Stunned prominent American patriotic writers and bloggers have turned on the president in which they had put their trust.
American Trump supporters are accusing the leader they voted for to end wars, of turning against his electorate by waging an attack that he had for years said would be a terrible idea.
Former Trump supporters were unified once more on Thursday night in condemning the airstrike in Syria as a mistake. Or as former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos put it, it was “FAKE and GAY”. Trump now risks losing his base that had believed in his isolationist, “America First” message.
Nationalist, anti-interventionist and anti-globalists, as well as the alt-right have also displayed a marked aversion to conflict with Russia, something that the US attack on Syria risks igniting.
According to the New York Times, US president Donald Trump had acted “emotionally” to order an attack on Syria – a monumental mistake for a leader of a country like the United States and something that would hardly appeal to his masculine voter base. “In truth, it was an emotional act by a man suddenly aware that the world’s problems were now his — and that turning away, to him, was not an option,” the Times declared.
Coincidentally, the missile strike came only hours after his chief strategist and de facto representative of the alt-right in the White House, Steve Bannon, had been removed from the National Security Council Principals Committee, cutting off his access to military decision-making.
America-Firsters like Bannon in the West Wing and Trump’s own election rhetoric on the campaign trail, had most white Americans believing that Trump had not ingested the interventionist, war-loving Kool-Aid. That is why they had voted for Trump and that is why he won.
Bannon seems to have been removed by Trump’s son-in law, Jared Kuschner, himself not an elected official but who seems to be playing a large role in US foreign policy decisions.
Trump, his supporters believed, would keep the country out of unnecessary wars, in which they have to do the fighting. The Trump administration had promised to do so as recently as last week. The “longer-term status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people,” said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson last Thursday on a trip to Turkey.
On the same day however, the US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley declared that America’s “priority is no longer to sit and focus on getting Assad out”, but Tillerson is the senior official, and many had dismissed Haily as a Democratic party crank.
Patriots have lambasted Trump for launching the strike on a sovereign country without first seeking congressional approval — something he said on Twitter in 2013 would be a “big mistake”.
The most vocal in their outrage were leaders from the small but influential white nationalist movement. Paul Joseph Watson, an editor for the popular site Infowars, said on Twitter that Trump “was just another deep state/neocon puppet.” He added, “I’m officially OFF the Trump train.”
Alex Jones, owner of Infowars said: “The White Helmets, an al-Qaeda affiliated group funded by George Soros and the British government, have reportedly staged another chemical weapon attack on civilians in the Syrian city of Khan Sheikhun to lay blame on the Syrian government.”
Richard Spencer, who had coined the term “alt-right,” said he condemned the attack and hinted at supporting another presidential candidate in 2020. “Worst-case scenario: We’re replaying the 2000s: A conservative comes to office on a populist message and becomes a globalist and neocon shill. Again, I’ll wait and see but I’m prepared to denounce Trump.”
Scott Adams, the cartoonist who created Dilbert, wrote on his website on Thursday before the missile strike that the chemical weapons attack appeared to be a “manufactured event”.
A few hours before the missile strike, blogger Mike Cernovich warned his followers in a live video that the United States was going to attack Syria. “Remind Trump who supported him,” he told his viewers. “We got to stop him.” he held up his small daughter during a livestream, while pleading: “They want war. Deep state, all these people want it, man.” Of the media, he said, “They’re trying to con Trump into believing the people want war.” He added: “It was probably ISIS did it to themselves.”
He also tweeted: “Did McCain give ‘moderate rebels’ (ISIS) in Syria poison gas and Hollywood style film equipment?”
Blogger Stefan Molyneux tweeted an ascerbic comment, suggesting that dead bodies were not paraded after the terror attack in Sweden. He also added in a YouTube commentary that there was no one to replace Assad.
Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, was the lone Democrat voice against the aggression on Syria. Gabbard had met with President Bashar al-Assad of Syria in January and on Thursday criticised the missile strike as shortsighted and reckless.
The US attack on an airfield in Syria has been conducted “on the verge of a military clash” with Russia, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said, adding that President Trump has been “broken by the US power machine” in just two-and-a-half months.
“Instead of an overworked statement about a joint fight against the biggest enemy, ISIS (the Islamic State), the Trump administration proved that it will fiercely fight the legitimate Syrian government,” Medvedev wrote on his Facebook page.