We elected President Trump because we want a president who follows the rule of law – So, why attack Syria?

I understand the president’s dismay at seeing death and destruction in Syria. Yes, photos of dead children and brutalized families break my heart, too.

president orders military strike against Syria.PNG
The question of the hour is this: What is our justification for attacking Syria?

Jus Ad Bellum (the right to war)

Just cause is the most important condition of Jus Ad Bellum. In this case, at what time and in what place did the Syrian government attack the United States of America or an ally with whom we have a mutual defense treaty?

The most common outcome for the aggressor country is “he who fires the first shot loses”. I point to these examples

  • The Civil War – the South fired the first shot at Fort Sumpter
  • WW1 – We usually attribute the genesis of this war to Germany, but it was actually a series of aggressive, unjust wars that included Austria’s attack on Serbia, and Germany’s aggression against France, Belgium, Russia, Luxembourg, England, Norway, Sweden, and finally the United States. Germany and Austria lost.
  • WW2 – Ditto Germany and Germany lost in even greater measure than after WW1.
  • Afghanistan – Russian aggression against Afghanistan was met by al Qaeda that the USA funded and armed. Russia lost first. The final outcome, though not apparent now, will be a huge loss by the USA. Look to 911 and subsequent radical Islamist attacks against us.
  • Iraq 1.0 – We handily won the first round when President George H. W. Bush ordered troops to defend Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, our strategic allies. (Oil was of vital importance to us at the time.) Saddam Hussein started it; we finished it. We won, the lost.
  • Iraq 2.0 – President Bush 43, at the behest of war hawks,  set out to depose Saddam Hussein and ‘liberate’ the Iraqi people. Whereas Christians and Jews were able to live and thrive in Iraq, today they are either dead or they fled the country. Did we win? We fired first and we lost. Big time.
  • Libya – Obama unlawfully attacked the Libyan government, deposed its ruler, and now radical Islamists control the country. Perhaps you have forgotten the Benghazi scandal. We fired first and we lost.
  • Syria – We fired first and you can already predict the outcome.

I wholly agree with Senator Rand Paul: Trump needs Congress to authorize military action in Syria

Article I, Section 8, enumerated powers of Congress number 10: To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water.

It’s impossible to fire upon and bomb a city without causing ‘collateral damage’, meaning the deaths and dismemberments of innocent civilians.

I pray for the president to be surrounded by wise, Godly counselors. Now I purpose to pray even more ardently for him to give heed to those wise and Godly counselors.

John White
Rockwall, Texas

5 thoughts on “We elected President Trump because we want a president who follows the rule of law – So, why attack Syria?

  1. I voted for President Trump for a number of reasons. One of those reasons was the people he looked to for advice. By all accounts he has chosen an excellent team for his cabinet. He has shown excellent judgement with his Supreme Court appointment. At some point those of us that voted for him have to trust his judgement and support his leadership. This doesn’t mean we blindly follow along but it does mean we present a united front to the opposition and when necessary we fight those that would harm us and our chosen leaders. We keep our differences private.

    Conservatives have a history of not presenting a unified front. One has only to consider the last few weeks of desention on AHCA, tax reform, investigations into wrong doing by Trump team, and a number of other republican circular firing squads, eg Nixon, Bush I, Bush II, Reagan, Trump, Sessions, Nunes, Bork, Thomas, Compare this to the unified front of the democrats who no matter what, an I mean this in the strictest terms, they defend their own, eg Hillary, Bill, Holden, Lynch, Rice, Kennedy, etc. Democrats will never allow one of their people to be taken down. Republicans take themselves down at the first sign of opposition. This must stop.

    Their are exceptions, eg President Trump, Trey Gowdy, Ted Cruz come to mind. They are warriors and they do not run from a fight. We need more of them. So the first reason I support the strike in Syria is that I trust the leaders we elected to office.

    I believe the United States should only interview in conflicts when our vital interests are at stake. What are these vital interests?
    1. National Security, (maintain borders, airspace, territory)
    2. Defending our allies, (Israel, UK, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, etc)
    3. Foreign trade
    4. Access to resources
    5. Safety of American citizens at home and abroad

    So where does Syria fit into our vital interests? Syria’s willingness to use weapons of mass destruction posses a threat to safety of Americans and our allies. If allowed to go unchallenged the use of these weapons will proliferate. North Korea and Iran are posed to threaten us with nuclear weapons, not to mention ISIS and other terrorist organizations. A tactical limited strike on Syria now might deter these rogue nations from seeking/ using these weapons. It certainly sends the message that President Trump is not afraid to take military actions when he feels it is necessary.

    In summary I support President Trump’s decision to send a limited missile strike into Syria because:
    1. I trust him and his advisers to make sound decisions that put American interests first.
    2. The use of weapons of mass destruction is a clear and present threat to the US and our allies.

    Dr. William Collins

    1. As always, thank you for your valuable perspective.

      With respect to Democrat present-day unity, it is the proclivity to blindly follow the leader that distinguishes Democrats from Republicans like me. I was a Harry Truman Democrat who voted for Democrats up until we elected Jimmy Carter to the presidency. I became a bona fide Republican when I voted for Ronald Reagan in the 1980 Republican primary election. Since that year, the only Democrats for whom I cast votes was my former congressman Ralph Hall, one of the Greatest Generation. The Democrats of yesteryear were generally solid Americans, as was Harry Truman. Contemporary Democrats are for all the things I oppose: abortion, the Bill of Rights, the right to life, and the rule of law.

      While we Republicans do form ‘circular firing squads’ from time to time, what characterizes contemporary Republicans is not very different than what characterized us before the Civil War. We hold our elected officeholders accountable. I firmly hold to the principles found in the Declaration of Independence, in particular, this nation was never designed nor intended to be an oligarchy, as is the Democrat Party, but a government of, by, and for the people. When my elected officeholders deviate from promised courses of action, I speak up.

      I have no direct line of communication with the President. But, I do have my blog, Twitter, Facebook, and email resources by which I have limited influence.

      President Trump made certain promises and future policy statements that inspired the many millions of us to vote for him to “drain the swamp” by fully repealing ObamaCare, avoiding nation building (my choice of words), cutting corporate taxes and securing our borders.

      As an amateur historian, the specter of re-engagement in middle east wars is unpalatable. I agree with your five points and you will surely agree his $75 million bombing mission over Syria fits no where on the list.

      As to WMD, they are nothing new in the middle east or elsewhere. One year ago this month of April 2017, WMD chemical stocks were discovered in abundance.

      If maltreatment of its citizens is sufficient reason to bomb another nation, then we will be in for global interventions that will absolutely break our fiscal back and easily trigger WW3.

      Let me take you to Uganda where, for the practicing witch doctors, human sacrifices are good for business – the humans in question are children. Surely this outrage will motivate President Trump to blow those evil witch doctors into the next life.

      Shall we visit the horrible concentration camps of North Korea where a very high percentage never come out alive? Do the hideous atrocities by Boko Haram warrant a good thrashing from our president?

      We felt sorry for those pitiless people of Afghanistan who were being treated poorly by the Russians. Subsequently, we gave al Qaeda sophisticated shoulder-fired missiles, lots of great weapons, lots of money, and lots of training. How was the kindness repaid? 911 and all-out global jihad against Christians, Jews, and even certain Muslims that don’t toe the jihadist line.

      We deposed three Muslim and one secular middle east rulers who actually protected Christian and Jewish minorities. Well, after taking out Ghadaffi in Libya, Hussein in Iraq, and Reza Pahlavi in Iran, how do Christians, secular Muslims, and Jews fare in those countries today?

      I also voted for Donald Trump and I have high expectations of him. He has the intelligence and the courage to push on.

      I don’t oppose him. I exercise my First Amendment right to freely express my opinions about government affairs and to petition governing officials for changes in policies.

      My history and practice is to speak frankly on the issues of governmental actions, praising what I see are good policy and decrying those that are not good policy.

      I agree that President Trump is fearless and I love it. If you are or were a pilot (I was), you would be familiar with the saying that there are old pilots and bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots.

      Thanks, again.

  2. Thanks for your response.

    Maybe I was not clear. It is not just finding WMDs but evidence of their use, i.e. Syria. Another reason for striking another country is evidence of developing WMDs and willingness to use them against us or our allies, i.e. Iran and North Korea. I am not interested in getting involved in countries that do nothing but fight unless they violate our vital interests. Nation building is not on my list of reasons. We need to take care of our country first and foremost and stop trying to be the worlds policeman.

    Concerning descent within the Republican Party… My mother used to tell us not to “air our dirty laundry in public” meaning we work out our problems behind closed doors and present a united front. My concern about circular firing squads has to do with republican leaders that Publicly attack other republican leaders, eg John McCain attacking Rand Paul, McCain attacking President Trump, Lindsey Gramm attacking Trump, etc. Such attacks play into the hands of the opposition, i.e. MSM, democrats and hurt our movement. If republicans were half as passionate about fighting back against the MSM and democrats as they are when fighting among themselves things would be very different in America. Party squabbling from our leaders needs to take place behind closed doors not in front of television cameras. I also fully support people like us doing everything in our power to hold our leaders accountable. When they are wrong we need to let them know we are displeased.

    I hope this makes my thinking more clear. You write very well. I enjoy reading your thoughts. Thanks for your efforts to make our country a better place to live.

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