President Trump and Secretary of Defense James Mattis are going after the Islamic State. As the terrorist organization falls to tatters and gets pushed back on every front, the United States hopes to finish them off.
Part of the reason we’re having success now is because of the improved rules of engagement. U.S. Marine Colonel Seth Folsom had some thoughts on them:
“I felt quite liberated because we had a clear mandate and there was no questioning that.”
Just over a year later, ISIS has been routed from Iraq and Syria with an ease and speed that’s surprised even the men and women who carried out the mission. Experts say it’s a prime example of a campaign promise kept. President Trump scrapped his predecessor’s rules of engagement, which critics say hamstrung the military, and let battlefield decisions be made by the generals in the theater, and not bureaucrats in Washington.
“I felt quite liberated because we had a clear mandate and there was no questioning that.”
Trump ignores Constitution and his own words by bombing Syria
After Trump launched a series of airstrikes against Syria without the Constitutionally required authorization from Congress—just as he did a year ago after his “advisor” Ivanka told him to do so—he sent a self-congratulatory tweet to his adoring followers and declared, “Mission Accomplished.”
A perfectly executed strike last night. Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 14, 2018
Despite the unwise reference to the phrase used by George W. Bush when he announced the end of combat operations in Iraq—we’re still there—Trump’s strike on Syria had little in common with Bush’s war because Congress authorized military action against Iraq. In reality, Trump’s actions have more in common with Obama’s war in Libya in that Obama didn’t have Congressional authority either.
Regardless of any perceived moral benefit from last week’s actions, Trump has once again ignored the Constitution in the name of political opportunism—a fact pointed out by a few voices in Congress (Notice the one-two punch by Amash when he nails Paul Ryan along with Trump).
I haven’t read France’s or Britain’s “Constitution,” but I’ve read ours and no where in it is Presidential authority to strike Syria.
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) April 14, 2018
These offensive strikes against Syria are unconstitutional, illegal, and reckless. The next speaker of the House must reclaim congressional war powers as prescribed in Article I of the Constitution. @SpeakerRyan has completely abdicated one of his most important responsibilities.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) April 14, 2018
The Constitution makes offensive military action without congressional approval unconstitutional. The War Powers Resolution is unnecessary but consistent in that regard. Don’t fall for the lie that the WPR grants authority for “limited” offensive action without approval. Thread: https://t.co/UOfe7JxiI3
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) April 14, 2018
Though motivated more by Trump’s nationalist/populist ideals than they are his unconstitutional actions, his worshipers in the media are also speaking out about the airstrikes against Syria.
FOX News Trump Pravda hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham slammed the Syrian attacks as inconsistent with promises made during Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Michael Savage tweeted that warmongers had hijacked the country.
We lost. War machine bombs syria. No evidence Assad did it. Sad warmongers hijacking our nation
— Michael Savage (@ASavageNation) April 14, 2018
And Trump sycophant Ann Coulter continued to regret her support of Trump by expressing her disagreement with his war against Syria in a series of retweets from conservatives and other voices like those below:
Nothing says "America First" like attacking without Congressional approval a far-away country that has historically not been regarded as a vital interest at the risk of severe escalation with Russia to punish a leader for maybe using chemical weapons in a jihadist-occupied town.
— Max Abrahms (@MaxAbrahms) April 13, 2018
Repeat of last year: Democratic senators raise procedural concerns and worry vaguely about a lack of "strategy," but don't actually object on the merits pic.twitter.com/MgL0tYMM6U
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) April 14, 2018
Attacking a foreign nation that has not attacked or threatened America is globalist interventionism.
This is not 'America First'. This is not what Trump was elected for.https://t.co/fPdJlIQaYz
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) April 13, 2018
Proof of Trump’s double-mindedness regarding Syria was also documented by DailyCaller.com in an article listing numerous past tweets by Trump opposing military action in Syria when Obama was president. Here are just a few:
We should stay the hell out of Syria, the "rebels" are just as bad as the current regime. WHAT WILL WE GET FOR OUR LIVES AND $ BILLIONS?ZERO
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 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
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 1, 2013
What I am saying is stay out of Syria.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2013
Trump’s narcissism and Constitutional ignorance are not only a threat to liberty here at home, but they’re now a threat to Americans and others around a destabilized world—a world that grows more destabilized and dangerous with every tweet he sends.
Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.
David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.
The Republican Party showed its true stripes and proved David Leach right all along
Over the recent years, the Republican Party told us that they needed control of the House. We gave them the House. Then they said we can’t do enough, we need the Senate. We gave them the Senate. Then they said we can’t do enough, we need the White House. We gave them the White House, even if it’s not the guy they really want. But now I turn on the cable news shows and they now say they just have a thin majority.
Can’t the Republican Party make some kind of stand for little “r” republicanism? Can’t it make a stand for conservatism? Can’t it make a statement for liberty and freedom? Can’t it make a statement for private property rights? Now it needs a greater majority that is basically mission impossible, especially in the Senate.
The Republicans overwhelmingly have decided to pass the omnibus bill which was put together by mostly progressive thinking lobbyists. Granted military spending will be increased but so will the Democrats beloved welfare programs which they have used to buy votes and gain more and more power. It will also fund Planned Parenthood which in spite of shining a light on shady dealings of fetal parts, getting abortions for underage girls under the table, or not really investing in pap smears or mammograms as it will continue to keep its bread and butter of pre-born baby murder going strong. I really believe that many politicians in both parties benefit from abortion due to the fact they seek constant sexual flings with just about any women who work under them as these young ladies try to move ahead in their careers.
The Democrat leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer (his pet projects will be funded) are so happy with this bill cause they know it’s only going to benefit Washington and the Democrat Party.
For all the faults Rand Paul has, including his support of Mitch McConnell’s last election campaign, I have to give him credit for speaking out against this current omnibus spending bill. It seems that if the Democrats want to spend more of the taxpayers’ money it is wrong. If the Republicans want to spend more money, than its OK…but it should not be OK.
Sadly conservatives who have not read Pastor Cary Gordon’s book A Storm A Message A Bottle http://cornerstoneworld.org/a_storm_a_message_a_bottle or watched his series of animated videos Five Steps to Political Epiphany. http://stepstopoliticalepiphany.com/ They will protest the election by sitting out the election, instead of using their write-in blank or third-party options since Duverger’s law forbids this. Meanwhile, President Trump might go down in history as the bigger spender than Barack Obama.
We can’t any longer tolerate any more excuses. Regardless if the Democratic left is in the majority or the minority they seem to have the power in the elected branches of government. They have the power in other areas of government no matter what. We can learn one thing from Bible Believing Christians when they start a new denomination when breaking away from a bigger one. They break away because the establishment in the old denomination they are breaking away from does not repent of their apostasy (while claiming new truths). They try and they try, but like the American Gladiator event Pyramid they just knock you down to the bottom time and again. The only thing you can do is to let them go their way and let the denomination implode as they try to prevent themselves from being corrupted. It proves Jesus that you can’t put new wine into old sheepskins. We must do the same thing and try to build a new political party that can replace the Republican Party. The Grand Old Party is not what it used to be.
Mr. President, you made a choice and that choice was to sign the bill and take what you can get. Conservatives like myself, Steve Deace and Mark Levin, would call this a betrayal of conservatism. Either you are naive and/or a fool about politics, or a true charlatan, or something in between. All I can say to you is only “proved” that Benjamin Wilhelm and David Leach correct, and it will show in this midterm election. You screwed the pooch just as the Republican Party elite has done many times before, and the Democrats wildest dreams are coming true. Your likely impeachment, single-party rule, making America a new Soviet Union or some kind of socialist experiment, and the Democrats desire to become Demi-Gods.
Your own words you said on TV so many times are coming back right at you like a boomerang…”You’re Fired.”
Tensions mounting in Syria, Turkey terrorizing Kurds
Just because the Syrian Civil War has been won, does not mean that it’s over. The Liberation of Aleppo paired with the Fall of the Islamic State is enough grounds for the Assad regime to clinch victory. While ISIS still troubles the desert, HTS, the latest rebranding of Al-Qaeda holds a dwindling amount of territory in Syria’s northeast. Without a overly significant ISIS presence, the Syrian Arab Army and its allies have focused their attention on HTS territory as well as terrorist held territory in the suburbs of Damascus. HTS, while not officially listed as a foreign terror organization, is the evolved version of the al-Nursa Front which is. This organization may have a more active ally in Turkey. After several months of deescalating, tensions are mounting in Syria.
Turkey has already seized territory in Syria as apart of Operation Euphrates Shield using the unofficial terror organization, the FSA (Free Syrian Army), as a front for doing so. Turkey has also been undergoing operations in North Idlib and West Aleppo, territory held by the HTS. Now Turkey has commenced Operation Olive Branch, a misleading name to put it bluntly. The primary target of Operation Olive Branch is the YPG. The YPG is a Kurdish paramilitary that was a large contributor to dismantling the Islamic State’s presence in the country. They are the primary forces in control of the Afrin region in Syria. On January 19th, Turkey launched Operation Olive branch after mounting forces along the region’s border. What began as bombings and shelling escalated into mini land grabs along Afrin’s border. Turkey has also upped its propaganda game.
Turkish Armed Forces airdrops anti-PKK / #YPG leaflets over #Afrin.
The leaflet read:
Our brothers in #Afrin;
Time to say stop terrorists,
Don't allow the terrorists use your children
Stay away from terrorists,
Afrin belongs to the people of Afrin, pic.twitter.com/ooypyUPkVH
— Cemal (@Acemal71) January 30, 2018
If this seems confusing allow this excerpt from TRTWorld to clear things up.
Afrin, in northwest Syria bordering Turkey, used to be a city with a population of 80,000. Taking advantage of the chaos caused by the civil war in Syria, the YPG took control of it in 2012. During the years of civil war, since there are no clashes in Afrin, its population increased up to 300,000. And finally, after the evacuation of Aleppo in December 2016, people fled to Afrin, increasing the population to around 750,000. Around 60 percent is Arabs, five percent on the Turkish border in the northwest of the city is Turkmen, and the rest are Kurds. Hundreds of its original residents, who could flee the YPG after 2012, are in Turkey.
Afrin is located between two strategic Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA)-held areas: Azaz and Idlib. The two FSA commanders who talked to TRT World, tell of the geographical importance of Afrin in these words: We need to connect two opposition areas to support each other. But using the road in Turkey along the border from Kilis to Reyhanlı takes five hours. If we drive directly from Azaz to Idlib through Tel Rifat, it would only take less than two hours.
That makes the Tel Rifat front of upmost importance to the operation.
Turkey is trying to win support for its jihadists put shifting the majority Arabs in the Afrin region against the Kurdish forces in control of the region. They are also trying to connect to of their FSA operations in two provinces. Since this operation has been launched, there are two losers: the SAA and the YPG. The SAA is having its territorial integrity violated by the uninvited Turkish forces and the YPG, and by extension Kurds, are the primary target and are at a apparent military disadvantage of the NATO power.
— Kurdistan 24 English (@K24English) January 30, 2018
TSK Engaging SAA
Turkish forces have deployed a convoy featuring armored vehicles into Syria to “facilitate a deescalation zone” but is also being escorted by HTS terrorists forces.
— Qalaat Al Mudiq (@QalaatAlMudiq) January 29, 2018
Mutual shelling still continue between Turkısh Army and Assad / Hezbollah regime
— Levent Kemal (@leventkemaI) January 29, 2018
Along the way, Russian and Syrian forces have targeted the convoy’s path. Tensions escalated to direct shelling between SAA and TSK. Meanwhile Russia is trying to balance its relationship with the Turkish regime. As of now the SAA and the Turkish controlled area north of Aleppo have held a peaceful border as Turkey just mainly wants to target Kurds. Russia and Syria have deescalated Turkish targeting to the east by taking Kurdish militias under their wing. Turkey has mostly been non-confrontational with pro-Assad forces, but this engagement could destabilize the other Turkish controlled regions in Syria.
The US has held a very weak response to Turkey’s newest rounds of aggression. President Trump and Ergodan has a phone call on the 24th over the Operation, but little has been done by Americans to combat the latest threat to stability. In fact, YPG fighters are concerned about their continued US support. Turkey could eventually pose a threat to US forces in the country. The US has forces in the Manbij region of Syria which is east of Turkish zone captured during Euphrates Shield. After Turkey is done attacking Kurds in Afrin, they could move east towards Iraq into Manbij. The forces their have stated their right to self defense against any incoming attack which makes the possibility of an intra-NATO skirmish all that more likely.
Kurds have reason to worry as Turkey has a brutal history of exterminating ethnicities they don’t like and a continued success at getting others not to address their atrocities. The Turkish regime is becoming increasingly Islamic and totalitarian. Turkey’s tactics appear to be performing land grabs extending to Iraq, but the implications of its Operation on the Syrian Civil War are more clouded. So whether this is muscle flexing against a Shia power or a more nefarious jihadist mission has yet to be determined. This could destabilize the entire country that has already spent several years in war and was just seeing the light at the end. Before this, the HTS was doomed to lose, paving the way for more formal peace talks. But now they have some new life with Operation Olive Branch.