Forget Ukraine. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) jetted off this week to the Middle East to address yet another new theory she says justifies President Trump’s ouster: he dared to withdraw American forces from our undeclared war in Syria. Clearly, this is an impeachable offense! Cowardly Republicans and NeverTrumpers cautiously stuck their wet fingers into the political winds to determine whether it’s time, yet again, to swell up like windsocks full of righteous hot air.
The anti-withdrawal winds blow fiercely within the putrid D.C. swamp. But in the rest of the country that pays for our foreign wars in blood and treasure, Americans want fewer (not more) of these Middle East crusades. “Even Republicans have joined the bipartisan condemnation,” MSNBC, CNN, and now even Fox News hosts cluck as turncoats showcase their disloyalty to the American voter.
House Republicans joined their Democratic counterparts to vote 354-60 to condemn the president. The only surprise is that there are still 60 members of the House willing to represent voters’ skepticism of endless wars. One of those exceptions in the Senate, Rand Paul (R-Ky.), prevented the upper chamber of Congress from adopting the House’s illogical resolution.
The concern isn’t simply the Kurds, who aided the U.S. effort to crush ISIS in Syria. Turkey, which is a NATO ally, currently hosts around 3.6 million Syrian refugees who fled their country’s civil war. “President Recep Tayyip Erdogan,” the New York Times reports, “is pushing a radical solution—resettling refugees in a swath of Syrian territory controlled by the United States and its Kurdish allies. If that does not happen, he is threatening to send a flood of Syrian migrants to Europe.” Stabilizing the home country of refugees to allow for their safe return? What a diabolical plan! Thank heavens our brave political class put a stop to it.
The Times also notes that “Erdogan was long seen as a champion for Syrian refugees.” Turkish voters, however, have had quite enough of them. “His tougher policy on them comes after his party suffered a humiliating defeat in the election for mayor of Istanbul in June, and as a deepening recession, soaring unemployment and inflation have stoked anti-Syrian feeling among Turks,” the Times adds.
Another wrinkle: the Kurds have been known to engage in terrorism against the Turks. So much so, in fact, that the United States and Turkey have designated the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as a terrorist organization. The Kurdish militia in Syria is an offshoot of the PKK. Yet Congress would insist on siding with the PKK over a NATO ally. They can’t be serious.
Nevertheless, the House piously voted to oppose “the decision to end certain United States efforts to prevent Turkish military operations against Syrian Kurdish forces in Northeast Syria.” Keep in mind, Congress never authorized the U.S. military to be present in Syria in the first place. Had Congress fulfilled its constitutional duty, it would be voting to censure the president for this and so many other unauthorized expeditions around the world.
The fact that the House would condemn the president’s decision to withdraw 1,000 U.S. troops when he had vowed to do so for months is both contrary to the constitutional roles designated to the two branches of government and an affront to good sense. Republicans in the House have joined a bipartisan resolution to undermine the president’s legitimate exercise of executive power to fulfill a campaign promise to the voters. The worst things Congress does are always bipartisan.
The House vote has been a huge success. Our chastised president will now use sanctions to prevent our ally, Turkey, from defending itself and creating a safe zone for Syrian refugees to return to their country of origin. Had Turkey succeeded, it might have brought order to the chaos that has characterized the region for years.
Trump ran, in part, on pulling America back from “foolish wars.” But elections in Turkey and the United States are irrelevant. The war is good for business and our “representatives” won’t let something as trivial as voter sentiment deter them.
It makes one wonder if the choice between Republican and Democrat in the next election even matters if Congress can unite so easily to oppose the will of the American people. These wars bleed American readiness and resources. It’s hard to see how our enemies do not benefit by an America bogged down all over the world.