Well, onetime (sort of) Democrat Tulsi Gabbard is back in the news again. She’s no longer a Democrat in case you didn’t know. She’s also not shy about appearing on Fox, or Fox Nooz/Faux News as I sometimes refer to them to trash Democrats and Democratic policies. Now, the lady who has at times touted her service in the Hawaii National Guard (which included a couple of deployments – more on that later) to trash NATO. She floated a balloon of Trumpian (and increasingly overall Republican) bullshit about the alliance. And retired Naval Aviator and former Senate candidate Amy McGrath, Col. USMC(Ret.) shot it down.

As reported by the outlet 2paragraphs Gabbard took an insulting cheap shot at troops from NATO countries that was a flat-out lie saying “They expect us to put up the lives of my brothers and sisters in uniform to protect them when they are not even willing to do that for themselves.”  Well, U.S. Naval Academy grad and retired Marine Col. Amy McGrath wasn’t about to have some Reserve MP get away with that! And Col. McGrath pulled on the political equivalent of a flight suit, climbed into the cockpit of a social media fighter jet and wasted Gabbard. See for yourself:

(Hence the title image. I had enough trouble editing in the labels. If I could have I’d have include pieces of $h*t dropping from the balloon!)

That was quite the smackdown from where I sit. Gabbard is way the hell out of her league and would do well to STFU and go away for a while. Still, this is a sore spot at the moment with badly needed aid for Ukraine being held up so let’s unpack this. And for any conservatives lurking out there settle the issue of who is credible (McGrath) and who is not (Gabbard).

Trump you probably know was so freaking ignorant when he took office (he still seems to think this sometimes) that he thought NATO was some kind of club like his Mar A Lago or his golf properties where people paid dues for membership and the privileges that went with it! It’s actually a lot more complicated than that to fund the over two billion a year costs (yes, the over twenty percent the U.S. pays is more than any other member) of maintaining things. An old Newsweek article breaks things down:

The money each member pays is calculated according to a formula that takes account of its economic size, with the budget spent on integrating the militaries of member states and on administrative costs.

There are discrepancies in the amount of money each member state spends on its military, and at U.S. urging, in 2014 NATO member states pledged to move towards a 2 percent of GDP military spending commitment within a decade.

The U.S. spends significantly more than this, with 3.61 percent of its GDP going to defense, while most European members still spend under 2 percent. The other members who meet or exceed their spending commitments are Greece, Estonia, the U.K. and Poland.

It should be noted that this issue was addressed over ten years ago and that between 2013 and 2017 22 of the then 28 members had increased their contributions. In other words by the time Trump came along and started his bitching and complaining the matter was already being resolved! (I’m still gobsmacked over the notion he thought countries “paid dues.” Maybe he thought he could grift some of what he probably thought was a huge slush fund? I’ll be he was shocked at how much it actually costs vs. what he assumed was a way larger amount)

In any case some have long felt we pay more than we should have to. On the other hand many of those countries we complain about (which included the UK I should note) put up with our own and other country’s bases on their soil. While there are benefits to that it also creates problems for those countries. However, the stability of the world post WWII has benefited the U.S. more than any other country. We are, and by a lot the richest country on the face of the earth. Without NATO keeping first the old USSR and in more recent times plain old Russia in check the stability and goodwill that made us prosper wouldn’t have been possible. Being the leader of the free world did not, and will not come for free.

Gabbard knows this. She knows it. But she’s a darling of conservatives for having abandoned the Democratic Party entirely and come over to their side spouting conservative talking points. She did some of that while still officially a Democrat but now she doesn’t have to pretend and can use her former status as “credibility” with Fox viewers. Don’t be surprised to see her get an evening speaking slot at the GOP convention this summer.

Something else about Gabbard. She’s played up (as politicians are wont to do) her military service and to be fair she did enlist in the Guard while a state representative and deployed to Iraq in 2004/2005. From Wikipedia:

In July 2004, she was deployed for a 12-month tour in Iraq, serving as a specialist with the Medical Company, 29th Support Battalion, 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.[62][63] In Iraq, Gabbard served at Logistical Support Area Anaconda, completing her tour in 2005.[64][65] Because of the deployment, she chose not to campaign for reelection to the state legislature.[66]

I wouldn’t say anywhere in Iraq was all that safe back in those days. The so-called “Green Zone” maybe but if you parse things Gabbard wasn’t some front line combat medic. But I’ll give credit where it’s due because unlike many she did serve. She’d go on to become an officer and did a stint in Kuwait (hardly a combat area by then) in 2009 as with the Military Police portion of the same Guard unit. She also got herself in a spot of trouble with DOD for violating regs and posing in uniform in ads. Again however, while she’s fine with people assuming she served in what we think of as “under fire” had she done so you can bet she’d be touting “combat experience” and she’s careful not to do that.  The point for me is that despite her Guard deployment as an enlisted person she’s not a combat vet and marketing herself as an expert on defense has always seemed like a stretch. At least to me.

Now, let’s take a look at my fellow jarhead Amy McGrath. Again from Wikipedia:

Amy Melinda McGrath (born June 3, 1975) is an American former Marine fighter pilot and former political candidate from Kentucky. McGrath was the first woman to fly a combat mission for the Marine Corps, as well as the first to pilot the F/A-18 on a combat mission.[1][2] During her 20 years of service in the Marine Corps, McGrath flew 89 combat missions against al-Qaeda and the Taliban.[3][4] Toward the end of her service, McGrath worked domestically as a political adviser, a liaison officer, and an instructor at the United States Naval Academy.

For a more detailed accounting of Col. McGrath’s overseas/combat service I suggest you check out her Wikipedia link I’ve provided. Impressive as all that is there’s other experience during her years of service that need mentioning. Again from Wikipedia:

In 2011, McGrath returned to the United States and was assigned as a congressional fellow for Representative Susan Davis‘s office in Washington, D.C., as a defense and foreign affairs advisor for a year.[13] Davis was chair and ranking member on the Subcommittee on Military Personnel of the House Armed Services Committee.[4]

From 2012 to 2014, McGrath worked at the Headquarters Marine Corps in The Pentagon,[disputed (for: HQMC not in the Pentagon) ] as a Marine Corps liaison to the Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development.[13][9]

From 2014 to 2017, McGrath taught as a senior political science instructor at the United States Naval Academy.[1][13]

After reaching her 20-year service mark, McGrath retired from the armed forces on June 1, 2017, at the rank of lieutenant colonel.[4]

You know what Tulsi? I think Amy knows rather more than you do about all this. Not to mention when it comes to NATO you know damn well that the key provision Article V (an attack on one country is an attack on all) has been invoked exactly once in it’s history. When WE did after 9/11 and NATO responded. What really disgusts me is that since you did serve twice overseas with your Guard unit you worked alongside troops from other NATO countries. You know goddamn good and well your smug, snarky insult to our allies was a flat-out LIE.

Well, my fellow jarhead was an aviator but during her career she crossed paths with enough grunts like me to know and appreciate the phrase “get some.” Hell, while she was a fighter pilot I’ll bet sometimes her aircraft was fitted out for ground attack missions, and after giving her coordinates and guiding her in she’d have heard a FAC (forward air controller, a fellow Marine Naval Aviator assigned to a ground unit cause that’s how we roll) gave her the final “go” (drop your ordnance) with “get some” and whatever her call sign was!

So well done and Semper Fi Col. And be locked and loaded if Gabbard tries flying another sh*t balloon. I’m wondering if we’ll hear from Senator Duckworth soon on this. She was Army but I’d follow her to hell too. A helicopter pilot who flew combat rescue she lost parts of both legs in Iraq doing her job. I’d be willing to bet some of the wounded (and dead) she evacuated from the battlefield were from countries besides the U.S.

Tulsi Gabbard is an opportunistic sellout to the National Guard and her country. She has disgraced the uniform she likes to pretend she was proud to wear.


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  1. The 2020 Democratic primary field was among the best (either party) I’d ever seen. Gabbard was among three candidates I liked early on (plus Warren and Sanders). Then she went off the deep end. Pathetic. Maybe she was bitter and sold out.

  2. Benedict Arnold, a name synonymous with being a traitor, was a Revolutionary War hero, until he was injured in battle, and denied a promotion by Congress, who should have promoted him. Congress then, like now, didn’t support the patriots fighting the war, which is why we have the story of the hardships at Valley Forge. Washington, who valued him, put him in charge of West Point. When he sold out to the British, Washington would have had him hung if he hadn’t run off to England. So Ms. Gabbard, you can count your traitorous lucky stars.

  3. Kirsten Sinema our current senator here in Arizona also called herself a Democrat until selling herself out to the lobbyist and Republicans. She realized she could never again be elected here as a Democrat so she is now an “Independent” and still will never be elected to anything here. She has paid Tulsi’s sister ridiculously large amounts of money for “security” while hanging out with her and Tulsi. It seems all three have gone to the dark side and sold their souls to the Antichrist.


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