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Opinions & Editorials Discuss Trumpís Unlawful Attack in Syria at the General Forum; Trumpís Unlawful Attack in Syria Trump launched an attack on Bashar al-Assadís government without the legal authority to do so..... ...

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Old 04-11-2017, 08:36 AM
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Default Trumpís Unlawful Attack in Syria

Trumpís Unlawful Attack in Syria

Trump launched an attack on Bashar al-Assadís government without the legal authority to do so.....

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By Garrett Epps
April 10, 2017

ďIt should be more easy to get out of war than into it,Ē Oliver Ellsworth told the Philadelphia Convention on August 17, 1787. With the malignant political genius of the nuclear age, Americans have reversed that order of things. War now takes but a wave of the executive hand, but seems impossible to end. Congress authorized military action against Al Qaeda in 2001, and against the government of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2002. Hussein is long gone, and Al Qaeda may or may not still exist; legally, however, these wars grind on, the longest-running pair in American history. Thursday night, without a word to Congress or the public, the Trump Administration impulsively began a third conflict. Neither of the existing authorizations could even remotely be said to authorize Thursdayís attack on Syria. We have no way of knowing whether it was a brief executive whim or the beginning of a third nightmare that will outlast the other two. Here is President Trumpís statement of the aims of the missile strike: ďI call on all civilized nations to join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria, and also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types.Ē His message to Congress is pure boilerplate: ďI acted in the vital national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, pursuant to my constitutional authority as Commander-in-Chief and Chief Executive.Ē

In retrospect, Americaís failure to intervene in Syria in 2013 was probably a historic mistake. It was not Barack Obamaís mistake alone, but one made by the entire nation. Obama announced his plans but then asked Congress to approve themóprecisely as the Constitution requires. His critics portray this requestóthe one time when Obama actually refused to violate the war powers system of the Constitutionóas his personal folly. But members of both his own and the opposition parties in Congress made it known that they would not back his request; many elder statesman opposed the intervention; and national polls showed a solid majority of the public opposed.

After the apparent nerve gas attack last week, the current president issued a grotesquely improper official statement blaming Obama for Assadís recent crime. In 2013, however, private-citizen Trump had loudly and strenuously objected to Obamaís planned intervention and demanded the president seek the approval of Congress. However harshly history may judge the default of 2013, it was a failure not of one leader but of national will. Has the nation regained its will for a prolonged, bloody, and morally ambiguous struggle in Syria? Or will the United States drop the conflict after a few loud booms? That Donald Trump has, for the moment at least, changed his mind is not only of limited constitutional relevanceóit also tells us less than nothing about whether the American people understand, accept, and embrace what may be needed for the intervention to succeed.

Harry S Truman was the first American president to commit to a major interventionóin Koreaówithout even the pretense of congressional approval. Because he had set forth no war aims, he could not resist Gen. Douglas MacArthurís pressure to blunder into war with China. Because he had not obtained Congressional assent, he found himself alone when the war turned dangerous. If Truman were here to warn Trump, would he, or would anyone in 2017 Washington, even listen? They have not listened to Madison, or Gerry, or Ellsworth, or Mason.

Related: On Trump's Syria Strategy, One Voice Is Missing: Trump's
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Old 04-11-2017, 09:30 AM
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Default Re: Trumpís Unlawful Attack in Syria

President Trump acted within his Article 2 powers as Commander in Chief and in compliance with the War Powers Resolution. Just parroting a partisan Trump hater editorial shows an absence of thought.

Oh wait, Trump did it so it must be illegal.
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Old 04-11-2017, 11:04 AM
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Old 10-17-2017, 10:34 PM
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Default Re: Trumpís Unlawful Attack in Syria

You know the US has become insane today when:

The answer to endless wars is more wars.

The answer to the police state is more tyranny.

The answer to a dead economy is starting a trade war.

The answer to regulations is more laws.

The answer to endless debt is more debt.
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