Analysts agree another round of bombings won't accomplish anything in Syria. One child was reportedly killed and three civilians wounded in U.S. airstrikes near the Iraq-Syria border on Sunday, according to Syrian state news agency SANA. This news has been absent from most U.S. coverage of the bombings, which has emphasized that several alleged members of Iraqi militias backed by Iran were also killed or wounded.
"At least 5 Iran-backed Iraqi militia fighters were killed and several others were wounded in an attack by US warplanes," according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
According to the Pentagon, the bombs targeted facilities used by two Iraqi militias with ties to Iran: Kataeb Hezbollah and Kataeb Sayyid al-Shuhada. "These facilities are…engaged in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attacks against U.S. personnel and facilities in Iraq," Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.
Kirby described the strikes as self-defense, calling them "both necessary to address the threat and appropriately limited in scope. As a matter of domestic law, the President took this action pursuant to his Article II authority to protect U.S. personnel in Iraq."
But Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi called the attacks "a blatant and unacceptable violation of Iraqi sovereignty and Iraqi national security."
The militias that were bombed "technically are a part of the Iraqi security forces—the very security forces U.S. troops are supposedly training to fight an ISIS caliphate that doesn't exist anymore," noted Defense Priorities fellow and foreign policy analyst Daniel DePetris.
Somebody, please help me out. Where's the "presidents can bomb whomever they want, anytime they want" clause in the U.S. Constitution? I'm having an awfully hard time finding it.
— Daniel DePetris (@DanDePetris) June 28, 2021
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh accused the U.S. of "disrupting security in the region," warning that "one of the victims of this disruption will be the United States."
This is the second airstrike in Syria since Biden took office. Another bombing, in February, reportedly killed 20 Iraqi militia members.
At least one lawmaker, Sen. Chris Murphy (D–Conn.), worries that this is starting to look like more than just isolated incidents by either the U.S. or Iran.
"My concern is that the pace of activity directed at U.S. forces and the repeated retaliatory strikes against Iranian proxy forces are starting to look like what would qualify as a pattern of hostilities under the War Powers Act," said Murphy in a statement. "Both the Constitution and the War Powers Act require the president to come to Congress for a war declaration under these circumstances."
Just get the fuck out of Iraq and Syria. The strikes happened because US forces are targets of opportunity, by an adversary entirely different than the one they're supposedly still there to fight. No one bothers to pretend anymore that strikes like these accomplish anything.
— Spencer Ackerman (@attackerman) June 28, 2021
After the first round of strikes carried out by the Biden administration, senators introduced a resolution to repeal broad authorization for the use of military force in the Middle East. "Last week's airstrikes in Syria show that the executive branch, regardless of party, will continue to stretch its war powers," said Sen. Tim Kaine (D–Va.), one of the bill's sponsors.
"Congress has a responsibility to not only vote to authorize new military action, but to repeal old authorizations that are no longer necessary." The bill's other sponsor, Sen. Todd Young (R–Ind.), complained that "Congress has been operating on autopilot when it comes to our essential duties to authorize the use of military force."
But the Senate resolution hasn't gone anywhere since it was introduced in early March.
Earlier this month, however, the House did pass a bill to repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force, which sanctioned the Iraq War. By a vote of 268–161, legislators voted to repeal the "nearly two-decade-old war powers measure, marking what many lawmakers hope will be the beginning of the end of wide-ranging authorities given to the president after the 9/11 terror attacks," reported NPR. It's now the Senate's move on that measure.
RIP economist Steve Horwitz.
If you want to get a sense of the kind of man Steve was—and he was the kind of man we all should strive to emulate—listen to this hour of conversation with him about gratitude and optimism in face of death, and hope for the world. https://t.co/itruTHY28i
— Aaron Ross Powell (@ARossP) June 27, 2021
Steve Horwitz passed away this morning. We have lost an outstanding scholar, a staunch liberal, but most of all a great person. His indomitable cheerfulness throughout his illness and his unwavering commitment to liberty and open discussion were an inspiration. RIP Steve.
— Steve Davies (@SteveDavies365) June 27, 2021
???? «The reason to care about economics is not just to understand material well-being but about a much bigger picture: how we cooperate in a world of strangers and diversity, and how we turn that cooperation into better, longer, more peaceful lives»
RIP Steve Horwitz (1964-2021) pic.twitter.com/sJxZPxDWzT
— Institut Ostrom Catalunya (@InstitutOstrom) June 27, 2021
Steve Horwitz has passed away. He was a guest on the @CatoPodcast half a dozen times, and he wrote regularly for @libertarianism. He was at all times genuine, engaging, and an excellent communicator in the defense of liberty. A short thread our our various chats:
— Caleb O. Brown (@cobrown) June 27, 2021
I am greatly saddened to hear of the passing of economist Steve Horwitz, taken from us much too early due to cancer. @JonHaidt & I were very moved by this brilliant article of his: The Importance of Unsupervised Childhood Play for Democracy & Liberalism: https://t.co/vZ7jZR9Irc
— Greg Lukianoff (@glukianoff) June 27, 2021
Sad news today. Steve Horwitz, noted libertarian economist and professor has passed away from his struggle with myeloma. Dr. Horwitz was an acclaimed scholar on Austrian economics. His final published book was "Austrian Economics: An Introduction". https://t.co/VgCUf07LVP
— Libertarian Party of Northern Virginia (@LPNOVA) June 27, 2021
Oregonians can briefly pump their own gas. A heat wave in Oregon has led state authorities to temporarily suspend a silly rule against people pumping their own gas at gas stations. The Oregon state fire marshal announced Sunday that people could pump their own gas through Tuesday, owing to high temperatures. If it's safe for Oregonians to pump their own gas during a heat wave—and during the height of the pandemic, when rules were also suspended—why not regularly?
• Derek Chauvin was sentenced Friday to 22.5 years in prison for the 2020 killing of George Floyd.
• "The number of unemployment-benefit recipients is falling at a faster rate in Missouri and 21 other states canceling enhanced and extended payments this month, suggesting that ending the aid could push more people to take jobs," reports The Wall Street Journal.
• "Mike Gravel, a former U.S. senator from Alaska who read the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record and confronted Barack Obama about nuclear weapons during a later presidential run, has died" at age 91, reports NPR.
I love this clip of Mike Gravel recounting reading the Pentagon Papers into the Senate record, because of what it teaches about courage. He was not excited, not confident; he was "frightened to death", scared of going to prison; he was overcome with emotion. And *that* is bravery pic.twitter.com/hLPovl7xrq
— Ben Phillips (@benphillips76) June 27, 2021
• Former Congressman Justin Amash talks to Reason's Nick Gillespie about the Libertarian Party's "horrible messaging."
• The Washington Post: "A grandmother didn't answer her phone during a class. She was sent back to prison."
• When kidnappings were all the rage.
• Return of the Trump rally.
You know how emergency room physicians will gauge somebody's mental clarity by asking "who's the president of the United States?" pic.twitter.com/n77JupMi9G
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) June 27, 2021
• The Apple and Microsoft war is back.
• Could school choice ease the culture war over educational curriculum about race?
• A new study from the Commonwealth Fund found 22 states moved to expand insurance coverage of telemedicine during the pandemic.