President Joe Biden ordered a U.S. military airstrike in Syria that targeted multiple facilities that the Pentagon claims are used by an Iranian-backed militia. The bombings reportedly killed 22 fighters and were allegedly a response to rocket attacks on U.S. troop locations in Iraq.
The offensive was Biden’s first military action since taking office and occurred on the 36th day of his presidency. However, many are pointing out that key members of the Biden administration had a much different reaction to former President Donald Trump’s military intervention in Syria.
Progressives and conservatives alike called out Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and White House press secretary Jen Psaki for past tweets where they criticized Trump’s military involvement and non-intervention in Syria.
In April 2017, the Trump administration launched Tomahawk missiles against Syria in retaliation to a chemical weapons attack on civilians by Bashar al-Assad’s forces. Trump said Assad used a “deadly nerve agent” that “choked out the lives of helpless men, women, and children.”
Psaki reacted to the U.S. airstrikes by tweeting, “Also what is the legal authority for strikes? Assad is a brutal dictator. But Syria is a sovereign country.”
Also what is the legal authority for strikes? Assad is a brutal dictator. But Syria is a sovereign country.
— Jen Psaki (@Jen Psaki)1491532074.0
After the Biden administration ordered airstrikes on Syria, which is a sovereign country, the White House press secretary was asked her own question by dozens of commenters on Twitter. Many people, including former Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, asked Psaki if she was going to “circle back” to answer this question, which a reference to her crutch catchphrase she often uses during press briefings.
Republican Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) replied, “I condemn meddling in Syria’s civil war. I also condemn attacking a sovereign nation without authority. What authority does @POTUS have to strike Syria? Perhaps someone should ask his @PressSec today?”
But it wasn’t only conservatives who pointed out Psaki’s hypocrisy, liberal journalist Glen Greenwald suggested, “Someone should ask @PressSec her own question verbatim about Biden’s Syria bombing at tomorrow’s briefing.”
Even progressive Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar (Minn.) used Psaki’s own words against her by tweeting, “Great question.”
Great question. https://t.co/79K8uyzwGi
— Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan Omar)1614312149.0
In 2018, a coalition of the U.S., U.K., and France bombed chemical weapons sites in Syria in response to a suspected chemical attack in the town of Douma that killed dozens.
Following the attack, Kamala Harris said Trump needs to consult with Congress before ordering military actions, which Biden didn’t do before ordering the airstrikes in Syria this week.
“I strongly support our men and women in uniform and believe we must hold Assad accountable for his unconscionable use of chemical weapons,” Harris tweeted. “But I am deeply concerned about the legal rationale of last night’s strikes. The president needs to lay out a comprehensive strategy in Syria in consultation with Congress – and he needs to do it now.”
The president needs to lay out a comprehensive strategy in Syria in consultation with Congress — and he needs to do it now.
— Kamala Harris (@Kamala Harris)1523729629.0
In 2019, Trump ordered the withdrawal of U.S. troops out of Northern Syria, which was also slammed by Democrats, including then-presidential candidate Joe Biden.
“This afternoon, I’ll be discussing Donald Trump’s recent actions in Syria and how his erratic, impulsive decisions endanger our troops and make us all less safe,” Biden said. “The events of the past week … have had devastating clarity of just how dangerous this president is.”
This afternoon, I’ll be discussing Donald Trump’s recent actions in Syria and how his erratic, impulsive decisions… https://t.co/dvNFXewaJk
— Joe Biden (@Joe Biden)1571257292.0