This evening, the United States carried out a missile strike against Syria, killing a reported 100 people. Dozens of missiles were fired as retaliation for a chemical attacked levied by the Syrian government earlier this week, and Twitter, as it tends to do in cases of breaking news, came alive with commentary and criticism. The most widely cited critic? This guy:
That’s just the most forceful piece of unrequested advice President Trump tweeted at President Obama back in 2013, warning him not to intervene in Syria. Here he is demanding Obama get congressional approval for strikes — something Trump decidedly did not do. I hope the White House lawyers have a lot of coffee on hand!
Trump’s not the only conservative having a little trouble with his Twitter archive — here’s Sean Hannity. In 2013!
Looking for a little insight into Donald Trump’s thinking on the political expediency of military action? Look no further!
It’s fair to ask if it matters that, three and a half years ago, the president stridently held a completely opposite opinion from the one that led him to launch a collection of Tomahawk missiles. (The New York Times notes the attack marks a sharp turn from earlier comments, implying that the administration was still considering other, less aggressive, options — so three and a half years is generous.) Given that Trump’s alleged noninterventionism was an oft-stated reason to vote for him, it feels more than fair to point out what a complete reverse the new policy implies. Just ask Green Party candidate Jill Stein:
Below is just a sampling of all the times Trump tweeted in opposition to military intervention in Syria three years ago. (Seriously, search Twitter for all his tweets containing the word “Syria” — the list goes on and on. This was an issue he cared about.) We’ve written before about the pleasure you can derive from reading old @RealDonaldTrump tweets and reminding yourself of the era when he was just a heckling citizen, thanks to the indexed permanence of social media. But when he’s a few feet away from the nuclear football — and as it becomes clear how easily his mind can change — the extent of the gap between the seriousness of his actions and the frivolousness of his rhetoric seems a lot less funny, and a lot more terrifying.