If You Support Democracy and the Rule of Law, You Should Applaud If Trump Gets the Hell Out of Syria

Rep. Justin Amash: “U.S. forces should not be engaged in Syria…without legitimate military justification AND proper congressional authorization.”

by Robby Soave Reason Dec 19, 2018

On Wednesday, Donald Trump announced a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, which would bring a sudden and welcome end to American involvement in this particular open-ended Middle Eastern conflict. Everyone who values the rule of law and democratic governance should cheer this decision.

My colleague Nick Gillespie rightly praised Trump for “bringing soldiers home from unconstitutional wars that have no clear connection to national security.” Libertarian-leaning Rep. Justin Amash (R­–Mich.) tweeted his support as well, writing, “U.S. forces should not be engaged in Syria—or any country—without legitimate military justification AND proper congressional authorization.”

Not everyone is pleased. A predictable chorus of hawkish Republicans assailed Trump for making, in the words of perpetually bloodthirsty Sen. Lindsey Graham (R­–S.C.), a “huge Obama-like mistake.” (Barack Obama made many mistakes; one of the costliest, of course, was his disastrous intervention in Libya, which quickly became a haven for terrorists.) Sen. Marco Rubio (R–Fla.) lamented that pulling out too early would “haunt this administration and America for years to come.” But as Iraq and Afghanistan have shown, America is also haunted by doubling and tripling and quadrupling down on open-ended commitments that cost innocent lives and billions of dollars while doing nothing to fundamentally improve the war-torn Middle East.

But it’s not just hawkish Republicans who are uneasy about the drawdown; technocratic liberals, too, are wary. Thus this piece from Vox, “Trump is pulling all ground troops from Syria,” which is sub-headlined: “That could be a boon to Iran, ISIS, and Russia.” The article eventually gets around to conceding that “in a sense, Trump’s withdrawal move—if it happens—is somewhat defensible,” before immediately pivoting to “some experts, though, aren’t as sure.” That experts like war is unsurprising; the Washington, D.C. political establishment is relentlessly hawkish, and no doubt most of Trump’s advisers are attempting to talk him out of the withdrawal.

Many of Trump’s critics have been especially worried about the lasting damage he could inflict upon democracy and constitutional governance. These are legitimate fears—a president who tweets with some frequency about his desire to demolish cherished First Amendment norms is certainly a serious threat. But every now and then, the fact that Trump feels unconstrained by conventional politics is a boon for the rule of law. Norm-smashing is good if the norm in question—perpetual war—violates the Constitution, the rule of law, and democratic principle.

Open-ended military involvement in Syria is just such an example of a smash-worthy norm. U.S. troops arguably have justification to battle ISIS as part of the Bush-era war on terror, but Congress has not authorized regime change in Syria, or proxy battles with Iran, or any of the other objectives a permanent Syrian military presence is intended to achieve.

If such objectives are desirable, Congress can debate them, and vote to authorize military intervention. Importantly, the American people can hold their representatives accountable for these votes. To battle everyone, everywhere, without congressional authorization, in defiance of what the Constitution requires and what a war-weary public might desire, is foolhardy. It represents the worst of the bipartisan Bush-Obama elite foreign policy consensus. Trump should end it immediately, and all who fear capricious and unconstrained federal authority should—in this one specific case—applaud him.

In short, this is a clusterfuck. The president made a decision involving America’s troops and the parts of his administration most closely involved in executing that decision have no earthly idea what to do about it.Operation Enduring CF.jpg

4 thoughts on “If You Support Democracy and the Rule of Law, You Should Applaud If Trump Gets the Hell Out of Syria

  1. I’ve just done a whirlwind tour of you website and like it, consider myself a fellow traveller. I came here because of link on article about Syria and US troop pullout on Consortium News. I want to repost my comment from there to here. This may seem radical or foolish if one hasn’t studied it, but despite being quite a liberal I have become convinced of the veracity and overall good will of the ‘Q anon’ movement. It deserves serious research at the very least.
    My comment was just after yours O Society:

    I also commented on the blog of novelist Robert Gore a few weeks ago to a Caitlin Johnstone article, where vI gave a bit more of my understanding of the ‘Q anon’ phenomenon.:

    ‘Q’ has been posting on the forum ‘8-Chan’ since late October 2017. On literally over a 100 occasions Trump tweets replicate Q posts sometimes within minutes, often with exactly same typos. If this is just some hoaxer behind a lounge keyboard, then the POTUS is reading him!

    On the recent troops pullout from Syria, read Q’s posts which are easiest to follow on one of the websites that collates them such as http://www.qmap.pub

    With Korea, I was reading Q when it looked like war was on the cards. Q said not to worry, Trump’s war bluster talk was a smokescreen (to keep the Deep State on the back foot) for peace talks in the background. As it turned out Q was right. Q also said the ballistic missile alert coming into Hawaii mid-year that scared Hawaiians for half and hour and was later called a false alarm, was in fact a real missile fired by rogue submarine (CIA or Israeli were guesses of anons) from the sea near Korea as a pretext to start a major Korean War. It was blown up by good guys (satellite weapons?) and if you recall there was a boat of tourists north-west of Hawaii who saw the explosion high in the sky that got reported in Hawaiian local media but then story went nowhere.

    Seems to be legit. Amazing times – the world is like a giant spy novel of covert and proxy wars between sovereigntists in the militaries and some governments (Russia, Syria, Bolivia, Ecuador etc and now the US White House, places like Hungary and to some extent the new Italian government) and globalist NWO puppets/useful idiots.and globalist corporotocracy controlled agencies like the CIA and parts of MI-5/6 etc. and the ‘bought off/Operation Mockingbird’ mainstream media.


    1. My comment from ConsotiumNews article:

      December 21, 2018 at 8:15 pm
      Trump looks like he is really going to fulfil his campaign promise and bring the troops home from Syria. Mainstream media go apoplectic using the same talking points across scores of publications and Hollywood celebs chime in. See good Caitlin Johnstone article on Medium.

      For those of us following ‘Q anon’ – properly reading the posts by ‘Q’ who is allegedly a team of DIA military intel patriots closely associated with Trump – it is not the nutty right-wing racist conspiracy theory the media keeps saying it is. It is highly sophisticated and oriented towards inclusivity and peace and identifies globalist forces who control the media as the problem.

      So it might still be a made up thing – except for all the times Trump has confirmed Q in not-so-subtle tweets that replicate Q posts on 8-chan down to the same typos – or it might be a sophisticated PR campaign by Trump himself and clever people he has hired. Or, it may be legit and there is a covert civil war or at least high-stakes political struggle behind the scenes between American sovereigntists who call themselves ‘Patriots’ and American globalists aka the ‘Deep State’.

      ‘Q’ has implied ever since appearing in late October 2017 on 8-Chan, that the aim is to save the nation by forsaking the globalist empire. Trump’s rejection of the TTP, NAFTA, trade war fights, squabbles with NATO countries to pay their way, peace moves in Korea, and now withdrawal from Syria is actually in line with the plans outlined by ‘Q’ as well as in Trump’s campaign promises.

      My views of Trump keep shifting in a positive direction from very negative during the early 2016 campaign until I pinned some hope he would stick to his promises and avoid WW-III over Syria, whereas it seemed clear Hilary was taking orders perhaps from Saudis who gave her so many $millions as well as Wall Street to keep pushing regime change in Syria to the risk of WW-III.


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