After ordering the Thursday bombing of a facility in Syria allegedly used by an Iran-allied militia group, President Biden is facing a bipartisan backlash.
It was Biden’s first overseas action, and his administration said it was meant to dissuade potential attacks on US troops in Iraq. But he soon faced a chorus of attacks from left-wing Democrats and Republicans who were libertarian and conservative.
“I firmly condemn the mediation of @POTUS in Syria. I can think of better ways to make sure our US forces in Iraq can’t be hit by anyone. Stop the relentless wars,” Rep. Nancy Mace wrote (R-SC).
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) wrote, “Only when there is a Republican President will we stand up for Congressional authorization before military strikes.” Congressional authorisation should have been obtained by the Administration here. We need to try to get rid of, not worsen, the Middle East.
A 2017 tweet by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, who condemned an airstrike on Syria ordered by then-President Donald Trump, was highlighted by many members of Congress.
“At the time, Psaki wrote, “What is the legal authority for strikes? Assad is a tyrant who is brutal. Syria, however, is a sovereign nation.’
Psaki’s tweet was recirculated by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), saying, “Great query.”
Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) quipped, “There’s a tweet for everything…,” which was a frequent remark made by anti-Trump Twitter users.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tweeted, “I condemn meddling in Syria’s civil war. I also condemn attacking a sovereign nation without authority. What authority does @POTUS have to strike Syria? Perhaps someone should ask his @PressSec today?”
The attack occurred hours before Biden released a resolution condemning Russia for breaching Ukraine’s “sovereignty and territorial integrity” during the annexation of Crimea seven years ago.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) ridiculed Biden’s campaign poster and tweeted “Priorities…” with bombs raining down.
On Thursday night, Biden’s Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, told reporters that the strike was in retaliation for a Feb. 15 rocket attack on a U.S. military base at Erbil International Airport in northern Iraq, killing a U.S. contractor and injuring a U.S. soldier.
Military strikes are traditionally common with the leaders of both political parties in Congress, but few public statements on the strike have been released.
No. 2 House Democrat Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), however, praised the move by Biden.
The airstrike today shows President Biden’s determination to prevent Iran from aiming with impunity at American personnel and allies. It was a powerful act that will certainly send a message to Tehran that our nation will not abide by its powers or its proxies’ destabilizing acts,’ Hoyer said.
Many opponents of Biden’s bombing of Syria were satisfied with his decision to end US participation in Yemen’s long-running civil war earlier this month.