Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) flexed his non-interventionist muscle today in the Senate when he blocked a resolution in favor of keeping troops occupying Northern Syria.
“The most important thing we can do right now is send President Trump a message that Congress, the vast majority of Democrats and Republicans, demand he reverse course,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said as he tried to rally consent for the resolution in favor of endless war.
Sen. Paul strongly disagreed with the need to send a pro-intervention message, and challenged his colleagues to actually declare war and accept the consequences if they really thought it was necessary.
“He should come to the floor and say that we are ready to declare war. We are ready to authorize force, and we are going to stick our troops in the middle of this messy, messy, five-sided civil war where we would be ostensibly opposed to the Turkish government that has made an incursion,” Paul said, striking back at Schumer.
The bipartisan resolution is sponsored by Reps. Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Michael McCaul (R-TX) in the House, and Sens. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Todd Young (R-IN) in the Senate. It passed the House on Wednesday by a 354-60 vote, with most House Republicans joining the Democrat majority in supporting the resolution.
It reads in part as follows:
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress—
(1) opposes the decision to end certain United States efforts to prevent Turkish military operations against Syrian Kurdish forces in Northeast Syria;
(2) calls on Turkish President Erdogan to immediately cease unilateral military action in Northeast Syria and to respect existing agreements relating to Syria;
(3) calls on the United States to continue supporting Syrian Kurdish communities through humanitarian support, including to those displaced or otherwise affected by ongoing violence in Syria;
(4) calls on the United States to work to ensure that the Turkish military acts with restraint and respects existing agreements relating to Syria; and
(5) calls on the White House to present a clear and specific plan for the enduring defeat of ISIS.
Although Paul has blocked the resolution for the time being, Schumer will continue to attempt to push it through. Republican leadership in the Senate, who are very much beholden to the military-industrial complex, may help him do so.
“I think that’s a horrible decision. I think it could well risk the lives of Americans down the road,” Schumer said of Paul blocking the resolution. “I think it will certainly risk the lives of many more Kurds who are our allies.”
However, for the time being, Sen. Paul has obstructed the forever-war resolution and kept the swamp from pushing back against President Trump’s moderate troop withdrawal in Syria.