Trump’s Syria Action Splits Democratic Party

Democratic Party

The left camp’s anti-Trump front has split over Trump’s airstrikes on Syria, clearly dividing establishment Democrats into antiwar progressives shocked over the possibility of greater involvement in the Middle East and those who applauded the military action.

Dem Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent who contended for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, broke out with the party’s leadership by vocally opposing President Donald Trump’s military action in Syria.

“What can we say about somebody who gases men, women and children in his own country? It is disgusting beyond words,” Mr. Sanders said, referring to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“But what we have got to do is be smart and figure out what is the rational solution. Is putting 50 missiles into Syria going to solve that problem?” he said. “At the end of the day, in my view, we’ve got to learn about the failure of our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, not repeat them.”

His message differed from that of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who said the military action was “a proportional response to the regime’s use of chemical weapons,” and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, who praised Trump’s decision as “the right thing to do.”

Rep. Henry Cuellar, Texas Democrat, remarked regarding last week’s missile strike, “no authorization was needed at all. But if he escalates, then it might be something he needs to talk to Congress [about].”

“What he [Mr. Trump] did was appropriate,” Mr. Cuellar said. “Like all Americans, I was horrified by what he [Mr. Assad] did to his own people.”

However, at the other end, Massachusetts Democrat Sen. Edward J. Markey warned that the military action could end up in “a quagmire for the United States for a generation that we would regret.”

He said they needed a “comprehensive debate on the floor of the United States House and Senate.” He added that he would still be a strong opponent of military action even under those conditions.

“I would not vote to allow him to do it. But the least the American people would be entitled to is that full debate,” Mr. Markey said.

Left-wing protestors staged demonstrations against the military action at several protests in major US cities over the weekend. However, that wasn’t quite supported by Mr. Cuellar. “Whether it was President Obama or President Trump, we want to be supportive of our commander in chief,” he said.