Hillary Says Strike Syria, Trump Does It

Hillary Clinton said on Thursday, speaking at a Women's conference:

Mrs. Clinton grew particularly forceful in condemning Syria’s recent chemical attack and called for a strong military response to confront President Bashar al-Assad and “take out his airfields.”

Hours later, Trump announced airstrikes on Syria.

They are both wrong in my view. We should not be attacking Syria. At the very least, he should have sought congressional approval.

Donald Trump should not be allowed to make any major decisions about the country, we are not living on a reality TV show. He doesn't know what he's doing. Donald Trump provokes that feeling you get riding backwards down an up escalator.

ISIS is undoubtedly cheering Trump's play right into their hands. I can't watch, this won't end well for us.

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    If Trump and the everyone lauding (5.00 / 5) (#7)
    by caseyOR on Fri Apr 07, 2017 at 11:18:50 AM EST
    his little show of force really cared one whit about the Syrian people we would be letting Syrian refugees into the United States. We would be pouring money into refugee services both here and in Turkey and Jordan. We would be relentless in our diplomatic attacks on Assad. And we would not be playing footsie with Assad cheerleader Vladimir Putin. That would do far more to relieve their suffering than flinging a bunch of missiles at an airfield.

    And why all the outrage about this attack? Are these babies somehow more dead than all the babies who have been killed by Assad's barrel bombs? I know, I know, weapons of mass destruction are bad. Very bad. We do not want anyone to use them. Still, the outrage about these deaths seems a bit forced.

    Clearly, our government does not care one whit for the suffering of the Syrian people. So, why not forgo all the fake angst about the killing of "babies. beautiful babies" and just say that the use of WMDs will not be tolerated, and if Assad goes back to slaughtering people the old-fashioned we will go back to our  policy of not caring what he does to his own people.

    I hear ya Casey... (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 07, 2017 at 11:37:17 AM EST
    my first thought when Trump talked about the babies was "where was this concern when you were chaining the locks at the airport and sending the babies back to Syria ?"  

    Accept more refugees, hold the f*ckin' Tomahawks before a god awful situation turns into a god awful WWIII situation.  But nobody really gives a sh&t, it's all faux outrage as a means to ends which may not yet be known.


    It's a sad state of affairs... (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by desertswine on Fri Apr 07, 2017 at 01:13:04 PM EST
    when the fate of the world lies in the hands of a couple of grade-A a**holes like Vladimir Putin and Donald J Trump.  

    Reports are (none / 0) (#13)
    by KeysDan on Fri Apr 07, 2017 at 01:48:42 PM EST
    16 killed on the airbase and nine others, all civilians, died when three missiles struck two towns near the base.  No word if any of the civilians were beautiful babies.

    People killed, but, apparently, no (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by caseyOR on Fri Apr 07, 2017 at 07:36:32 PM EST
    major  damage to the airfield. Assad's forces  launched air strikes from that airfield today.

    So, what was the point? Trump kept Congress in the dark, but warned Putin that the missiles were coming. Putin then tipped off Assad who made sure his equipment was moved out of the way.

    Seems doubtful this attack was meant to inflict any damage to Assad given the prior notice. It did distract everyone from Russian hacking and Jared's meetings with Russians. It earned Trump a lot of atta, boy" comments from the Republicans in Congress and from way too many Democrats. And it got the media fawning over him again. Brian Williams behavior on MSNBC was ridiculous. Even Fareed Zakariah of CNN, who has more than once called out Trump as a bull sh1tt artist, now thinksTrump is presidential.

    So, Trump, Putin and Assad come out winners. Dems look like fools. The Syrian people are still the big losers.


    Those had to be the bad babies... (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 07, 2017 at 02:19:50 PM EST
    excuse me, bad ninos y ninas.

    If it's any consolation... (none / 0) (#15)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 07, 2017 at 02:21:22 PM EST
    the fate of the world has never been in any other types of hands...though in Donald's case, maybe not such small ones.

    True, (none / 0) (#16)
    by KeysDan on Fri Apr 07, 2017 at 02:45:11 PM EST
    and, too, in fairness, not all of the babies were beautiful, several were said to be 5s.  But, bombing always makes the man--some of the talking heads are as aglow as a Tomahawk. "The Day Trump Became President."  says CNN's Fareed Zakaria.  Please forget everything since Jan 20, it doesn't count.

    I saw Trump's little speech that he (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by desertswine on Fri Apr 07, 2017 at 11:45:31 PM EST
    gave from his Winter Palace.  Was he speaking from the Lounge?  I could almost see the little round tables in front of him and people nursing their drinks till he was finished.  The sound was terrible.

    Bigger heads, in the sense (5.00 / 3) (#35)
    by KeysDan on Sat Apr 08, 2017 at 12:01:02 PM EST
    of thought process, not ego, (Ivanka, Jared, Mattis and McMaster, are good candidates) seemed to plan this attack so as to be the smallest attack possible that they can claim to be proportionate, bombing the culprit airstrip with care not to hit Russians and Syrians (who were likely tipped by their cohorts).  

    No one loses too much face or is required to retaliate severely, other than choreographed huffs and puffs. Everyone keeps on doing what they were doing.

    Trump was called on by all but the Bannon crowd to "do something." So he did something. But, the status quo remains, the Syrian civil war is not over.

     The "something" is inconsequential, symbolic, and political.  Mission Accomplished, deja vu, while saving our eyes from Trump in a flight suit.

      And, Trump gets to show that all that collusion with Putin, whom he never met and doesn't know, is just a fantasy of the FBI.  Probably, now all those Russian investigations can be jettisoned, Or, just let the one that is really on the ball, the House Investigation continue and re-install Nunes, for good measure.

     Who knows, Trump's polls may go up, they can only go up. Just a few Syrian planes lost and some runway concrete chipped--and soon, once again, ready to go.  And, some Kabuki costumes were destroyed.

    Who knows, but that this entire affair.. (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by desertswine on Sat Apr 08, 2017 at 02:59:29 PM EST
    was the result of all that collusion with Putin.

    The interview (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Nemi on Sun Apr 09, 2017 at 03:50:24 PM EST
    with Hillary Clinton at the 2017 Women in the World Summit.

    Her speaking about Syria starts around the 41-42 min. mark, but the whole talk is worth listening to. At times her quick wit and sardonic sense of humour, is ahead of the audience, as when she talks about meeting with Putin and how he seems to be intimidated by strong women. Then adds "Though he did shake my hand." Only gradually does the audience get what she's hinting at. :)

    As for the future? Happy to announce, that those who hope -- even demand! -- that she'll just go away, sit down and be quiet will be sorely disappointed.

    why is the interviewer (none / 0) (#54)
    by linea on Sun Apr 09, 2017 at 04:11:30 PM EST
    at a women's summit male?

    perhaps she could pick a (progressive) single-topic to champion like al gore and global warming?


    OMG really? (none / 0) (#74)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 11, 2017 at 04:51:35 PM EST
    Why can't the interviewer be male?

    And he (none / 0) (#79)
    by Nemi on Wed Apr 12, 2017 at 06:34:01 AM EST
    actually did a good job. Very respectful -- even borderline admiring, heh. ;)

    What I had more of a problem with was Samantha Bee's introduction. It came off too much like a comedy routine, and much too self centered for my liking. If only Tina Brown had chosen to introduce Hillary Clinton herself, instead of 'out'troducing her, which she did brilliantly.

    Oh well, can't win them all. :)


    He didn't do what Hillary suggested (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 10, 2017 at 11:57:39 AM EST
    The airfield was not 'taken out' it was back in use within 24 hours.

    That said, I disagree with her on this, and always have. I think the situation in Syria is too complicated for us to be messing with militarily. Send humanitarian aid and take in refugees. that's it.

    The runway of the airport was not targeted (none / 0) (#59)
    by Green26 on Mon Apr 10, 2017 at 01:21:01 PM EST
    See photos in below links. Look at 4th photo in first link. It shows all of the targets and none were on the runway.

    "A U.S. defense official told CNN's Ryan Browne that 58 out of 59 of the Tomahawk missiles, "severely degraded or destroyed" their intended targets."



    "According to the satellite imagery released by an Israeli company, 58 out of the 59 Tomahawk missiles that the U.S. launched toward a Syrian airbase in Homs hit their target. 34 targets were completely destroyed while the rest were damaged."



    OK.... (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 10, 2017 at 02:14:26 PM EST
    None of that constitutes 'taking out' the airfield.

    The government should be (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by KeysDan on Tue Apr 11, 2017 at 12:26:17 PM EST
    run like a business: contract with United Airlines to forcibly remove Assad.

    That's the real problem... (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by unitron on Tue Apr 11, 2017 at 10:17:41 PM EST

    ...with the Middle East--It's overbooked.

    Provokes that feeling you get riding backwards ... (none / 0) (#1)
    by Erehwon on Fri Apr 07, 2017 at 12:36:53 AM EST
     Why stop at just "feeling" that when he and his cabal are actually taking the country backwards!

    Agreed, Jeralyn. (none / 0) (#2)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Apr 07, 2017 at 05:15:55 AM EST
    That said, what's done is done. NOW what is Trump going to do -- pursue regime change, as suggested by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson? Why risk a deeper escalation without any real sense of direction, purpose or objective?

    My understanding is this was taking out (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Apr 07, 2017 at 07:59:04 AM EST
    One military target and done. It was done to let Assad know if he uses chemical weapons we will cripple his ability to hold power. He has to find different solutions.

    I don't see what happened last night as a bad thing, and doing nothing can also lead to escalation and death for innocents.


    It's not a decision I would've made. (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Apr 07, 2017 at 07:32:35 PM EST
    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. -- 'Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.' -- Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood."
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), "Self-Reliance" (1841)

    Nevertheless, I do understand the military policy rationale for supporting the missile strike and further recognize that it was not a reckless decision in and of itself.

    What annoys me is all the current crowing by those Republicans who adamantly opposed Obama's proposal for limited military intervention in 2013, when the Assad regime's chemical weapons strikes in Damascus suburbs killed a few thousand civilians. Why is it the right call now, when it was the wrong call back then? Mercurial swings in foreign policy does not instill confidence in the system.

    One's support or opposition to a foreign policy proposal should not be predicated upon one's own party affiliation or that of the president. An otherwise right military call made for purely political reasons is ultimately the wrong call to make, because its success will almost surely be inordinately dependent upon luck and fate, rather than based upon any objective analysis and strategic needs assessment.

    As it stands, the missile strike is not a solution in and of itself, given that the core problem still exists after the smoke has cleared. ABC News is reporting that the Al Shaayrat air base hit last night is already operational, and Syrian jets are once again using it to conduct air strikes.

    So, the key question remains: Now what do we do?



    It's difficult (none / 0) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Apr 08, 2017 at 10:59:16 AM EST
    I think the decision itself isn't a bad one, but attached to a President with so many credibility issues? That is a factor too.  Assad is belligerently bombing the same area today. Not using chemical weapons, but likely killing people in order to be nothing but belligerent about Trump's action.

    With the credibility issues Trump has, has he halved any impact his military decisions could have made?


    I (none / 0) (#37)
    by FlJoe on Sat Apr 08, 2017 at 12:04:17 PM EST
    agree that the attack itself is rather boiler plate, though mostly symbolic strike. Lobing some Tomahawks at an offending government has been sort of the go to "sending a message" military option.

    The problem here, at least so far, is there seems to be no coherent message(unsurprisingly from this admin). Up until this latest atrocity Trump's team was pretty much washing their hands of stifling Assad's butchery.

    Maybe there will be some clarification in the coming days and weeks, but at this moment the message seems to be, slaughtering civilians with barrel bombs is ok but lay off the nerve gas.... please.

    I have little doubt that Hillary would have probably would have launched a very similar attack, but I think it would have been part of a more consistent policy. I am absolutely sure that if she was President she would at this moment be huddled in the situation room with her advisors not playing golf in Fl. I am absolutely sure that there would be fully staffed DoD and SD working 24/7 from the same playbook.

    Currently we have tRump playing golf, probably not even thinking about Syria, putting that off until he spools up the cable shows tonight and sees what wonderboy has to say when he finishes Shabbat. Sad.


    Obama used tomahawks to disable Libya (none / 0) (#45)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Apr 08, 2017 at 01:50:14 PM EST
    Air defense batteries. Trump could be really aggressive with just tomahawks and he wasn't. I agree this was mostly symbolic and not much for policy on board, but his administration has shunned experts. Anyone who could have really helped him flesh this out is unavailable to him.

    The president's many credibility issues ... (none / 0) (#41)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Apr 08, 2017 at 12:57:48 PM EST
    ... undoubtedly present an enormous problem for not just the administration, but also the entire country in general. For there may one day come a time of crisis when Trump will really and truly need everyone to rally behind him and his team.

    But that's going to be very difficult for him to accomplish, since his demonstrable and repulsive propensities toward lying, dissembling, cheating, vanity, xenophobia, bigotry, provocation and alienation have left him with both a 35% approval rating and very little if any residual good will amongst the American people -- save, of course, for his stubborn base of delusional supporters who somehow conflate his erratic and compulsive behavior with good leadership.

    In an increasingly divided and polarized nation, Trump has both sowed the seeds of discord and fanned the flames of resistance. Through his own actions, he has effectively rendered himself the president of American Republicans. But even among a not-insubstantial number of Republicans, the clear lack of trust in this president is palpable.

    And that's the sort of circumstances which can cripple the country's collective ability to act promptly and decisively, should the time ever come when we're required for our own sake to do so.



    I think Bannon is done Donald (none / 0) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Apr 08, 2017 at 03:25:58 PM EST
    Russia countered so swiftly, and all the experts Trump needs will not serve with Bannon in the White House. Doors shut over and over again after the election when skilled policy creators (both Conservative and Liberal) discovered this White House came with Bannon. He's done, he's over. His whole destroy the strength of the federal government has been destroyed too with Russia's swift counter moves. Bannon is kaput!

    I certainly hope so. We'll see. (none / 0) (#49)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Apr 09, 2017 at 03:08:18 AM EST
    Bannon's not gone yet, though, at least as of this moment. Even if he gets the boot, though, I think that Trump has done so much damage to his relationships and reputation, he's still going to find it very difficult to convince people of any real quality to serve in his administration. And there are still plenty of potential shoes left to drop in the Russia inquiries, he could be paralyzed by scandal before the summer's out.

    I think you are right (none / 0) (#55)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Apr 09, 2017 at 06:14:26 PM EST
    He's going to have a permanent problem filling administration positions.

    Plus, Putin is purportedly (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Fri Apr 07, 2017 at 08:40:00 AM EST
    pissed off. And oil stocks rose.

    It is disappointing though (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Apr 07, 2017 at 12:11:25 PM EST
    We can get Donald to grasp humanity's struggle as long as a tomahawk missile is attached somehow to the equation.

    Many lines were crossed that he can't outline or explain to the rest of us. The foundations of his foreign policy remain ephemeral.


    He's not mad...he's KGB :) (none / 0) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Apr 07, 2017 at 11:52:38 AM EST
    I spent a couple of hours last week trying to understand what a Chekist is.

    He has no great love for Syria though. And he's going to say anything and everything manipulative. He can't be angry with oil prices going up. That's his only cash cow like every oppressor on the planet.

    Someone explain to the Donald now how solar energy and wind energy keep beautiful little babies alive. And gives their killers less money to buy Sarin gas with.


    Agreed (none / 0) (#5)
    by Yman on Fri Apr 07, 2017 at 10:21:42 AM EST
    My only concern (a big one) is whether he had legal authority to do it and whether he even feels the need for such authority.    An unfettered Trump is a scary thought, particularly with the use of military force.

    No need for authority (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by smott on Fri Apr 07, 2017 at 06:52:02 PM EST
    This lunatic told RUSSIA before he told CONGRESS.

    We don't need no steenking authority.

    Also it seems they somehow avoided taking out the chem stockpile.

    And Syria is already using the airfield again.


    He had the authority to visit some tomahawks (none / 0) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Apr 07, 2017 at 04:24:05 PM EST
    On them. The 1,000 plus Maines in Raqqa, not so sure after 90 days.

    Obama blurred those lines though with Libya. And I'm not here to visit blame on Obama. He did what he could with the $hit sandwich he was given. There was no winning solution to Libya, but we had to hope at the time.

    AND Americans have largely lost their hope even  for their own children, we sold it all for a pocket full of rhetoric.

    I have no ultimate answer, just hoping for the next right thing.


    What authority do you think the President has, MT, (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Peter G on Fri Apr 07, 2017 at 08:40:18 PM EST
    to use the U.S. Armed Forces to attack a sovereign nation (no matter how evil) unilaterally? In my (perhaps limited) understanding, this is a classic "act of war" under both Constitutional and international law. Certainly, it does not come within any interpretation of the notoriously pliable 2001 AUMF, nor was the use of military force against a military target in Syria authorized either by Congress or by the U.N.  "Right" thing or "wrong" thing aside, where do you find lawful authorization?

    The war powers resolution allows (none / 0) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Apr 08, 2017 at 09:26:54 AM EST
    Trump to take military action without Congressional approval for 90 days.

    Actually, I think the War Powers Act says (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Peter G on Sat Apr 08, 2017 at 11:23:23 AM EST
    the opposite, because it declares that the President's power to introduce U.S. forces into hostilities exists only pursuant to a Congressional declaration of war, other statutory authorization, or in a "national emergency created by" an attack on the United States. 50 U.S.C. 1541(c). I can't see where any of those circumstances existed or exists with respect to Syria. Besides, the WPA itself states in section 1547(d)(2) that the WPA itself (a/k/a the War Powers Resolution) does not constitute authorization for the use of force that would not otherwise exist. It also requires advance consultation with Congress whenever "possible," which I would say it would have been here. So that also was violated. My take is that there would have to be some other authorization, and there is none that I know of. The notice and withdrawal requirements of the War Powers Act (see subsection 1544(b)) come into play in situations where presidential military action is authorized in one of those three circumstances; they do not give the president a 90-day law-free warmaking zone. The War Powers Act requires a written report to Congress within 48 hours of the use of military force, explaining what authorization the President claims, so I suppose we will see today what the White House has to say about this.

    It doesn't (none / 0) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Apr 08, 2017 at 11:33:14 AM EST
    And you know Presidents have used it exactly in this fashion over and over again. They've even gone beyond 90 days and never held accountable :)

    Settled law :) (none / 0) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Apr 08, 2017 at 11:36:18 AM EST
    But Conservatives can stop celebrating today because Russia has suspended its hotline communications with us now and sending a war ship to the eastern Mediterranean.

    Repeated practice without consequences (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Peter G on Sat Apr 08, 2017 at 12:00:29 PM EST
    is not "law," much less "settled law."  As we both know. ;).  The speed limit is not defined as the velocity at which you can travel without getting stopped, and it is certainly not defined as the velocity at which you have traveled in the past without getting stopped.

    Well the resolution allows a President 90 days (none / 0) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Apr 08, 2017 at 12:03:50 PM EST
    Without Congressional vote. That's a reality military families know by heart.

    Click the links I provided (none / 0) (#38)
    by Peter G on Sat Apr 08, 2017 at 12:19:33 PM EST
    The WPR/WPA actually says no such thing. What you think you "know by heart" is just not true unless one of those three pre-conditions exists. That's why recent administrations have claimed authority for their military actions not under the WPA itself but under the 2001 AUMF, which permits the President to use U.S. forces to attack al Queda and associated forces and entities responsible for the 9/11 attack.

    Peter, a link isn't going to stop (none / 0) (#39)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Apr 08, 2017 at 12:22:31 PM EST
    Anyone being deployed

    It's just not and it never has


    I never suggested otherwise (none / 0) (#42)
    by Peter G on Sat Apr 08, 2017 at 12:58:20 PM EST
    I'm just stating what I understand the legal restrictions to be. I did not express any opinion as to whether there would be consequences from disobeying those restrictions. I disagree with your statement, as a legal matter, that the President is authorized to do whatever he wants for up to 90 days. That is not what the WPA says.

    It would be nice if someone won this (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Apr 08, 2017 at 01:29:48 PM EST
    Legal argument in a meaningful way, until that happens the reality for the serving military is what it is.

    Any President can deploy forces (none / 0) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Apr 08, 2017 at 12:38:53 PM EST
    For 90 days before needing an AUMF. The existing AUMF does not hold sway over a new conflict. I am very careful what I emotionally invest in when it comes to war these days. Mostly because the Iraq War was so painful and I spent hours and hours reading different opinions about how that war was illegal, and just twisted up in pain and unable to help myself or others caught in its web. That was all just navel gazing tail chasing. It helped no one who needed help. I won't go there again. This country will always have a military and I have become invested in healing and supporting that. Everyone else who wants to fight for, change the legal parameters, GREAT! Do it! But the reality this minute, Trump can deploy everyone I know for 90 days and there isn't a damn thing anyone can do about it.

    Peter, you ought to remember what ... (none / 0) (#44)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Apr 08, 2017 at 01:40:54 PM EST
    ... President Andrew Jackson purportedly said of Chief Justice John Marshall, when the U.S. Supreme Court held in Worcester v. Georgia (1832) that the Cherokee people were a sovereign nation holding distinct powers, and were thus not subject to his stated policy of their forced expulsion from their ancestral homelands in southern Appalachia and subsequent removal to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). That ruling was pointedly ignored by Jackson, who rendered it effectively null and void because there was neither the will nor the capacity on anyone else's part to act against him on that basis.

    A law is only effective to the extent of both the people's willingness to comply with it, and the authorities' desire and capacity to enforce it. Absent that, and the law is but a jumble of sometimes well-intentioned words set to paper, not unlike the old statute we repealed out here in 1998 which proscribed the penalties for allowing one's horses and livestock to stampede through the streets of Honolulu.

    I would otherwise agree with your interpretation about the War Powers Act, were it not for the fact that few if any people in Congress or elsewhere are actually prepared to do anything regarding the actual enforcement of its provisions. Are either you or I willing to file a lawsuit in federal court to that effect? And do we have the political gravitas needed to convince Congress otherwise, as well? Because at this point, that's what it's going to take at a minimum to enforce the president's compliance.



    We disagree, I guess, about whether it matters (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by Peter G on Sat Apr 08, 2017 at 05:57:43 PM EST
    to acknowledge that certain governmental action is illegal, even if in practical terms there is nothing that anyone (other than a Congressional majority) can do about it. I understand Tracy's emotional unwillingness to "go there." But my investment is intellectual, not emotional, even though I had nieces and nephews who were directly involved in the same way as MT's husband and their friends. Politifact quotes experts claiming a couple of theories for legal autority, which I find wholly unconvincing. And I am not some sort of "legal realist" who would say that nothing is "legal" or "illegal" unless you can force the President to abide by it. But enough of this; I have stated my point of view. Others may disagree, of course. No need to keep repeating ourselves.

    Acknowledgment is the necessary first step. (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Apr 09, 2017 at 03:22:29 AM EST
    The question then becomes one of the means to enforcement, which is perhaps worth exploration and discussion. Do you think that an individual state has the legal standing necessary to bring an action, should Congress itself refuse to hold the president to account? I'd certainly be willing to approach our governor and state attorney general about it. They've already taken on the Trump administration over the proposed ban on Muslim immigration and travel to this country, and they won. Perhaps if several states banded together to demand enforcement of the War Powers Act, something can be done.

    In my professional opinion (none / 0) (#52)
    by Peter G on Sun Apr 09, 2017 at 01:01:05 PM EST
    No. Under Article III of the Constitution, the federal courts have limited powers, which do not include a roving portfolio to enjoin or condemn illegal or even unconstitutional actions of the other ("co-equal") branches of government. Just as when several members of Congress and others tried to sue to stop the Vietnam War, and in many analogous situations since, the Article III doctrines of "standing" and "political question" would prevent any successful court challenge. Hawaii and other states were successful (temporarily, at least) in blocking the Travel Ban Executive Orders only because the legally cognizable interests of the State (such as the academic freedom of their universities, and their own refugee resettlement programs) were unlawfully disrupted. Just as it was impossible to enjoin Obama's illegal drone strikes and Libya attack (which the ACLU also condemned on the same legal grounds, but did not sue to enjoin), it will be impossible to take court action against Tr*mp's action to deepen U.S. military involvement in the Syria mess.

    I think that is what it comes down to (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 10, 2017 at 11:53:58 AM EST
    I have been repeatedly frustrated in the last couple of months by people saying 'they can't do that', whatever the 'they' or the  'that' is on the particular day.

    Actually, it appears they can.


    Yes, same (none / 0) (#75)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 11, 2017 at 04:55:15 PM EST
    I see that the director of the ACLU's (none / 0) (#51)
    by Peter G on Sun Apr 09, 2017 at 12:38:17 PM EST
    National Security Project agrees with my legal analysis.  

    Yes. (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Apr 09, 2017 at 07:06:24 PM EST
    Thank you for that cogent analysis about standing in this matter. I wish you were wrong, but that's hardly likely. It is what it is. And that's why we need to organize politically and make an effort to flip Congress.

    Russia was notified (none / 0) (#6)
    by KeysDan on Fri Apr 07, 2017 at 10:54:52 AM EST
    in advance of the strike on the Syrian airfield, so that Russian personnel and materials could be moved out of the way. If the Russians did not let the Syrians in on the secret,  I have enough confidence in the Syrian's intelligence that they noticed, that after a phone call, all the Russians hurriedly left the area. And, maybe, not a bad idea for them, too. Could this all be Kabuki?

    First (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by FlJoe on Fri Apr 07, 2017 at 11:46:53 AM EST
    I agree with K Drum here
    It was precisely the kind of limited strike American presidents are addicted to when public opinion requires them to demonstrate anger over something or other, and it's precisely the language every president uses to describe them.....He's merely done the smallest, safest, most ordinary thing American presidents do in circumstances like this.

    However like you I am beginning to sense more then a hint of political theatre, perhaps orchestrated by Putin. A flashy showing of tRumps resolve with no real consequences for Assad much less Russia, with the added attraction of a much needed wag the dog diversion for tRump.

    I keep circling back to Assad's motive for using chemical weapons in the first place, try as I might I can not come up with a logical reason for Assad's actions, by most accounts he has been steadily gaining the upper hand in this war and the tRump administration had been signaling that they were more then willing to accept the status quo. IMO Assad had nothing to gain and everything to lose.

    If Assad truly launched this attack then it seems to me that he must have had at least tacit approval from the Russians, who were probably more then willing to face the mild and predictable blowback that in any case would fall mostly upon Assad rather then themselves.


    I suspect no theater (none / 0) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Apr 07, 2017 at 03:30:21 PM EST
    I suspect the Joint Chiefs.

    There is a line with using sarin and how it can easily escalate the generation of larger wars. That's the sad stuff those lunatics at the War College study. I prefer to study heirloom tomatoes.

    It has to be answered though. I know most of us don't like policing the planet, but it still falls to us on some days. It is a fate we were all born under and it will visit us from time to time.

    I don't like Trump. But this isn't a Trump thing for me. It is a study of how war grows and the office of the Presidency of the United States for me.


    I think I'm okay with little loss of life (none / 0) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Apr 07, 2017 at 03:21:13 PM EST
    And just loss of runways. Quit it Assad! We will destroy your capability and stand up to Russia. Quit it! I still think we have an unnamed number of Marines in Raqqa to prevent another Aleppo too.

    A US presidential transition is the perfect time for such atrocities.

    The use of sarin really can't go unanswered. And I don't think this is a Donald originating thought, this is a McMaster, Dunford, DOD nerds originating answer to what happened.

    The goal that I see is what the King of Jordan outlined, Syrians begin to be able to return to their homes. Assad must come up with different solutions.


    Confrontation (none / 0) (#20)
    by MKS on Fri Apr 07, 2017 at 05:22:23 PM EST
    with Russia is one potential risk.

    Trump did a 180 so quickly on this, and he is under tremendous pressure already for being too cozy with Putin; so I am concerned Trump could overreact.   His hitting Syria looks like an emotional response rather than a well thought out strategy.

    An upset Trump could send us into a major confrontation with Russia.  Trump is no JFK, does not do nuance, and will never back down, so our fate could be in the hands of Putin and how hard he decides to hit back.  

     Trump will always retaliate.  We have learned that.  That is the great danger here.

    This is how major wars start.  

    Also (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by FlJoe on Fri Apr 07, 2017 at 06:02:20 PM EST
    he appears to be getting a tongue bath from the media, and a least a modicum of praise from across much of the center of the political spectrum, here and abroad, no doubt that his favorables will tick up.

    Leave aside the right or wrong of this strike, if tRump gets it in his head that he can improve his ratings by bombing someone, it will only continue and probably escalate.


    So Far, Who Is For and Against Trump's Syria Move? (none / 0) (#25)
    by RickyJim on Fri Apr 07, 2017 at 08:34:35 PM EST
    For - Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Angela Merkel (anybody surprised?)

    Against - Bernie Sanders, Marine Le Pen, Milo Yiannopoulos, Rand Paul, Vlad Putin, Ann Coulter!!!  Ann says:

    Those who wanted us meddling in the Middle East voted for other candidates.  Trump campaigned on not getting involved in Mideast.  Said it always helps our enemies & creates more refugees. Then he saw a picture on TV.

    The alt right seems (none / 0) (#27)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Apr 07, 2017 at 09:49:21 PM EST
    Pretty infuriated with 45 over Syria

    Wouldn't it be something discovering (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 11, 2017 at 10:18:28 AM EST
    Most of "the posting/commenting" at right are just Russian bots and paid trolls?

    Here's a theory... (none / 0) (#61)
    by unitron on Mon Apr 10, 2017 at 11:15:05 PM EST
    Putin tells Assad that Trump needs a pretext to allow him to ejaculate some missiles, so they use chemical weapons to kill people they could just as easily have killed with explosive weapons, Trump shoots a bunch of missiles that turn some concrete into smaller pieces of concrete after Russia and Syria get enough lead time to move equipment and personnel out of harm's way, and Trump takes a victory lap while the airbase goes back to business as usual about a day or so later.

    Are some extreme left wingers also (3.00 / 2) (#62)
    by Green26 on Mon Apr 10, 2017 at 11:41:40 PM EST
    called "wingnuts"? Just curious.

    Just (none / 0) (#64)
    by FlJoe on Tue Apr 11, 2017 at 07:01:25 AM EST
    curious  Green, do you think Putin was merely an innocent bystander in all this? If not what are his motives?

    I agree that just giving tRump a win was not his main goal. I think he is playing a much longer game.


    Tell me what you mean by (none / 0) (#65)
    by Green26 on Tue Apr 11, 2017 at 07:56:38 AM EST
    "all of this", and I will try to answer your question.

    I (none / 0) (#66)
    by FlJoe on Tue Apr 11, 2017 at 08:01:24 AM EST
    am disappointed(though not surprised) that you so easily lose the thread. You were (mockingly) responding to a theory on Putin's involvement and possible motives in the chemical attack. I will ask again what's your theory?

    I know what the thread was about, but (none / 0) (#67)
    by Green26 on Tue Apr 11, 2017 at 08:56:56 AM EST
    I didn't know what you meant by "all of this". Don't blame me for asking what your vague statement referred to. Write more clearly and I won't have to ask the question.

    In the recent chemical attack:

    Either Putin/Russia knew or didn't know about the chemical weapons. If they knew Syria had them, then they were dishonest and complicit. If they didn't know, then they lacked competence. With Russia apparently having troops/people at that base, one would think that at least the Russians at the base would have known about the chemicals or been suspicious. Would that have gotten up to Putin, don't know.

    Did Russia know about the coming use of the chemicals? That's a tougher question. On one hand, would Assad use the chemicals without notifying the Russians in advance? Unless Syria was just incompetent or stupid, seems like they would have notified Russia. If they did, then Russia stood by and did nothing, or gave the nod to go ahead.

    Doesn't seem that Russia would give the nod to using chemicals. Would or should have known about the strong reaction from many in the world, but perhaps they thought the attack would go largely unnoticed.

    In any event, huge egg on Russia's face. I like how the US, Tillerson and Haley, are going after Russia with public words. They should.

    With the US apparently giving Russia a heads up in advance of the attack, it's interesting that Russia apparently must have just moved it's people out of the way (which I assume they did) and didn't turn on air defenses that were apparently there. Did they warn the Syrians. Don't know, and haven't read enough to see anything specific on that point. Even if they did, the Syrians couldn't move all of their stuff that got hit.

    The attack, the warning, and what occurred seemed to have worked out reasonably well in the circumstances, from where I sit. Attack made. Some facilities taken out. Big point made. No Russians killed. Don't know what the thinking was to not target the runway.

    I don't know where this goes from here, and certainly can't predict what Trump will do (on hardly anything), but I think I like what the US did. It is certainly giving the US a good opportunity to engage Russia publicly, and I assume also privately. Will be interesting to see what Tillerson can do this week.


    I seriously (none / 0) (#68)
    by FlJoe on Tue Apr 11, 2017 at 10:07:52 AM EST
    doubt that Putin would allow Assad to "throw egg on his face" or that Assad would even dare to do so. IMO Putin has a motive for causing/allowing this to happen. I don't think either of them would think no one would notice.

    I see absolutely no tactical, strategic or political reason for this attack which leads me to believe there must be a hidden motive.

    As far as the message tRump is sending, it still seems extremely muddled as it turns out our attack turned out to be a mere slap on the wrist(as planned?) and as you pointed out absolutely no one can predict what is coming next.

    As Unitron pointed out, allowing tRump to publically confront Russia is a feature not a bug for both sides.


    I pretty much agree with this NY Times (none / 0) (#70)
    by Green26 on Tue Apr 11, 2017 at 11:39:20 AM EST
    op-ed, although I don't pretend to know much about the details outlined in the piece. The US needs to take on Russia/Putin, and now has a good opportunity. We will see if Trump can step forward or not. The Russian interference issues could propel Trump to step up when he might not have otherwise done so. His stepping up would likely undercut the amount of criticism he has been getting. Plus, doing what the op-ed says is what many, including myself, have believed all along. Obama should have been doing much more too. In my view, he let Putin walk on him.



    Russia's (none / 0) (#72)
    by FlJoe on Tue Apr 11, 2017 at 02:57:12 PM EST
    malfeasance did not just start in the past week. tRump did not stand up to them during the campaign, the transition or the first two months of his presidency. Is there any wonder why Putin and his pal Assad kept ramping it up? Maybe now with the pressure rising tRump will do something only because he is being forced to. That is not leadership.

    Correct, Russia didn't just ramp it up (none / 0) (#73)
    by Green26 on Tue Apr 11, 2017 at 03:42:30 PM EST
    Russia was doing the ramping during the Obama years too.

    Correct (none / 0) (#76)
    by FlJoe on Tue Apr 11, 2017 at 05:10:55 PM EST
    and tRump chose to ignore it up until last week.

    Actually (none / 0) (#77)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Apr 11, 2017 at 08:01:23 PM EST
    Putin has been amassing power since George W. Bush. What was it that Bush said about him? Pooty Poot has a heart of gold or something?

    ha ha !! (none / 0) (#63)
    by linea on Mon Apr 10, 2017 at 11:59:59 PM EST
    shoots a bunch of missiles that turn some concrete into smaller pieces of concrete

    that's so funny! i love it!