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.
Below is my recent column in The Hill Newspaper on the increased U.S. involvement in the fighting in Syria and Yemen. As usual, there is little concern (beyond Sen. Rand Paul) over the sending of troops into foreign conflicts without congressional approval or anything resembling a specific declaration of war. Indeed, when members insist that modern national security threats do not make specific declarations or authorizations practical, they sound much like “living constitution” advocates. Yet, we have now engaged in hundreds of military actions with only a small number of declarations and a small percentage of authorizations. As the Framers feared, war has become a continual and unilateral exercise of executive authority.
I will be again debating Berkeley Law Professor and former Bush official John Yoo on war powers. This will be our third debate on the subject and will be held in Washington, D.C. at George Washington University. The event will be held on Wednesday at noon in the Moot Court Room at the law school.
Until now, I thought “eco-terrorist” was an industry spin. However, the leader of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Hibatullah Akhundzada, has gone all green. It appears that when his followers are not throwing acid in the faces of girls seeking to be educated or blowing up mosques and markets, they should be planting trees. It is the Taliban version of Greenpeace without the peace part.
By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
Yesterday I discovered a touching and effective video bringing light to the many struggles and hauntings those afflicted with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder struggle with daily. It is not often the personal toils of these challenges are presented to the public in a manner other than academic or disaffected medical analyses but I found this video to be very engaging and while certainly difficult at times for most to watch, due to some very graphic imagery inherent with combat, I believe these depictions of violence and hardship are necessary to provide you with a sense of how gripping this injury can be on those so encumbered.
While the video presents PTSD as experienced through the thoughts and trepidation of an Iraq war veteran, it can in most ways be insightful to the same traumas causal to other manifests of the injury.
SSG Kyle Hausmann-Stokes, the video’s author, is due much credit for a presentation into the manner and effect of a PTSD injury. I invite you to share in his experiences…
One of the most controversial potential nominees for President-Elect Donald Trump just got more controversial. John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has been listed as the possible second in command at State. He previously served as ambassador under a recess appointment because he was heavily opposed by Democrats and some career State Department officials. He can now likely add intelligence officials to his opposition. In an extraordinary interview on Fox News, Bolton dismissed the CIA report finding Russian interference with the election and hacking of emails. Instead, he suggested that the entire controversy could be a “false flag,” or a false story planted by parties in the United States. That would sound like the American intelligence community and specifically the CIA to many. (The FBI was widely criticized by the Clinton supporters for its own alleged influencing of the campaign). It is an entirely unsupported and rather unhinged suggestion, particularly from someone being considered for a high office. It could make an already hot potential nomination into a positively radioactive one.
There is an interesting criminal investigation that seems to fulfill the Washington DC adage “One week on the cover of Time, next week doing time.” The point is that sometimes press is not a good thing. That would seem the case of Special Forces Maj. Matthew Golsteyn who went on Fox News for an interview. In the course of the interview, Golsteyn appears to admit to murdering a suspect in his custody in Afghanistan. Army investigators also watch television and immediately reopened the investigation into the death of the accused Taliban bombmaker.