Nomination of Secretary of State will be made in a few days. It is President-elect Trump’s privilege to appoint a person who can practice his vision in dealing with the uncertain and chaotic world to which the contribution of the likes of Hillary Clinton has been immense. Taking cues from Mr Trump’s declarations about international politics, it appears that taking on the Takfiri terrorism at play against the people of Syria is his top priority. So far, Tulsi Gabbard is the only high-profile American politician who has openly and without qualifications has condemned the Saudi-Qatari-financed Takfiri terrorism of the Islamic State and the Al-Qaeda in Syria and elsewhere.
Tulsi Gabbard does not hold a portfolio yet. However, through her tabling anti-IS bill in the House of representatives and her public statements, she has done more public good than Obama administration’s eight years of involvement in the Middle East. To recapitulate in a few words: President Obama began his presidency by declaring in Cairo that he would work for peace in the Middle East. In practice, however, he has been as bad as George Bush, if not worse. His policies have led to immense suffering of the people of the Middle East which has led to extreme hatred of the United States, something Gabbard has pointed out.
Unfortunately, there is no credible American politician who can evoke hope amongst the people of the Middle East that they are not just expendable pawns in the political game in which Saudi Arabia and Qatar have played havoc through pumping in billions of dollars to strengthen the reign of terror of the Islamic State and the Al-Qaeda. The people of the Middle East have lost faith in the United States because they see it as the backer and protector of various tyrannical monarchies.
Tulsi Gabbard, on the contrary, is an exception that Mr Trump can rely on for the good of the United States. Her principled stand and statements have already made her a person about whom people want to find out more. Her clear stand against the Shia-Sunni binary is bound to win praise of 90 percent of the people of the Middle East who are either Shia or Sunni. The Sunnis of the Middle East, and elsewhere, have always tried to keep their identity separate from the Salafis of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. They have never supported the ideological Takfiri terrorism that is built into the DNA of Salafism and its Sub-continental sister, Deobandism. Thus, Tulsi Gabbard as Secretary of State will take office with a clear mind that the Takfiri terrorism does not involve Sunnis, but the Salafis and Deobandis.
Second, she has time and again said that regime change in Syria is a bad idea. Such a proposed change will install the Takfiri Salafism, which will result in complete destruction of Syria, and its ramifications will be deadly in the entire Middle East and beyond.
The American image in the Middle East and places like Pakistan and Afghanistan has been extremely negative thanks to the American policies. Tulsi Gabbard seems to believe that for a lasting peace in the Middle East and for the American interest, the best thing to do is build bridges between the United States and the peoples of the Middle East.
If she takes over as Secretary of State and implements her policies and fulfills her commitments, there is bound to be a genuine spring season in the Middle East that will be great news for the blighted land, the world in general, and the United States its. Gabbard has been a soldier and she understands the dangers of warfare compared to chicken hawks of the American administration. She knows it too well that empowering the people of Bahrain, Syria, Qatar and Saudi Arabia by withdrawing support to the monarchies will help her country in the long run.