After promising diplomacy to be the “center of foreign policy,” President Joe Biden ordered a U.S.-led airstrike in Syria that targeted a building used by Iranian-backed militant groups.
Lloyd Austin, Biden’s Defense Secretary, told reporters the strike was in retaliation for a Feb. 15 rocket attack against a US military base at Erbil International Airport in northern Iraq that killed one US military contractor and wounded nine other people. The administration said it was intended to deter future attacks on US troops in Iraq, but was met with bipartisan criticism.
President Biden’s airstrikes occurred hours before he issued a statement condemning Russia for violating a “sovereignty and territorial integrity” of Ukraine seven years ago during the annexation of Crimea.
Some, including Rep. Ilhan Omar, even questioned whether the airstrikes were authorized under the existing Authorization for Use of Military Force, highlighting a 2017 tweet by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, who criticized an airstrike on Syria by Trump.
The airstrikes mark a change in what Biden and members of his administration said last year when former President Trump sent an airstrike on Iranian terrorist General Qasem Soleimani. President Biden called it a “hugely escalatory move in an already dangerous region” and warned Americans that it could put them on the brink of a major conflict across the Middle East.
Vice President Kamala Harris was also critical of the airstrikes, even though the U.S found evidence that dictator Bashar al-Assad was still using chemical weapons. “I strongly support our men and women in uniform and believe we must hold Assad accountable for his unconscionable use of chemical weapons. But I am deeply concerned about the legal rationale of last night’s strikes,” she tweeted.
Former Trump administration official Richard Grenel tweeted, “Today is a Circle Back Day,” and retweeted Psaki’s airstrike tweet. Others, including Newsmax contributor Jessie Janie Duff, pointed out a tweet from Joe Biden on June 22, 2019 criticizing Trump’s decision to airstrike.
“Trump’s erratic, impulsive actions are the last thing we need as Commander-in-Chief. No president should order a military strike without fully understanding the consequences. We don’t need another war in the Middle East, but Trump’s actions toward Iran only make that more likely,” he wrote.
So far, the Biden Administration has tried to halt deportations, bomb Syria, open up “migrant facilities” (that they referred to during the Trump era as “children in cages”), and has reversed over a dozen executive orders to suffocate the middle class and small businesses nationwide.
But hey, at least he’s not tweeting anything mean.