Skip to main content

Common Dreams. Journalism funded by people, not corporations.

There has never been—and never will be—an advertisement on our site except for this one: without readers like you supporting our work, we wouldn't exist.

No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news and opinion 365 days a year that is freely available to all and funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

Our mission is clear. Our model is simple. If you can, please support our Fall Campaign today.

Support Our Work -- No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. Please support our Fall Campaign today.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) launches a tomahawk land attack missile in the Mediterranean Sea. (Photo: US Navy)

Without Proof or Cause or Consent, 'Impetuous' Trump Bombs Syria

'The impetuousness of this bombing campaign - its impulsiveness - is stunning even by US war-loving standards'

Jon Queally

Without consent of the U.S. Congress or presenting a credible case for its necessity or offering verifiable evidence of charges levied against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, President Donald Trump on Thursday night launched more than 50 cruise missiles against Syria in what he said was retaliation for a deadly chemical weapons attack earlier this week.

While the U.S. military released footage of Tomahawk cruises missiles being launched from Navy vessels positioned in the Mediterranean Sea, Trump made a short televised statement from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida:

According to the Associated Press:

The U.S. strikes —59 missiles launched from the USS Ross and USS Porter — hit the government-controlled Shayrat air base in central Syria, where U.S. officials say the Syrian military planes that dropped the chemicals had taken off. The U.S. missiles hit at 8:45 p.m. in Washington, 3:45 Friday morning in Syria. The missiles targeted the base's airstrips, hangars, control tower and ammunition areas, officials said.

The attack killed some Syrians and wounded others, Talal Barazi, the governor of Syria's Homs province, told The Associated Press. He didn't give precise numbers.

Trump ordered the strikes without approval from Congress or the backing of the United Nations. U.S. officials said he had the right to use force to defend national interests and to protect civilians from atrocities.

Syrian state TV reported a U.S. missile attack on a number of military targets and called the attack an "aggression."

Though Trump claims there is "no dispute" that Assad was responsible for the horrific deaths earlier this week in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, he is widely regarded as a serial liar and someone whose own FBI and top intelligence officials have had to discredit recent public accusations he has made.

While the United Nations members have called for a full and thorough investigation into the use of chemical weapons in Syria, Trump did not wait for that probe to even begin before coming to his conclusion and reacting with military force.

As journalist Glenn Greenwald noted:

But as the corporate U.S. media once again crouched into a submissive and uncritical pro-war stance, critics of Thursday night's coverage of the U.S. attack on Syria did their best to push back against the all-too-familiar trend:

Among the few anti-war voices presented on cable news, Phyllis Bennis, director of the New Internationalist Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, appeared on MSNBC and characterized Thursday night's attack on Syria as a "serious" and "dangerous escalation" by the United States.

According to Bennis, even if Trump had gone to Congress and received authorization, the bombings would still be illegal under international law. Without approval of the UN Security Council and absent a credil argument of self-defense.

Peter Van Buren, a former U.S. diplomat who served in Iraq after the 2003 invasion, put it this way:


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Latest UN Climate Report Delivers 'Another Thundering Wake-Up Call'

"Climate change is no longer a future problem. It is a now problem," said the UNEP executive director. "The clock is ticking loudly."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Really Fantastic': Europe's Largest Pension Fund Announces Fossil Fuel Divestment

It's "a huge victory for the climate, human rights, and all life on Earth," said one activist.

Andrea Germanos ·


Senate Urged to Quickly Confirm Net Neutrality Advocates to FCC Posts

The White House was expected to announce the nominations of acting chair Jessica Rosenworcel and Gigi Sohn.

Julia Conley ·


'A Political Scam, Not a Serious Plan': Groups Blast Australia Climate Pledge

"If Morrison expects to front up to COP 26 with this sorry excuse for a net-zero emissions target and no increase in formal ambition on Australia's 2030 target, he'll be laughed out of the room."

Andrea Germanos ·


'Manchin Wasn't Done' Killing Climate Action: Coal Baron Objects to Methane Fee

"If Democrats want to avoid... midterm losses," said one critic, they can't "bow to Joe Manchin's burn-the-planet demands."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo