‘Bigger lunatic than Bush’: Twitter reacts to Trump missile threat

‘Bigger lunatic than Bush’: Twitter reacts to Trump missile threat
President Donald Trump warned Russia to “get ready” for missile strikes on Syria, in an off-the-cuff response on Wednesday morning to an alleged chemical weapons attack by Syrian government forces.

The US leader tweeted: “Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’ You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”

The tweet provoked a flurry of reactions. Journalist Glenn Greenwald warned against a “dangerous and volatile” confrontation with Russia, and called those pushing Trump towards war “dangerous idiots.”

Other journalists were less measured. Your Voice America’s Joey M. led his own all-caps pep rally on Twitter, calling Trump’s threat an example of “PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH.”

Your Voice America co-host and Trump cheerleader Bill Mitchell was equally keen to show his support for the president:

British journalist and blogger Vanessa Beeley, who has covered the Syrian conflict intensively, was despondent that America seemed to be “taken to war by a bigger lunatic than Bush.”

On the right, Fox News’ Tomi Lahren simply warned Trump to “Stay out of Syria.”

Just days before the alleged chemical attack, Trump had teased about the possibility of a US withdrawal from Syria. During the previous administration, Trump had repeatedly warned President Barack Obama against intervening in the conflict, saying that “very bad things” would happen if he did.

Indeed, many of Trump’s supporters admired the president for his “America First” stance against intervention in foreign conflicts. During his election campaign, Trump blasted Hillary Clinton for her eagerness to strike Syria, telling reporters in a 2016 interview:

"You’re going to end up in World War Three over Syria if we listen to Hillary Clinton. You’re not fighting Syria any more, you’re fighting Syria, Russia and Iran, alright? Russia is a nuclear country, but a country where the nukes work as opposed to other countries that talk."

Trump’s tweet on Wednesday morning, while not an official declaration of war, seems to represent a complete shift in attitude by the president, and one that many of his voters will remember in 2020:

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