Friday, April 7, 2017

Big Mistake

You've gone too far this time
And I'm dancing on the valentine
I tell you somebody's fooling around
With my chances on the danger line
--Duran Duran

Nearly four years ago citizen Donald Trump warned President Obama that bombing Syria without congressional approval would be a big mistake.

Last night President Donald Trump committed his own Big Mistake when he authorized a missile attack of several Syrian military installations in retaliation for the Assad regime's alleged use of chemical weapons to combat in-country rebels. Collateral damage included many women and children deaths due to poison gas.

Trump thus joins many decades of predecessors in engaging in war without the approval of Congress--a blatant violation of the Constitution.

Heinous crimes against humanity frequently provoke quick, reflexive response. Unfortunately, as we should have learned by our collective reaction to the 9/11 attacks, forcible overseas responses executed in the heat of the moment frequently have consequences well beyond the obvious.

As Senator Rand Paul observes, our founding ancestors understood this. Their intent was to slow it down--i.e., provoke deliberate, thoughtful foreign policy and, when military action is needed, careful debate and authorization by Congress.

Let's hope that the president will heed the calls of Rand Paul and others (e.g., here, here) to approach Congress for proper debate over the US role in Syria. Such action would mark a leader, and set a worthy presidential precedent.

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