So Much For Promises: Trump on the brink of starting a new war
Donald Trump instructed the U.S. military to bomb Syria. This came in the form of Navy warships launching dozens of Tomahawk missiles at the Ash Sha'irat Air Base in Homs, Syria. Intelligence officials informed the White House that Ash Sha'irat Airbase was the origin of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's heinous chemical weapon attack carried out against innocent Syrian civilians.
Despite Trump's oft-repeated campaign promise to, 'avoid war and allow other countries to solve their own problems,' Trump committed an act of war intervening in a foreign country's domestic conflict. Objective analysis cannot omit particular facts: 1) For two years leading up to election day, Trump promised to keep the United States out of war. -- In fact, Trump deceived all voters during the campaign, when he falsely claimed he desired to govern in an era of peace. 2) Trump alleged presidents should not commit troops without authorization from Congress. -- In his first few months in office, Trump has circumvented working with Congress by signing a record number of executive orders. His decision to unilaterally attack Syria is not shocking, considering he spent the previous 18 months trying to convince the public he would be a tough, strike first ask questions later type of commander. 3) Trump swore he was the lone American capable of mending our strained relationship with the Kremlin. -- In efforts to minimize the growing skepticism around investigations of his potential collusion with Putin, Trump has neglected to convince Russia to partner with the U.S. military in combatting ISIS. Furthermore, Putin strictly condemned the U.S. military strike against the airbase in Homs. Putin refuses to accept empirical evidence pointing to Assad as the responsible party for the chemical attack.
Launching dozens of missiles targeting a military stronghold is not conducive to 'avoiding war.' Trump was either lying during the campaign in order to convince voters that he was worthy of serving as commander-in-chief, or he is lying now with his justification for attacking Syria. An attack of this magnitude will only breed more violence from Assad towards his people. According to Trump, launching missiles to destroy a Syrian air base was a measured response to Assad's most recent atrocity. Turkey reported a connection between Assad and the weapons used to spread the chemical agent Sarin.
Images and video of the devastation caused by the Sarin gas traveled far and wide. Yet Trump and the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, remained indifferent to Assad's atrocities. Haley and Trump's laissez-faire approach to Assad emboldened the Syrian despot to escalate the Syrian civil war. Congress' 2013 refusal to grant President Obama the authority to strike Syria, paved the way for Assad to commit these war crimes. Yet, the Senate has expressed near unanimous bi-partisan support for Trump's unilateral action. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is the lone senator who may genuinely claim the moral authority on Syria. He has remained consistent and he, in concert with the Constitution, demands Congress debate and vote on the matter.
Based on actionable intelligence, President Obama practically begged Congress for the authority to strike Assad. Congress, in turn, refused to even debate the issue. No deliberation, no discussion, no vote. That was a disgraceful abdication of constitutional authority.
Per the U.S. Constitution, only ONE branch may declare war - the legislative branch. However, after fifteen years and trillions of dollars spent fighting an illegal, unnecessary war, the U.S. public has grown weary and averse to military intervention abroad. Out of fear of losing reelection, cowardly members of Congress have relinquished their war-making ability to the current White House occupant. This is unconscionable. Especially in a time when the White House is occupied by an incompetent, grossly unqualified, reality television actor, who is under investigation for TREASON. Abdicating constitutional war-making authority to such a person, and allowing that person to skirt founding principles to unilaterally drag the country back into another war is beyond shameful.
Trump reversed a central foreign policy position he held for two years leading up to November 2016, and maintained for the first three days after being briefed about the sarin gas attack. His initial response to Assad's war crimes aligned with his campaign rhetoric and demonstrated cowardly indifference. Trump's complete reversal was overtly political and likely increased the danger for Syrians.
Trump claims his "change of heart" came about when images of the chemical attack atrocities reached his desk. False! Trump had access to the pictures the day the attack took place. But Trump's thin skin could no longer withstand the heightened scrutiny for his inaction. Thus, he shot from the hip and unilaterally attacked a country sending missile after missile destroying a strategic air base. Doing so without consulting the United Nations or the U.S. Congress.
Years of Congressional abdication of war-making authority has created an imperial presidency started with Bush in the early 2000s, continued by Obama, and now glorified by Donald Trump.