The Ridiculous Hair Splitting on Biden Bombing Syria Begins

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

When is bombing Syria not actually bombing Syria? Apparently, when you are a geriatric Democrat who may have some advanced form of dementia.

As I wrote last night, the entirety of the conglomerate who opposed Trump’s strikes within Syria are going to have a hard time spinning Biden’s move. Jen Psaki had previously insinuated that such attacks were illegal, for example, and Democrats in general have long held that view.

Yet, those who once gnashed their teeth at Trump are going to do their best to split hairs.

And who better to try to make arbitrary distinctions than David French, a man whose entire political existence revolves around what Trump has or hasn’t done.

No worries, though. French has an explanation. You see, when you bomb another country, as long as you aren’t bombing that country while clearly bombing that country, then you don’t need authorization. This is also known as the orange man bad exemption.

Let’s play a game. Let’s assume that China decided to bomb some targets in Iraq because some of their contractors got killed by a local militia group. Would the United States government consider that a legal attack, or would they consider it an illegal incursion into a sovereign nation, regardless of the justification? The latter is obviously how things would play out.

Further, how exactly was it legal to literally invade Syria in the first place (however small the contingent of troops may be compared to the Iraqi invasion), arm rebel groups that were attacking Syria, and to strike targets within Syria, but it was illegal for Trump to strike a Syrian airbase. That sounds a lot like a standard being set around making Trump’s actions bad while everything else is acceptable.

I say that to say that you can justify Biden’s attack just as you can Trump’s strike, or perhaps they were both technically not legally authorized. What you can’t do is pretend there’s an arbitrary distinction where you can bomb a country but not actually be bombing that country. Syria is a sovereign nation. If we start dropping bombs there, we are attacking Syria, period.

Distinctions without a real difference are the domain of intellectually dishonest hacks. Given that, it should not be surprising that French and the lot of Democrats who pulled their hair out previously over this issue are now all for striking Syria. Regardless, everyone should be asking questions at this point about how and why we are involving ourselves in the Middle East.