Ted Lieu: Trump Can't 'Launch Missiles Because He Sees Images That Offend Him'

Ted Lieu: Trump Can't 'Launch Missiles Because He Sees Images That Offend Him'

There's likely just a small handful of people who truly understand the motives, strategy and objectives of the missile strikes authorized by Trump in Syria. Unfortunately, they are not concerned about human life, they are not patriotic Americans. They are Republicans or Russians.

We do know one thing for certain: Syria has dominated the news. Who cares about the unorthodox confirmation of Gorsuch or how we should relax regulations on poisoning air or water, when you can 'unite' the country against a foreign entity, right? We've seen this technique before, as the constant barrage of ghastly news from Trump's reign comes at us like a 'tennis ball machine' on the highest setting.

Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, spoke with MSNBC's Katy Tur about this suspicious and nefariously engineered crisis.

TUR: A little bit earlier you released a statement that reads in part, President Bashar al-Assad's latest attack on his own people was heartbreaking. The law does not allow 'president' Trump to act without Congress. His unilateral decision to launch 59 Tomahawk missiles at another country's military that has not attacked us was unconstitutional.

Congressman Lieu, do you believe the only justification for using military force should be if we ourselves are attacked?

LIEU: No. Clearly the 'president' can take limited actions that Congress has authorized, such as going against terrorists who are involved with 9/11 or in terms of Iraq, when Congress authorized use of force in 2002. But there's been no Congressional authorization to launch 59 cruise missiles at a country that has not attacked us. Donald Trump's action last night was unconstitutional. He should not do it again.

TUR: Had he come to Congress, would you have voted to give him the authority to do that?

LIEU: I might have, if he had articulated a strategy, and that is one of my fundamental problems with what he did. There has been no coherent strategy from the Trump Administration. Last week they signaled they were okay with Assad even though he had previously killed hundreds of thousands of people in Syria and used chemical weapons. Last night, they attacked the Assad regime. We need to know what is the Trump Administration 'thinking' and what is their long-term strategy in Syria?


↓ Story continues below ↓

Tur graphically portrays the macabre scene of innocent children suffering, and the subsequent efforts to save their lives after likely being gassed by their own government. With her graphic description, she seems to almost shame the Congressman, should he admit that the U.S. should just do nothing. He straightens her out with the simple fact that murder is murder, no matter how it is orchestrated.

LIEU: I have seen gruesome images and those chemical weapons images were horrific. I've also seen images of people blown up from tanks, of children dying from famine, of people shot from guns. There are horrific images from everywhere, and the issue is not should the U.S. respond, it's can the president engage in an act of war, unilaterally and the Constitution says he can't do it. He need authorization.

TUR: How do you want to see the U.S. respond to what is going on in Syria right now?

Of course Lieu wants Trump to submit a 'plan' regarding the intentions of the administration, answering important questions like, who are they supporting? How long are we going to be there? And, are our troops really fighting for a vital U.S. national security interest?

Tur interrupts:

Congressman? I'm sorry, but what do you want to see there? Do you want to see the U.S. come to the aid of civilians, do you want the travel ban lifted so Syrian refugees can come into this country? What do you want done to help those people, or is this something that's just the responsibility of the Syrians?

Didn't he just address most of those same issues? Have you ever heard an interviewer demand such particulars from a Republican guest? Both sides, right?

Lieu admits he'd like precisely those measures enacted, and he addresses the oh-so-important issue of how do we pay for another war?

LIEU: We need to have that debate first, not just have the president launch missiles because he sees some images that offend him.

Trump was offended by the images, simply for the cameras, one of his best performances to date. He cares nothing for Syrian children. Narcissists are not known for their philanthropic motives. Trump's motive is likely to create a distraction from his low poll numbers and fast-imploding White House falling into the Russia scandal.

Comments

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.