President Joe Biden exercised his executive power to order airstrikes in Syria against purportedly Iranian-back militants, ostensibly in response to a rocket attack they launched at an Iraqi base occupied by U.S. forces.
The move did not sit well with many critics, including Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson, who sharply denounced the Biden administration for engaging in foreign conflicts on nothing more than the broad justification of “counterterrorism.”
“A terrifying form of nationalism”
Carlson asserted that Biden failed to make good on any of his campaign promises, but managed to “immediately bring war back to the Middle East after a four-year respite that really agitated people in D.C.” As far as the limited strikes in Syria, he maintained that it benefited no Americans, “not even in the smallest, most theoretical way.”
That fact, according to Carlson, “was deeply reassuring to the political class in Washington,” which he said considers “any attempt to improve this county a terrifying form of nationalism” and finds it “absolutely thrilling” to think about killing foreigners.
“Thursday’s strike against Syria, they told us, was counterterrorism and counterterrorism justifies all,” he continued.
In stark terms, however, he said that in this case, “counterterrorism means at least 22 people died, according to local reports” while the “Pengaton says only one person died.”
Carlson proceeded to point out that the two named militia groups targeted in the strike were both associated with the Popular Mobilization Forces, a collection of various fighting groups reportedly under the approval of the Iraqi government.
“Just like Hillary Clinton improved Libya”
“Now, the Iraqi government itself is a creation of previous American administrations,” he explained. “So in other words, if you’re following all this, and you have been for 18 years at this point, we are now defending Americans in Iraq from people we empowered in the first place to fix a disaster that was caused by our invasion. That’s all counterterrorism, got it? The snake eats its own tail.”
In his letter to congressional leaders, Biden defended his order, stating: “I directed this military action consistent with my responsibility to protect United States citizens both at home and abroad and in furtherance of United States national security and foreign policy interests, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct United States foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive. The United States took this action pursuant to the United States’ inherent right of self-defense as reflected in Article 51 of the United Nations Charter.”
As Carlson argued, however, leftist hypocrisy was on full display by political and media figures who supported Biden’s strikes in Syria after opposing similar strikes launched in the same country by then-President Donald Trump a few years ago.
“‘Don’t sweat the details,’ assure the Democrats,” he concluded. “The party that runs Baltimore and East St. Louis has a handle on this. They’re going to make the Middle East a much better place, just like Hillary Clinton improved Libya. Now it has permanent war and slave markets and they’re going to make you much safer in the process. It’s called counter-terrorism. It can’t be bad.”
Biden is facing plenty of criticism from within his own party, too. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) said on Tuesday that he had not been “convinced that any president has the authorization required to take a retaliatory strike, especially outside of Iraq.”