Trump is escalating the wars in Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Yemen et al. Now President Trump has bombed a Syrian airfield and dropped the largest conventional bomb ever used (MOAB) in Afghanistan. Does anybody believe these actions will end the wars any sooner, or win more friends?
Consider the cost, replacing the missiles will cost more than one hundred million dollars. Who knows how much MOAB costs? Consider this fact, not counting what we spent supporting Bin Laden and other Mujaheddin to fight the Russians in Afghanistan, we’ve spent approximately $2800 in Afghanistan for every American man, woman and child since we invaded. Would we have been safer, and better off, if that money had been distributed to every American, or to the Afghans?
The forever wars’ cost is more than blood and treasure. An expensive consequence is that the perpetual wars weaken democracy and the rule of law. FLVCS believes America should be a model for the world in respect to the rule of law. Our respect and commitment to this principle is what could make America the ‘Shining City on the Hill’ and a model for others to follow. Instead, our leaders squander our goodwill with knee-jerk reactions like Trump’s response to a gas attack in Syria.
Although the spin is that the Assad Regime conducted the gas attack, the issue is not settled. We know that rebels have used gas numerous times in the past and perhaps they did this last time too. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-syria-crisis-un-idUSBRE94409Z20130505and http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/06/world/middleeast/syrian-rebels-may-have-used-sarin.html
The government should be certain before acting and follow the law. Trump’s knee-jerk reaction can be analogized to a prosecutor, who indicts, and convicts, a murderer after a hasty, slip-shod investigation only to find out later that the wrong person was punished while the murderer went free.
There are alternatives. Instead of military reactions to violations of international law like the gas attack in Syria, America should stand up for international law and punish the perpetrators appropriately. A good place to start would be to support the World Court so outlaws can be prosecuted.* Most importantly, we should follow the law ourselves.
The media, pundits, and politicians drumming for the forever wars assume that Trump had the legal right, and authority, to bomb Syria. He did not. He violated both the Constitution and International Law. Neither Congress nor the international community authorized Trump’s attack.
The question we should ask is: do we have a democracy or a Trumptocracy?
Yet, there is hope. Some representatives are speaking out and demanding debate and votes on war. Two of them, Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Rep. John Caramendi (D-Cal) have introduced H.R. 1666 that requires a debate on keeping troops in Afghanistan. Whether you believe troops should stay, or that we should pull them out, Congress should debate the issue.
Call your congressman and speak up. Here’s how: Dial 1-855-686-6927, after a series of prompts you’ll be connected to your Representative’s voice mail. You can then say: “I’m calling to ask you to sign on in support of House Resolution 1666 sponsored by Republican Walter Jones requiring Congress to debate the issue of keeping troops in Afghanistan. Thank you for taking my call.”
Note: if your representative’s mailbox is full, call the local office.
*The United States withdrew from the International Court of Justice compulsory jurisdiction in 1986 after the court ruled the United States’ covert war against Nicaragua violated international law.
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