQ equality. He founded an organization called Stop Promoting Homosexuality that opposed not only marriage equality but the very idea of tolerance for homosexuality itself.

“Homosexuality is not normal, not healthy, morally and scripturally wrong,” he said in a 1992 interview, in which he also blamed the spread of AIDS on the repeal of sodomy laws.

Mike Gabbard’s opposition to LGBTQ rights (as well as abortion) seemed to stem from his religious background. Born in American Samoa, he is both Catholic and a member of an obscure offshoot of the Hare Krishna sect called the Science of Identity Foundation. The group’s leader, a self-described guru named Chris Butler, has condemned homosexuality, once arguing that it led to “an increasing number of American women [keeping] dogs for sexual purposes.’”

Tulsi Gabbard grew up in Butler’s movement, which has faced allegations of cult-like practices. She told the New Yorker’s Kelefa Sanneh that he shaped her Hindu identity, speaking of her “gratitude to him for the gift of this wonderful spiritual practice that he has given to me.”

Her early political career reflected both Butler’s views and her father’s. She worked for her father’s organization, which supported the use of “conversion therapy” to try to turn kids straight. She once blasted “homosexual activists” for trying to “force their values down the throats of the children in our schools.” During her successful run for the Hawaii Legislature in 2002, when she was just 21 years old, she vowed to pass a constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage.

Despite her conservative social views — she also opposed abortion — Gabbard was a Democrat, albeit not one likely to succeed on the national stage. But in 2004, she deployed to the Middle East for her National Guard unit, serving as a combat medic in Iraq and a counterterrorism trainer in Kuwait.

This was, according to her, a transformative experience. During her 2012 campaign for an open seat in the US House, Gabbard supported both same-sex marriage and abortion rights. She explained her change of heart in a December 2011 blog post on her campaign site. It’s worth reading her statement at length:

"The contrast between our society and those in the Middle East made me realize that the difference — the reason those societies are so oppressive — is that they are essentially theocracies where the government and government leaders wield the power to both define and then enforce morality.

My experiences in the Middle East eventually led me to reevaluate my view regarding government’s role in our personal lives and decisions.

Slowly, I began to realize that the positions I had held previously regarding the issues of choice and gay marriage were rooted in the same premise held by those in power in the oppressive Middle East regimes I saw — that it is government’s role to define and enforce our personal morality."

Gabbard made a name for herself during the 2012 campaign as a Democrat to watch. The strength of her campaign — she won an upset primary victory after initially trailing by 50 points — and her compelling personal background caught the eye of national Democrats pretty early. That summer, Pelosi tapped her for a speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention.

She effectively moved beyond her controversial stands on social issues, situating herself as an economic progressive and a critic of the Bush-era wars in the Middle East. The latter was particularly important, as she grounded her antiwar arguments in her personal experience witnessing the cost of war. This immunized her from the “soft on terrorism” charges so many Democrats were terrified to court, making her a powerful critic of “nation building” and “wars of choice.”

Another famous biracial Hawaiian politician, President Barack Obama, endorsed her congressional run. After her victory, Gabbard was given one of five vice chair positions on the Democratic National Committee, a sign of the party’s faith in her. Another rising star, then-Newark Mayor Cory Booker, told Vogue in 2013 that “she’s one of the leading voices in the party now.”

Tulsi Gabbard seemed like the perfect Democrat, the kind of politician everyone in the party was excited about. And then she shot herself in the foot.

Gabbard fought Obama — and lost the party

Gabbard’s fall from grace in the Democratic Party came in a bizarre fashion: She picked a series of high-profile fights with the Obama administration over foreign policy.

In 2015, terrorism was arguably the biggest fight in American partisan politics. ISIS had just swept across northern Iraq, seizing control of the country’s second-largest city; the Obama administration had launched a new war in Iraq to roll them back. In January, killers aligned with the Islamic State attacked the French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket, igniting fears of a global wave of terrorist violence.

Republicans blamed Obama. One of the most common arguments from Republicans in the runup to that year’s midterm election was that Obama refused to say the phrase “radical Islam,” arguing that the president’s commitment to political correctness was preventing him from identifying the root cause of jihadist violence: Islamist theology.

Very few Democrats were willing to echo the Republican arguments on this front. Gabbard was an exception. As early as January 2015, she started going on every cable channel that would have her — including Fox News — and bashing Obama’s policy on terrorism. She sounded indistinguishable from a Republican presidential candidate.

“What is so frustrating ... is that our administration refuses to recognize who our enemy is,” she said in a January 2015 interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “And unless and until that happens, then it’s impossible to come up with a strategy to defeat that enemy. We have to recognize that this is about radical Islam.”

The problem with this argument, according to both the Obama administration and most terrorism experts, is that “radical Islam” paints with too broad a brush. The term implies that jihadist militants are part of a unified ideological movement, rather than a series of discrete groups that are often at war with each other. It’s also insulting to the vast majority of Muslims around the world. President George W. Bush’s counterterrorism team refused to use it for these reasons.

This overwhelming focus on the threat from terrorism culminated in what’s now her most infamous policy position: quasi-support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the dictator responsible for the outbreak of the Syrian civil war and the conflict’s worst atrocities.

Gabbard argued, along with a small minority of foreign policy analysts, that the best way to defeat ISIS in Syria was for the US to align itself with Assad’s regime. She argued that the US should cut funding to the rebels fighting Assad, even sponsoring a bill in Congress to cut off US support. In the fall of 2015, when Russia began its bombing campaign in Syria, Gabbard celebrated it as a win for counterterrorism.

In fact, Russian forces were mostly targeting Syrian rebel groups overall rather than al-Qaeda-aligned rebel groups specifically. The goal was not narrow counterterrorism but rather defending a Russian-friendly regime that was (at the time) losing the war.

But there’s an internal logic here, one that the Kremlin itself has argued publicly. If you’re focused solely on the threat from the jihadist elements inside the Syrian opposition to the American homeland, to the exclusion of moral concerns about Assad’s regime, then it makes a grim kind of sense to align oneself with the Syrian and Russian governments.

This appears to be how Gabbard, who once described Assad as “brutal,” could support Russia’s intervention on his behalf — even going so far as to unfavorably compare Obama to Putin:

In January 2017, she traveled to Syria and met with Assad personally, blindsiding the Democratic leadership in Congress. After returning to the US, she went on CNN and parroted the regime’s line that there was “no difference” between the mainstream anti-Assad rebels and ISIS.

By this point, Democratic leadership considered her disloyal. “Rep. Gabbard loses me and, I think, many others when she claims to support peaceful values and policies that protect civilians and still engages with and even defends a murderous dictator, Bashar al-Assad,” Loren DeJonge Schulman, a senior NSC official in the Obama administration, told me. “There is no excuse for this. The hypocrisy of these actions is astonishing. One can be antiwar without being pro-murderous dictator, a fact that seems obvious.”

When Assad’s forces used chemical weapons against Syrian civilians in April 2017, Gabbard said she was “skeptical” that Assad was responsible, aligning herself with conspiracy theorists against both US intelligence and the overwhelming majority of independent experts.

Assad was not the only foreign authoritarian Gabbard praised for fighting terrorism. She issued a statement celebrating Egyptian strongman Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s “great courage and leadership in taking on ... extreme Islamist ideology” — despite Sisi taking power in a coup and massacring more than 800 peaceful protesters in a single day.

She also proposed a policy of US special forces raids around the world and even expressed a willingness to authorize torture of terrorism suspects if she were president. She referred to herself in one interview as a “dove” on regime change but a “hawk” on terrorism, neatly summarizing her actual positions.

Gabbard and the left: she can’t replace Bernie

If Gabbard was estranged from the party leadership as a result of her views on terrorism, it was official when she endorsed Sanders over Clinton. Gabbard resigned her position as vice chair of the DNC to do it, a hard break with the party that she claimed was motivated by reservations about Clinton’s foreign policy instincts.

“We can elect a president who will lead us into more interventionist wars of regime change, or we can elect a president who will usher in a new era of peace and prosperity,” she said in a taped endorsement. “The stakes are just too high. That’s why today I’m endorsing Sen. Bernie Sanders to be our next president and commander in chief of the United States.”

Much like Gabbard’s postwar conversion on abortion and LGBTQ rights, this seems both plausible and politically savvy. Her positioning on Syria and fights with the Obama administration had already alienated many people in the party’s more mainstream wing; courting the party’s insurgents seemed like a smart way to build a new base of national support.

In the years since, Gabbard has cultivated this relationship. She has endorsed a $15 minimum wage, Medicare-for-all, and the Green New Deal. When she faced a primary challenge in 2018, motivated in part by her Syria position, the pro-Sanders group Our Revolution endorsed her (as did actress Shailene Woodley, an Our Revolution board member). She has a vocal group of online fans from the so-called “anti-imperialist” left, a loose group of writers — like the anti-Israel gadfly Max Blumenthal — who share her position on Syria.

But on the whole, the left isn’t enthusiastic about Gabbard. Some of her harshest critics come not from the party mainstream but rather from the party’s left and democratic socialist flanks.

In 2017, the socialist publication Jacobin published a brutal takedown entitled “Tulsi Gabbard Is Not Your Friend,” focusing on dispelling the myth of Gabbard as an opponent of America’s wars abroad.

“Gabbard’s almost singular focus on the damage these wars inflict domestically, and her comparative lack of focus on the carnage they wreak in the countries under attack, is troubling,” Jacobin’s Branko Marcetic writes. “It is nationalism in antiwar garb, reinforcing instead of undercutting the toxic rhetoric that treats foreigners as less deserving of dignity than Americans.”

Reached via email, Marcetic told me he believes many on the American left share his view of Gabbard.

“My sense is there’s a pretty big cohort of the Left that distrusts Gabbard,” he said. “Her anti-interventionism isn’t quite as peaceful as she makes it out to be.”

Just two weeks ago, the Intercept, a left-aligned antiwar outlet, published a deeply reported expose on Gabbard’s ties to Hindu nationalists. Gabbard has long supported Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an anti-Islam right-winger who had previously been barred from entering the US due to being personally implicated in deadly anti-Muslim riots. In turn, American Hindu supporters of Modi had become some of Gabbard’s biggest donors — including some disturbingly Islamophobic groups.

“Hindu-Americans have supported Gabbard since the start of her political career, and that support has increased substantially since Modi’s election, much of it coming from Hindu nationalists,” Soumya Shankar writes in the Intercept’s piece. “Dozens of Gabbard’s donors have either expressed strong sympathy with or have ties to the Sangh Parivar — a network of religious, political, paramilitary, and student groups that subscribe to the Hindu supremacist, exclusionary ideology known as Hindutva.”

These attacks in the left press underscore how divisive a figure she is even among the party’s insurgent wing. It’s hard to see why a faction that was troubled by Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy record would be open to someone who had engaged in borderline Islamophobic rhetoric about “radical Islam,” called for escalations in the war on terrorism, and backed anti-Islam populists and dictators abroad.

What’s more, the Bernie camp has a candidate they’d obviously prefer to Gabbard: Bernie. If the senator from Vermont runs, as many expect, there’s no way his biggest fans in the party would pick Gabbard over him. There isn’t room for multiple left outsiders, and Sanders is just more popular and has far better name recognition.

And even if he doesn’t run, it’s not obvious that his supporters would automatically pick Gabbard over another progressive.

Take Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), for example. Warren is better known as a domestic policy progressive than Gabbard is, she is genuinely responsible for major legislative changes reining in big banks, and she has far more name recognition among the Democratic base. Warren also has none of the baggage on foreign policy or LGBTQ rights. From a left-progressive point of view, she’s a better candidate.

So while backing Sanders in 2016 was smart politics on Gabbard’s part, given her declining support in the mainstream, it simply wasn’t enough to overcome the hole she dug herself. Nobody made Gabbard cozy up to Assad or attack Obama for not saying “radical Islam”; she wasn’t forced to entertain the idea of bringing back torture or fundraising from hardline Hindu nationalists. These moves clearly weren’t politically clever, and they seem to have cost her allies around the party.

There’s only one clear explanation: Gabbard’s most controversial positions represent her authentic convictions. She deeply believes the US would have been better off helping Assad slaughter Syrian rebels, and that combating terrorism requires saying the magic phrase “radical Islam.” There’s something admirable about a politician expressing their deep convictions even though it’s politically devastating — except in this case, those convictions are morally repellent.

In her interview on CNN announcing her intent to run in 2020, Gabbard said she was running principally to advance her view of foreign policy. “There is one main issue that is central to the rest, and that is the issue of war and peace,” she said.

That also happens to be the main reason her campaign is starting out in a very tough place.



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Re: Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, Science of Identity
Posted by: GODHIMSELF ()
Date: January 19, 2019 12:56PM



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Re: Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, Science of Identity
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 21, 2019 01:14AM

The BJP party - Indian Nationalists - whom Rep. Tulsi Gabbard cozies up to -

The BJP just got busted by a fact checking team.

Fact Check: BJP uses wrong pictures to showcase expressway construction
The BJP made use of Twitter to showcase its achievements in five years with the help of photos of long-pending projects getting completed but India Today Fact Check team found they used wrong pictures.

Arjun Deodia
New Delhi
January 19, 2019UPDATED: January 20, 2019 00:49 IST


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Re: Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, Science of Identity
Posted by: GODHIMSELF ()
Date: January 27, 2019 12:27AM

It is surprising that the candidate for the presidency of the USA Tulsi Gabbard
does not have many members of this forum protesting that the puppet of a cult leader may control the nuclear arsenal of the USA . Where are the ex disciples of Chris Butler that have been used and abused in the Philippines school ?
Where are the ex -disciples that were yelled at ...ask to fast for months because they could not please JAGAD GURU ? Are they now to afraid to speak because Chris Butler will come after them with his many lawyers ?

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Re: Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, Science of Identity
Date: January 28, 2019 05:34PM

True to form, Butler has cried FOUL-FOUL-FOUL !

Again the Cult is using the Religion card to save Tulsi from the inevitable fiaso of failure.

Tulsi is being prepared to throw out the Religion card.

People are starting to see what is really behind the smoke and mirrors and this is across the nation.
Out come the high priced attorneys to save the ....spoiled mangos?


Why, they are suing, as they always do, to stop the TRUTH from coming out.

This has been going on for decades.

#1 - The Science of identity is the farthest you could possibly get from a religious organization- not one certificate or document or official educational title exists to show that Butler attended any sort of institution of higher learning to become a "religious" leader. What, you say, neither did Jesus?

Last I heard, Butler has not turned water into wine, nor raised the dead.
Neithere have the blind regained sight.

AND... instead of Butler washing the feet of his followers- they wash HIS feet and then proceed to drink that footbath water * (mic drop) *

May the TRUTH bloom.


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Chris Butler and Science of Identity Foundation criticize media, decline interviews

By Sophie Cocke January 27, 2019 Updated January 27, 2019 6:40am

When the Honolulu Star-Advertiser began reporting on a story about Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and the Science of Identity Foundation, a religious organization founded by a local spiritual leader named Chris Butler, the organization began aggressively arguing that the newspaper was using religion as a “political weapon” and was fomenting religious bigotry.

The Science of Identity Foundation has been of interest to the Star-Advertiser, in part, because its adherents have had a history of entering politics and the newspaper is exploring what influence Butler may have on their political views — in particular views relating to LGBT issues.

Political analysts have also argued that, fair or not, the Science of Identity Foundation could prove a political liability for Gabbard as she embarks on a campaign for president. People who say they are former adherents of the Science of Identity Foundation have made a litany of allegations against the organization that have at times been picked up by the press. The organization has vehemently denied those allegations.

The Star-Advertiser sought to explore those issues further.


>> Tulsi Gabbard’s run for president brings questions about her past

In response, Butler and the Science of Identity Foundation hired a Beverly Hills, Calif., attorney who threatened to sue the newspaper. Their primary focus was on ensuring the Star-Advertiser didn’t publish allegations from people who say they were former practitioners of the religion, including two who told the newspaper they grew up listening to Butler’s lectures.

The “false allegations” under consideration by the newspaper “paint our clients as charlatans and hypocrites,” said attorney Anthony Glassman, in a letter to the Star-Advertiser. He said that if published it “will severely damage SIF’s and Mr. Butler’s well-­deserved reputation in their community, as religious, spiritual and moral guides (and Ms. Butler’s reputation as a yoga instructor.)”

The firm, Glassman Media Group, also warned the Star-­Advertiser that if it publishes “false and defamatory allegations that are eventually published in Ireland,” then SIF planned to also file a lawsuit there that would be litigated by Paul Tweed, a high-profile media attorney known for suing news organizations on behalf of celebrity clients. It’s not clear why the story would be of interest in Ireland, but The New York Times explained in a story last year that Tweed has “made his name suing news organizations like CNN, Forbes and The National Enquirer on behalf of Hollywood movie stars, winning high-profile cases for celebrities like Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake by hopscotching among Belfast, London and Dublin to take advantage of their favorable defamation or privacy laws.”

The Star-Advertiser asked SIF questions about the claims from people who say they were followers of Butler, much of which has been published elsewhere.

Jeannie Bishop, president of the Science of Identity Foundation, and Butler declined interview requests for the Star-­Advertiser story. But amid the reporting the Science of Identity Foundation last week purchased a 30-day ad on the Star-Advertiser’s website that suggests Butler would be speaking soon. The ad reads: “Uncensored: Exclusive Interview with Chris Butler” and “Read Now.” A link in the ad leads to a website that doesn’t have an interview with Chris Butler, but promises it’s “coming soon.”

Gabbard also didn’t respond to an interview request for the Star-Advertiser story or a detailed description of areas the story was exploring that listed questions for the congresswoman. The Star-Advertiser asked to speak with Gabbard about religious bigotry, a topic she has been outspoken about in the past, and whether she thought that could play a role in her presidential bid.

The newspaper also hoped to learn more about her religious upbringing, including two years that she spent in the Philippines as a teenager at a school reportedly run by followers of Butler. (The Honolulu Advertiser had reported in the 1980s that Butler had set up a nonprofit educational arm and that it was leasing spaces for schools in the Philippines. However, Bishop told the Star-Advertiser last week that “SIF and Chris Butler did not and do not own the schools in the Philippines and have never been affiliated with them.”)

While Gabbard didn’t respond to the Star-Advertiser’s inquiries, or even acknowledge them, the Science of Identity Foundation did jump in to advocate on her behalf.

Bishop sent a letter to the Star-Advertiser, signed by three dozen people from multiple states and diverse backgrounds, that criticized the newspaper’s past reporting on Butler and the foundation, as well as recent stories published by The New Yorker and The Intercept.

The letter said the Star-Advertiser “has a decades long history of slandering Chris Butler, his students and the Science of Identity Foundation, a spiritual organization in the Hindu Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition.”

“It has sought to discredit and vilify Chris Butler, SIF and its adherents for political purposes by otherizing and casting doubt about the ‘Americanness’ of their spiritual beliefs and practices, giving voice to anonymous sources to promote false and defamatory information, and citing biased and questionable sources which echo their animosity towards this religious community.

“The Star Advertiser is now broadening its target to the broader Hindu American community. A reporter, in her questions to Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu American to be elected to the US Congress, and now first Hindu American to run for president, has made clear once again, that the intent of the next Star Advertiser story is not to provide accurate information, but to validate yet another anti-Hindu narrative.”

The letter also took aim at stories published in The New Yorker and The Intercept, referring to them as “disreputable sources.” They accused The New Yorker of publishing a profile of Gabbard that portrayed her religion in a “salacious and bigoted manner.”

Bishop also said in a separate email to the Star-Advertiser that The New Yorker article had “many inaccuracies, but it has outright lies and misrepresentations, as well as quotes used out of context in order to change the meanings of Chris Butler’s words. This is not a he said she said situation because we have an actual recording of the interview. And the sections in the article pertaining to Chris Butler are full of damaging inaccuracies, misrepresentations, and falsehoods — using his quotes out of context to change the meaning, obviously for malicious purpose.”

SIF did not cite any specific inaccuracies in the story published by The New Yorker. A spokeswoman for The New Yorker said by email that: “This piece was carefully reported and thoroughly fact-checked, and we stand by it.”

The Star-Advertiser contacted a dozen people who signed the letter. Many didn’t respond to emails or phone messages. But those whom the Star-Advertiser did speak with said they weren’t familiar with the past reporting by the Star-Advertiser or other news organizations cited in the letter. But they were told the newspaper was seeking to portray Gabbard’s religion in a negative light.

“The concern that I understood was that you were going to draw attention to her religious affiliation and kind of like spoof that as a ‘that is not a good person to pick for president of the United States,’” said local attorney Jack Schweigert, one of the letter signers. “That was basically it.”

He said he had been told there was going to be something disparaging written about Gabbard.

Gurudev Allin, also a local attorney, said he had similar concerns.

“My concern is that I don’t want to see Tulsi’s faith marched out there and used as a basis to criticize her,” he said. Allin, who said he is Hare Krishna but not a member of the Science of Identity Foundation, said that as a member of a religious minority, it’s something about which he is particularly sensitive .

The Star-Advertiser story seeks to explore the intersection of religion in politics, a topic Gabbard herself has not shied away from as a politician in raising questions about what she has referred to as “radical Islamic extremism” and its role in political and military conflicts in the Middle East.


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Re: Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, Science of Identity
Date: January 28, 2019 05:56PM


From some where in Facebooklandia:

Bart Dame: Quote: "ANYONE trying to form an opinion on this needs to take seriously what Chris Butler says are the obligations of a devotee to their guru. It is no longer a matter of conjecture whether Tulsi remains a devotee to Chris. That is firmly established as fact. Some folks think that relationship is just advisory. But take the time to listen to what Chris himself says about the relationship.
The devotee must "dovetail" their plans for their life with the will of their guru BECAUSE the will of the guru is the Will of God. It is obvious from the aggressive response of the Science of Identity to these articles--they bought online advertising on the Star-Advertiser site--that Chris refuses to back down but wants to escalate the fight. This is one more symptom of the problems of Tulsi's top advisors and staff being members of the same cult. She is cut off from sensible advise from people who view the world differently from devotees of Chris Butler.
Chris has decided to use the publicity coming out of a public fight to try to get new recruits to his cult. And Tulsi will go down.
Hide or report this" End quote.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Lyle Roe: The last five posts on her [TULSI GABBARD] facebook page deal with religious intolerance and hate. Pretty clear she's playing damage control and trying to establish a narrative.

Bart Dame

Bart Dame Lyle Roe, she and the Science of Identity are quick to label their opponents as religious “bigots” and “Hinduphobes.”
Fair question: when Tulsi was angrily speaking out against counseling programs in the high schools to shield gay students from harassment and bullying, were HER actions an expression of anti-gay “bigotry”?
Does she only see “Hinduphobia” or can she also recognize homophobia?
And is Chris Butler, a guy who used to denounce “faggots” in his talks, was Chris ever a “homophobic” “bigot”?" END QUOTE.


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Re: Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, Science of Identity
Posted by: GODHIMSELF ()
Date: January 29, 2019 10:50AM

Congratulation to VOX VERITA VITA for her research

"The newspaper also hoped to learn more about her religious upbringing, including two years that she spent in the Philippines as a teenager at a school reportedly run by followers of Butler. (The Honolulu Advertiser had reported in the 1980s that Butler had set up a nonprofit educational arm and that it was leasing spaces for schools in the Philippines. However, Bishop told the Star-Advertiser last week that “SIF and Chris Butler did not and do not own the schools in the Philippines and have never been affiliated with them.”)"

Many ex-students of Chris Butler Philippine school have given testimonials of their experiences living in the school of Butler in the Philippine. The cult wants to deceive the American public by saying that Tulsi Gabbard never studied in the Philippine.(Did she not marry a Philippino EDDY TAMAYO ?
The Science of Identity is supposed to be a religious organization a spiritual organization ..and Chris Butler who gave himself the title PARAMAHANSA
a title reserved for the highest saint in India is lying and so are the representatives of his cult are lying ...LIES AND DECEITS PILING UP TO TRY TO GET TULSI GABBARD ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATE.

The Science of Identity does not feed the poor or open hospitals or do any Humanitarian work NONE.
It is an organization to worship and serve Chris Butler and his family an organization that has made him a multi-millionaire.

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Re: Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, Science of Identity
Posted by: GODHIMSELF ()
Date: January 29, 2019 12:52PM

Where are the kids now adults that where abuse in the Butler school in the Pilippine ??THIS FORUM COULD USE SOME OF YOUR TESTIMONIALS

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