He certainly broke with conventional Washington discourse. When the foreign policy establishment of Washington almost unanimously urged President Obama in September 2013 to punish the Syrian government for a chemical gas attack, Trump tweeted, “Do not attack Syria” three times in two days.
Iraqi security forces and Iranian-backed militias are preparing to attack Kirkuk in a bid to punish Iraqi Kurds who support independence. The United States must not allow Iraqi Kurds to be slaughtered, nor can it allow a war between anti-ISIS coalition members.
Eight years ago, when I wrote a book on the first days of Guantanamo, The Least Worst Place: Guantánamo’s First 100 Days, I assumed that Gitmo would prove a grim anomaly in our history. Today, it seems as if that “detention facility” will have a far longer life than I ever imagined and that it, and everything it represents, will become a true, if grim, legacy of twenty-first-century America.
Pillar and some other CIA analysts believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction but doubted some of the evidence produced by the White House and advocates of war. Their caution was discarded by CIA director George Tenet who told President George W. Bush that it was “a slam dunk” that declared Iraq had nuclear, chemical and biological weapons capability.
Trump’s Syria strike, while widely praised in the mainstream media, drew significant backlash from the president’s populist base. Now, five weeks later, Trump’s first foreign trip has ushered in a new wave of criticism from his core group of supporters.
Spencer gained notoriety by riding the coattails of the Trump movement, but the honeymoon has apparently ended. Spencer led chants for most of the rally, while one of his websites, AltRight.com, co-sponsored the protest with The Right Stuff.