Donald Trump probably regrets all these old tweets about Syria right now

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)

Trump’s public positions on Twitter have been astoundingly different from his actions in office.

The Syrian civil war is one of modernity’s most complex geopolitical conflicts, with local, regional, and world powers all vying to exert influence, and with goals and positions that have often been in opposition to the sides they have supported.

The murky, half-decade long strife is not something that can be easily digested, and it is in no way something that can be explained and resolved in 140 characters.

But back at the onset of the conflict, that didn’t stop our current president from offering plenty of his insights and ideas.

A lot can change in four years—predominantly, having the power and authority to act as president instead of as a private citizen—but suffice it to say, Donald Trump‘s stance on Syria leading up to yesterday’s strike was starkly different from what it is now.

For starters, he appears to be under the impression that we were once militarily engaged with Syria in the same way we were with Iraq.

Which…no.

But he also said later that we should not be involved in Syria.

“Not our problem” was a position also espoused by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson just days before Syrian president Bashar al-Assad launched a chlorine gas attack against his own people, which killed 80.

In the summer of 2013, as the conflict continued to escalate, Trump continued to rail for the U.S. to stay out of it.

As noted by others, the approximate cost of a 59 cruise missile strike is somewhere around $50-70 million, making this strike a not insignificant use of American resources. Trump, who has repeatedly said that our allies do not pay their fair share for military support, believed the Arab League should pay for the cost of intervention in Syria.

Trump also made bold claims about how—if he would attack Syria, which he said he wouldn’t—he would do it differently.

For Thursday’s strike, U.S. forces did alert Russians at the base that a strike was imminent in an effort to minimize damage to personnel.

However, Trump has routinely stated that he would not give advance notification of his war plans, because, in his own words, a president who did that would be “stupid.”

But the realities of war and international relations, as well as a concern for general human rights, dictate you can’t do that.

People are also pointing to Trump’s 2013 stance that intervention in Syria should require congressional approval.

The president does not require the approval of Congress to launch a military strike, as Trump showed just yesterday. He does need to inform them of military actions with 48 hours, which he did.

He also claimed that any involvement that causes the death of civilians would reflect poorly on America, a position he since changed when he began running for office in earnest.

Initial reports from Syrian news do indicate that some civilians were killed, and reports say that over 1,000 civilians have been killed since Trump took office.

Trump also said that our government should fix healthcare and pass a budget before striking Syria.

Those things, uhhh, did not happen with Trump in office.

That said, there is one consistent stance Trump has had: Regardless of what happens in Syria, we should not take their refugees.

Although he’s had some trouble doing that, too.

Still, throughout 2013, Trump was stridently against any involvement.

Anyhoots, whatever happens, we’ll always have this.

Hopefully, he got that one wrong too.

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