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Washington Post Columnist Rips Tulsi Gabbard For ‘Un-American’ Comments About Syrian Dictator Assad

Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin on Monday lambasted Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Hawaii Democrat running for president in 2020, over her refusal to call Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad a war criminal at a CNN town hall.

CNN’s Dana Bash asked Gabbard, who controversially met with Assad in 2017, at a town hall on Sunday night if she considered Assad a war criminal. Gabbard dodged the question twice, responding that if there is evidence the dictator has committed war crimes, he should be prosecuted.

“There is a ton of evidence, overwhelming evidence,” Rogin said on CNN Monday in response to Gabbard’s remarks. “I mean, not just of chemical weapons attacks but mass torture, mass starvation, mass murder in Assad’s prisons over eight years, ongoing today. 55,000 pictures brought out of Syria by a defector known as Caesar. They’re on display at the Holocaust museum.”

Rogin noted that Stephen Rapp, the State Department’s former War Crimes ambassador, described Caesar’s photographs in 2014 as “solid evidence of the kind of machinery of cruel death that we haven’t seen frankly since the Nazis.”

“To be fair to Tulsi Gabbard, her campaign is based on a principled opposition to U.S. intervention in the Middle East, and that’s a reflection of the war weariness of the American people, of the mistakes that we’ve made in that region over the past decades, and I think that’s a legitimate political argument,” Rogin continued.

“But to deny the fact that Assad is a war criminal is to turn a blind eye to mass atrocities, and that is beyond the pale and I would argue un-American.”

Rogin added that it’s a “false choice” to argue, as Gabbard does, that opposing U.S. interventionism is incompatible with holding Assad accountable for war crimes.

Watch above, via CNN.

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Managing Editor of Mediaite. Send tips via email: aidan@mediaite.com or via Signal: 917-817-8266. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin