A day after warning that Russia should "get ready" for an attack on Syria by "nice and new and 'smart'" American missiles, President Trump walked back his comments, tweeting that a US attack could come "very soon or not so soon at all!" and urging the world to thank the United States for "ridding the region of ISIS."
Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all! In any event, the United States, under my Administration, has done a great job of ridding the region of ISIS. Where is our “Thank you America?”— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 12 апреля 2018 г.
The president's followers, already flustered following yesterday's stream of tweets vacillating between aggressive rhetoric and blaming the Democrats for poor relations with Moscow, didn't know quite what to make of the latest tweet. Some suggested that the president's mind was "gone," or urged him to stop making brash statements which could cause an international incident or even lead to war.
MSNBC — Morning Joe — A very confused Trump just tweeted, “Syria attack could be very soon, or not soon at all. Anyway, we have done a great job on ISIS. Where is our thank you America?” In my view, Trump’s mind is gone, he’s finished.— alfromct (@alfromct) 12 апреля 2018 г.
Others got hung up on Trump's request that the USA be thanked for its efforts against terrorism, suggesting that it looked pathetic, or just plain wrong.
There was only one "ridding the region of ISIS".— ★Joop 🇷🇺Кlepzeikeя★ (@Bokkie_64) 12 апреля 2018 г.
We all know that. pic.twitter.com/rlwixOsX1s
Well thank you for not starting ww3 yet. Pls notice that the "victims" of the "gas attack" that have had their pictures all over, have ZERO symptoms. Chlorine exposure have very obvious symptoms, and the "victims" did not have any! Chlorine attack was FAKE NEWS!— Charles M (@CharlesMorgn) 12 апреля 2018 г.
Interestingly, some users likened Trump's remarks to a game of chess. They were divided regarding the president's skills, however.
President Trump is playing 3D Chess this morning with his tweet that an attack on Syria “Could be very soon or not soon at all!” Keep the enemy guessing. Good move.#ThursdayThoughts— Danny Kampf (@BleedingRedDan) 12 апреля 2018 г.
Wow you are amazing: there might be an attack on Syria or maybe no attack. You are like a world class master chess player. If that master chess player had been in a horrible accident and had most of his brain removed.— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) 12 апреля 2018 г.
Some seemingly rabid pro-war users urged the president not to "wimp out" or "back down" and to "stop twitting [sic] and start bombing."
You're crawfishing, backpedaling, whimping out. Americans deserve a strong President who takes decisive action. Why would we expect a boss who fires his employees via tweet instead of man 2 man to be able to stand up to #Putin? Good grief…Be a man and grow a set!— Ruben Trevino (@SaintTrevino) 12 апреля 2018 г.
Dear Pres. Trump you have the Assad regime on the run and Mullah's regime are shivering in fear please do not back down and make everything right. The enemies are already mocking you for not following with your decision on strike and are laughing at you.— Sean Arjmand (@arjmand_sean) 12 апреля 2018 г.
These users were countered by those offering a more rational approach, recalling Trump's campaign promises and urging him not to make a decision which will be certain to cost many innocent lives. Some also urged Trump not to trust his more hawkish advisers.
You need to open talks with Russia, a diplomatic solution is required, military action will worsen the suffering of innocent population that you say you want to help— Rich smith (@Richsmith100) 12 апреля 2018 г.
You are not entitled at all to attack a country. You did the same with Libya many years ago. The result: Infrastructure destroyed. Millions of idiots are on the way to Germany. Will you take the refugees after your attack?— Karl Gruber (@GruberSwiss007) 12 апреля 2018 г.
Please, do not attack Syria. Not our problem. No one even knows if Assad did this or not. Use the money and put America First! You've done an incredible job on foreign policy, like no other President, let's keep that going!— Joey M. (YourVoice™ America) (@JTM_YVA) 12 апреля 2018 г.
You called on missiles and gave a timeline of 24 to 48 hours. It was very clear. I like you and your policies but you have to stop claiming things that don't happen. America doesn't want war in Syria. Pull out troops immediately! Russians and Syrians are fighting terror there now— Jean-Yves (@JeanYve21788971) 12 апреля 2018 г.
Last week, Syrian opposition media reported on an alleged chemical attack by government forces in the town of Douma, just outside the Syrian capital of Damascus. The US and its European allies immediately blamed the Syrian government for the attack, and began preparing a possible military response. The Russian Center for Reconciliation sent inspectors to the area said to have been attacked, finding no trace of chemical weapons use. Moscow has since called for an independent, internationally approved investigation into the matter; officials have also reminded the international community that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons confirmed that Syria had destroyed all its stocks of chemical weapons in 2014.