Biden Pushes Bombs Before Bail-out
Dave DeCamp / AntiWar.com
(February 26, 2021) — In the wake of President Biden’s bombing of eastern Syria, some members of Congress are speaking out and questioning the legality of the move, including Biden’s fellow Democrats.
“We cannot stand up for Congressional authorization before military strikes only when there is a Republican president,” said Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA). “The administration should have sought Congressional authorization here. We need to work to extricate from the Middle East, not escalate.”
Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) said the airstrikes were “unacceptable” and questioned the authorization. “Congress should hold this administration to the same standard it did prior administrations, and require clear legal justifications for military action, especially inside theaters like Syria, where Congress has not explicitly authorized any American military action,” he said.
Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) said Biden’s bombing was unconstitutional. “Offensive military action without congressional approval is not constitutional absent extraordinary circumstances,” he said. “Congress must be fully briefed on this matter expeditiously.”
While many Republicans applauded Biden’s airstrike, some spoke out against it, including Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY).
“I condemn meddling in Syria’s civil war. I also condemn attacking a sovereign nation without authority,” Senator Paul wrote on Twitter. “What authority does @POTUS have to strike Syria?”
On Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Congress would be fully briefed on the bombing next week. “The Department of Defense briefed Congressional leadership before the action last night. The Administration has been briefing the Hill at the Member- and staff-level today. There will be a full classified briefing early next week at the latest,” she said.
The Biden administration targeted Kataib Hezbollah and Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada in Syria, Iraqi militias the US claims were responsible for recent rocket attacks on US bases in Iraq, although no evidence has been presented to back up the claim.
Kamala Harris and Biden’s Press Secretary Slammed as Hypocrites for Criticism of Trump’s Syria Airstrikes
(February 26, 2021) — After President Biden ordered airstrikes in eastern Syria against an Iraqi militia on Thursday, comments from Vice President Kamala Harris and Press Secretary Jen Psaki on the Trump administration’s Syria airstrikes surfaced on Twitter.
“Also what is the legal authority for strikes? Assad is a brutal dictator. But Syria is a sovereign country,” Psaki wrote on Twitter in April 2017, after President Trump fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at Syrian government targets.
Psaki’s tweet drew attention from all ends of the political spectrum. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) retweeted Psaki’s old post writing, “Great question.”
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) asked, “What authority does @POTUS have to strike Syria? Perhaps someone should ask his @PressSec today?”
A tweet from Vice President Kamala Harris questioning the legality of other US airstrikes in Syria also surfaced. “I am deeply concerned about the legal rationale of last night’s strikes,” Harris wrote on Twitter in April 2018 after the US, UK, and France launched joint airstrikes against the Syrian government.
“The president needs to lay out a comprehensive strategy in Syria in consultation with Congress — and he needs to do it now,” Harris added.
In June 2019, after Trump mulled airstrikes on Iran, which he ultimately called off, President Biden slammed Trump for “erratic” behavior.
“Trump’s erratic, impulsive actions are the last thing we need as Commander-in-Chief. No president should order a military strike without fully understanding the consequences,” Biden wrote. “We don’t need another war in the Middle East, but Trump’s actions toward Iran only make that more likely.”
While Biden’s Syria airstrikes are somehow being presented as “defensive” in nature and as a “measured” response, they are a major escalation and will likely lead to more attacks on US forces in Iraq.
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