We’re hearing the usual carping about the attack on Syria from Trump’s fiercest critics, but some of the most bitter criticism is coming from the president’s strongest supporters.
Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham both questioned Trump’s decision Friday to launch strikes in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack last weekend that the U.S. has attributed to the Syrian government.
Carlson noted the move was inconsistent with the president’s message during his 2016 campaign, and Ingraham said she found that intervention in other countries could be risky, as shown in the Iraq War, according to the Daily Beast.
Michael Savage, a prominent conservative radio host and author, tweeted that “sad warmongers hijacking our nation” following news of the strike.
Infowars’s Alex Jones broke down in tears while speaking out against the military action.
“If he had been a piece of crap from the beginning, it wouldn’t be so bad,” Jones said of Trump. “We’ve made so many sacrifices and now he’s crapping all over us. It makes me sick.”
Conservative commentator Ann Coulter also shared her opposition to the strike, retweeting a series of other conservative or right-wing figures who condemned the move and resurfacing Trump’s own past tweets against military action in Syria.
And far-right figures Mike Cernovich and Laura Loomer also ripped Trump over the military strike in Syria.
This shouldn’t surprise anyone. Donald Trump was seen by many on the right as an antidote to the militarist policies of previous presidents whose interventions invariably embroiled America and its military in no-win situations. The belief that both Barack Obama and George Bush intervened far too often and too easily was widespread among Trump supporters and many hoped that his quasi-isolationist policies would put an end to the constant wars that drained the treasury and sapped the morale of servicemen.
But putting “America first” also means accepting the hard fact that the U.S. is still a superpower and has responsibilities that the rest of the world will not let us forget. It would be nice to run and hide when the true villains of the world like Bashar al-Assad cross a line. Unfortunately, the U.S. has been unable to do that since the end of World War II despite supposed pacifists in power like Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama.
“Collective action” is a beautiful concept but, in reality, it’s an illusion. And the attack on Syria shows why. The participation of both Great Britain and France can best be described as “token” at best. The real work was done by U.S. designed and manufactured missiles fired from U.S. ships and planes. You might argue that a strike designed to deter Assad from using chemical weapons on civilians again was not necessary and Trump was listening to the militarists when he ordered it.
But there is no denying America’s leadership role in the world. Militaristic or not, Trump’s action in bombing Syria was entirely consistent with the post-World War II role America has carved out for itself.