‘Unlawful and Unconstitutional’: US Pols React to Syria Attack

teleSUR | 07 April, 2017

Several prominent U.S. politicians from across the political spectrum called President Trump’s unilateral attack on Syria Thursday “unlawful” and “unconstitutional.”

Prominent Republican Sen. Rand Paul was quick to respond to news of the attack suggesting it was unconstitutional, given that the U.S. “was not attacked” and Trump neither sought nor received congressional approval.

Paul’s Tweet found support from Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu, a veteran and member of the foreign affairs committee.

I agree w/ Sen @RandPaul. @POTUS can use military force in defense of US. But attacking regime requires congressional approval. https://twitter.com/RandPaul/status/850161484013481984 

Perhaps most interestingly, Democratic Sen.Tim Kaine — who was the vice presidential candidate for hawkish Hillary Clinton who herself called for an attack on Syria just hours before Thursday’s strike — explicitly called the attacks both “unlawful” and “unconstitutional.”

President waging military action against Syria without a vote of Congress? Unconstitutional.

Assad is a brutal dictator who must be held account for atrocities. But the President’s failure to seek congressional approval is unlawful

Unsurprisingly, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Trump’s attack was “the right thing to do.”

Democratic Rep. Barbara Boxer — who famously cast the lone dissenting vote against the war in Iraq — called Thursday’s missile strike an “act of war” which demanded a congressional debate.

This is an act of war. Congress needs to come back into session & hold a debate. Anything less is an abdication of our responsibility. https://twitter.com/cnn/status/850158440240599041 

Some of the strongest criticism came from Democratic Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who met with both Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this year hoping to calm tensions between the two nations.

Gabbard, a veteran who served in Iraq as a medic, said, “It angers and saddens me that President Trump has taken the advice of war hawks and escalated our illegal regime change war to overthrow the Syrian government.”

“This escalation is short-sighted and will lead to more dead civilians, more refugees, the strengthening of al-Qaida and other terrorists, and a possible nuclear war between the United States and Russia,” she concluded in her statement

Tea Party Republican Rep. Thomas Massie reminded the world that in past years Trump himself had suggested that any unilateral U.S. attack on Syria would be a “big mistake.”

 

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