Washington, DC. A revolt is brewing in the US Senate as a number are now coming forward and accusing the White House of being in violation of Federal Law, in their recent military strikes upon Syria. It seems the US has been killing and bombing for nearly two decades using a law only meant for those involved in the 911 attacks of 2001.
American Senator Tim Kaine, D-Va., on Wednesday sharply condemned U.S. strikes on Syrian regime forces, like the shoot-down of a military jet over the weekend as “completely illegal.”
“I think the military action that is being taken against Syrian government assets is completely illegal,” Kaine said in an interview with the American press today.
There have been four known instances of US forces firing on Syrian government targets in recent weeks, including the early April cruise missile strike in retaliation for the government’s use of chemical weapons.
This past weekend, a US Navy fighter shot down a Syrian warplane. The Pentagon says it has legal authority to act under the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), passed after the 9/11 attacks, which effectively permitted the invasion of Afghanistan and global efforts to stamp out al-Qaida. Both George W. Bush and Barack Obama cited that legislation as the legal justification for the global war on terrorism.
But Senator Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, bluntly disagreed with the Trump administration’s position. “The 2001 authorization said we can take action against the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks. Nobody claims that Syria was a perpetrator of 911, this is just godddamn madness. Nobody claims that they are connected to al-Qaida. In fact, they’re battling against al-Qaida in Syria,” Kaine countered. “So I think this is a completely unlawful use of power.”
Senator Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 running mate, also blamed “political cowardice” as a factor in congressional resistance to debating and voting to authorize the nearly three-year war on the so-called Islamic State, also known as ISIS, in places like Syria. “Part of this is, in my view, political cowardice not wanting to be on the record for a war vote,” Kaine said.
“We haven’t heard the Trump strategy about ISIS. We don’t have a strategy about Afghanistan. We’ve now taken action against the government of Syria and their military without a strategy about that,” Kaine said. “So we’re starting to worry about the 2001 authority just being used carte blanche all over the place by this administration, and I think that provides some additional impetus to get this right.