WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 25: Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, speaks during a press conference … [+]
On Thursday, the US military carried out air strikes on a location in Syria used by two Iranian-backed militia groups in response to rocket attacks on US forces in the region in recent weeks. US officials said “up to a handful” of militants were killed in the strikes, which were the first known US military action ordered by President Joe Biden.
The White House has been criticized by both the Democratic legislature and the independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermond, who warned that the president was exceeding his powers to declare military action.
However, some have argued that Thursday’s fiercest critics of the violence were in fact President Biden and White Press Secretary Jen Psaki, each of whom criticized former President Donald Trump for conducting similar strikes in the region.
During the election campaign, candidate Biden questioned President Trump’s actions.
In 2017, Ms. Psaki wrote on her personal Twitter account (@jrpsaki): “Also what is the legal authority for strikes? Assad is a brutal dictator. But Syria is a sovereign country.”
It wasn’t long before Psaki’s previous comments were published, and surprisingly, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) (@IllhanMN) was one of those who broached the issue this week.
Former talk show host Lou Dobbs (@LouDobbs) said, “Is there a sane citizen who doesn’t know what President Biden and his group of Obama acolytes and activists are up to America and our great people?” After Biden, Psaki tweets criticize that Trump reappears after new air strikes in Syria. “
FoxNews employee Sara A. Carter (@SaraCarterDC) also joined the fight, mocking Psaki’s new catchphrase.
The official Twitter account for talk show host Wayne Dupree (@WayneDupreeShow) also called out the White House.
And at least some have claimed what was wrong then is wrong now, and that included Business Insider reporter John Haltiwanger (@chaltiwanger), who tweeted, “Psaki told reporters that there was a massive difference in politics between Trump’s 2017 Syria and right there. ” Strike and Biden’s strike yesterday. In both cases, the US unilaterally violated the sovereignty of Syria – a country with which it is not at war. “
Previous comments and social media
This certainly isn’t the first time old comments have popped up on social media, and it certainly won’t be the last. As the saying goes, “Two mistakes make no right,” and as Haltiwanger noted, what might have been wrong now was still wrong in the past.
“The people highlighting the contrast between Biden’s orders to bomb Syria this week and his tweeted criticism of Trump’s bombing order in Syria provide good examples of how social media posts become ‘gotcha’ criticism,” said Charles King, technology industry analyst at Pund-IT.
“First, they usually don’t provide context for the earlier statements,” said King. “In this case, Biden’s comments focused on Trump’s decision to act unilaterally, without directly threatening US forces or consulting with Congress. He also lambasted Trump’s apparent lack of strategy when it came to conflict in Syria and the greater Middle East Biden responded directly to actions in which US troops and advisors were injured and killed.
“More importantly, such attacks usually ignore the simple truth that most people regularly change their minds and opinions through exposure to time, circumstances and experience,” added King. “Trying to portray disagreements resulting from better understanding as examples of terrible inconsistencies is, to put it kindly, grossly simple-minded.”
Being in the White House also offers a different perspective than being on the campaign path, but it shows that everyone should be careful about being too strong on social media – as opinions inevitably change.
“People need to learn that their social media posts are practically forever and what used to be funny or seemed like an appropriate position may not come back and haunt you in the future,” said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at Enderle Group.
“If you are posting to protect your future reputation, you need to think not only about how what you have posted will be received today but also in the future,” added Enderle. “This practice suggests avoiding personal attack of any kind or making negative comments on a group that might one day be protected. It also suggests that social media can become your worst enemy if you want a future in politics. If social media is to survive it has to find a way not to cause as much damage in the future, otherwise people may conclude that the risk is no longer worth it, or companies may take the position that those who use the platform do take advantage of being too high a risk to be discontinued or retained. “