US-led Syria strikes: A distraction from Trump’s troubles?

Twitter users draw comparisons between Trump’s attack on Syria and Clinton’s 1998 Iraq attack during controversies.

U.S. President Donald Trump announces missile strikes on Syria while delivering a statement from the White House in Washington, U.S., April 13, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
Trump boasted via Twitter his missile strikes did the job: 'Mission Accomplished!' [Reuters]

US President Donald Trump, along with the UK and France, ordered strikes on the Syrian capital on Friday evening, reportedly in response to a suspected chemical attack on rebel-held Douma last Saturday.

The strikes came after an uptick in controversy for Trump’s already controversial presidency.

The offices and home of Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, were raided by the FBI on Monday.

The raid was undertaken partially on the referral of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating possible collusion between the Trump team and Russia in the 2016 US elections.

It was then revealed in court on Friday that Cohen had been under criminal investigation for months, according to reports.

That same day, reports surfaced that Trump ally Elliott Broidy had paid $1.6m to a model who claimed he had impregnated her.

Broidy, a major Republican fundraiser, admitted a consensual affair and resigned from his post as the Republican National Convention’s deputy fundraiser.

The agreement between Broidy and the model did not admit that Broidy was the father of the child. The pregnancy was reportedly terminated on the model’s own choice.

The payment was arranged by Cohen, who reportedly made similar arrangements for Trump in relation to another model. Cohen is also a finance officer for the RNC.

Reports have also surfaced that Mueller has proof that Cohen travelled to Prague in 2016, which was mentioned in a dossier that surfaced after Trump was elected.

The dossier suggested that the Trump team worked with Russia to win the election.

Cohen has denied the reports, saying he has never been to the Czech Republic.

Social media users compared these events to the 1998 US bombing of Iraq.

The military operation was ordered by Bill Clinton, who was about to be impeached as president for lying under oath in relation to an investigation over his extramarital affairs.

Though many anti-Trump activists have called for his impeachment, he is currently safe from the procedure, which involves the US Congress putting the commander-in-chief on trial.

Clinton was impeached at the time of the attack on Iraq, called Operation Desert Fox.

Trump had spoken of sending missiles in response to the suspected chemical attack for roughly a week before the bombing occurred.

As such, Twitter users were drawing comparisons and suggesting the strikes were a distraction from controversies before they took place.

Others compared the bombing of Syria to the US attacking Iraq in 2003, which began a war that has lasted until today.

Sebastian Gorka, a former White House strategist who refers to himself as a “counterterrorism expert” – though it has been reported he has no qualifications for such a title – defended Trump.

Other supporters said they have always supported US military intervention in the Middle East, whether it was George HW Bush, Bill Clinton or Donald Trump:

Source: Al Jazeera