16 thoughts on “News/Politics 4-11-17

  1. HRW,

    “Reflecting on Trump’s actions in Syria; Trump informed the Russians prior to the attack so as to avoid accidentally bombing a Russian jet but he did not inform Congress until after the launch was attack. So not only does he not ask Congress’s permission, he informs a foreign government prior to informing Congress….”

    Yeah….. except that’s false. He informed the Russians 30 minutes before the launches, Congress knew before that.



    Trump did let Congress know of his plans to launch 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles Thursday evening, targeting the air base from which Syrian President Bashar Assad launched a chemical weapons attack earlier this week against his own people, killing more than 80 men, women and children. A White House official said more than two dozen members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, were briefed Thursday by White House and Cabinet officials. House Speaker Paul Ryan, the No. 3 U.S. official, said he was among those informed.”

    I realize you don’t like the guy, but there’s plenty of info out there on Google that shows your assertion is wrong. Don’t be intellectually lazy just because you dislike the guy and want to believe it. That may be acceptable in left leaning circles, but I’ll have to call you on it here. Sorry.

    Put in a little work next time. It wouldn’t have taken much.


  2. By the way, it also answers your first assertion about needing Congressional approval, as does this one.


    “In the wake of President Trump’s airstrikes against Syria, it is heartening to see so many voices in both parties rightly pointing out the constitutional requirement of congressional authorization for the U.S. to go to war. The reaction echoes the response of many members of Congress – as well as Trump himself – to President Obama’s proposal for a strike on Syria after Assad’s poison gas attack in the late summer of 2013.

    However, one important factor that these critics have omitted from their reactions is that the intervention arguably does not rise to the level of a war. It may thus pass constitutional muster – provided that it is not allowed to veer off into a full-scale armed conflict between the U.S. and Syria, a step that the president would need congressional assent to take.

    Make no mistake: the Constitution gives Congress, not the president, the power to initiate full-scale warfare. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution states, “The Congress shall have power…[t]o declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water.”

    The Constitution’s chief architects maintained this position in the years after it was ratified. James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution” and the Bill of Rights, insisted in a later correspondence with Alexander Hamilton that “the executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war.” Although Hamilton was generally a proponent of broad executive power, he nonetheless appeared to agree with Madison, writing in The Federalist #69 that the president’s powers are confined to “the direction of war when authorized or begun.”

    So what kind of military action constitutes a “war” for constitutional purposes? Well, there’s the rub: it can be fairly argued that a limited airstrike does not a war make. For example, George Mason University law professor Ilya Somin – as strong a defender of congressional war power as any other legal scholar – has conceded that “Some small-scale uses of force may not rise to the level of a war and therefore can be undertaken by the president alone under his authority as commander in chief of the armed forces.”


  3. AJ, Since we don’t want to be “intellectually lazy” and we would like to see those who post “put in a little work”, please tell us exactly the time when Congress was informed. Your article just said it was “Thursday evening”. That could have been before or after the Russians were informed.


  4. Ricky,

    “Your article just said it was “Thursday evening”. That could have been before or after the Russians were informed.”

    True, but irrelevant. Warning the Russians is necessary unfortunately. They have aircraft and resources in the strike area, so to avoid accidental confrontation and escalation with them, you give them a heads up.

    Congress is a different matter. Like it or not, the president has the power to do limited strikes without Congress declaring war, as past presidents actions have shown.

    While the timeline may prove a useful tool for political purposes like you and the left seek to use it, it’s irrelevant to the president and military. As it should be.


  5. Serious question (IOW, not trying to be argumentative): If another nation bombed an airfield in the U.S., would we not consider it an act of war?

    Also, here is a brief video by an angry Marine. Are his skeptical assertions (about Assad & the timing of the chemical attack) believable? Or is the timing he mentioned not correct?


  6. So I think we are in agreement. Although I seldom agree with HRW on anything other than Trump, I consider him to be one of the best informed and least intellectually lazy persons I communicate with on a regular basis.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Kizzie, Almost done with work so I am catching up. I think Old Spicey probably needs to go. I felt sorry for him when Trump made him lie about crowd size on his first day on the job, but he is now past reclamation.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for the vote of confidence.

    My comments last night were meant to highlight the deference he gave Putin over Congress. Whether he phoned Ryan first is immaterial. The least he could’ve done is call the house and senate intelligience committees. As Kizzie points out, 59 missiles is an act of war if you’re on the receiving end.

    Yes, he was obligated to warn the Russians. The need for the two powers to communicate their activities might have been a subtle warning to be more cautious in Syria.

    I read a bizarre interview in the Telegraph with Eric Trump. First I found it bizarre that his children are giving interviews on foreign policy esp the son who is supposedly independently running the family business. Then in the interview he gave credence to the theory his dad was trying to distance himself from Putin and even more bizarrely Eric claimed his sister Ivanka might have been the initial cause for the attack. Does anyone here feel the Trump presidency is beginning to resemble Third World nepotism.

    Thinking of excuses for the Trump afmin

    Liked by 1 person

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