Impeach for Peace – Trump’s bombing of Syria was an impeachable offense. Many people reading this may be irritated by this conclusion, but it is inescapable. Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the United States Constitution forbids presidents from committing acts of war without first getting congressional approval (unless there is an imminent threat to the United States). Everybody who saw the images of people being gassed in Syria are rightfully offended, and want justice. So it is natural to look the other way when Trump bombs Syria in response. But larger issues are intertwined with the decision to ignore Trump’s abuses of power. Let’s not forget Trump’s own words when Obama was considering airstrikes when Assad gassed his own people in 2013…
What will we get for bombing Syria besides more debt and a possible long term conflict? Obama needs Congressional approval.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2013
Trump could not have gotten away with dropping bombs in response to a similar gassing, had it occurred in Russia or China. You should ask yourself why that is. The simple answer is that it would have initiated a serious war. So why don’t people apply the same rule when Trump bombs Syria? For no other reason than Syria is not in a position to fight back. Apparently it is ‘kind of okay’ for an American president to commit a war crime, as long as it is against a less powerful country.
Many people may respond by saying that this is a technical analysis, but that the reality is that the right thing to do was to bomb Syria. Putting aside for a moment the argument that war is never the answer, what is the purpose of requiring a president to get approval from Congress before committing acts of war? And let’s not be confused, these types of actions can easily result in our being embroiled in a new war (if not with Syria directly, then with Russia or Iran).
There are many reasons to require a president to get approval from Congress. First off, presidents can be wrong. Let’s not forget how wrong the intelligence was regarding Iraq before the second Iraq war. Assuming the Assad government is responsible for the gassing, it still up for debate whether bombing that airbase was an intelligent move. Putting aside all of the innocent people working at that airbase who died, it has been reported that the airbase was also used in the fight against terrorism. If Trump had bothered to get consent from Congress, they would’ve had some input into the type of response. Perhaps a less violent and more effective response could have been discovered. Given the bipartisan support for Trump’s bombing, it doesn’t look like Trump would’ve had much difficulty quickly getting permission from Congress. And perhaps the final result would have been an action that was more effective, and less deadly.
In the long run, however, this failure to hold Trump to the Constitution may result in a much more frightening consequence in the years to come. This action, and our refusal to hold Trump accountable, will sets a new precedent that presidents are allowed commit acts of war against state actors (not just terrorists anymore), without getting approval from Congress. So, the next time Trump decides to bomb someone, congress will have already handed over the keys, and we may find ourselves in the middle of a major war.
So we call on everyone who reads this to send a Formal Impeachment Memorial to Congress to impeach Trump on the grounds of committing an act of war without first getting congressional approval.
Here’s a good article by the Atlantic on this issue.
-Impeach for Peace