Following President Trump’s cruise missile attack in Syria in response to a chemical attack blamed on Bashar al-Assad, nearly all members of Congress voiced support, including many Democrats. While Republicans, with the exception of Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, offered full and unreserved support, Democrats said they should have been consulted and any future attacks must have formal congressional authorization. In addition, they told Trump they will need a detailed Syria strategy if the president plans future action.
Trump and the establishment media blamed the gas attack in the town of Khan Shaykhun in the Idlib Governorate on Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian military despite a lack of evidence. Trump’s National Security Council released a white paper claiming the plane that allegedly conducted the sarin gas attack left from the airfield hit by Tomahawk missiles on April 6.
The NSC document states “we have signals intelligence and geospatial intelligence” showing Syrian complicity. However, it added that “we cannot publicly release all available intelligence on this attack due to the need to protect sources and methods.”
As veteran journalist Robert Parry points out, in the past presidents have released sensitive intelligence to back up US government claims, including John F. Kennedy’s disclosure of U-2 spy flights in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis and Ronald Reagan revealing electronic intercepts after the Soviet shoot-down of Korean Airlines Flight 007 in 1983.
“Yet, in this current case, as U.S.-Russian relations spiral downward into what is potentially an extermination event for the human species, Trump’s White House insists that the world must trust it despite its record of consistently misstating facts,” notes Parry.
If corporate media polls can be believed, fifty-seven percent of Americans support the attack. A CBS commissioned poll adds that while more than half of Americans support the attack, 70 percent think Trump should gain congressional authorization for any future action.
The dubious poll results demonstrate the ability of the corporate media to build consensus for war based on unverified government assertions and lies, the notable example being the Bush administration’s fabrications about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that ultimately resulted in the death of around one million people after the US invaded in 2003. The Obama administration and the State Department led by Hillary Clinton used unsubstantiated claims about Libya and its leader, Muammar Gaddafi, to launch an attack in collaboration with NATO, the end result being the destruction of that country and the death of 30,000 Libyans.
The support offered by Democrats for Trump’s attack should not come as a surprise. Most wars and military actions undertaken by the United States in the 20th century were initiated by Democrats.
Following the invasion of Mexico by the United States in 1914 and gunboat diplomacy used against Nicaragua the same year to protect corporate interests, the Democrat President Woodrow Wilson organized an effort at the behest of J.P. Morgan and the bankers to get the nation involved in the First World War. Wilson exploited the sinking of the passenger ship Lusitania by German U-boats on May 7, 1915 to set US involvement in the war in motion. It was later discovered the ship was loaded with munitions destined for England.
Wilson’s “unholy and unrighteous war” became one the deadliest conflicts in human history. The total number of military and civilian casualties was over 38 million. Britain’s starvation policy imposed on Germany in contravention of international law (designed in part by Winston Churchill, who declared the purpose was to “starve the whole population—men, women, and children, old and young, wounded and sound—into submission”) resulted in the death of 523,000 civilians.
After taking office in 1933 Franklin Delano Roosevelt proposed a congressional measure granting him the right to consult with other nations and apply diplomatic pressure on aggressor states during international conflicts. The measure was opposed by leading non-interventionists in Congress. Roosevelt endured the popular non-interventionist sentiment of America until 1937.
“He was like the physician who must tell the patient lies for the patient’s own good… The country was overwhelmingly noninterventionist to the very day of Pearl Harbor, and an overt attempt to lead the people into war would have resulted in certain failure and an almost certain ousting of Roosevelt in 1940, with a complete defeat of his ultimate aims,” writes William Henry Chamberlin. “Franklin Roosevelt repeatedly deceived the American people during the period before Pearl Harbor.”
Like Wilson Roosevelt depended on industrialists and bankers to prepare for involvement in World War II. “The contribution made by American capitalism to German war preparations before 1940 can only be described as phenomenal,” writes economist and historian Antony C. Sutton. “The Treaty of Versailles after World War I imposed a heavy reparations burden on defeated Germany. This financial burden—a real cause of the German discontent that led to acceptance of Hitlerism—was utilized by the international bankers for their own benefit.”
Roosevelt knew well in advance the Japanese planned to attack Pearl Harbor in response to the freezing of its assets, amounting to a commercial blockade. Japan lost access to three-fourths of its overseas trade and 88 percent of its imported oil.
“The question was how we should maneuver them [the Japanese] into firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves,” Henry Stimson wrote in his diary. Stimson had been secretary of war under Taft and secretary of state under Hoover. Roosevelt appointed him secretary of war in his administration. Following the Japanese attack Stimson wrote that “my first feeling was of relief… that a crisis had come in a way which would unite all our people.”
American cryptographers had broken the Japanese naval code and Roosevelt knew what Japan was about to do—launch an attack on Pearl Harbor. On the 70th anniversary of Japan’s attack in 2011 a declassified memorandum from the Office of Naval Intelligence emerged revealing the United States was fully aware of Japan’s intention and did nothing to stop it.
Harry S. Truman served a week less than three months as vice president when Frank Roosevelt died after suffering a massive cerebral hemorrhage on April 12, 1945. On that day he was told the United States had a new weapon developed by scientists in New Mexico, the atomic bomb. The United States, having long before broken Japan’s secret codes, knew the leaders of the country were seeking an end to the war on terms as favorable as possible. The United States kept this secret from the American people and the press under the restraints of wartime censorship.
On August 6, the United States dropped the first nuclear bomb on Hiroshima. “The Japanese began the war from the air at Pearl Harbor,” Truman said in a statement released by the White House. “They have been repaid many fold. And the end is not yet. With this bomb we have now added a new and revolutionary increase in destruction to supplement the growing power of our armed forces. In their present form these bombs are now in production and even more powerful forms are in development.” Following this statement Truman ordered a second bomb dropped on Nagasaki. The Hiroshima bomb killed 90,000–146,000 people and the Nagasaki explosion claimed between 39,000–80,000 lives.
The Truman Doctrine led to US involvement in the Korean War. Nearly 3 million people were killed. 67% of the victims were civilians and according to research 20% of the total population of North Korea died in the conflict. The Defense Department released data stating the United States suffered 33,686 battle deaths. South Korea reported 373,599 civilian and 137,899 military deaths. China’s People's Volunteer Army suffered around 400,000 killed and 486,000 wounded, while the KPA suffered 215,000 killed and 303,000 wounded. The North’s Korean People's Army suffered 215,000 killed and 303,000 wounded.
President John F. Kennedy was an ardent Cold Warrior. During his first congressional campaign he came out against an anti-Cold War faction in the Democratic party led Henry Wallace, a New Deal liberal. Kennedy’s anti-communism was more strident than President Dwight Eisenhower. He decided to make a stand in Vietnam and, despite misgivings, sent troops to Vietnam, a former French colony. After the humiliating defeat of the CIA’s Bay of Pigs invasion and the erection of the Berlin Wall, he decided to make a stand against communism. “Now we have a problem in making our power credible, and Vietnam is the place,” he told James Reston of The New York Times in late 1961. In total 7.8 million people were killed in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia by the time the war officially ended on April 30, 1975.
President Lyndon Johnson used the Gulf of Tonkin incident to escalate the war in Vietnam. Ray McGovern, a retired CIA officer and CIA analyst from 1963 to 1990, later said the CIA, “not to mention President Lyndon Johnson, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy all knew full well that the evidence of any armed attack on the evening of Aug. 4, 1964, the so-called ‘second’ Tonkin Gulf incident, was highly dubious.... During the summer of 1964, President Johnson and the Joint Chiefs of Staff were eager to widen the war in Vietnam. They stepped up sabotage and hit-and-run attacks on the coast of North Vietnam.”
According to the Pentagon Papers leaked by Daniel Ellsberg, a war resolution was drafted two months prior to the alleged incident in the Gulf of Tonkin. Assistant Secretary of State William Bundy sent a memo to Johnson on March 1, 1964 with recommendations for blockading Haiphong harbor and bombing railways, roads, and industrial facilities. The Pentagon Papers reveal how every administration from Harry Truman to Johnson had lied to the American people about US involvement in Southeast Asia.
Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama continued the Democrat legacy of illegal and immoral war. In 1979 Carter initiated a covert war prior to the occupation of Afghanistan by the Soviets. Under Secretary of Defense Walter Slocumbe speculated about the “value in keeping the Afghan insurgency going, ‘sucking the Soviets into a Vietnamese quagmire.’” National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote President Carter, “We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam War.”
Congressional Democrats have facilitated war. On January 12, 1991, Democrats in the House and the Senate ignored the recommendation of their leadership and voted for the most explicit authorization of war by Congress since the Tonkin Gulf Resolution in 1964. 56 Democrats in the Senate and 267 in the House approved President George H. W. Bush’s joint resolution one week before a deadline set by the United Nations Security Council demanding Iraq pull its troops out of Kuwait.
President Bill Clinton set the standard for what establishment intellectuals called “The New Interventionism” based on “modem notions of justice.” Clinton ordered the bombing of Iraq, Sudan, and Serbia, the former Yugoslavia. “Clinton's crimes range from ad hoc bombings to boycotts and sanctions designed to starve into submission, to support of ethnic cleansing in brutal counterinsurgency warfare, and to aggression and devastation by bombing designed to return rogues to the stone age and keep them there,” writes Edward S. Herman.
President Obama’s record is well-known. During the election, he promised to end the wars and bring the troops home but upon entering the White House continued and expanded the wars of his predecessor. “Obama is the first president to keep the US at war for the entirety of his eight-year regime,” writes Paul Craig Roberts. “During 2016 alone, the US dropped 26,171 bombs on wedding parties, funerals, kid’s soccer games, hospitals, schools, people in their homes and walking their streets, and farmers tilling their fields in seven countries: Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan.”
Considering the above, it is hardly surprising the Republican Donald Trump (who previously identified as a Democrat) enjoys the support of Democrats. Democrat presidents and members of Congress have consistently supported illegal wars regardless of the party affiliation of the provocateurs.
Hillary Clinton underscored this fact when she told New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof at an event in New York—her first public interview since she lost the presidential election—that she advocates the bombing of Syria. Clinton made the remark hours before Trump unleashed his cruise missiles.
Kurt Nimmo, Newsbud Producer & Author, is a writer, editor, producer and researcher based in New Mexico. His research centers on international geopolitics and national politics in the United States. He is the former lead editor and writer for Infowars and now edits Another Day in The Empire. His most recent books are Donald Trump and the War on Islam and Another Day in the Empire: The Reign of George W. Bush and the Total War Neocons. Visit Kurt Nimmo’s website here