In a Wednesday vote, the House overwhelmingly backed a resolution expressing opposition to the end of the US war in Syria, and calling on the US to protect the Syrian Kurds from Turkey. The vote was 354-60, with the majority of Republicans supporting it, and unanimous support from Democrats who cast votes.
Positions from Democrat leaders suggested an unconditional opposition to Trump ending any war and withdrawing any troops under any circumstances. They also objected to the notion that a president could end a war without their permission.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi argued that Congress not only has a “right to be informed” but should be able to make decisions on national security. That’s a bold claim, given the House has shown virtually no inclination to vote on America’s myriad other wars in recent years, and House leadership in particular has been eager to ditch even votes that are legally obligatory as too politically risky.
As a practical matter, Congress doesn’t have any real say on the ending of wars, particularly wars they didn’t authorize in the first place. Having for years let presidents act unilaterally it is somewhat hypocritical to now object when one of those wars might end.
Rep. Steny Hoyer, the House Majority Leader, took things a step farther, declaring that “any terrorist attack” that happens from here on our would be a “direct result” of the withdrawal.
Trying to position ending a war as a terror risk is an old standby for hawks, but in this case the Turkey vs. Kurds war has nothing to do with terrorism in the first place, and especially no reason to think the future will have anything to do with it.
Dems have been eager to make a connection between this and ending the Vietnam War. Recently, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice termed it “Trump’s Saigon.” She insisted that the Turks are going to create a catastrophe, and that the US needs to stay in small numbers in an open-ended way to keep Turkey from doing that.