- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 6, 2017

Liberal pressure group MoveOn.org blasted President Trump’s decision Thursday to launch a strike to punish Syria for using chemical weapons against its people, saying it was illegal — and begged supporters to send in cash because of it.

The group, which has vowed to oppose every move Mr. Trump makes, said it feared the president’s ordered attack — which both Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill called a measured response — was too extreme a response to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons.

“It’s an illegal and unauthorized escalation that could have devastating consequences, killing innocent Syrians and costing the lives of U.S. service members,” the group said.

U.S. officials have said they have a high degree of confidence their conclusion that Syrian military planes under control of President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons earlier this week against civilians.

MoveOn didn’t dispute that claim, but said that didn’t justify Mr. Trump’s decision to deploy more than 50 cruise missiles aimed at the air base the U.S. says was used to launch the planes that carried out the attack.

MoveOn said its preferred response to the chemical attack in civilians was for the administration to do more work with the U.N., impose deeper sanctions on Russia and take in more Syrian refugees.

“Let’s be clear: There’s no doubt that Bashar Assad is a brutal dictator who has slaughtered his own people and is complicit in the use of chemical weapons. But this is no humanitarian mission,” the group said. “These are missiles ordered by a flailing president with plummeting approval ratings, trying to show how ‘tough’ he can be.”

The group asked its supporters to sign a petition and ended with a plea for $5 donations.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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