After President Biden ordered airstrikes in eastern Syria against an Iraqi militia on Thursday, comments from Vice President Kamala Harris and Press Secretary Jen Psaki on the Trump administration’s Syria airstrikes surfaced on Twitter.
“Also what is the legal authority for strikes? Assad is a brutal dictator. But Syria is a sovereign country,” Psaki wrote on Twitter in April 2017, after President Trump fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at Syrian government targets.
Psaki’s tweet drew attention from all ends of the political spectrum. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) retweeted Psaki’s old post writing, “Great question.”
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) asked, “What authority does @POTUS have to strike Syria? Perhaps someone should ask his @PressSec today?”
A tweet from Vice President Kamala Harris questioning the legality of other US airstrikes in Syria also surfaced. “I am deeply concerned about the legal rationale of last night’s strikes,” Harris wrote on Twitter in April 2018 after the US, UK, and France launched joint airstrikes against the Syrian government.
“The president needs to lay out a comprehensive strategy in Syria in consultation with Congress — and he needs to do it now,” Harris added.
In June 2019, after Trump mulled airstrikes on Iran, which he ultimately called off, President Biden slammed Trump for “erratic” behavior.
“Trump’s erratic, impulsive actions are the last thing we need as Commander-in-Chief. No president should order a military strike without fully understanding the consequences,” Biden wrote. “We don’t need another war in the Middle East, but Trump’s actions toward Iran only make that more likely.”
While Biden’s Syria airstrikes are somehow being presented as “defensive” in nature and as a “measured” response, they are a major escalation and will likely lead to more attacks on US forces in Iraq.