Alt-right figures blast Donald Trump’s attack on Syria
By Jesse FerrerasNational Online Journalist Global New
The United States has carried out military action against the Syrian regime in response to the chemical weapons attack on civilians earlier this week. Weijia Jiang is at Mar-A-Lago, where the President called on "all civilized nations" to join the U.S. in trying to end the bloodshed in Syria.
It wasn’t long ago that Richard Spencer was saying “Hail Trump” and prompting people to raise their hands in salute to the U.S. president.
But Spencer, a figure long associated with the so-called alt-right, a U.S.-based offshoot of conservatism that combines elements of racism, white nationalism and populism, struck a decidedly different tone as Donald Trump ordered the launch of as many as 60 missiles at a Syrian airbase on Thursday night.
Spencer unleashed a series of tweets against Trump amid news of the attack — including the president’s own tweets from 2013, when he urged Barack Obama against involvement in Syria
Here are two of Trump’s posts that Spencer re-tweeted:
But Spencer was hardly alone among figures associated with a movement that was vocally supportive of Trump during last year’s U.S. election.
But on Thursday, numerous people that have been attached to the movement criticized Trump’s intervention in Syria.
Here was Paul Joseph Watson, editor of Infowars.com.
Here was Mike Cernovich, author of MAGA Mindset: Making YOU and America Great Again, an analysis of Trump’s rise to power.
And here was social media personality Tim Treadstone, also known as Baked Alaska.
As Vox noted, the alt-right has roots in the “deeply anti-interventionist paleoconservative movement,” and supported Trump in the U.S. election because they thought he would oppose military intervention.
For a time, that seemed like it would be the case.
Throughout 2013, Trump tweeted his opposition to any move by Obama to intervene in Syria.
But a change was witnessed in Trump after news emerged about a chemical attack that killed innocent children and babies.
“I think what happened in Syria is one of the truly egregious crimes and it shouldn’t have happened and it shouldn’t be allowed to happen,” he told reporters on Air Force One Thursday.
“Something should happen.”
Something did happen. And it alienated people who thought Trump was their man.
Although the leaders of countries including Britain, France, Germany, Turkey and Poland have released statements throwing their weight behind Trump's actions (even European Council President Donald Tusk signalled his approval in a tweet), notable right-wing politicians and known Trump fans have not been as supportive.
Nigel Farage, the right-wing former leader of the U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) who led the campaign for Brexit, tweeted a cryptic message Friday morning:
Far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen condemned the attack on Twitter, writing: " What happened in Syria is appalling and I strongly condemn. But you first need an international investigation."
Le Pen, the President of France's National Front, also told France-2 television on Friday that she was "surprised" by Trump's sudden attack of the airfield, warning that past U.S. interventions in Libya and Iraq led to rising extremism. She said that Trump claimed that he did not want the U.S. to be "the world's policeman, and that's exactly what he did yesterday."
Even some readers of Breitbart News, the far-right U.S. news, opinion and commentary website, seemed unhappy. The site has been a consistent Trump cheerleader even before its executive chairman Steven K. Bannon became the president's chief strategist.
Yet comments on a piece called 'Trump Orders Strikes Against Syrian Regime Airbase In Response To Chemical Attack' include "What a damn shame. Trump, your political career is dead in the water and I will work as hard to get you out as I did to get your in" and "Trump has thrown us under the bus over a false flag BS staged event that was most likely instigated by John McCain and his criminal buddies and Al Queada friends