Responding to a Russian diplomat's warning that any American missiles fired at Syria would be "downed," President Donald Trump told Russia to "get ready" in a tweet Wednesday morning because missiles "will be coming"—a threat commentators characterized as an extraordinarily dangerous escalation of tensions between two nuclear powers.
Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2018
Responding to Trump's tweet, The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald observed Wednesday that the president's threat provides a "nice, chilling reminder of how dangerous and volatile confrontation with Russia can be" and demonstrates "why those who have been demanding Trump be more belligerent are dangerous idiots."
A nice, chilling reminder of how dangerous and volatile confrontation with Russia can be. This is why Obama - smartly - spent 8 years avoiding confrontation with Russia, including in Syria. And why those who have been demanding Trump be more belligerent are dangerous idiots. https://t.co/4JR3hXn8Ht
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 11, 2018
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Trump's warning that missiles "will be" headed toward Syria comes just days after the Assad government was accused of launching a chemical attack that killed more than 40 people.
As Common Dreams reported, Trump said on Monday that all options are "on the table" when it comes to a U.S. response to the alleged attack and vowed to make "major decisions" over the next couple of days.
While no such official decision has been announced, Trump's tweet on Wednesday indicates that the White House—which welcomed national security adviser and war "fanatic" John Bolton into the fold this week—is preparing to launch a military attack on Syria.
Ahead of the president's Wednesday morning tweet, members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus warned that any attempt by Trump to take unilateral military action would be "unconstitutional" and urged him to pursue diplomatic solutions.
"Syria's civil war continues to be a complex regional conflict, and it has become increasingly clear that U.S. military interventions will likely add to the mass suffering in Syria," Reps. Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) said in a joint statement on Tuesday. "The past two decades of U.S. military intervention in the Middle East—including President Trump’s unauthorized airstrikes on Syria last year—only confirm the failure of this approach to advance humanitarian outcomes."