Sen. Rand Paul: Syria, Trump and another unconstitutional rush to war
By Sen. Rand Paul
April 7, 2017
Every American condemns the atrocities in Syria, and we cannot help but be shaken by the images of innocent women and children dying. It is also true that often in foreign policy, things are not as simple as they appear, and actions often have consequences well beyond the obvious.
It is for this very reason that the Founders wanted a deliberate, thoughtful foreign policy, and when military action was needed, they wanted it debated and authorized by Congress.
Make no mistake, no matter who is president or what their party is, it is my firm belief that the president needs congressional authorization for military action, as required by the Constitution. I call on this president to come to Congress for a proper debate over our role in Syria, just as I did in 2013 when President Obama contemplated acting in Syria.
I believe that nothing about this situation has changed. Military action is not in our national security interest and should not be authorized. Our prior interventions in this region have done nothing to make us safer, and Syria will be no different.
There is no doubt Assad is a brutal dictator. But if we seek to remove him, we must ask what comes next. Assad is fighting radical Islamic rebels, including large parts of ISIS. Who would take over Syria if Assad is deposed? Experience in Libya tells us chaos could reign, and radical Islamists could control large parts of the country.
Make no mistake, bombing Assad means the United States is fighting on the same side as ISIS and other radical Islamists in Syria. This is a dangerous and morally wrong policy.
But no matter your view of the merits of engaging in Syria, every member of Congress should stand up today and reclaim our Constitutional authority over war.
The Constitution clearly states that it is Congress that has the power to declare war, not the president. Even the War Powers Resolution, shoved forward by hawks as justification, clearly states criteria under which the president may act – a declaration of war, a specific statutory authorization, or a national emergency created by an attack on the United States.
That’s it. Absent those criteria, the president has no authority to act without congressional authorization. Congress must stand up and assert its authority here and now.
No president is above the law or the Constitution. I said so when it was Barack Obama, and I will say so when it is Donald Trump.
Our Founding Fathers had this right, and we should heed their wisdom about allowing the president to have war powers. They were concerned the president could rule like a king.
Madison wrote that the Constitution supposes what history demonstrates – that the executive is the branch most interested in war and most prone to it. The Constitution, therefore, with studied care, vested that power in the legislature.
Before any act of war, we should have a serious and thoughtful debate over the ramifications.
In Syria – what is our goal? What happens if we depose Assad? Will the Islamist rebels, as they have threatened, turn their weapons and attention elsewhere, including Israel next door?
I will hold accountable and oppose the actions of any president who takes military action without proper legal authority and congressional consent.
Jill Stein: “On the issue of war and nuclear weapons, it is actually Hillary’s policies which are much scarier than Donald Trump”
The following was recently said by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein:
It’s important to look at where we are going. It’s not just a moment in time, but where has the strategy of voting for the lesser evil taken us?
All these times you have been told to vote for the lesser evil because you didn’t want the wars, or the meltdown of the climate, or the offshoring of our jobs, or the attack on immigrants, or the massive bailout for Wall Street, but that is actually what we have gotten. By the droves.
Because we with public interest allow ourselves to be silent, and voted for the lesser evil. But the lesser evil doesn’t solve the problem.
The Obama administration, even with both houses of Congress, actually did all of these fossil fuel emissions. “All of the above” gave us some renewable energy but it completely amplified and intensified our carbon production, which has been incredibly destructive to the climate.
The wars have gotten bigger, we are now bombing seven countries.
It is important to not just look at the rhetoric but also look at the track record and the reality is the lesser people and greater people is a race to the bottom, and even Donald Trump in the right wing extremism grows out of the policies of the Clintons, in particular Nafta, which sent our jobs overseas and Wall Street deregulation, which blew 9 million jobs up into smoke.
That is what is creating this right wing extremism. A vote for Hillary Clinton isn’t going to fix it…
It is now Hillary Clinton that wants to start an air war with Russia over Syria by calling for a no fly zone.
We have 2000 nuclear missiles on hairtrigger alert. They are saying we are closer to a nuclear war than we have ever been.
Under Hillary Clinton, we could slide into nuclear war very quickly from her declared policy in Syria.
I sure won’t sleep well at night if Donald Trump is elected, but I sure won’t sleep well at night if Hillary Clinton elected. We have another choice other than these two candidates who are both promoting lethal policies.
On the issue of war and nuclear weapons, it is actually Hillary’s policies which are much scarier than Donald Trump who does not want to go to war with Russia.
He wants to seek modes of working together, which is the route that we need to follow not to go into confrontation and nuclear war with Russia.
Video shows Syrian terrorist, funded with U.S. tax dollars, cutting out and eating the heart and liver of his dead enemy
The video at this link is very graphic, but it’s good that someone has documented it.
Actually, the link is a news article with an embedded video. You can read the article without actually watching the video if you want.
The first minute of the video is Glenn Beck criticizing Republicans and Democrats for funding this atrocity. The next 10 seconds is a warning about how graphic the video is. The graphic part starts at about the 1:10 point.
Beck warns us of the war that we are getting into. He urges all U.S. citizens – regardless of their political party – to show this video to other people, and to oppose U.S. involvement in this war.
The Washington Examiner has just reported:
Obama waives ban on arming terrorists to allow aid to Syrian opposition
President Obama waived a provision of federal law designed to prevent the supply of arms to terrorist groups to clear the way for the U.S. to provide military assistance to “vetted” opposition groups fighting Syrian dictator Bashar Assad.
Some elements of the Syrian opposition are associated with radical Islamic terrorist groups, including al Qaeda
The law allows the president to waive those prohibitions if he “determines that the transaction is essential to the national security interests of the United States.”
That sounds pretty scary to me.
It also sounds like grounds for impeachment.
I hope this doesn’t lead to World War III.