While Trump’s Twitter activity from yesterday continues to drive media and political outrage, especially in the UK, and with the focus of the frenzied coverage being that the president retweeted a far-right U.K. leader’s “anti-Muslim videos”, there is actually something much more interesting concerning the context to the “Muslim Destroys A Statue Of Virgin Mary” video.
That particular video shared by the president is from 2013 and shows a Free Syrian Army (FSA) commander named Omar Gharba destroying a Virgin Mary statue as the group invaded a Syrian Christian town. In a geopolitical and deeply ironic twist demonstrating the absurdity and contradictions of US foreign policy, the radical Islamist commander was actually supported by the United States at the time as part of the FSA, which the media and US government deemed “moderate”.
So a sitting US president shared a video which reveals a Syrian “rebel” fighter committing war crimes who was part of one of the very groups backed by the CIA as official US policy under the Obama administration. Of course it is likely that Trump himself is not fully aware of this, yet the astounding geopolitical irony in this should not be missed, even as public outrage is reduced to merely discussing “anti-Muslim bigotry” and whether or not Trump is being “presidential”.
But as former President Obama used to frequently say, “this is a teachable moment”…