Seeking Intellectual Honesty, Consistency & Principles on Syria
Last Thursday, our world changed once again when President Donald Trump instructed the military to launch 59 Tomahawk missiles into Syria, attacking a Syrian air-field. The bombing was met with praise from around the world including by the French President Francois Hollande and Germany Premier Angela Merkel. Over the weekend, things escalated quickly when Nikki Haley spoke about regime change in her interview with Jake Tapper.
During this escalation, it is amazing the lack of principles and consistency on both sides of the Atlantic. Let me explain why, starting with Europe.
Do you remember the abuse and flat out hatred that Europe had towards George Bush and America during his presidency, for Iraq and Afghanistan? I lived this first hand through the media reports and politicians calling him a war monger. They trashed America at every opportunity available. Do you remember all of the times that they said Bush was a criminal who violated international law?
What are the acceptable criteria to legally attack another nation?
- You have been attacked by a nation and you are responding to it.
- You have credible evidence that an attack is eminent on your country and you decide to do a pre-empted strike.
- An ally has been attacked and requests your help.
- An International law or norm has been violated and a case has been brought to the U.N. Security Council and they have voted and approved some action.
Iraq & Syria
When you look at the above international laws above, you will notice that Bush was branded a war criminal – even though America was responding to a terrorist attack and had a vote approved in the United Nations Security Council. Now, look at the above criteria and consider the attacks on Syria. So, how can European leaders be supportive of these attacks and be intellectually honest and consistent?
I strongly believe in freedom and revere America’s founding fathers and your Constitution, which means for my lifetime, I have been what you might call far-right. I love the spirit and meaning of your Constitution and truly believe they are divinely inspired. However, over the last 15 years it has taken a battering from both the “left” and “right” as so many either have forgotten or don’t care about the true meaning of it. We have seen this with efforts like the Patriot Act, expanding Medicare and most recently with the movement to repeal and replace Obamacare.
So under the Constitution, which body holds the power to declare war?
Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Constitution clearly states that the sole power of declaring war belongs to Congress.
Now if you look online or at the media reports, you will see one of the defenses for the attack on Syria is the War Powers Act of 1973. So let me address that by asking you a couple of questions?
Firstly, can you please name the documents that supersede the Constitution?
The legal answer is NOTHING supersedes the constitution. One of the biggest erosions of the Constitution has happened on the Supreme Court, where for over one hundred years you have witnessed arguments and rulings based on precedent or case law over what the actual Constitution says.
Can Congress delegate its powers to anyone else?
The legal answer is no. The Constitution in Article 1, Section 1 which states that Congress and only Congress has that ability.
So What? We Do Nothing?
I am sure some of you reading this are probably thinking I am a coward, or heartless towards those poor Syrian children or am even just anti-Trump, right? Well you would be wrong on all counts. I am just an individual who believes in both principles and your Constitution. I am also an individual who has spent his whole life living under the uncertainty of man’s law, which sucks and provides no security for anyone. I never want to see America travel this horrific road. So let me lay out the Constitutional answer to this…
The answer is this, take your time and form alliances both internally and internationally. Step one should be to get all the evidence possible to make a clear plan of action involved. Then, that plan of action draft should be submitted to Congress requesting their approval and respect for their final vote.
If you have a clear and concise plan coupled with the horrific evidence of these attacks, do you really think that you could not secure a positive vote?
While you are building the case within Congress, begin working on and implementing an international case? This world has been lacking in true leadership for a very long time, and the Obama/Clinton foreign policy did not work. However, due to their failures, it is time for some tough questions and evaluations to ensure the success of future policy while cleaning up the mess of the prior administration.
There is no doubt the U.S. had no leader for the past eight years, but is the solution now to go alone?
Above, I have put a link to video showing Nikki Haley speaking about possible regime change in Syria. This leads me to ask you two final questions.
- If you agree with getting rid of Assad, who exactly should we root for in Syria – who are the good guys?
- If you believe regime change is still in order, have you consider your recent history of regime change? The last successful one you completed was over 70 years ago with the cost of millions of lives.
I ask these questions not to insult or demean but to ensure that the appropriate questions are asked. We live in a crazy world where tyranny is growing between government(s) encroaching on individual liberties. We also have seen a major growth in terrorist groups around the world, with countries like North Korea and Iran building nuclear weapons. This simply makes the Middle East more unstable than ever.
We are living in a world that has no compass or direction. The only nation in the history of the world that has ever consistently put forward principles is America and I hope we can live in those days again. I still see America as the shining city on a hill, but it won’t stay that way if we don’t ask the right questions based around eternal principles.
Jonathon Dunne is an Irishman who loves America, the Constitution & Founding Fathers and spends his time highlight the many ways America is an exceptional nation. He has a weekly podcast featured on the Blaze which you can find by searching for Freedoms Disciple on Soundcloud, ITunes & Google Play. He is also a writer, public speaker and the CCO of Lanterns Buzz Radio Network.