Barbara Lee Warns President Not to Make a Move on Syria
Donald Trump said Tuesday he will soon make a decision on the future of American military forces in Syria. His administration has largely stayed out of the fray, with coalition forces conducting bombing raids against Islamic State positions but avoiding clashes with Bashar Assad's armed forces or their Iranian and Russian backers. National Security Advisor John Bolton promised the U.S. would deliver a counterattack that’s more severe than the two previous assaults authorized by Trump if the Syrian government used chemical weapons again. But this week Trump signaled the U.S. fight against the Islamic State group in Syria could soon end. “We’re very close to being finished with that job,” he said of the fight there against ISIS. “And then we’re going to make a determination as to what we’re going to do.” Making sure the froggy president doesn’t leap, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) and her colleagues sent a bipartisan letter POTUS45 urging him to consult with Congress before taking any additional military actions in Syria. The letter also calls on the president to recommit to finding a diplomatic solution. “We are deeply concerned by recent reports indicating that your administration is preparing to again strike Syria in the event of another chemical weapons attack,” wrote the members. “The Constitution gives the power to declare war to the U.S. Congress and only permits the President to act in self-defense, not simply to further perceived U.S. interests.” They go on to say, “Only a political and diplomatic solution can end the war and potentially avoid additional massive casualties.” Seventeen years ago, Lee cast a lonely vote against an ill-defined and open-ended authorization of the use of military force to respond to the September 11th attacks, warning then that the so-called Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists “AUMF” could be used by by future administrations to maintain unending warfare without constitutionally adequate approval from Congress. Her mission continues. Read the full letter here.