She issued the stunning accusations after the president vowed to take potential military action against whoever committed the devastating drone strikes over the weekend on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities. Those strikes reportedly wiped out five percent of the world’s daily oil production.
Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2019
Responding to the tweet above, she wrote Monday afternoon on Twitter, “Trump awaits instructions from his Saudi masters. Having our country act as Saudi Arabia’s b—h is not ‘America First.’”
It’s unclear why she’s demanding that the president of the United States turn his back on one of America’s top strategic allies in the Middle East.
Writing for The Federalist last year, Hudson Institute fellow Rebeccah Heinrichs argued that it’s not an overstatement to describe Saudi Arabia as “our most important strategic partner in mitigating and rolling back Iran’s power and malign activities.”
“Saudi Arabia leads the Gulf coalition in maritime security to keep critical shipping lanes open,” she wrote. “And should the United States and allies like Saudi Arabia lose control of the security of those shipping lanes, countries like Iran and its increasingly bold partners — large nuclear powers China and Russia — would be greatly empowered to more effectively blackmail and coerce the United States and our allies.”
Trump awaits instructions from his Saudi masters. Having our country act as Saudi Arabia’s bitch is not “America First.” https://t.co/kJOCpqwaQS
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) September 16, 2019
Gabbard doubled down in a video uploaded later Monday evening.
“I’ve never engaged in hateful rhetoric against you or your family, and I never will, but your offering our military assets to the dictator of Saudi Arabia to use as he sees fit is a betrayal of my brother and sisters in uniform who are ready to give our lives for our country, not for the Islamist dictator of Saudi Arabia,” she said.
“For you to think that you can pimp out our proud servicemen and women to the prince of Saudi Arabia is disgraceful, and it once again shows that you are unfit to serve as our commander in chief.”
“My fellow service members and I, we are not your prostitutes,” she added. “You are not our pimp.”
But according to Joshua Landis, the director of the Center for Middle East studies at the University of Oklahoma, Trump isn’t trying to “pimp” out the American people — he’s trying to deescalate tension by putting the onus of a potential war on Saudi Arabia.
“Trump is actually smart to kick the ball to the Saudis,” he tweeted over the weekend. “Everyone is saying, ‘What? Let the Saudis decide US foreign policy!’ But this is right out of Obama’s playbook when he sent the decision to bomb Syria to Congress, knowing they would not support it. KSA will not support war.”
“Saudi Arabia will not support a war with Iran that has a Saudi return address on it. KSA would support a war between the US and Iran, if KSA could hide behind the US, but not one where KSA must step out in front, b/c KSA would lose.”
Trump is actually smart to kick the ball to the Saudis. Everyone is saying, “What? Let the Saudis decide US foreign policy!” But this is right out of Obama’s playbook when he sent decision to bomb Syria to congress, knowing they would not support it. KSA will not support war.
— Joshua Landis (@joshua_landis) September 16, 2019
Saudi Arabia will not support a war with Iran that has a Saudi return address on it. KSA would support a war between the US and Iran, if KSA could hide behind the US, but not one where KSA must step out in front, b/c KSA would lose.
— Joshua Landis (@joshua_landis) September 16, 2019
In explaining Landis’ perspective on the matter, The Week noted that he “isn’t arguing that Iran wasn’t behind the attack — in fact, Iran has a clear motive.”
He’s simply pointing out that “the Saudis have been more cautious in assigning blame to Iran than the Trump administration has, and Trump was more cautious than Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Trump also appears less than eager to get into another war in the Middle East.”
“I don’t want war with anybody,” Trump said while speaking from the Oval Office on Monday, adding that a military attack is just one of “a lot of options” available to him at the moment.
He further noted that in case a military conflict does arise, he expects the Saudis to compensate the United States for any assistance provided.
“[I]f we decide to do something, they’ll be very much involved, and that includes payment. And they understand that fully,” he said.
As of Tuesday morning, Gabbard had not yet responded to either the president’s latest remarks or Landis’s point about Trump outsmarting the world.
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