The New York Times in an article last month about the Trump administration ostentsibly dropping the Obama administration policy of seeking regime change in Syria notes that this has
stirred criticism, including from some Republican lawmakers, who assert that Syria will continue to be a magnet for extremists as long as Mr. Assad is in control of the country.
“Trying to fight ISIS while pretending that we can ignore the Syrian civil war that was its genesis and fuels it to this day is a recipe for more war, more terror, more refugees, and more instability,” Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Thursday night.
Actually, the genesis of ISIS goes back to the Bush administration’s illegal invasion of Iraq, which started a fire that the Obama administration added fuel to by supporting armed rebels whose ranks included Islamic extremists, including a CIA program to funnel arms from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which, as the New York Times reported at the time, resulted in most of the weapons ending up in the hands of the extremists.
The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) actually warned the White House in the latter half of 2012 that the consequence of its policy would be the establishment of a “Salafist Principality” — i.e., an Islamic State — in Syria.
So what McCain is really saying is that in order to mitigate the violence, the US just has to keep doing what it was doing that created the problem in the first place.
No doubt McCain will be pleased that Trump has now bombed Syria. Of course, this is a violation of the US Constitution as Congress has not declared war, as well as of international law.
Trump himself has acknowledged that the action he’s just taken violates the US Constitution:
What will we get for bombing Syria besides more debt and a possible long term conflict? Obama needs Congressional approval.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2013
This remains true today as it was in 2013. Both parts. https://t.co/sRQkcZ0oDI
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) April 6, 2017