News Release

Trump Bombing “Illegal”

FRANCIS BOYLE,  fboyle [at] illinois.edu
Reuters reports: “Russia calls for emergency U.N. meeting after U.S. strikes on Syria.” Trump claimed on Thursday: “There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and ignored the urging of the U.N. Security Council.”

Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. He said today: “The U.S. strikes are a clear violation of international law and the War Powers Clause of the U.S. Constitution. There is no evidence for any of Trump’s claims.”

SAID ARIKAT,  Arikat1 [at] aol.com, @SMArikat
Washington correspondent for Al Quds daily, Arikat said today: “Contrary to what many are claiming, U.S. policies have directly or indirectly backed Al Qaeda or its offspring in Syria by training tens of thousands of fighters who have found their way into these groups. Also, in a sense, this attack isn’t new because the U.S. has been bombing Syria, as well as Iraq, with thousands of strikes resulting in hundreds of deaths. Just last month, the U.S. bombed a mosque complex in Syria and Mosul in Iraq, killing hundreds of civilians.”

SAM HUSSEINI, samhusseini [at] gmail.com @samhusseini
Communications director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, Husseini said today: “While many are claiming that Trump is being inconsistent since he had been saying the U.S. should focus on defeating ISIS, a closer examination shows a deeper pattern of remarkable consistency in U.S. policy toward Syria: When Assad was losing the Syrian war, Obama refrained from strikes that would likely have taken him out in 2013. Now, when Assad seems close to winning the war, Trump with a revamped NSC does a 180 on his previous pronouncements and attacks Assad.

“So, if you push away the personalities and rhetoric and focus on actual U.S. policy, it suggests that there is an underlying consistency on Syria, which is something that cannot possibly be stated publically: To prolong the Syrian war as much as possible. This would not at all be unprecedented. Through the 1980s, the U.S. backed both sides in the Iran-Iraq War, which resulted in horrific carnage.” See Dahlia Wasfi’s piece “Battling ISIS: Iran-Iraq war redux,” which argued that “Obama’s unofficial strategy to fight ISIS may be that of Reagan’s for Iran and Iraq in the 1980s: a long, drawn-out war to strengthen U.S.-Israeli hegemony in the region.”

Husseini’s recent pieces for CounterPunch include “Behind the Liberal Embrace of Trump” and “The Left Needs to Assess the Implications of the Flynn Scandal.” Also see “Stated Goals vs Actual Goals.”

See recent pieces from Robert Parry of Consortium News: “NYT Retreats on 2013 Syria-Sarin Claims” and “Another Dangerous Rush to Judgment in Syria.”