Iran

Trump's Soleimani Strike Turns Democratic Hawks Into Doves and Republican Doves Into Hawks

Whether politicians care about congressional oversight seems to hinge on who is in power.

|

President Donald Trump's decision to carry out a targeted assassination of Iran's top military leader, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, has resurrected a much-needed debate about America's use of military power in the world. After two decades of occupying and bombing large swaths of the Middle East, most American politicians now treat war-making like any other government action: how they feel about it depends on who's in the White House, not who it hurts.

It was just nine years ago that the House of Representatives voted on a War Powers resolution to limit former President Barack Obama's military actions in Libya, which he pursued without congressional oversight. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.) announced yesterday that she would similarly move to rebuff Trump this week. (It's worth noting, however, that the resolution may be on hold in the wake of Iran's attack on two bases housing U.S. military personnel early on Wednesday.) Writing to House Democrats, she said that the resolution "reasserts Congress's long-established oversight responsibilities by mandating that if no further Congressional action is taken, the Administration's military hostilities with regard to Iran cease within 30 days."

Yet when it came to Obama, Pelosi departed from bipartisan consensus and voted in favor of military intervention without approval from Congress.

There are differences, of course, between the two conflicts. The White House wrote in 2011 that U.S. efforts in Libya "do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces, nor do they involve U.S. ground troops." That amounts to little more than semantics. The deposition and subsequent killing of Col. Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 sparked chaos in North Africa and the Libyan Civil War, which is still ongoing. (Obama would go on to call his failure to plan for that the "worst mistake" of his presidency.) 

In other words, the major difference between Gaddafi and Soleimani is Trump.

There is a long list of Republican culprits here, as well. The House GOP voted overwhelmingly in 2011 to admonish Obama for participating in NATO combat operations in Libya without congressional approval, despite the fact that Gaddafi had ordered the downing of Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988, which was flying from Frankfurt to Detroit and carrying both American civilians and American government officials. Republicans did not consider that fact—nor Gaddafi's slaughter of Libyan civilians during a popular uprising in 2011—justification enough for waging war without congressional consent. Yet, conservatives thus far have overwhelmingly supported the assassination of Soleimani.

"As a father, this isn't complicated: The United States took out an evil terrorist who killed thousands of people so he couldn't kill more people," Rep. Steve Scalise (R–La.), the second-ranking member of the House's Republican minority, tweeted. "Amazing how many on the far left will cover for a terrorist rather than give credit to @realDonaldTrump." 

Did Scalise vote to rein in Obama's military interference in Libya in 2011? Reader, he did. 

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R–Calif.) placed some blame on Adam Schiff (D–Calif.), the head of the House Intelligence Committee, telling Fox and Friends that, had the congressman not been so focused on impeachment, he might've been able to protect the U.S. from Iranian aggression. "The world is safer today because this president took action," McCarthy said. "I don't think it's a place for them to play politics."

McCarthy also voted with the majority of his Republican colleagues in 2011 to admonish Obama for waging war without congressional approval. 

Speaking of Schiff: the Democrat recently called for open hearings on Trump's airstrike. "The president has put us on a path where we may be at war with Iran," he told The Washington Post. "That requires the Congress to fully engage."

Schiff sided with the Obama administration in 2011.

Are you sensing a pattern here?

While ideological inconsistency is the norm, there are a few notable exceptions. Just 10 House Republicans sided with Obama in 2011. Of that cohort, only two are still serving: Reps. Louie Gohmert (R–Texas) and David Schweikert (R–Ariz.). Neither member has released a statement in response to Trump's actions.

Forty-five House Democrats in 2011 voted against their party and in favor of constitutionality, pushing back against Obama's lack of restraint in Libya. That resolution, although it was non-binding, declared "that the President shall not deploy, establish, or maintain the presence of units and members of the United States Armed Forces on the ground in Libya." It also requested that Obama give Congress more information on the administration's military objectives and provide lawmakers with reasons for why the president chose to circumvent them.

Rep. Dave Lipinski (D–Ill.), a pro-life Democrat, formally expressed his desire for congressional oversight and will likely do so again in this week's vote. Reps. Dave Loebsack (D–Iowa), Paul Tonko (D–N.Y.), and Peter DeFazio (D–Ore.) also voted to constrain Obama's actions in Libya. DeFazio told the East Oregonian this week that "there is still time to stop this risky escalation, but Congress must assert its constitutionally-granted war powers immediately to do so."

Rep. Justin Amash (I–Mich.), a Republican in 2011 and now an independent, is also expected to vote with most Democrats.

"When a president engages in war without congressional authorization and Congress does nothing to stop him, the two branches cut the American people out of the process, in violation of our Constitution's design," he tweeted. "This undermines both the liberty and the safety of the people."

NEXT: #TwitterLaw IRL @ #AALS2020

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Speaking of Schiff: the Democrat recently called for open hearings on Trump’s airstrike.

    Well, OK — but the FBI has to investigate his call for hearings.

    1. Gonna give Orange Man a public victory lap?

      These people really are too far gone for their own good.

      1. Getting curb-stomped in the culture war by their betters (or “these people,” in deplorable-talk) has made many clingers cranky and quite dopey.

        Carry on, ThomasD . . . until the day of your replacement.

        1. Try something different other than your list of 6 canned responses, NPC Hicklib.

          For instance, try demonstrating that you have a single clue about the political complexities of the Middle Eastern region. Square = Circle can educate your dumb ass if you don’t actually know what’s going on there.

          1. Unfortunately, Kirkland isn’t the only one here blind to even the existence of political complexities in foreign policy.
            It’s a bit of a blindspot for libertarians, not to mention NPC hicklibs

    2. Killing Salamy in 2020 is like killing Hitler in 1938. Both would be a good thing for humanity.

  2. I have no love for Team D (or Team R, for that matter), but I would like to see Congress more involved here. I have no quarrel with POTUS Trump authorizing the killing of the militia leader who was responsible for attacking our embassy. Soleimani was just an added bonus. And golly gee, there were 4 other IRGC generals there also.

    But here we have a country directly attacking our forces. This is a little different now. The Congress decides whether we go to war or not. Bush (both of them) went to Congress and received authorization. I personally think POTUS Trump should do the same, if he intends to attack Iran directly. My gut tells me that a POTUS probably has enough leeway for 2-3 ‘tit for tat’ incidents, but after that – make your case.

    1. Pretty much that. If Trump wants to invade Iran or engage in some kind of sustained air campaign, he should go to Congress. He hasn’t as of yet done that. He did one strike in Iraq against the people who attacked our embassy.

      And let’s not forget Obama never went to Congress for authorization to bomb Libya for weeks and kill its leader. That was not a “war” but a “kinetic military action”. That is what he actually claimed.

      1. Well, keep in mind that Obama, at the time the self-acknowledged Smartest Man In The World, humbly admitted that his failure to plan for what might possibly come next was the biggest mistake of his Presidency. Donald Trump is being pre-emptively slammed for his failure to plan ahead despite the complete lack of evidence that he has in fact failed to plan ahead, so it’s not quite the same thing.

        (I would suggest that Trump’s securing of an “imminent threat” finding by the IC to head off a charge of unilateral Obamism is a pretty damn good indication that he did in fact plan ahead. I’m pretty sure the “imminent threat” thing is utter bullshit just like most of the rest of the IC’s bullshit, but it is a plausible CYA excuse.)

        1. It is not feasible or advisable to expect the President to litigate every decision to defend US interests before Congress. A single air strike is not a war and is something well within the President’s power as Commander and Chief. If you disagree with that strike, the solution is to get a new President not decide the President must get permission from Congress before doing anything.

          1. How many wars started with “a single strike?”

            I’m not saying that this strike will cause a war or anything, just saying that Congress’ power to declare war is kinda pointless if the president can start one by killing whomever he wants, so long as it isn’t “war.”

            1. Congress already gave their version of a DoW, the AUMF.

              The droning was done inside Iraq which is a US war zone.

              Go back to hitting that bottle. It will take all your problems away.

              1. For someone who supposedly loves the constitution, you don’t seem to give a shit when it’s ignored so long as your guy is doing the ignoring.

                1. Poor sarcasmic. I think the AUMF is a shitty DoW as it has no end date or end specifically stated, but the US Constitution does not specify.

                  Congress gave their approval in the AUMF and that is good enough.

                  Notice your “outrage” does not include repealing the AUMF.

                  1. Here is the 2001 AUMF:

                    That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

                    Here is the 2002 AUMF:
                    —The President is authorized to use the
                    Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary
                    and appropriate in order to—
                    (1) defend the national security of the United States against
                    the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and
                    (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council
                    resolutions regarding Iraq.

                    Which one does this current action fall under?

                    1. 2002 shithead. Weve been over this. The actions of Soleimani were occurring in iraq. Honestly you cant be this willingly ignorant.

                    2. It falls under the War Powers Resolution as well. The troops are in Iraq under authorization from Congress in accordance with the War Powers Resolution. Iraq is a designated war zone under the War Powers Act. The strike took place in Iraq, so the troops weren’t redeployed to a new location…they were addressing an imminent threat within a current, recognized war zone.

                      Your argument would essentially be that the President has to go and consult Congress every time he undertakes any military operation within a current recognized war zone, in which troops were already authorized by Congress, which has never been the case. So yeah, try again.

                    3. So Soleimani represents a “continuing threat posed by Iraq”?

                    4. Is it your contention that Suleimani didn’t control Iraqi Shiite militias who have been continuously attacking US troops?

                    5. So Soleimani represents a “continuing threat posed by Iraq”?

                      Not anymore.

                  2. Poor sarcasmic and Jeffey. They need replies to sock trolling real bad.

                    1. Says the guy who replies to every comment in hopes that he’ll be noticed. Yeah. Loser.

                    2. You know you drone the right person and say things that hurt when folks like sarcasmic follow you around on here and put you on journoLISTs.

                    3. I don’t know what your last comment even means. Care to translate it from troll to English?

                    4. See? He follows me around.

                2. sarcasmic….what part of the AUMFs are unconstitutional? Where is the constitutional violation? Please name it.

                  1. You’ve got the burden of proof backwards.

                    The Constitution outlines specific powers to different branches of government. The burden of proof is on those who say the government has the power to do something, not the other way around.

                    Unless you think the government has power only limited by the specific constraints put upon it by, say, the Bill of Rights. If so that is very progressive of you.

                    The title of this article was very apt. People throw their principles away when it’s convenient for their tribe.

                    1. Wait….hold on a sec. I stated the legal and constitutional authorization comes from the AUMFs passed by Congress. Do you dispute that?

                    2. Lots of things are passed by Congress that have no Constitutional justification. Are you appealing to authority?

                    3. “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.”
                      ― James Madison

                      Well sarc can’t lay his finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to delegate it’s powers to the executive branch.

                    4. …which granted Congress a right…

                      oops

                    5. Lots of things are passed by Congress that have no Constitutional justification.

                      And what U.S. court ruled that the AUMF was unconstitutional?

                    6. And what U.S. court ruled that the AUMF was unconstitutional?

                      We’re talking about the same courts that have ruled that “Shall not be Infringed” means “Shall be infringed whenever it’s convenient,” right?

                      Why are you appealing to authority instead of telling me which part of the constitution grants that power to Congress?

                    7. Seems that limited government means “limited except when my tribe is in control.”

                    8. And what U.S. court ruled that the AUMF was unconstitutional?

                      You’ve got the burden of proof backwards. It is exactly as the Founders feared. Instead of a charter of limited powers, the Constitution has become a charter of power limited by the Bill of Rights in a half-assed way, and otherwise leaving the government empowered to do anything anyone with power wants.

                    9. Yo sarcasmic. C’mon bro. You have no leg to stand on. The killing of the militia leader was legal and constitutional. And hey, the POTUS even held out an olive branch for Iran in his comments this morning.

                    10. Legal, yes. Constitutional? I’m not so sure. But so much of what government does is not authorized by the Constitution that it’s hard to tell.

                      Like I said, the burden of proof has been reversed. “What part of the Constitution authorizes this” has been turned into “What part of the Constitution says we can’t.”

                      Similar to how “This is a free country, fuck off” has been turned into “Who gave you permission or orders? I’m reporting you.”

      2. I’d be good with a ‘tat’ from POTUS Trump to the missile attack by Iran last evening. Maybe something on Iran’s oil export infrastructure where there is minimal (1 or 2) to no loss of life (much preferred) and a real bellyache for Iran to rebuild.

        Could we take out the launch sites as a ‘tat’? Yes, but at loss of life.

        I just hope there were no US (or Iraqi) casualties.

        1. No need for even that. The iranian response was pure bluster with no intent to actual cause damage. They wanted the PR shot which Democrats and Jeffrey ( I repeat myself ) happily obliged in. MSNBC even aired iranian propaganda stating 80 deaths from the attacks.

          The bases chosen were remote operating posts, far range, and not housing as many troops as other bases. The missiles chosen are easily tracked and countered and the long range helps in shooting down both.

          The damage was intentionally minimal.

          No tat even needed here. It was a show retaliation.

          1. I am not so sure about that = No tat even needed here

            Why? Because you will set a precedent that we will fail to respond when a country directly attacks our troops and unambiguously claims it. Note…I am not saying it is an easy call to respond/not respond. BTW, I don’t think this is over yet.

            1. I wouldn’t make that much of a stink over it. Like Jesse pointed out, if the Iranians really wanted to cause maximum damage, they could have done so. So far, it appears the only casualties that may have actually happened are Iraqi soldiers on the same base, and even that’s questionable.

              They did the same sort of propaganda about their air strike here that they did during their no-kidding war with Iraq–every newscast had claims of laughably high numbers of enemy killed, even if the Iranians actually got their asses kicked that particular day.

              This was all a means for them to regain face and claim they hit back against the Great Satan. If they legitimately wanted this to escalate to a larger conflict, they would have done more than this piddly shit they did last night.

              1. Red, if we refrain from responding here, then what are the rules to refrain in the future?

                Or, are there really no rules, per se, and it is totally the discretion of the POTUS?

                1. I’m not really sure what kind of response you’re envisioning here that would be appropriate. Obama did stuff with “red lines” that he never followed through on; Trump just pasted the general that attacked our embassy and had been responsible for killing at least 600 Americans and maiming hundreds more.

                  I think a lot of people are losing sight of the big picture here that this is mostly just saber-rattling.

                  1. Well in this instance, an appropriate military response in my mind would be to destroy the launchers in Iran that fired the missiles. The POTUS seems content with levying more sanctions and inviting NATO to shoulder more of the load.

                    1. It’s the correct response.
                      Iran’s attack was as close to an admission of defeat as they were going to get at this point, and their communications indicated they desire detente and are open to talks now

                    2. I disagree. Launching strikes on Iranian soil, considering what their provocation consisted of, is the very thing that *would* spark a larger conflict.

                      This is a scenario where, Iran is the equivalent of a shithead in a bar repeatedly poking the US in the chest and saying they fucked his mother, finally getting slapped in the mouth after shoving the US, drunkenly throwing a bottle at the US’s head and missing as the US walks off, and muttering “yeah, you better leave” under their breath.

                2. Trumps prior red line was the death of US citizens or service members. He called off prior attacks that did not result in death. I’m fine with that as his retaliatory line.

                  The fact that iran muted their response to propaganda shows they already know they cant win.

                  1. Nobody can win.

                    The United States, for example, hasn’t won a war in roughly three-quarters of a century. Instead, we have settled for a series of vague draws with ragtag irregulars throughout the globe (despite the staggering resource advantages provided to our military by American taxpayers).

      3. Let’s also not forget that the attack on the embassy was less than a week ago. Lockerbie was over TWENTY years before Obama did anything…and in a move that insures disarmament is literally impossible to ever occur.

        Do I want Trump to go further? Fuck no. But I will not waste a tear over this shitstain dying.

    2. By wanting to see congress more involved, you mean that AOC, Pelosi, Schumer, Hank Johnson, Sheila Lee Jackson…having them oversee things would be awesome? Really?

  3. I don’t think you have to be hawk to say the US has a right to defend itself after its embassy is attacked. We killed the commander who was responsible for the attack. There is no reason to do anymore. And it appears that we won’t. I don’t think Iran’s symbolic missile attack on Iraqi dirt yesterday changes that.

    1. Even after Pearl Harbor was attacked, Congress acted swiftly to declare war.

      Defense against an imminent attack (or one that is in progress already) are obviously fair game for military engagement. Retaliatory strikes after the fact should be acted on by Congress. Period.

      1. Retaliatory strikes after the fact should be acted on by Congress. Period.

        That is not what the Constitution says nor has it ever been interpreted to say that by any Congress, President or court. You are pulling that out of your ass because Orange Man bad.

        Congress acted swiftly but not immediately. By your argument the military had to stand down and engage in only defensive operations until Congress declared war. That is self evidently stupid and not what the Constitution means or has ever been held to mean.

        1. Gee, John, maybe people who are skeptical of the power of the state, and especially skeptical of the state’s war-making powers, would want to circumscribe the power of the state to make war as narrowly as possible, regardless of which asshole is in charge. Just maybe this isn’t Orange Man Bad but in fact a consistently skeptical position that antiwar types have had for years now.

          1. Pretty cocky to assume that you speak for those people given yoir love of the state.

            1. You have nothing but angry bitter whataboutism.

              1. What did you claim insults meant again yesterday?

                1. In Skippy’s case it’s not an insult. It’s bitter angry whataboutism. Plus, his deranged insistence that I”m some sort of Obama cultist.

                  1. Poor Pigeon. I’d hardly call you an Obama cultist. You’re a dedicated progressive and we all know that the figureheads are disposable.

                    1. You’re a dedicated progressive

                      SPECIFICALLY, why do you think I’m a “dedicated progressive”?

                    2. Asked and answered. Multiple times.

                    3. No, you just continually say it over and over again as a slur and insult, but you never actually say why it is you think I’m a “dedicated progressive”.

                      I don’t support Green New Deal, I don’t support Medicare for All, I don’t support free college, I don’t support expanding the welfare state, I don’t support higher taxes, I don’t support hating on ‘millionaires and billionaires’.

                      I support criminal justice reform, but from a libertarian perspective. I support ending the death penalty, but again from a libertarian perspective.

                      What’s the “dedicated progressive” angle here then?

                    4. Here’s the real reason why you call me a “dedicated progressive”: because I”m not as hard on Team Blue as you think I ought to be. Sure I don’t support their policies, but I don’t hate them with the white-hot fury of a thousand suns like you do, therefore I’m a LOL PROGRESSIVE just like them! I don’t see them as the Stalinist threat that they “clearly” are so I’m just as bad as they are themselves! Isn’t that it, Skippy?

                    5. I call you a dedicated progressive because the ends always justify the means for you. You literally admit that on this same page. That has been explained to you multiple times but in the schrodinger’s cat version of principles/no-principles which somehow inhabits your skull you can’t understand basic logic and reasoning. Again proving your progressive bona fides.

                    6. So in your world, being a “dedicated progressive” means believing that the ends justify the means. I get it now. Where did you get this definition of “progressive”?

                    7. He’s a dedicated progressive.

                      You’re a half-educated bigot and to-be-replaced, anti-social, disaffected culture war casualty.

                      Everyone has problems.

              2. Truth hurts, jeffy. The first step to healing is admitting you have a problem.

                1. Okay Skippy. Why don’t you try to tell us all what you think my “problem” is. Without projecting some bullshit stereotype or caricature onto me.

                  1. I already have, jeffy. Your continued bad faith pretense that I haven’t just illustrates it.

                    1. No you haven’t. You’ve projected caricatures and engaged in whataboutism.

                    2. Truth hurts, jeffy.

          2. Or maybe you are just a fucking moron who has never made an honest or intelligent point in his life? I am going with that.

            The facts and the law are what they are. You have nothing to add here and are too stupid and pig headed to ever learn anything or get any smarter.

            1. Then the law is too permissive of state power and ought to change.

              Leo is right. If the executive wants to do anything more than defend itself, then it should get Congressional approval.

              1. They did. The aumf and war powers act. Why must her go round and round.

          3. “regardless of which asshole is in charge.”

            That would require principles, of which our partisan commentators have none.

            1. The principle of nobody is good enough to have a power isnt really a principle. It is anarchism.

              1. You’re getting warmer!

              2. That is very progressive of you.

        2. That is not what the Constitution says…

          You are absolutely 100% correct. The Constitution also does not say that Jerry Nadler can’t come over to your house and chop your legs off with a machete. The Constitution does however say that the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people and that the power to declare war belongs solely to Congress.

          Now, I get the argument that in this day and age with aircraft and missiles and rockets, we need to be able to respond to an act of war more quickly than our Founding Fathers envisioned when the age of sail allowed the luxury of time to assemble Congress for a declaration of war, but you’d think that in the 100 years or so since speedier attacks became a concern that Congress might have found a little time to amend the fucking Constitution rather than simply passing a law that somehow claims to supersede the Constitution despite the Constitutional declaration that the Constitution itself is the Supreme Fucking Law of the Land.

          But even admitting that the Constitution is merely buttwipe, the law Congress passed allows the President to respond to immediate necessities of war, hence the whole “imminent threat” thing with the Soleimani attack. The President is not allowed to simply go out and launch offensive attacks against whomever he pleases, he is only allowed to launch defensive attacks. The “imminent threat” thing fucking matters because, while the Rule of Law might not matter much, goddamnit, the Rule of Law at least deserves to be defended even in a losing battle.

          1. Jerryskids…..A response to the missile attack launched by Iran last evening would be a defensive attack, using your logic. So I think we agree here. POTUS Trump would be legally justified if he elected a launch a defensive attack in response (like taking out missile launchers).

      2. What’s good enough for DACA is good enough for… everything.

        That’s the cost of your pen and your phone.

        1. Obama really broke you, didn’t he?

          1. It’s easy not having any principles, isn’t it? That’s why you are physically incapable of understanding them.

            1. It’s easy not having any principles, isn’t it?

              I don’t know, why don’t you tell us? From what I can see, most of what you write are just different variations of whataboutisms.

              1. I already have, jeffy. And you fail to understand it every single time. And it’s pretty rich that the ptime ORANGE MAN BAD hates it when his own hypocrisy is shoved in his face.

                1. Oh I get it alright. You remind me of the Schlichter types who preach the NEW RULES bullshit. That whatever Obama did, is now fair game for any Republican to do. That is not a moral principled position.

                  1. And you remind me of the Cenk types who think the ends justify the means.

                  2. I’d add that it’s cute how you get to define morality to be “whatever I want.” You can’t argue against unlimited executive power and simultaneously support DACA. That’s logic 101.

                    1. BUT WHATABOUT DACA? See there you go. My God it is tiresome.
                      Which part of DACA was the “unlimited executive power” bit? Would you like to have a serious conversation on DACA? I don’t think so, because it would reveal how trying to compare this current episode to DACA is stupid.

                    2. You literally cannot understand the point. DACA was an unconstitutional arrogation of power to the executive. That’s what the courts have consistently ruled so far because they are actually applying the rule of law. The fact that you *like* the outcome changes that calculus for you. Suddenly rules are discarded because you don’t like them. Ergo you have no principles. It isn’t a hard concept to understand, except for you.

                    3. And what is your point?

                      “Obama got to do DACA, therefore Trump gets to do anything at all”? What principle does THIS serve?

                      And you don’t even understand my position on immigration. Here is a clue: THE ENTIRE IMMIGRATION SYSTEM IS A COMPLETE DISASTER. If Obama selectively enforced immigration laws to make it easier for Dreamer kids to stay here, then GOOD. If Trump were to do the same thing, then GOOD. If anyone were to do the same thing, then GOOD. Because the operative principle here isn’t THE LAW’S THE LAW, the operative principle here is to protect people’s liberty. Because no one’s liberty is served by the state taking people who have not violated anyone’s rights, throwing them into a cage, and then exiling them from their home.

                      Wherever did you get the idea that I was this law-and-order conservative who believed in enforcing the law just for the sake of it?

                      Suddenly rules are discarded because you don’t like them.

                      No. Rules that trample on liberty should be discarded, regardless of my personal feelings about them. What do you think, Skippy?

                    4. Again you completely prove my point. YOU have no problem with DACA and the illegal and unlimited executive power it requires and emboides. You ONLY have a problem with Trump’s exercise of clearly legal authority to engage with a repeated and ongoing hostile actor.

                      No. Rules that trample on liberty should be discarded, regardless of my personal feelings about them. What do you think, Skippy?

                      EXACTLY my point. You have NO limits on executive power as long as you approve of the outcome. And it is EXACTLY your personal feelings that you use to justify it. At this point even you aren’t stupid enough to miss the point so it’s simply more bad faith argumentation from you.

                    5. You have NO limits on executive power as long as you approve of the outcome.

                      I’m not a law-and-order conservative. You got me there. I don’t believe the executive should be enforcing unjust laws that steal liberty. So to the extent that the executive has discretion to selectively enforce the law, the executive should prioritize law enforcement resources towards enforcing those laws that DO respect people’s liberties. I never said “unlimited”, that was you.

                      Respecting people’s liberties is not about seeking a particular desired outcome. The government should be respecting people’s liberties, EVEN IF that leads to outcomes that I *don’t* like! For example, if all drugs were legalized, I’m quite sure there would be more addicts and more drug overdoses. I don’t like that, I don’t want people to die of drug overdoses, but the price of the Drug War is too high a price to pay to try to prevent every single drug overdose. Do you? Do you think the executive should be enforcing laws just for the sake of enforcing laws?

                      And it is EXACTLY your personal feelings that you use to justify it.

                      “Personal feelings” have nothing to do with it. It is about respecting people’s liberty, regardless of how I feel about how people might use that liberty.

                      Believe me, if it were just about my personal feelings, I’d be demanding that the government throw you in a cage for ‘hate speech’. But I don’t and I never will.

                    6. Here’s your test, jeffy. I can’t reply or post from my original account from multiple devices. Reason is actively censoring. Good or bad? Principled or not?

                    7. Here’s your test, jeffy. I can’t reply or post from my original account from multiple devices. Reason is actively censoring.

                      It is a leap to go from “I can’t post” to “They censored me”. I’m going to be skeptical of this claim in the absence of more information.

                      Good or bad? Principled or not?

                      Well, let’s just assume for the sake of argument that Reason is actually censoring you. They are of course free to censor people on their own private property. So then the real question is, “good or bad” based on what metric? Is it their goal to try to actively facilitate a constructive discussion? If so, then some censorship is going to be necessary, otherwise the trolls and hecklers will make that impossible. But I get the feeling that that isn’t Reason’s purpose for having comment forums. It looks like it’s just a place for people to come and vent and emote while generating clicks for their magazine. By that standard, I don’t think you are doing anything particularly problematic.

                      But again I question the claim that they are actually censoring you. Sounds more like a technology problem to me. Also sounds like you are very quick to leap into the role of poor poor victim.

                    8. Still broken and somehow you can still post. But again for someone who makes most judgements based on whether it someone is *capable* of an act…

                      I’m not surprised that you ducked the question.

              2. Jeff went with a pee wee herman response. Fucking hilarious.

      3. It was acted upon by Congress with the 2002 aumf. Soleimani was killed in iraq. This seems to he missed by a lot of people.

        1. Its a voluntary decision to miss it.

          The Propagandists are following Goebbels Propaganda 101.
          Deny Deny deny.

      4. Even after Pearl Harbor was attacked, Congress acted swiftly to declare war.

        Yeah, but that was the last time the actually did so. This base is not Pearl Harbor and the troops at Al-Asad are not the Pacific fleet.

        And you know what? If Congress is really that concerned about the safety of our troops in Iraq, then maybe they should just pull the funding for keeping them there so we have to redeploy them home or to the other GCC countries.

      5. Poor Leo. He like most unreason staff, are super ignorant of history.

        The US Navy sunk a Japanese midget submarine before Japanese planes attacked pearl harbor.
        USS Ward (DD-139)

        Congress acted in 2001 by passing their shitty version of a DoW, the AUMF.

        1. There was no formal state of war between Japan and the USA at 0637.

        2. Did they order a military hit on Emperor Hirohito or one of his generals at 0900?

          Or are you simply saying that Trump is a Roosevelt-style Commander in Chief?

          1. Did they order a military hit on Emperor Hirohito or one of his generals at 0900?

            Your argument is that it would have been illegal for American forces in the Phillipines to shoot down Yamamoto on December 7th 1941 after the attack.

            Absurd.

            1. Leo is upset. He is lashing out.

          2. “”Or are you simply saying that Trump is a Roosevelt-style Commander in Chief?””

            Trump would need to intern US Iranians for it to be Roosevelt style.

      6. And that is what has been happening but I assume the term AUMF is unknown to you…smdh

    2. the US has a right to defend itself after its embassy is attacked.

      That’s not the point. The point is HOW this right is to be exercised. By unilateral executive action alone?

      1. Yes it is the point you fucking retard. Defense and foreign affairs means more than firing a rifle when the mob comes over the wall.

        And for the last time, don’t respond to my posts. You are too stupid and dishonest to be involved in any conversation and especially any one involving anything legal or diplomatic. Your ignorance on these subjects makes me want to vomit. Just go away.

        1. No, it isn’t the point. Literally no one is disagreeing that the US government has some legitimate authority to defend itself. The point is about HOW that authority ought to be expressed.

          And I’ve learned from experience, John, that when you have just a screed of insults as your concluding remarks, it’s because you deliberately choose to avoid the question and try to divert from that fact.

          1. You actually argued that all night as you wept for soleimani.

          2. chem, chem, chem….C’mon buddy, let’s not get too far out there.

            Constitutionally, the Congress can pull the plug anytime they want. They can vote to end the two AUMFs that justify our presence in the ME. You know that, I know that. So there is an ultimate check on what POTUS Trump can and cannot do.

            Until the Congress affirmatively stops him, POTUS Trump and his team have wide latitude to decide what is an appropriate response.

            That is how the system is set up.

            1. The AUMFs have been ridiculously stretched. They should never have been written in that way.

              1. That’s beside the point. The Democrats should put their money where their mouth is and work to cancel the AUMFs if they’re really that worried about it.

                Keep in mind that the Senate voted 68-23 for an amendment a year ago to keep troops in Syria and Afghanistan. This was called a “bipartisan rebuke” to Trump by the media at the time, who had proposed pulling them out.

                Congress clearly has the authority to get something like this done. They just don’t want to.

                1. As I mention, they are both in the War Party. I don’t expect either Democrats or Republicans to do anything serious about American military adventurism.

          3. “The point is about HOW that authority ought to be expressed.”

            You might be the least valuable source for an opinion on this that exists

      2. The point is HOW this right is to be exercised. By unilateral executive action alone?

        A. This is what our governmental rules call for, so yes.

        B. Why would Trump allow any influence from Dems and left-libertarians who have proven they prioritize damaging Trump over the good of the nation?

        1. I know, right? How dare people oppose Trump! Do they hate America? Don’t they know that Trump = America?

          1. Don’t they know that Trump = America?

            Recognizing the Dems and others are driven by partisanship is not even close to asserting Trump = America. This is easily identifiable by your refusal to accurately state reality such as claiming killing Suleimani started a war and that it was somehow illegal.

            1. They are driven by partisanship. What you seem to think however is that this also means that they don’t have what is in the best interests of the nation.

              1. “What you seem to think however is that this also means that they don’t have what is in the best interests of the nation.”

                I don’t think they do.
                I don’t think you do either.

              2. What you seem to think however is that this also means that they don’t have what is in the best interests of the nation.

                Yes. They announced their opposition before they had enough information to make a judgement on what the possible outcome to America would be, and they relied on various incredible premises to do so. This shows their reaction took no account on the impact to America and was entirely driven by partisanship.

      3. “”The point is HOW this right is to be exercised.””

        I don’t think that’s a question an individualist would ask. I have the right therefore I can use it as I wish would be more of the individualist style. No?

  4. I think those who authorize war should be on the front lines.

  5. Killing Soleimani may have been the right move, it may not have been. Just like killing Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein may have been the right moves. The point is, that isn’t for the President to decide. Congress sets the parameters of whether or not we commit acts of war or not.

    Which is why the Trump administration scrambled to link Soleimani to 9/11 immediately after the attack. They are seeking the cover of the AUMF to cover this.

    1. That is just completely wrong. The President is the CnC of the military and is in charge of foreign affairs. He has the power to act in defense of US interests. That includes using the military. What he doesn’t have the power to do is declare war. But not every military action constitutes a full on war as it is contemplated by the Constitution.

      By the logic you are giving, Roosevelt couldn’t have ordered US forces to attack Japanese forces after Pearl Harbor until he got a declaration of war. Hey, it may be a good idea to do something about the Japanese attack but that is not for the President to decide. That is how stupid your point here sounds.

      If Trump wants to do something beyond act in direct defense of US forces in Iraq and start some kind sustained campaign against Iran the way Obama did against Libya, he should go to Congress. But a single strike done in retaliation for an attack on a US embassy is absolutely within the powers of the President and does not require a declaration of war.

      I cannot hold your argument in enough contempt. It is pure stupidity and historic and legal ignorance wrapped in smug condescension and fake seriousness.

      1. > He has the power to act in defense of US interests.

        Assassinating a national leader of a country we are not at war with and have no reason to expect an attack from, is NOT defense. I have not seen a definitive link between the nation of Iran and the attack by Iraqis on the US embassy in Iraq. It might be true, it might not, but I sure as well don’t trust the Deep State in this matter.

        For an action likely to trigger an actual war, there needs to be more in place than just “bad man is bad”.

        1. have no reason to expect an attack from,

          Uh, they’ve been attacking us regularly and according to Iranian-supported paramilitaries in Iraq they just ordered their auxiliaries to increase their attacks.

          I have not seen a definitive link between the nation of Iran and the attack by Iraqis on the US embassy in Iraq.

          And you never will because people like you pretend nothing is definitive.

        2. Assassinating a national leader of a country

          Soleimani was NOT a “national leader” of Iran. He was a paramilitary operative conducting combat operations in a foreign country. Fuck off with this narrative.

          1. Soleimani wasn’t assassinated, either.

        3. I have not seen a definitive link between the nation of Iran and the attack by Iraqis on the US embassy in Iraq.

          Trump didn’t order an attack on “the nation of Iran.” He ordered an attack on the general and his Iraqi accomplice who had previously ordered the attack on the embassy. The guys who did the attack *literally wrote his name on the walls as their commander* when it took place.

          Literally nothing you’re claiming here has a basis in what happened, because you’re uncritically swallowing the media spin on this. NPR straight-up lied this morning that what started this conflict was Trump killing Soleimani, not the attack on the embassy that he ordered. They’ve completely memory-holed it because it didn’t turn into “Trump’s Benghazi” like they wanted it to.

        4. >>Assassinating a national leader

          oy. it wasn’t Merkel.

        5. Then you haven’t been paying attention.

          Oh, and the five other guys that got taken out sure as shit have attacked us.

    2. Leo, Soleimani had American blood on his hands. That is not in dispute. He deserved to die. Too bad he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, huh.

      I would not mourn him too much.

      Team D, OTOH, would probably like to draft another article of impeachment over it. This would not surprise me.

      1. I agree. And if there is broad enough agreement that he deserved to die by an act of war, then there’s no reason not to push a resolution through Congress.

        My point is, that’s how it’s supposed to work. There’s supposed to be broad support among the people to commit acts of war. That’s why the power is vested in Congress, and not left up to a single king.

        1. What act of war? Oh, do you mean killing an enemy combatant (the militia leader) who directed and executed an attack on our embassy in Iraq? That act of war, in a war zone where Congress has explicitly authorized us to be?

          Leo, tell you what. If it makes your constitutional conscience feel better, then Soleimani was just a terrible, tragic accident. What a horrible case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Who knew that Soleimani was friends with that militia leader? I guess they were just exchanging falafel recipes. Terrible tragedy. /sarc

          1. Yes. That act of war against an enemy that we haven’t been authorized to be at war with other than by further stretching the AUMF to meet whatever needs the current commander in chief requires.

            If there is such broad support for going after Soleimani (and I’m not saying there shouldn’t be) then why not do it the right way?

            1. Sorry Leo, but the 2003 AUMF explicitly authorizes our presence in Iraq. That is an objective fact.

              Your last question is moot.

              1. And explicitly authorizes us to kill anyone we want there?

                1. It certainly authorizes us to kill enemy combatants.

                2. Would it not cover people responsible for killing and maiming US troops? How easily some forget that Iran was providing our enemy in Iraq with better anti-tank weapons which were more lethal and put the hurt on us. I don’t think POTUS needs to go back to congress to get those people.

    3. Congress is free to repeal the powers it has granted the president in the region anytime they want. They havent.

      1. Yes, and I wish they would. Although there seems to be a lot of disagreement over whether the AUMF covers Iran.

        And just because the President is authorized, doesn’t mean that he should act unilaterally. And it certainly doesn’t mean that we should support unilateral action as believers in separation of power and limited government.

        1. And just because the President is authorized, doesn’t mean that he should act unilaterally.

          This is not the debate. The assertion is that he was not authorized to take these actions.

          For reference here is the comment people object to. You might want to go back and see who wrote it.

          The point is, that isn’t for the President to decide. Congress sets the parameters of whether or not we commit acts of war or not.

          1. No the separation of powers is pretty clearly a defining principle of our Republic. Even if the AUMF covers this, the AUMF itself is an affront to the separation of powers.

            Even if this was “by the books” legal, it’s not something we should celebrate nor condone. The founders wanted Congress to decide these matters, not a king-like President. They were crystal clear about that.

            1. No the separation of powers is pretty clearly a defining principle of our Republic.

              As an abstraction this is undeniable but it has no relevance to this case.

              Defensive action has always been allowed and this is affirmed in the War Powers Resolution on 1973. This is meaningful because even this legislation (intended to limit the President and of questionable constitutionality) affirms that “the commander-in-chief role gives the President power to repel attacks against the United States” which includes our military forces and embassies. So the doctrine most favorable to your position refutes your assertion. Further even if that doctrine supported your position it wouldn’t be clear it is applicable.

              Even if this was “by the books” legal, it’s not something we should celebrate nor condone.

              So you start with a legal argument and end with a whine about legalism. This kind of mishmash happens because you started with your conclusion and tried to retrofit a justification.

              1. Congress acted swiftly but not immediately. By your argument the military had to stand down and engage in only defensive operations until Congress declared war.

                But defensive actions aren’t what we are talking about here.

                1. But defensive actions aren’t what we are talking about here.

                  Of course we are.

                  1. In reality this action was not taken solely because of the Embassy attack, but because he also directed hundreds of other attacks on our men resulting in hundreds of deaths.

                    What you’re describing are retributions for war crimes, not defensive against an imminent attack. And I’ll add that his death certainly was justified. Even then, you’re still stuck with having to answer why seeking Congressional approval wouldn’t have been a better route, given separation of powers and all.

                    1. What you’re describing are retributions for war crimes, not defensive

                      Incorrect. We are talking about degrading the attacking force reducing its ability to complete future attacks.

        2. You’re lying again Leo.

          That Iranian was inside Iraq, which is covered by the AUMF.

    4. Congress sets the parameters of whether or not we commit acts of war or not.

      Killing a military officer engaged in combat against us is not an act of war, it is an act of self defense.

      If you want to pretend such a killing is an act of war then Iran has declared war on us via Suleimani’s actions and this is still a lawful self defense action.

      1. Then Congress didn’t actually have to declare war against Imperial Japan in 1941, the Japanese actions at Pearl Harbor justified the entire rest of the campaign on their own. Is that it?

        1. “Then Congress didn’t actually have to declare war against Imperial Japan in 1941, the Japanese actions at Pearl Harbor justified the entire rest of the campaign on their own. Is that it?”

          This is where jeff displays the inconsistency of his perception compared to reality

        2. Then Congress didn’t actually have to declare war against Imperial Japan in 1941,

          Again you must pretend killing one person engaged in combat against our men is the same as a years-long campaign by our entire armed forces to make your point. Picking such an unreasonable comparison suggests you know a reasonable comparison would not give you the answer you need to support your preferred conclusion.

          The better comparison would be if the US military needed congressional authorization to sink the submarine they caught trying to enter Pearl Harbor before the attack. Newsflash from 1941: they did not.

          The CIC has always had the authority to defend America and Americans from attacks.

          1. The CIC has always had the authority to defend America and Americans from attacks.

            So Soleimani was in the middle of attacking America when he was bombed. Is that it?

            If you are going to stretch the meaning of “defend America” without needing to invoke Congressional warmaking powers, to include “kill the leaders of attacks against America even after the attack is long over”, then that is going too far.

            The better comparison would be if the US military needed congressional authorization to sink the submarine they caught trying to enter Pearl Harbor before the attack. Newsflash from 1941: they did not.

            That was a genuine act of defense.

            1. “kill the leaders of attacks against America even after the attack is long over”,

              The attacks have been ongoing for years. Claiming “the attack is long over” is a false narrative you invented as a post-hoc justification.

              1. The attack ON THE EMBASSY was long over.

                Look. If a guy tries to break into my house, and I get my gun and scare him away, that is an act of me defending my house. Totally justified.

                But then, if I chase the guy down the street, tackle him and shoot him in the head, that’s not defense anymore. That’s offense. EVEN IF the guy totally had it coming in some karmic sense, that’s no longer self-defense. Get it?

                You’re stretching “defense” to mean “doing anything at all against people who have previously attacked us in some way, even long after the battle is over”. That is just too broad and expansive of a definition to pass the smell test.

                1. The attack ON THE EMBASSY was long over.

                  In your fantasies that’s an important distinction. In reality this action was not taken solely because of the Embassy attack, but because he also directed hundreds of other attacks on our men resulting in hundreds of deaths. That his efforts continued over such a period shows there was no end to his attack but rather that his intent was to continue indefinitely.

                  But then, if I chase the guy down the street, tackle him and shoot him in the head, that’s not defense anymore. That’s offense.

                  The better analogy would be that he killed your wife and he’s walking down the hall to your kids’s room. And your assertion is that you can’t shoot him because the act of killing your wife is over.

                2. The attack ON THE EMBASSY was long over.

                  A couple of days is not ‘long over’ chem. You’d have a leg to stand on if this was a couple of years.

              2. Just a few more comments Marshal and you’ll convince the sock troll chemjeff.

                Why people spend so much time on sock trolls like chemjeff I will never know.

                1. The point is to convince the audience, not the opponent.

                  1. The audience is mostly unreason sock trolls sent to boost web traffic.

                    There is a reason we tell sock trolls to fuck off or make fun of them and ignore their demand for replies.

          2. Iranians will learn not to fuck around in a US war zone.

        3. Poor Chemjeff.

          Japan declared war against the USA first. It was supposed to get to Washington before the attack on pearly Harbor and they fucked up.
          Below is the text to the declaration of the war with the boldened texts released in the name of the Emperor of Japan:

          IMPERIAL RESCRIPT

          WE, by the grace of Heaven, Emperor of Japan, seated on the throne occupied by the same dynasty from time immemorial, enjoin upon ye, Our loyal and brave subjects:

          We hereby declare War on the United States of America and the British Empire. The men and officers of Our Army and Navy shall do their utmost in prosecuting the war. Our public servants of various departments shall perform faithfully and diligently their respective duties; the entire nation with a united will shall mobilize their total strength so that nothing will miscarry in the attainment of Our war aims.

          To ensure the stability of East Asia and to contribute to world peace is the far-sighted policy which was formulated by Our Great Illustrious Imperial Grandsire [Emperor Meiji] and Our Great Imperial Sire succeeding Him [Emperor Taishō], and which We lay constantly to heart. To cultivate friendship among nations and to enjoy prosperity in common with all nations, has always been the guiding principle of Our Empire’s foreign policy. It has been truly unavoidable and far from Our wishes that Our Empire has been brought to cross swords with America and Britain. More than four years have passed since China, failing to comprehend the true intentions of Our Empire, and recklessly courting trouble, disturbed the peace of East Asia and compelled Our Empire to take up arms. Although there has been reestablished the National Government of China, with which Japan had effected neighborly intercourse and cooperation, the regime which has survived in Chungking, relying upon American and British protection, still continues its fratricidal opposition. Eager for the realization of their inordinate ambition to dominate the Orient, both America and Britain, giving support to the Chungking regime, have aggravated the disturbances in East Asia. Moreover these two Powers, inducing other countries to follow suit, increased military preparations on all sides of Our Empire to challenge Us. They have obstructed by every means Our peaceful commerce and finally resorted to a direct severance of economic relations, menacing gravely the existence of Our Empire. Patiently have We waited and long have We endured, in the hope that Our government might retrieve the situation in peace. But Our adversaries, showing not the least spirit of conciliation, have unduly delayed a settlement; and in the meantime they have intensified the economic and political pressure to compel thereby Our Empire to submission. This trend of affairs, would, if left unchecked, not only nullify Our Empire’s efforts of many years for the sake of the stabilization of East Asia, but also endanger the very existence of Our nation. The situation being such as it is, Our Empire, for its existence and self-defense has no other recourse but to appeal to arms and to crush every obstacle in its path.

          The hallowed spirits of Our Imperial Ancestors guarding Us from above, We rely upon the loyalty and courage of Our subjects in Our confident expectation that the task bequeathed by Our forefathers will be carried forward and that the sources of evil will be speedily eradicated and an enduring peace immutably established in East Asia, preserving thereby the glory of Our Empire.

          In witness whereof, we have hereunto set Our hand and caused the Grand Seal of the Empire to be affixed at the Imperial Palace, Tokyo, this seventh day of the 12th month of the 15th year of Shōwa, corresponding to the 2,602nd year from the accession to the throne of Emperor Jimmu.
          (Released by the Board of Information, December 8, 1941. Japan Times & Advertiser)

          1. Nazi Germany also DoW the USA first:
            MR. CHARGE D’AFFAIRES:

            The Government of the United States having violated in the most flagrant manner and in ever increasing measure all rules of neutrality in favor of the adversaries of Germany and having continually been guilty of the most severe provocations toward Germany ever since the outbreak of the European war, provoked by the British declaration of war against Germany on September 3, 1939, has finally resorted to open military acts of aggression.

            On September 11, 1941, the President of the United States publicly declared that he had ordered the American Navy and Air Force to shoot on sight at any German war vessel. In his speech of October 27, 1941, he once more expressly affirmed that this order was in force. Acting under this order, vessels of the American Navy, since early September 1941, have systematically attacked German naval forces. Thus, American destroyers, as for instance the Greer, the Kearney and the Reuben James, have opened fire on German submarines according to plan. The Secretary of the American Navy, Mr. Knox, himself confirmed that-American destroyers attacked German submarines.

            Furthermore, the naval forces of the United States, under order of their Government and contrary to international law have treated and seized German merchant vessels on the high seas as enemy ships.

            The German Government therefore establishes the following facts:

            Although Germany on her part has strictly adhered to the rules of international law in her relations with the United States during every period of the present war, the Government of the United States from initial violations of neutrality has finally proceeded to open acts of war against Germany. The Government of the United States has thereby virtually created a state of war.

            The German Government, consequently, discontinues diplomatic relations with the United States of America and declares that under these circumstances brought about by President Roosevelt Germany too, as from today, considers herself as being in a state of war with the United States of America.

            Accept, Mr. Charge d’Affaires, the expression of my high consideration.

            December 11, 1941.
            RIBBENTROP.

          2. Then Italy DoW against the USA was on the same day as Germany
            This is another day of solemn decision in Italy’s history and of memorable events destined to give a new course to the history of continents.

            The powers of the steel pact, Fascist Italy and Nationalist Socialist Germany, ever closely linked, participate from today on the side of heroic Japan against the United States of America.

            The Tripartite Pact becomes a military alliance which draws around its colors 250,000,000 men determined to do all in order to win.

            Neither the Axis nor Japan wanted an extension of the conflict.

            One man, one man only, a real tyrannical democrat, through a series of infinite provocations, betraying with a supreme fraud the population of his country, wanted the war and had prepared for it day by day with diabolical obstinacy.

            The formidable blows that on the immense Pacific expanse have been already inflicted on American forces show how prepared are the soldiers of the Empire of the Rising Sun.

            I say to you, and you will understand, that it is a privilege to fight with them.

            Today, the Tripartite Pact, with the plenitude of its forces and its moral and material resources, is a formidable instrument for the war and a certainty for victory.

            Tomorrow, the Tripartite Pact will become an instrument of just peace between the peoples.

            Italians! Once more arise and be worthy of this historical hour!

            We shall win.

    5. HAHAHAHA. Leo is so stupid that he thinks the President of the USA ordered the killing of Gaddafi and Saddam.

      1. You will need a citation for that dumb-fuck.

    6. “”Congress sets the parameters of whether or not we commit acts of war or not. “”

      Congress can set parameters on commitment, but the Commander in Chief sets the parameters on engagement.

  6. Democratic Hawks into Doves

    Oh no. They’re still hawks. If you listen to what they’re saying, they are saying that they totes would have done the same thing, just not in the way Trump did it.

    They’re just as much on Team War as the Republicans are.

    1. Yeah, didn’t one of the Democrat congresscritters say on a cable show “right action wrong commander-in-chief” or something like that?

    2. Says the guy hoping for us deaths yesterday.

      1. This is such a slanderous, evil lie that even you should be ashamed for saying such a thing.

      2. Chemjeff hates the Constitution and Rule of Law so he cant bring himself to sue you for slander.

  7. “despite the fact that Gaddafi had ordered the downing of Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988, which was flying from Frankfurt to Detroit and carrying both American civilians and American government officials. Republicans did not consider that fact—nor Gaddafi’s slaughter of Libyan civilians during a popular uprising in 2011—justification enough for waging war without congressional consent. Yet, conservatives thus far have overwhelmingly supported the assassination of Soleimani.”

    Wait a sec, between 1988 and 2011 a lot of shit happened with Qaddafi, bringing him closer in alliance to the west. Soleimani, on the other hand, was responsible for attacks on our people the day before yesterday, essentially. The two situations are hardly comparable.

    1. The two situations are completely different. Soleimani was an Iranian general conducting an irregular war against Iraq and American forces on Iraqi soil. He was killed in Iraq while conducting that war. Gaddafi was the lawful leader of Libya and was involved in a civil war in his own country. He was killed in Libya after the US conducted a sustained air campaign for the purpose of overthrowing the government of Libya. It takes an epic amount stupidity and mendaciousness to compare the two things.

      1. Reason conveniently forgets that Gaddafi’s resident was targeted and hit by Reagan. Given Reason’s orwellian shift to the left why do I find that omission unsurprising?

        1. And that was done in retaliation for Libya bombing German nightclubs killing US soldiers. And it was absolutely within Reagan’s power as commander in chief.

    2. Binion thinks Soleimani was an elected leader in Iran and not the general of a designated terrorist group active in iraq.

      1. Billy is a Propagandist and will say and do whatever it takes to get unreason web traffic and further the Lefty agenda.

  8. Trump’s Syria withdrawal turned libertarians into hawks and the death of an iranian terrorist turns them inti doves.

  9. Forget about “women and STEM”
    Teach those bitches some geography.

  10. nor Gaddafi’s slaughter of Libyan civilians during a popular uprising in 2011—justification enough for waging war without congressional consent.

    We have to wage war against any tin pot dictator that slaughters their civilians?

    1. Yeah that’s the scary part of the War Party’s chest thumping. I don’t want the government using the military as some sort of comic book superhero saving the world from villains.

      1. I had no idea you also agree that the Party of slavery is also the Party of war.

        Makes sense sense since Democrats fired the first shots in the US Civil War.

  11. Bunions entire thesis is wrong.

    The democrat were the hawks here calling the soleimani response an escalation leading to war. The GOP called it a theater retaliation for past and ongoing acts. It was the Democrats hoping for war through escalation and hysteria. MSNBC even aired Iranian propaganda last night about 80 American deaths.

  12. Look, there’s no question that the best and smartest thing we could do would be to completely pull out of this entire shithole region, close down all our embassies there, and hopefully all those fucking animals completely wipe each other off the face of the earth.

    Unfortunately, it never happens because so many of these shitholes (especially Saudi Arabia) still wield disproportionate global influence because so many countries still depend on their oil. There is also no question that deposing Saddam and disrupting the existing balance of power over there was one of the most colossal strategic blunders we’ve ever made in America.

    Having stipulated all these facts, in the real world we DO have embassies and personnel over there, and this Persian general has been killing Americans and causing trouble in countries that aren’t his for years. Killing him was completely 100% justified, and any American who is mourning that asshole is either deeply confused or is an outright enemy of his own country.

    1. There is also no question that deposing Saddam and disrupting the existing balance of power over there was one of the most colossal strategic blunders we’ve ever made in America.

      Speak for yourself.

      I’ve been asking for a long time why it is the US government seems to favor deposing brutal dictators of the secular Westernized kind in favor of brutal dictators of the Islamic American-hating kind. The Shah, Saddam, Kaddafi, Assad – they all seemed to worship the Almighty Dollar moreso than Allah, they spoke our language, we could deal with them. How the hell do you deal with people fanatical enough that they willingly strap on suicide vests simply because their invisible cloud fairy commands it? (Which bugs the shit out of me about people claiming that Iran getting nukes would be no big deal because it’s not like they would be crazy enough to use them – what part of suicide bombers don’t you understand?) It’s easy enough to say it’s because our government is really, really stupid, but when you see this pattern repeated it sort of makes me wonder whose side they’re really on.

  13. Muh… Obama once let two French guys and a Croat fly a hangglider over Tripoli once so, muh, it’s ok for Trump to kill some guy no one’s heard of. Got it, Billy.

    1. I actually believe you’ve never hard of Soleimani. Then again ignorance is your best bud.

    2. You already tried this stupid line last night, shitlib. It wasn’t any more lucid the first time.

  14. Even when the party in opposition makes “war powers” noises, they don’t push it too hard. They’re looking ahead to when they take the White House back; they don’t want to set any real precedents.

  15. It’s revealing Reason writers have to pretend killing one military officer is a war to find a comparison supporting their assertions. The better comparison is to Obama’s drone attacks on paramilitary groups attacking Americans. They choose not to make that comparison though because they would find far more consistency among Republicans which contradicts their purpose.

    1. You’ll find Reason struggles with consistency. Narratives don’t jsut write themselves. Jeffy finds that hypocrisy very comforting.

    2. Now do the Iraq War, where Republicans lined up—virtually unanimously— to support a war that killed a million people in the ME.

      1. Hmmm, I wonder if jeffy will comment about this whataboutism… Enquiring minds want to know.

        1. I learned it from you mindless fucking idiots and your Trump God worship, Skippy. I’ve been perfectly consistent on the issue. I was against going to war in Iraq, against going into Libya and against this bullshit with Iran. Plenty of people— almost all of them on the Left— have thought the same.

          1. I’ve been perfectly consistent on the issue.

            The point is though that the Dems have not yet you don’t hold them by the same standard because your top priority is supporting Team Blue.

            Plenty of people— almost all of them on the Left— have thought the same.

            Stupidly false.

            1. Most of the time I haven’t voted for Democrats. I’m 50/50. This year? Most definitely. They’ve moved my way.

              1. They’ve moved my way.

                Dems only oppose military action by Reps so it’s revealing you cite this as your way.

                1. The Democrat Party has always been a Party of war. Under Jackson, they went after AmerIndians. Under Jefferson Davis, they went after the USA.

                  1. Except for Carter. And they couldn’t get him reelected.

          2. Umm, the Left most certainly got us into Libya. Have you been learning “history” from your NYT 1619 supplement again? As far as worship goes…

            Nope. Not a cult there.

            1. How do you read this? In general, i’m Ok with it, but the part where Chomsky compares Obama to Hitler and Togo is maybe a little too far.

              https://chomsky.info/20110330/

              the Unfolding Crises

              Noam Chomsky interviewed by Stephen Shalom and Michael Albert

              ZNet, March 30, 2011

              1. What are US motives in international relations most broadly? That is, what are the over arching motives and themes one can pretty much always find informing US policy choices, no matter where in the world we are discussing? What are the somewhat more specific but still over arching motives and themes for US policy in Middle East and the Arab world? Finally, what do you think are the more proximate aims of US policy in the current situation in Libya?

              A useful way to approach the question is to ask what US motives are not. There are some good ways to find out. One is to read the professional literature on international relations: quite commonly, its account of policy is what policy is not, an interesting topic that I won’t pursue.

              Another method, quite relevant now, is to listen to political leaders and commentators. Suppose they say that the motive for a military action is humanitarian. In itself, that carries no information: virtually every resort to force is justified in those terms, even by the worst monsters — who may, irrelevantly, even convince themselves of the truth of what they are saying. Hitler, for example, may have believed that he was taking over parts of Czechoslovakia to end ethnic conflict and bring its people the benefits of an advanced civilization, and that he invaded Poland to end the “wild terror” of the Poles. Japanese fascists rampaging in China probably did believe that they were selflessly laboring to create an “earthly paradise” and to protect the suffering population from “Chinese bandits.” Even Obama may have believed what he said in his presidential address on March 28 about the humanitarian motives for the Libyan intervention. Same holds of commentators.

              1. Chomsky. *snort*

                1. Yeah, he’s a Leftist— consistently attacking US foreign policy from Vietnam to Central America to Iraq. So is Glenn Greenwood. So are the socialists at Jacobin. What have you Reason commenters been consistent on?

                2. In two years, we have moved from President Bush’s doctrine of preventive war to President Obama’s assertion of the right to go to war without even the pretext of a threat to our nation,

                  Dennis Kucinich

                  Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) accused the president of sidestepping Congress by waiting until lawmakers left town to launch the attacks.

                  “How premeditated, and how irresponsible, I believe the current course of events to be,” Kaptur said.

                  Rep. Brad Sherman (Calif.), a liberal Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, didn’t let the opportunity to lash out at the White House go to waste.

                  Sherman went after the witness, Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg, for using taxpayer dollars to fund the Libyan operation rather than tapping Libya’s own enormous resources – largely derived from oil – to cover the tab. The California Democrat also accused the White House of neglecting to ensure the rebel forces don’t include those with a history of fighting against Americans in Afghanistan and Iraq.

                  Sherman said he asked about extraditions of such rebels during Wednesday’s classified briefing with Clinton and Gates, but didn’t get a response. “I’m sure if you give me another classified briefing, I’ll still get no answer,” he said

                  Some liberal Democrats are lining up behind legislation to push back against the administration’s approach to Libya. A GOP bill to defund the intervention until Congress authorizes it already has as many Democratic co-sponsors as Republicans. Three Democrats – Reps. Kucinich, Pete Stark (Calif.) and Michael Capuano (Mass.) – endorsed the bill this week.

                  1. A GOP bill to defund the intervention until Congress authorizes it already has as many Democratic co-sponsors as Republicans.

                    But wait, I thought the GOP only ever voted for wars.

      2. Now do the Iraq War

        Why? Is the Iraq War under discussion? I thought you pretended to oppose whataboutism.

        1. The article itself is arguing about whataboutisms and dismissing Leftist criticism of Obama’s Libyan misadventures.

          1. That would be relevant if only you responded to the article instead of my comment.

  16. Trump’s saving grace is that he’s basically a bitch. He’s not going to go after anyone who displays any strength or confronts him in a way that could conceivably hurt him. You think he wants a bunch of Leftists pissing on his cheesy hotels in New York or his Trump UAE resort being suicide bombed? Fuck that. He’ll stick to kicking down on immigrants and poor Black people in Baltimore. You think he wants anything to get in the way of his day job: a cranky retiree who plays at being teevee President where he gets to sexually harass Hope Hicks and jerk off about fucking his [controversially, hot] daughter. I mean, Trump in some ways is a bloviating nincompoop, but even I know that when it comes to feathering his nest Dear Leader displays a certain instinctual street smarts. You have to give him that.

  17. … that’s basically why he’s tweeting {inexplicably to some, but not to me} that “all is well”. Because he’s a bitch. He got called and is now going to back down. Hey, listen, i’m Not criticizing here. I think it’s a virtue. Thank God, basically no other Republican is President. There’d be bombs falling on Teheran as we speak

    1. unreason will get their desired web traffic even if they have to send in 22 sock trolls themselves.

    2. Thank God, basically no other Republican is President. There’d be bombs falling on Teheran as we speak.

      I don’t think you have God to thank, you have Trump to thank. Without Trump, Hillary would be President and whether or not there would be bombs raining down on Tehran depends on how much of that pallet of cash found its way into the coffers of the Clinton Foundation. Don’t worry about what the GOP thinks or says, they’re a pack of chihuahuas led by a pit bull and after 2025 they’ll go right back to being the weak little bitches they’ve always been and then we can all settle down and be good little Communists right up until we starve to death, shivering naked in our dark, dank caves.

    3. that’s basically why he’s tweeting {inexplicably to some, but not to me} that “all is well”. Because he’s a bitch. He got called and is now going to back down.

      LOL at this fan fiction. You’re unwittingly parroting Murphy’s whiplash-like propaganda that happened after the embassy was attacked. Then, when Trump ordered the strike on the commander that ordered the attack, began crying like a bitch that Trump responded.

      You couldn’t be any more blatantly transparent that you want Trump to start a war with Iran if you tried. The mid-2000s called and they want their anti-war LARPing back.

  18. >>Whether or not politicians care about congressional oversight seems to hinge on who is in power.

    if you buy into the theatre it looks that way yes.

  19. Killing a terrorist by drone isn’t “hawkish”.

    1. Lefties have brain damage. They think Obama was a peace President for getting thousands of Americans killed and droning the shit out of people, including murdering Americans.

      1. Similar to Reason’s position on taxes:
        1. Taxes are theft
        2. Tarriffs are taxes
        3. Public charge (immigration) taxes are not taxes

  20. Supreme Leader now speaking! Surrounded by Military Brass!

  21. This is a rule with no exceptions.

    EVERY SINGLE foreign policy action taken by the president of one party is generally opposed by members of the other party. You could easily take the exact same action, switch the Ds and Rs after the names of the people involved and they would switch their opinion on the matter.

    1. Yup pretty much. It is all just theater and in the end nothing will change.

  22. Listening to Dear Leader now. Geesch, what a bitch! Better than anyone standing around him, but really a big stanky bitch, nevertheless.

    1. It was a good address.
      We can look forward to negotiations now.
      Your feelings, failed satirist, are as relevant as a gnat’s

  23. How interesting. I can no longer reply or post using my original account. This occurs in multiple browsers on multiple devices.

    Apparently the mask has fully come off of Reason and they are actively censoring now. How interesting for a cite claiming to support “free minds.”

    1. Sounds like a few people are having difficulty with the site today and yesterday. I don’t think it’s censorship, just Reason’s shitty tech people. What was your original account?

      1. The one that posted on this very thread: notanotherskippy. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that it suddenly stopped working.

  24. You mean politicians are unprincipled partisan hacks? The hell you say!

  25. Nothing but all out war or abject surrender will satisfy our resentful leftists here.
    Sad

  26. It’s all very frustrating and annoying. It’s a waste of energy to worry about it. Which is why video games and Netflix are so nice.

  27. All you have to look at are numbers from strikes on Syria-

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/04/11/republicans-transparently-obama-tinged-evolution-on-syria/

    Republicans clearly being far more partisan and hawkish when it suits them. Democrats largely are doveish, at least far more so than Republicans.

    1. It’s revealing you and WAPO think this is a big difference. Reps switched by 64 points. Sounds awful right? Dems changed by 56 points. So for every 8 reps who switched 7 Dems switched.

      For this meaningless difference we get a WAPO article and a comment trying to assert Reps are terrible by comparison to Dems.

      Typical.

  28. Obama making Hillary SecState was definitely one of the worst decisions he ever made. She needed to kept busy, but SecTreas or some kind of Ambassador would have worked better.

  29. What a completely infantile assessment. There is a huge difference between a tactical battlefield assessment and the strategy employed by the deep state to get FISA warrants issued and to manufacture some evidence with regard to that. But whilst we are talking about deep state and strategic as opposed to tactical intelligence…how about those weapons of mass destruction in Iraq the intelligence agencies sold to Bush….to try and get a democrat elected? Morons writing for Reason….

  30. Love how Reason.com simply refused to mention how bad Hillary’s forerign policy was, specfically in regards to Iran.

  31. “Yet when it came to Obama, Pelosi departed from bipartisan consensus and voted in favor of military intervention without approval from Congress.”

    That’s another reason the [D] party sucks so bad – it’s their bipartisan groupie mentality ([WE] Mobster Democracy really fits) which is by-far stronger than it is in the [R] party.

    Seems the only time the [WE] mobsters find any underlying principle (i.e. The Supreme Law/Constitution) is in some sort of FAKE “brown-nosing” like attempt to dump-on/point-fingers/blame their nemesis. Granite both parties have the disease but its well known that the disease is far stronger in the left.

  32. Good Newwz Movie is one of the Bollywood movies. This Bollywood film was released on 27 December.
    Good Newwz In the movie two couples with the same surname pursue in-vitro fertilization and look forward to their upcoming children. Akshay Kumar’s family on one side, Diljit’s family on the other side.
    Both these actors are playing their roles very well. Where Kareena Kapoor is playing the role of Akshay Kumar’s wife. Kabir Singh Movie Actor Kiara Advani is Diljit’s wife. Troubles abound when they discover that the sperms of each couple have been mixed with each other.
    Good Newwz full movie download link

Please to post comments