Trump Strikes Syria As America’s Undeclared War Expands

The United States fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase last night in retaliation for a chemical attack blamed on the Syrian government.  The Syrian government previously declared U.S. troops and military operations in its country to be an invasion of the country.   With the expansion of military operations, including troops on the ground, I thought it was worth reposting the recent column on undeclared wars that have become the norm for the United States.  Of  course, the only thing rising faster than our military intervention is congressional hypocrisy as Democrats express outrage over the failure to secure a declaration of war or authorization.  These are the same members who remained silent as President Obama routinely launched missiles at targets in a variety of nations and took this country to war in Libya without even consulting Congress.  As on the filibuster issue, the Democrats frittered away any high ground years on the issue years ago.

In recent testimony before the Senate Judiciary hearing, I supported the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch, despite my disagreement with some of his opinions. I specifically noted that his textualist approach to statute and the Constitution is no vice in a federal judge. While I hold many liberal views, I also believe in a formalist and fairly textualist approach to interpretation.

What is curious, however, is how the supporters of such textualism and formalism are largely silent this week as the Trump administration is planning to send more troops into Syria and to intervene in Yemen … all without the declaration of war required by the text of Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution.

Hundreds of more troops are planned for the Syrian conflict even though the government in the country has declared that any U.S. military operating in the country are “invaders.” We have been conducting extensive bombing raids with troops on the ground in Syria for many months. We have spent billions of dollars on the effort. All without a formal declaration by the Congress.

Now, Defense Secretary James Mattis has reportedly asked the White House to lift restrictions on U.S. military support in Yemen. The war against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels  has not been going well for our Persian Gulf allies, particularly Saudi Arabia. The United States wants now to play a bigger role, but notably, the military is asking permission not from Congress but the president. It is his call. That is precisely what the Framers wanted to avoid.

The Constitution has long had its own unreliable allies in Congress. Adherence to the text of the document seems to be a forgotten value when it would take politicians to uncomfortable or inconvenient places. Politicians hate to declare wars. It is not that they hate wars. Wars are popular. Wars can be profitable.

The problem is that they can be blamed if wars do not go well. As a result, they have used open-ended resolutions that can be used by presidents to conduct wars at their whim while allowing politicians to later deny that they ever really supported interventions or were misled if the wars go badly.

This issue most famously came up with Hillary Clinton during her presidential runs. She was eager to express her support for the wars in Iraq and Libya until they became unpopular. Clinton then blamed others and insisted that she was misled, adding, “I wasn’t alone in getting it wrong.”

Of course, the spin ignored the objections at the time that Clinton and others were unwilling to even listen to objections or demands for substantive hearings. These calls were ignored because the members did not want to hear anything that would make it difficult for them to vote for a popular war.

She is certainly right that she was not alone in discarding her duties under Article I. The vote was a popular choice and paraded before cameras … until the war dragged on with thousands of casualties and hundreds of billions in expenditures. Democrats and Republicans share equal responsibility for reading out Article I, Section 8 from the Constitution.

The courts are equally at fault. They have accepted resolutions as substitutes for declarations and, more importantly, have allowed resolutions to become increasing general and vague, thus allowing (as we are now seeing) open-ended power to intervene militarily in virtually any country at any time. Indeed, challengers rarely get any judicial review at all. Years ago, I represented both Democratic and Republican members challenging the Libyan War, but the federal court barred consideration of the merits by the members as lacking “standing” to be even heard in federal court.

We were bombing the capital of a foreign power with a recognized government. We were spending billions in war funding. Yet, the Obama administration was allowed to simply call it not a “war” but a “time-limited, scope-limited military action” or a “kinetic action.” Indeed, the Administration insisted to the court that the President alone defines what is a war. Thus, as long as he does not use that noun, Article I effectively does not apply. You can call it a “police action” or a training exercise or a bean bag and that is all that you need to claim the right to go to war on a president’s sole authority.

Does that track with anyone even remotely familiar with our Framers? These were brilliant men who created a system of carefully balanced powers. Yet, Congress and the courts have made them into the world’s biggest chumps who can be circumvented by simply a change in nouns. Where the Framers wanted Congress to take ownership of any wars, courts now allow members to delegate that authority to presidents and sit as pedestrians watching whether wars prove to be popular or problematic.

History is now repeating itself. No one in Congress wants its own new intervention, but no one wants to be seen opposing interventions against terrorists. Suddenly all of the moral outrage over non-textualist readings of the Constitution are silent … just days after the last hearing. This is why moral outrage in Washington is something of a performance art. This performance, however, is nothing but a tragedy for those who believe in adherence to the text of the Constitution.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. He has litigated various national security cases.

232 thoughts on “Trump Strikes Syria As America’s Undeclared War Expands”

  1. Reblogged this on Welcome to My Corner Here on Word Press and commented:
    I admit I am a big fan of Professor Turley. This powerful column he re-released underscores the profound questions being asked..and everyone’s at fault..and to me, this one statement underscored it all, “…The courts are equally at fault. They have accepted resolutions as substitutes for declarations and, more importantly, have allowed resolutions to become increasing general and vague, thus allowing (as we are now seeing) open-ended power to intervene militarily in virtually any country at any time…..”. Yes–Assad is a murderer and a thug, but the cost to the Constitutional Government is profound….

  2. If the President’s actions in bombing the alleged baby-killers are so clearly unconstitutional,I am sure the 9th Circuit would be more than happy to declare them so.

  3. It is multi-perspected situation.
    My view is simple though, and may not match all legal and moral standards.

    I have heard the refrain, “America has an obligation to come to the assistance of innocent, defenseless people, who are being slaughtered by an overwhelming, uncaring and immoral force”.
    And I kind of agree with that.

    There are clean, obvious examples where America may not be under attack, but we are aware of such slaughter on the level of crimes against humanity. Rwanda, Kosovo, Nazi Germany, are all examples where the murderous treatment of their citizens and others were not dangers to the United States.
    In such situations, I would be for intervention in the slaughter, even when it is not a national security issue.
    I would not generally be in favor of using that situation as justification for any other continuing or ancillary actions though.

    My other concern, with the situation in Syria, is the strong, but debatable, case being made that this may very well have been a false flag by proxy operation.
    Many have pointed out that Assad had virtually nothing to gain by nerve gassing his own citizens in a strategically unimportant town like Khan Sheikhoun; that he was already winning the civil war, and that doing something like this would only serve to inflame the world opinion against him and invite US intervention.
    That to me is important to know and find out, as it would show that the US was duped into intervening in the civil war by enemies of Assad, instead of the morally justified outrage that would flow from the government of Syria itself bombing with nerve gas.

    Such a project would be relatively simple.
    The Syrian rebels (or other anti-Assad forces) would identify when and where a conventional bombing by Syria would be occurring. They would then wait until the bombs had dropped, and then release the nerve agents in synchrony and proximity with the conventional bombs exploding.
    It would then look like, for all intents and purposes, like Syria had dropped nerve gas bombs upon innocent civilians.

    I hope that isn’t what happened, but it is something that absolutely needs to be investigated.

    1. Good analysis Gary, but I think if you would read into these issues a little more, convenient and necessary information never seems to be included. We have proof over generations of this same scenario. The fog of war works so well. There seems to be a dependable part on the limbic system of humans to “get on board” once the killing starts.

  4. The Spoils of War: Trump Lavished With Media and Bipartisan Praise For Bombing Syria

    by Glenn Greenwald

    “The one constant of American political life is that the U.S. loves war. Martin Luther King’s 1967 denunciation of the U.S. as “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today” is more accurate than ever.” –Glenn Greenwald

  5. Obama had asked for an authorization, but Congress didn’t want to do anything, and didn’t.

  6. As long as Article I Section 8 is treated as an a la carte menu by the American people then we have no principled justification to oppose the President’s “misuse” of power. Congress should reconvene and debate the idea of declaring war. If they do not, and their constituents do not hold them accountable for it, then we really are no longer a constitutional republic. We are a utilitarian democracy guided by unbridled passions.

    1. “We” aren’t anything but a bunch of suckers whose tax dollars are used to enrich war profiteers and the politicians who enable carnage and destruction.

      1. I agree Doglover but that is a very limited view of the side-effects of enabling our government to ignore their constitutional limits. Moral arguments were expected and have always been used to justify government action. Our constitution was supposed to be the people’s red line for government but government keeps crossing it and we do nothing about it. My reference to utilitarianism is really how I see the majority of people view the purpose for government. I don’t begrudge the people’s desire to have a government that works for their self-interests, that’s human nature. What I do have a problem with is ignoring the reality that the people they elect to office have that same human nature.

        1. “Our constitution was supposed to be the people’s red line for government but government keeps crossing it and we do nothing about it.”

          Well put.

  7. It’s now apparent the dust up Bannon had w/ Trump was about this. Bannon is opposed to getting involved in foreign entanglements. His family members, particularly Kushner, wanted this strike.

    1. I’ve been too busy to be on top of things, but I did get some wind of all that with Bannon. I was wondering if this is where all that was heading. It’s good to see the push back has been big, except for the usual gullible folk on here.

    2. Perhaps the Jewish prince and princess will be able to push the drunken nazi to the curb.

  8. Again, an event that appears cut and dry but is but a no win situation in an seemingly eternal struggle is used to expound almost unrelated opinions. The Constitution, Framers, etc have nothing to do with what is going on. The times were different. The US was almost completely different. Trump slapping Assad’s wrist and mooning Putin is next to nothing in light of what is going on. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people have died and will continue to die in Syria, at the hands of all participants. That they died from gas, barrel bombs, or bullets is not the issue. What Trump did was to play to the audience. As yet he has done more harm with his open admiration with Russia than with this. Russia will replace Assad’s planes. Assad will continue killing, perhaps not using gas and for this Trump will claim victory. The methods, Constitutional or whatever, are not in question here. As always it is the illusion and the argument.

    Iraq was a mistake that almost all from both sides supported, including Trump. This was based on faulty info. That is the fault of the administration in charge as gathering info is their responsibility. That decisions were made on faulty info does not put the blame on those making the decisions. To deride Clinton for saying ‘We were all misled’ is nothing more than the same buffoonery exhibited by Trump. You drop a few notches here Turley. The greatest mistakes in Iraq were made in how the ‘war’ was carried out: there was no need for an invasion to topple Saddam, disbanding the army and police was the greatest cause for the chaos that persists to today, sitting around for eight months doing nothing after removing the governing infrastructure began the chaos, etc. But, lawyers and politicians always pick a target and then fashion the arguments to conform to their own purposes.

    This time Trump appears to have done the right thing. However he fell short. He should have launched several hundred missiles and taken out as much of the Syrian air force as is possible, along with any other military that could deliver the gas, with the same care not to harm any Ruskies. Machiavelli wrote centuries ago, and it is here more than ever pertinent, ‘You never do your enemy a small injury.’ You take him out or failing that take him as close to out as possible.

    So, the game continues. The Constitution appears and allows legal eagles their place in the sun. It could be worse. Turley could be President.

    1. Issac,

      You do know that the intelligence was fixed on Iraq. This govt. and the UK govt. fixed it. There was accurate information available at the time and any person who voted for that war of aggression didn’t bother looking.

      It’s true, Trump didn’t lose supporters, he just changed them. Now he’s got the Democrats! Democrats have 8 years of supporting torture and wars, so I guess you are the best group to support Trump on this. In my experience with Democrats, I have rarely seen but a few who wanted actual information before acting and who would choose a criminal justice based response over bloodshed. That seems to be what your party is now. It didn’t used to be that way but that’s what it is now.

      1. I’m probably misreading your comment, Jill, but when it comes to supporting war, the Democrats are not his only supporters, just his most hypocritical.

        1. BB,

          I only mean that Dims are some of his best supporters now. There is some kind of weird transference that has happened here. I first noticed it when Dems started to fall in love with Bush. It seemed like as Bush spoke highly of Obama, Dims became enchanted with him. It was very weird. It happened in less than 3 months. Up until recently, Dims hated Bush. Now they love him. How can this be?

          Similarly, Trump is now their true love! Trump’s original supporters are mostly (not exclusively) extremely angry with him. Yet Dims are showering him with praise. He’s “our” president now that he’s killed some people in Syria! YEAH!!!! You have to ask how this happened.

          Apparently, Dims transfer their happy thoughts of Obama’s killing fields to anyone who praises Obama or in this case, tries to finish the job FOR Obama. This is a sign to me of really heavy, strange propaganda. This is hypocrisy but it’s something much worse as well. The deep state has figured out how to turn whole groups of people on a dime. That scares me because people are way too obedient to authority now and way too authoritarian in their own actions. This is going to destroy (what’s left of) our society from within. In the meantime, the US will be destroying the rest of the world while being cheered on by a large zombie populace.

          1. “This is a sign to me of really heavy, strange propaganda. This is hypocrisy but it’s something much worse as well. The deep state has figured out how to turn whole groups of people on a dime. That scares me because people are way too obedient to authority now and way too authoritarian in their own actions. This is going to destroy (what’s left of) our society from within. In the meantime, the US will be destroying the rest of the world while being cheered on by a large zombie populace.” (Jill)

            A lot of truth…

      2. One thing that seems to be absent from arguments from the entrenched of either side is that both Republicans and Democrats were for the Iraq war when the info illustrated a war was necessary to halt what ended up not existing. Trump was for it. Both sides were ticked off when the info proved to be wrong. Obama inherited a dog’s breakfast of a Middle East situation along with the desires expressed by the American people to get out. That is factual. The vast majority of Americans, on both sides wanted out. Obama maneuvered the US out and then back in surgically. Every time Obama removed troops, his haters stated loudly that this was not the right move and was indeed the cause of all the problems. Every time that Obama incurred militarily, his haters attacked that America must not get involved. The hypocrisy can almost be cut with a knife it is that thick. The truth of the matter is that the entire mess was boiling and Bush threw more gas on the fire and it boiled over. Obama performed with his haters attacking him regardless of what he did. Mistakes were made as they are with all administrations. This comes with the territory. The fact of the matter remains that this will always be dirt cheap fodder for critiques. When the dust settles the picture gets clearer. Bush did not leave a stable situation. He created the essence of the present mess. Obama did not solve the problem but rode the out of control situation responding to the majority of Americans who wanted the US to stay out. It is a no win situation. When Assad used gas Congress demanded action; Obama threatened to use force and Congress quickly reversed for the sake of attacking Obama and stated that America should not get involved. Obama complied and then Congress attacked Obama for being weak. Even Trump pleaded with Obama not to react militarily to Assad’s using gas. Obama made a masterful move by working with the Russians to get gas removed. The fact is that even the Russians can’t control the evil nutcase that is Assad. The Russians see the end through victory.

        Even if Trump had of done this properly, a la Machiavelli, and taken out most of Assad’s air force, the problem would still exist. The only positive thing to come out of this is that Trump looks like he has at least one ball and the focus has been taken off of the real issue. Trump benefits. Syrians will continue to die and be refused entry to the US. Russia will be needed more than ever by Assad. Assad will get his planes replaced. Trump is a moron who slapped Assad’s wrist and what about the Russians mucking about in our elections, etc…..

        1. Isaac….
          You and Trump are totally in agreement on one point……the problems Obama faced were all the the fault of the mess he inherited from Bush. (Isaac view).
          I inherited a mess both domestically and internationally.
          The “Blame the Predecessor” game can be overdone, and its effectiveness diminishes over time.

          1. tnash

            Obama inherited the general problems America has been gestating for decades, as does every President as well as the biggest set of screw ups in modern history. Trump inherited only that Obama only righted the ship and stopped it sinking but didn’t ‘fix’ everything. There is no comparison of inheritances.

            1. Isaac…
              There IS a comparison in that both you and Trump play the “blame the predecessor game”.
              I didn’t mean to suggest that you only blamed Bush 43 for Obama’s problems; you’ve been fair-minded and objective enough to blame Reagan a d the Republican Party as well for Obama’s failures.

                1. Haha….and you know that Isaac doesn’t see the mess in Syria and the refugee crisis as Obama’s doing. He thinks that was all Bush’s fault too. #ObamaCult

                    1. Anon…The 2007-20o8 surge didn’t put all the pieces back together, put it was effective in largely stabilizing Iraq.And the region has yet to recover from the Arab Soring fiasco.

                    2. Obama inherited a stable Iraq and was warned that pulling all troops out of Iraq too quickly would cause instability and potential disaster. He ignored critics and military advice and did what he wanted to do anyway resulting in the mess we now see in Iraq and the rise of ISIS. Obama misread the Arab Spring. And Obama’s definition of ‘smart power’ in Syria was doing nothing. But go ahead and blame Bush because he started it. Obama made things (or allowed things) to get worse. And he empowered Iran. Yeoman’s job? Not in my book.

  9. Re-post of my comment in previous post, since it is equally appropriate here.

    The problem with Russia is not that it is a dictatorship. After all, just about every government we have installed after demolishing a foreign country has been a dictatorship. The United States loves dictatorships as long as they are friendly to the interests of our transnational plutocracy and NOT that of the BRIC nations such as Russia. Dictatorship we install are bought and paid for. They are reliable, easy to talk to. They know how to take directions and obey orders. All they ask in return is shipping containers full of US tax payer dollars coming from our masses who have been trained to believe they don’t know how to manage their money anyway and that getting kicked in the teeth is patriotic. Moreover, dictators we put in place -getting back to the foreign country we destroy – don’t depend on a bunch of local rube constituents that are too stupid to have any idea of what the interests of the USplutocracy are and haven’t been trained like seals to help the masters with cattle prods.

    So the problem with Russia is not that it is a dictatorship, and certainly not utter trivia about clown pictures of its leader – except, of course for propaganda purposes about free speech.

    The problem is that Russia is not our dictatorship.and if you listen to our military leaders it’s a big problem and we probably need to exterminate the human race to resolve it, pronto.

    As to Syria, Putin outsmarted Obama at every single turn. He has proven himself over and over again to be the reasonable one and the more hasty, “tough” and rash the decisions by Obama and his administration, the more fox like Putin’s reasonableness has turned out to be. And now we have someone who doesn’t even make a pretense at being reasonable and who basks in American adulation for “tough guy” gestures (that cost him nothing personally). It didn’t take long to get Trump to see the light.

    The current chemicals scandal is yet another false flag operation designed to pull Trump in line with US military, neocon, and transnational energy conglomerate interests to install yet another US friendly dictatorship in Syria. We have done this over and over and over, and still fall for it every single time. Recently -since 9/11- with weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and very recently with Trump and Putin conspiring against the DNC, and now this. It would be a joke if it were not so lethal to so many innocents.

    The tip off, as is often the case, is that Assad has absolutely no interest in poisoning his people. He gains nothing by it. He is winning the war for heavens sake! He is still very popular in Syria not withstanding US propaganda to the contrary. Our media would never breath a word of it, but he won the 2014 election hands down – in a fair election! It begs credulity that he would ruin this now, just as he is winning thanks to Russian intervention, just to poison a relatively small number of people just as it begged credulity that Russia would hack the US election process JUST TO TELL THE TRUTHabout DNC corruption.

    Yet another indication this is a false flag operation is the fact the US is in such a hurry. It wants no serious inquiry. Just as with weapons of mass illusion in Iraq, everything suddenly has to happen in a rush. If it is proven later that Assad had nothing to do with it, who cares? We will already have our dictator installed taking our orders and our citizens will be happy to pay the taxes for the truck loads of US dollars to make it happen, to dig those pipe lines so our .01% can get vastly richer as the rest of us struggle to make ends meet and keep being told we need to tighten the belt further and further as our economy contracts from our endless gigantic military expenditures.

    Ultimately, we want regime change in Russia as well and for exactly the same reasons. Asset stripping in Russia by our financial elite promises yields beyond imagination. But that one is a long game and Syria is just a piece on the way.

    Anyway, Trump has been tamed. He’s gonna get to be Mr. Tough Guy, instead of Mr. Campaign Promise Guy, and all he has to do is take orders from our MIC and Wall St. And he and his family will get to enjoy the spoils as much as anyone. It took all of four or five weeks. And he really doesn’t have much choice. It’s a deal he can’t refuse or those chemical “weapons”, and the next false flag scandal, and the next and the next after that will end up in his lap.

  10. JR….
    – Military combat operations absent a declaration of war did not start with Truman.
    From the Barbary Coast Pirate Wars to FDR’s Atlantic naval war prior to Pearl Harbor, there are plenty of examples of wars absent a declaration of war by Congress.

  11. I don’t believe Syria gassed its own people, and frankly if they did, I could care less. What is it with all this “killing their own people” meme??? Didn’t Abraham Lincoln do the same thing? That is just the nature of a civil war – – – citizens fighting their own government.

    The sooner the Syrian Civil War is over, the better. If that takes killing the crap out of the rebels, then so be it. Saddam Hussein supposedly gassed about 25,000 of his “own people” once. Which was not nice, but what would a civil war in Iraq have cost in lives? Upwards of 500,000 or a million, not to mention years of economic and financial disruption?

    But, I still don’t believe the Syrian government did it. Trump screwed up believing the same people who invented the Russian intervention in the election silliness. And the WMDs in Iraq foolishness that tore up the region. IMHO, kill the crap out of ISIS and leave the rest of the Middle East alone to sort out their own problems, unless those problems directly affect us.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Couldn’t agree more, Squeeky. The powers that be keep insisting that there is simply no end to the bull sh*t we are willing to swallow.

  12. “The constitution supposes, what the History of all Governments demonstrates, that the Executive is the branch of power most interested in war, and most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care vested the question of war to the Legislature.” (James Madison in a letter to Jefferson)

    The founders were wise to restrain the executive and grant Congress the authority to declare war. Every president beginning with Truman has violated the Constitution in this manner, and it’s outrageous. Congress has routinely shirked its responsibilities in this area and when it actually develops a little backbone to reign in the executive, it lacks standing in federal court. The federal courts have a duty to restrict unconstitutional acts and yet Congress lacks standing to enforce its constitutional authority over war powers? Absurd.

    Issues of war and peace are inherently difficult. Images of children attacked with chemical weapons tug at the heart – people naturally want to use our tremendous military power to defend them. Yet we cannot serve as the world’s police force. Deciding when and where do to intervene presents difficult, sometimes unresolvable issues. There are no answers that work in all situations, so we decide on an individual, case by case basis. No person will get this right all or even most of the time, but we can do better than we have by debating the issues in Congress.

  13. What I can’t understand is why Assad would use chemical weapons at this juncture? He was on the verge of having his regime backed by both Russia and the U.S. (to forestall further chaos in the middle east). Why would he blow it by doing the one thing that he must know the American populace will not stand for? I understand our intelligence service is certain that Assad is the culprit here, but I can’t imagine what he hoped to gain from it. I hope they’re right (honest) and that it was Assad and not ISIS. It would be infuriating to know we had been played by ISIS. It would be destabilizing to know our “intelligence” services are playing political football.

    1. Maybe he doesn’t have full control over his military, which would be yet another issue.

    2. And another thing that’s a little hard to swallow. Why no serious inquiry? Why the total rush to push ourselves ever closer to all out war with Russia with no serious inquiry into what actually happened?

    3. When I heard the report of a chemical attack, I thought for sure everyone would realize it’s just another Kagan and CIA false flag. It is very strategic because it the operation was nearly wrapped up, and this allowed Washington to leverage back into the fray. History will not look on this country kindly moving forward. Nice to see the Dems are happy about it. Just goes to show our government is two sides of the same coin. Death, destruction, then profit. Business is indeed good.

  14. Finally, Senator Chuck Schumer & Nancy Pelosi endorse Trump’s attack in Syria.

    And don’t forget to send the bill to NATO for 59 missiles used. Where is NATO anyway? Back at the barracks for cost savings.

  15. It seems as long as you do not call it a war, the President can do what he wants.

  16. Syria is a different situation. It is an emergency. Assad dropped chemical weapons on his own people. Photos of children – piles of dead children with foam coming out of their mouths – demanded immediate action. I only wish that the U.S. had also blasted a Tomahawk missle up Assad’s azz.

    1. It was an emergency before the chemical attack. Cluster bombs aren’t exactly moral.

      With a 30% approval rating, the strike made sense.

    2. Tin,

      Would you share the intelligence you have that this was the Syrian govt.’s doing? No one has shared that yet, so maybe you will?

      O.K. this is hypocritical and insane in many ways. First, Trump saying that we need to prevent bloodshed in Syria by bombing them is insane. Further he claims we are in th group of “civilized” nations. So I guess that mean what he’s been doing in Yemen is civilized and the 1 million people their protesting US murdering them were just really stupid to think he was doing something other than trying to save them. I guess all our torture, black sites, human experimentation on detainees and wars of aggression make us “special”, extra civilized perhaps?

      There is absolutely no attempt to get facts first and act later. The choice of action is a war of aggression, a war crime. I am guessing that he doesn’t want an investigation because that might prove something other than his declaration. Further, there are perfectly good law enforcement mechanism available. That he started a war of aggression means he doesn’t care about the Syrian people, nor our own people.

      As to Congress, yes, the need to demand a declaration of war before any more crap goes down. They can start with Yemen and move right on to Syria and they can really think hard about Russia for a change, now that they’ve decided Trump isn’t a Putin stooge anymore.

      Also, the missiles cost about 94 million. Where did the money come from? I thought we were so bad off that Trump had to cut meals on wheels to make ends meet.

      The only thing of value that I’ve seen is there are now many Trump supporters who are speaking out, saying this action was wrong and calling for impeachment. This is a vast improvement over Obama supporters who barked and clapped like seals whenever he killed civilians in their name.

      This is evil, disgusting and horrific. The elected govt. should all resign as they are stooges of the world oligarchy whom will do anything to anyone on their behalf. They don’t work for the American people or follow our Constitution. They just perform stooge work for globalists.

      1. Great post, Jill! I think the people who should be put in jail are the ones who are holding Trump’s feet to the fire. The neocons and Wall St. I don’t think Trump started this false flag operation, but he has been told in such a way as to be under no illusions, that it will end up in his lap if he doesn’t obey orders.

        Granted, getting to play Mr. Tough Guy is what Trump does best and I’m sure that is no small temptation. Also, he has undoubtedly been told that he and his entrepreneurial family will get to share in the spoils of war (after all, using the office of US President for personal fame and riches, that’s what the Constitution is about no?) by the transnational .01% who will gain from having our own dictator in Syria.

        But again, I doubt this was Trump’s idea. We are seeing the fruition of a coup in the White House. The MIC and Wall St. have won. Who could have guessed?

        1. Well said to both BB and Jill. Clinton supporters should be happy as this was the strategy that was to go in effect if she won anyway… soooooooooo. Pete Townsend strikes again!

    3. Syria is not a different situation, unless you’re thinking in terms of what Congress will or will not do about this. The intention here is to regime change to control the oil fields and maintain the dollar as the petrocurrency.

      First, it defies logic that al-Assad would unload chemical weapons on the citizenry and subject his government to what we all knew would be the response from Trump’s Xbox impetuosity guided by Mattis who’s turning out to be another egomaniacal Patton, when the Syrian government is winning its civil war at this point. The more logical cuprit if not the CIA itself is its lemmings, al-Qaeda or al-Nusra. The irony here is that the chemicals used may very well be those the US allegedly transferred to the Syrian rebels from Libya during Hillary Clinton’s tenure.

      Secondly, Congress censured Obama for attacking Libya. Obama should have been impeached and kicked out of office. Will Congress censure Trump, if not impeach him? No, because the agenda is regime change and Trump ain’t mulatto.

      The American experiment is failing before our eyes, and it’s simple greed that’s caused it.

      1. Steve G.,
        Do you have a source for your statement that “Congress censured Obama for attacking Libya”?
        I’m not aware of any time, in modern history at least, that Congress censured a president.

    4. TIN, with more people like you, governments can commit crimes and get away with it, just like the other lies we’ve been told. Iraq, Libya, etc.

  17. Just wroe to my members of Congress and said “When is Congress going to stop allowing presidents to start wars without a public debate and a declaration of war. I didn’t like it when you turned a blind eye when Obama did it and I don’t like it now! Have you guys ever read the Constitution!”

    I hope more people will do this.

  18. The failure to adhere to Article I, section 8 has led to the U.S. military being used as a political pawn by both parties: Until we get principled control of this, politicians and the media are the only winners. The losers are the country as a whole, and especially our military and their families. I’m sorry about the children in Syria, but I’m also sorry for the children in North Korea, the Middle East, Africa, China, India. My father was a career army officer. I would not have wanted him to risk his life for any of those children. I wouldn’t want my son sent to those areas now. Does this make me a monster? Apparently. Maybe if we reinstated the draft, people’s “generosity of spirit” would be tempered by their love for their countrymen. It’s always easier to spend other people’s money and risk other people’s lives. Just sayin.

    1. I firmly believe the only way to end our war mongering ways is to institute a draft with no exceptions. Any desire to not server the military will only be satisfied by other service such as peace corp or americorp, perhaps other such service for a similar length of time. I also have high confidence my proposal will never see the light of day.

    1. Had to be done. I hear that The WH is getting ready to start a new chapter in the EXECUTIVE OFFICE as a result of the air strike. Bannon and Priebus are upset and the Alt Right are equally upset about the Executive Office shake up and the Air Strike.

    2. It is a pleasure to have reblogged this as I salute Professor Turley for this…….

      1. Seems like JT’s concern was the formality of Congress’ okay to murder more people and destroy more of Syria.

        We know that Congress will always do the bidding of Israel.

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