'Trump denied the American people oversight in endless war': Lawmakers react to Syria strikes
Without having the mandate from the United Nations, Washington and two of its European allies have launched strikes against Syrian targets, seeking to retaliate against President Bashar Assad for a suspected chemical attack near Damascus on April 7, which, according to unconfirmed reports, killed dozens of people.
"We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents," Trump said in a televised speech on Friday evening, accusing Assad of carrying out "crimes of a monster."
The US actions on foreign soil were taken by the president without the direct approval of lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Following Trump's announcement, a number of them have condemned the move.
This military action against Syria is a strike against a foreign government. Such an act requires a Congressional authorization to use force, and we have not provided one.— John Garamendi (@RepGaramendi) April 14, 2018
"This military action against Syria is a strike against a foreign government. Such an act requires a Congressional authorization to use force, and we have not provided one," Rep. John Garamendi (D-California) said on Twitter.
"By illegally bombing Syria, President Trump has once again denied the American people any oversight or accountability in this endless war. Congress, not the president, has the power to authorize military action," Rep. Barbara Lee (D-California) tweeted after Trump ordered the strike.
As a Purple Heart Vietnam veteran, I put my life on the line for this country. Sad to hear @realDonaldTrump has chosen to bomb #Syria. America is on the brink of WWIII, have no clear agenda and put our military personnel lives at risk. #Damascus#PeaceForSyria— Senator Dick Black (@SenRichardBlack) April 14, 2018
The strike was also called "illegal" by Senator Tim Kaine (D-Virginia), who noted that Trump does not have any legal authority to wage war against nation states. He wondered if Iran and North Korea will also witness the wrath of the US soon.
Trump’s decision to launch airstrikes against Syria without Congress’s approval is illegal. We need to stop giving presidents a blank check to wage war. Today it’s Syria, but what’s going to stop him from bombing Iran or North Korea next?— Tim Kaine (@timkaine) April 14, 2018
The same sentiment was voiced by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon), who urged Trump to have a clear exit strategy prior to involving US troops abroad.
We have learned in Afghanistan and Iraq the dangers of launching military actions without clearly articulated objectives and exit strategies. If the President wants to wage war, the American people and Congress need to be part of that decision.— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) April 14, 2018
"I haven't read France's or Britain's 'Constitution,' but I've read ours and no where in it is Presidential authority to strike Syria," Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky) added.
I haven’t read France’s or Britain’s “Constitution,” but I’ve read ours and no where in it is Presidential authority to strike Syria.— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) April 14, 2018
The American military response abroad "must come through congressional approval," Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-California) said on Twitter. "Instead, President Trump has once again struck Syria on his own."
... so refugees can return home & begin to rebuild their lives, then we should work for peace, end our policy of interventionist regime change wars and stop trying to be the policeman of the world. (2/2)— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) April 14, 2018
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