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Stop Trump’s Unconstitutional and Immoral Attack on Syria

By Derrick Crowe
April 14, 2018

Tonight, we are being asked to trust in the humanitarian impulses of a man who during the 2016 campaign said he would be fine saying this to Syrian children:

“I can look at their faces and say, ‘Look, you can’t come here.’”

This is the same president who promised during the campaign, according to NBC News:

“If I win, they’re going back.”

Trump was referring to Syrian refugees.

Particularly during the campaign, Trump could not stop tweeting about Syrian refugees and the danger they supposedly posed to the United States. Often he used them as scapegoats and the targets of blatant race baiting. When he wasn’t bullying the people fleeing for their lives, he was mocking President Obama for even considering military action in that country:

They just go on, and on. Yet even all these receipts cannot deter the Best President Ever from diving straight into the quagmire. Tonight, the president announced that the U.S. is attacking the Assad Regime in Syria, purportedly to punish the regime for the use of chemical weapons against its own people.

This is the same president who has presided over a complete choking off of refugee flows from Syria to the U.S., taking fewer than a dozen this year. Yet now he is firing missiles in the name of humanitarianism.

Trump has launched this attack the day before a fact-finding mission was due in Syria to investigate the suspected use of chemical weapons. So not only are the president’s humanitarian affectations not remotely believable–he’s assuring the delay and disruption of fact finding.

While the United States is firing deadly munitions into Damascus, the commander-in-chief’s Twitter feed, his principle communications venue with the American people, is still featuring the basest, childish character assaults on people investigating him for criminal activity.

This is an utter disaster and an assault not only on very real lives now in the shadow of American munitions, but on any shred of credibility of Congress as a check on Trump’s war-making impulses. Congress must assert itself now, or it might as well go home and stay there.

Now we know what to expect from the Republicans. Here’s how CBS News reported on their response:

McConnell also praised the strikes. “The planning for this robust operation by the United States and our allies was clearly well-considered,” he said in a statement. “It is evident that the President was provided with a number of options, and that our forces executed a challenging mission.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., also voiced his support, saying that “The United States has taken decisive action in coordination with our allies. We are united in our resolve that Assad’s barbaric use of chemical weapons cannot go unanswered.”

And just what are we seeing from Congress right now? Here’s Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s entire statement:

“This latest chemical weapons attack against the Syrian people was a brutally inhumane war crime that demands a strong, smart and calculated response.  One night of airstrikes is not a substitute for a clear, comprehensive Syria strategy.

“The President must come to Congress and secure an Authorization for Use of Military Force by proposing a comprehensive strategy with clear objectives that keep our military safe and avoid collateral damage to innocent civilians.

“President Trump must also hold Putin accountable for his enabling of the Assad regime’s atrocities against the Syrian people.”

Here’s the entirety of Senator Chuck Schumer’s statement:

“Making sure Assad knows that when he commits such despicable atrocities he will pay a price is the right thing to do. It is incumbent on the Trump administration to come up with a strategy and consult with Congress before implementing it. I salute the professionalism and skill of our Armed Forces who took action today.”

Let me be as blunt as I can as someone who has worked on Capitol Hill, who just finished running in a Democratic primary for Congress, and most importantly, as someone with, y’know, an inner moral voice that can still be heard among the fundraising phone calls. Members of Congress from either party who can’t muster more than hand-wringing about process need to be replaced. This military action, this war, is wrong. We have to say so. We have to say, “No!” If we can’t offer the American people a moral signpost about why it’s wrong to sling missiles at people while literally locking civilians into the warzone, how on earth do we expect to compete with the sheer and utter ferocity of White supremacy drunk on militarism? I need our leaders to state clearly that war is an abomination, the use of which represents the deepest failure of us as leaders, human beings, and critical thinkers. Instead, we’re complaining that the paperwork isn’t in order.

Yes, this war is unconstitutional. Yes, it’s illegal. And what’s more, it’s a moral abomination. We know that throwing several dozen Tomahawk missiles into Damascus will not save a single Syrian life. It’s a flirtation with a World-War-I-style inertia that drags us into conflict with Russia and Iran. It’s a cynical ploy meant to convey vague propositions of toughness and seriousness to television audiences, not a serious attempt to save the lives of the Syrians who this administration spent the last two years demonizing as potential terrorists. Anyone who is being honest with themselves knows that’s what’s happening tonight.

We don’t have to wait for Mueller. This is an impeachable offense. Remove President Trump from power. And let’s vow to finally, finally stop feeling the need to appeal to process when it comes to standing up to warmongers–and let’s start opposing war for its own sake.

In the meantime, may I suggest visiting Oxfam America’s website and donating to provide essential supplies, sanitation, and clean water to Syrian refugees. If you’re in the Austin area, I’d also urge you to join the rally to oppose Trump’s immoral and illegal attack on Syria this Sunday, April 15.


Paid for by the Derrick Crowe for Congress Committee