Click to watch Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s speech on the Stop Arming Terrorists Act
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s Stop Arming Terrorists Act (H.R.608) would stop the U.S. government from using taxpayer dollars to directly or indirectly support groups who are allied with and supporting terrorist groups like ISIS and al Qaeda in their war to overthrow the Syrian government. The legislation is based on congressional action during the Iran-Contra affair to stop the CIA’s illegal arming of rebels in Nicaragua. It is endorsed by Progressive Democrats of America, the U.S. Peace Council, and Veterans For Peace.
“We have spent trillions of dollars on regime change wars in the Middle East while communities like Hawaiʻi face a severe lack of affordable housing, aging infrastructure, the need to invest in education, health care, and so much more.” -Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
Under U.S. law it is illegal for any American to provide money or assistance to al-Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist groups. If an American citizen gave money, weapons or support to al-Qaeda or ISIS, he or she would be thrown in jail. Yet the U.S. government has been violating this law for years, quietly supporting allies and partners of al-Qaeda, ISIL, Jabhat Fateh al Sham and other terrorist groups with money, weapons, and intelligence support, in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government. The CIA has also been funneling weapons and money through Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and others who provide direct and indirect support to groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda.
This support has allowed al-Qaeda and their fellow terrorist organizations to establish strongholds throughout Syria, including in Aleppo.
A recent New York Times article confirmed that ‘rebel groups’ supported by the U.S. ‘have entered into battlefield alliances with the affiliate of al-Qaeda in Syria, formerly known as al Nusra.’ This alliance has rendered the phrase ‘moderate rebels’ meaningless. Reports confirm that ‘every armed anti-Assad organization unit in those provinces [of Idlib and Aleppo] is engaged in a military structure controlled by [al-Qaeda’s] Nusra militants.’
A recent Wall Street Journal article reported that many rebel groups are ‘doubling down on their alliance’ with al Nusra. Some rebel groups are renewing their alliance, while others, like Nour al-Din al-Zinki, a former CIA-backed group and one of the largest factions in Aleppo are joining for the first time. “The Syria Conquest Front—formerly known as the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front—is deeply intermingled with armed opposition groups of all stripes across Syria’s battlefields.”
“Pouring arms into a war zone only intensifies suffering and makes peace more difficult to achieve.” -Stephen Kinzer, a senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University, award-winning author and journalist, and supporter of the Stop Arming Terrorists Act
The CIA has long been supporting a group called Fursan al Haqq, providing them with salaries, weapons and support, including surface to air missiles. This group is cooperating with and fighting alongside an al-Qaeda affiliated group trying to overthrow the Syrian government. The Levant Front is another so-called moderate umbrella group of Syrian opposition fighters. Over the past year, the United States has been working with Turkey to give this group intelligence support and other forms of military assistance. This group has joined forces with al-Qaeda’s offshoot group in Syria.
This madness must end. We must stop arming terrorists.
The American people have felt directly the cost of our nation’s interventionist wars—costs borne by our nation’s sons and daughters who have served, and by communities and people in every part of this country. We have spent trillions of dollars on regime change wars in the Middle East while communities like Hawaiʻi face a severe lack of affordable housing, aging infrastructure, the need to invest in education, health care, and so much more.
“Our limited resources should go toward rebuilding our communities here at home, not fueling more counterproductive regime change wars abroad.” -Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
The Stop Arming Terrorists Act (H.R.608) would prohibit any Federal agency from using taxpayer dollars to provide weapons, cash, intelligence, or any support to al-Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorist groups, and it will prohibit the government from funneling money and weapons through other countries who are directly or indirectly supporting terrorists. The legislation is cosponsored by Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Walter B. Jones (R-NC), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Ted Yoho (R-FLY), and Garrett Thomas (R-VA).