Donald Trump’s bombing of Syria was odd, and not just for one reason. There were a handful of oddities about it.
1. First of all, Trump heavily, heavily, heavily pushed Obama to not bomb Syria after Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on his citizens a few years ago. It was a very similar situation, and it’s completely unclear why Trump would have changed his mind on the matter. The tweets were extreme even for Trump!
We should stay the hell out of Syria, the "rebels" are just as bad as the current regime. WHAT WILL WE GET FOR OUR LIVES AND $ BILLIONS?ZERO
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2013
What will we get for bombing Syria besides more debt and a possible long term conflict? Obama needs Congressional approval.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2013
What I am saying is stay out of Syria.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2013
AGAIN, TO OUR VERY FOOLISH LEADER, DO NOT ATTACK SYRIA – IF YOU DO MANY VERY BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN & FROM THAT FIGHT THE U.S. GETS NOTHING!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2013
Don't attack Syria – an attack that will bring nothing but trouble for the U.S. Focus on making our country strong and great again!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 9, 2013
2. Donald didn’t get approval from Congress to bomb Syria, something he’s required to do under the Constitution. Supposedly, Republicans are more obsessed with adhering to the explicit rules set forth in the Constitution, but Obama reportedly tried to get more explicit backing of Congress to bomb Syria and then didn’t do so when there wasn’t the backing, whereas Trump didn’t try to get backing from Congress and violated the Constitution (again) by bombing a foreign country that didn’t attack us without legal right to do so.
3. The White House made official statements mere days before the bombing, essentially saying Assad could do what he wanted within Syrian borders, that the US wasn’t going to interfere. Then, it completely reversed that stance with bombs on Syria’s soil.
4. All of that said, this was an extremely “soft” bombing, and there’s plenty of speculation that it was political theater (war theater) in collusion with Russia.
Clearly, one of the most critical challenges Trump is facing for his future and his general image (which seems to be his prime concern) is the investigation into all of the ties he and his top team members have had (and in some cases still have) to Russia, including potential corruption regarding the 2016 election, business, and what Trump is doing now.
Trump has tried to throw the media and the public off the scent repeatedly, but not effectively. A little anti-Russia bombing in Syria, though — that could make a difference. Incidentally, the White House told Russia (Syria’s ally) about the planned bombing beforehand — told Russia where the US would be dropping the bombs — which allowed Russia (and reportedly also Syria) to move any valuables out of the target site ahead of time. Hmm…
There’s a lot here that we don’t know, and it is protocol for the US to let Russia know about such a bombing to let it get its aircraft out of the vicinity, so we shouldn’t jump to conclusions, but there are questions on the table.
Interestingly, btw, Russia doesn’t seem super upset about the US attack.
5. Oddly, Trump partly ran his campaign on getting the US out of the Middle East, out of war, etc. Many of us saw that as misleading campaigning at the time and very unlikely in reality from someone like Trump. However, many voters saw Trump as an “anti-neocon” non-politician who would really reduce war and all the related costs to taxpayers. These voters are now in a bit of shock — some of the most outspoken right-wing Trump supporters are up in arms about Trump’s move, which is completely against what he campaigned on.
Of course, Trump’s decision to jack up the US military budget to a record level even though it’s already insane, and then cut everything that’s actually for American residents back home, should have been the bigger outrage in my opinion. It was a blatant sign that Trump was more interested in global war than helping the middle class and the poor in the United States.
Recommended: Trump, Syria & How Not To Be “Presidential”