A number of prominent Trump supporters expressed feelings of betrayal following last week’s airstrike in Syria, which they viewed as a complete 180 in the non-interventionist stance he took during his campaign.
I guess Trump wasn't "Putin's puppet" after all, he was just another deep state/Neo-Con puppet.
I'm officially OFF the Trump train.
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) April 7, 2017
— Mike Cernovich 🇺🇸 (@Cernovich) April 7, 2017
"What follows Assad? What followed Saddam? Gaddafi? 15 yrs, 6k lost heroes 500k massacred Chrstns $5 Trill–for what?https://t.co/zQfrEWFYpS
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 7, 2017
We tried – all we could do was postpone the war these people wanted.
— Lauren Southern (@Lauren_Southern) April 7, 2017
You know there’s something wrong when Trump’s supporters are blasting the decision – and the likes of Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and Brian Williams are praising it.
The main concern from Trump’s supporters on the right wasn’t so much the strike itself, but the possibility of it leading to increased military action in Syria. Anyone on social media the night of the strike got the impression that World War III had just begun – but those fears have been exaggerated.
According to Michael Goodwin of the New York Post, who interviewed Trump about the strike, Amid complaints that his aides are saying different things about Syria and his policy is confusing, President Trump emphatically cleared the air.
“We’re not going into Syria,” he told me yesterday in an exclusive interview. “Our policy is the same — it hasn’t changed. We’re not going into Syria.”
The president, speaking by phone Tuesday, called Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a “butcher” and a “barbarian” for using sarin gas on his own people, but said last week’s successful missile strike was not the start of a campaign to oust the dictator.
“Our big mission is getting rid of ISIS,” Trump said. “That’s where it’s always been. But when you see kids choking to death, you watch their lungs burning out, we had to hit him and hit him hard.”
He called the attack, which involved 59 cruise missiles fired from two Navy destroyers, “an act of humanity.”
I asked if he, as a new president, found it difficult to make the final decision, knowing the stakes?
“It’s very tough to give that final go-ahead when you know you’re talking about human life,” he said. “We went back and forth, and also back and forth about severity. We could have gone bigger in terms of targets and more of them, but we thought this would be the appropriate first shot.”
Later, he added, “We hope he won’t do any more gassing.”
As you might have remembered, Syria supposedly destroyed all of their chemical weapons stockpiles after Barack Obama struck a deal with them in 2013 – which clearly wasn’t the case. While Russia denies the Assad regime had any role in the attacks, it wouldn’t be the first time Assad had used chemical weapons against his own people. According to a March 2016 report from the Syrian American Medical Society, nearly 1,500 civilians were killed with chemical weapons from the onset of the conflict through 2015, with 161 attacks documented. Ninety percent of these attacks were carried out by the Syrian or Russian governments.
Nearly one year after Obama had warned he was prepared to bomb Assad if he were to use chemical weapons, the most deadly chemical attack, taking place in Khan Sheikhoun, killed upwards of 1,000 civilians. Western countries blamed Assad – while Assad blamed the rebels.
For the sake of our own military budget, let’s hope Assad doesn’t cross the red line Obama drew once again. The consequences are actually enforced now.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]