‘Principled Conservatives’ Complain That Trump Ends Unconstitutional Military Action in Syria

The “principled conservative” crowd, also known as Conservative Inc., is perturbed by the fact that President Donald J. Trump decided to withdraw American troops from Syria Wednesday morning.

To be sure, there was never a declaration of war passed by the United States Congress to send American soldiers to die in the Middle East. Such a declaration is supposed to be required, per the United States Constitution.

So one might wonder, why is it that the “principled conservative” crowd is upset that Trump has put an end to an extrajudicial war? The answer to that question is speculative, but here is a rundown of those “principled conservatives” – the arbiters of Constitutionality – who have criticized Trump’s decision today:

NeoCon media ringleader Ben Shapiro did not Tweet any original thoughts on the subject, but spent most of the day sharing Tweets from other members of the neoliberal wing of the GOP.

“I found someone who is supportive of the decision to retreat from #Syria,” Marco Rubio said in a Tweet shared by Shapiro.

Two things can be true at once: Russia’s involvement in the region can be dangerous, and also not a problem that the United States can tackle imminently or with boots on the ground. Normally Shapiro would note such nuance, but not when it comes to fighting Middle Eastern wars, which he will forever support.

“The President’s generals have no idea where this weak decision came from: They believe the high-fiving winners today are Iran, ISIS, and Hezbollah. The losers are Isreal, humanitarian victims, and U.S. intelligence gathering,” soon-to-be ex-Senator Ben Sasse (“R”-Neb.) said.

Obviously, America must continue to fight endless wars, sending our own soldiers to die in the name of humanitarianism and intelligence-gathering. (Eye roll).

Rubio later echoed the same message, calling the withdrawal a “terrible mistake.” Apparently, he won’t be satisfied unless his grandchildren fight for regime change in Syria.

“What Trump should do: Go to Congress to approve the mission in Syria to defeat ISIS and check Iran and Russia. What he is doing: Initiating a pullout every bit as foolish and short-sighted as Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq in 2011 – and giving Putin the greatest gift of his presidency,” said David French of the National Review. 

At least French recognized the illegality of the situation, but he made no mention of President George W. Bush’s “foolish” invasion of Iraq in the first place, under the pretext of finding non-existent weapons of mass destruction. That would tarnish the record of the GOP establishment’s hero. The only solution, then, in the eyes of French, must be to fight this war until we kill everyone in the Middle East – or our troops get tired of fighting and surrender themselves to the enemy.

If ISIS has not been significantly weakened at this point, America will never achieve that goal. By the way, how will we know when we’ve defeated ISIS, considering that no benchmarks have ever been set to measure victory? We have the dumbest punditry class in the world, who peddle this garbage without a shred of common sense to be had.

“Donald Trump saying we’ve beaten ISIS in Syria should get as pilloried as Barack Obama saying they were contained when they weren’t,” said RedState founder and Trump-hater Erick Erickson, echoing French’s point.

How much pillorying of Bush’s decision to enter Iraq in the first place should we do, Erick? None, I’m guessing.

The ever flip-flopping Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said the same thing.

“Withdrawal of this small American force in Syria would be a huge Obama-like mistake,” he Tweeted. “With all due respect, ISIS is not defeated in Syria, Iraq, and after just returning from visiting there — certainly not Afghanistan.”

What none of these gripers considered doing before tapping their thumbs on the Twitter keyboard and pressing the send button was providing a rational solution – or even a sensible counterargument (other than “we haven’t killed all the terrorists yet”) – before bashing Trump’s decision.

The American people are tired of war. The working class is tired of sending their loved ones off to the Middle Eastern sandbox to risk life and limb so that Ben Shapiro, Lindsey Graham, David French, Marco Rubio, Erick Erickson and others can sit back drinking scotch and chortling, pretending that United States can protect the world from every bad guy with a beard. We can’t, and we don’t have to. And if they have not figured this out after 17 years, they likely won’t.

The elitist commentators and politicians without skin in the game – or at least the ones who said deposing Saddam Hussein was a good idea – should take a seat. If they do, peace might just break out for once.

Follow Peter D’Abrosca on Twitter: @pdabrosca

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