The year 2020, holy shit.
Woke up mostly on time, got ready on time, showed up to Kayul's around 1pm. Mom was amused that I was up this early. Kayul made tacos and champagne cocktails for us all. ♥
Everyone being sick was the only downside to today.
After Mom & Dad went home, we mostly spent the rest of the afternoon playing with Kai and talking about random things.
Dinner = leftover General Tso's + leftover Indian food - alcohol.
Kept going in my Alarielle campaign.
Weirdly had some funny ideas for stuff at work, and tried those. Hit & miss, but better I did it now than wait for tomorrow, I guess.
Happy Fucking New Year to everyone in Iraq.
"Deeply suspicious" is a fucking understatement! Laws aren't real and there are no consequences for anything seems to be the main takeaway of 45's reign.
This past Sunday, Dec. 29, U.S. military forces conducted airstrikes against five facilities in Iraq and Syria controlled by Kata'ib Hezbollah, an influential Iraqi militia with close ties to Iran and an official status as part of Iraq's security forces. The Defense Department later confirmed that the airstrikes--which reportedly resulted in more than 25 fatalities--were in response to a series of rocket attacks against various facilities housing U.S. personnel. Their stated objective was to "degrade [Kata'ib Hezbollah]'s ability to conduct future attacks against [U.S. and allied] forces" by eliminating "weapon storage facilities and command and control locations ... use[d] to plan and execute attacks"--including the most recent Dec. 27 attack outside the city of Kirkuk, which wounded several U.S. and Iraqi military personnel and killed a U.S. citizen military contractor.
… The Trump administration made the decision to pursue the Dec. 29 airstrikes unilaterally, without authorization from Congress or the Iraqi government. When the U.S. informed Iraqi officials of its intent to move forward with airstrikes shortly before they occurred, Iraq reportedly objected and asked the United States not to proceed, warning of grave consequences for U.S. interests in the region. Nonetheless, the Trump administration elected to proceed on its own. This is in spite of the fact that Iraqi consent is a legal precondition for other U.S. activities in the region, including the ongoing U.S. military presence within the country and--to a lesser degree--counter-Islamic State operations in Syria.
… In regard to U.S. domestic law, executive branch lawyers almost certainly believe that the president had the constitutional authority to undertake the Dec. 29 airstrikes without express congressional authorization. The executive branch has long maintained that Article II of the Constitution empowers the president to use military force overseas in pursuit of an important national interest so long as it is of limited nature, scope and duration. While many observers disagree with these views, both the federal courts and Congress have thus far left them undisturbed. The Dec. 29 airstrikes, in turn, fit comfortably with prior practice under this legal theory: The executive branch understands retaliation against attacks on U.S. soldiers as valid grounds for using military force, and the airstrikes in question were more constrained than other operations that presidents have pursued under Article II. Yet it appears that the Trump administration has elected not to rely on this legal theory. The 1973 War Powers Resolution obligates the executive branch to provide a report to Congress identifying the legal basis for any non-statutorily authorized military action within 48 hours, the deadline for which passed on Dec. 31. While not strictly required, such reports have generally been posted on the White House's webpage. Yet no such report has been published to date, nor have there been reports that Congress has received one.
… Given the above, it is not entirely surprising that executive branch lawyers concluded that the president had the legal authority to pursue the Dec. 29 airstrikes without further congressional authorization or even the consent of the Iraqi government. But that does not mean that doing so was wise or that others in the international community would agree. This is especially true among Iraqis, many of whom have been deeply suspicious of the United States since its 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq. Even U.S. military action universally seen as legal and legitimate is likely to have a cool reception in Iraq. Hence, it should have come as no surprise to the Trump administration that many Iraqis see airstrikes premised on such idiosyncratic legal grounds as acts hostile to Iraqi sovereignty. This is the risk the Trump administration assumed in choosing to act as it did--and now, the United States is living through the consequences.Scott R. Anderson
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