On Saturday night, President Donald Trump sent out a cryptic tweet: “Something very big has just happened!”
And this time, it wasn’t just showmanship.
We soon learned that something very, very big had happened: The world’s most wanted terrorist and the leader of ISIS since 2010, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was dead after U.S. Special Forces troops aided by Kurds raided a compound where he was hiding in the northern Syrian province of Idlib.
He reportedly panicked, grabbed three of his children, ran from the troops down a tunnel, then ignited a suicide vest, blowing up himself and his own children and collapsing the tunnel.
Trump didn’t mince words: “He was a sick and depraved man, and now he’s gone. Baghdadi was vicious and violent, and he died in a vicious and violent way, as a coward, running and crying. He died like a dog. He died like a coward.”
It was indeed a fantastic achievement for the U.S. military and for Trump and his military advisers, who have been tarred as incompetents who didn’t care about ISIS because of Trump’s decision to pull troops from Syria.
In fact, even as the mission was being announced, “Saturday Night Live” was running their most badly-timed unfunny anti-Trump sketch ever, with Alec Baldwin as Trump bragging about “making ISIS great again.” I have a feeling that sketch won’t be seen on any future “best-of SNL” retrospectives (and they don’t have much to choose from these days.)
The successful mission brought praise to Trump (some reluctant) even from some of his critics, including Mitt Romney, who tweeted, “Al Baghdadi spread ‘fire and brimstone’ on earth; now he feels it for himself in hell. To all who arranged his change of venue — the intel officers, the President, the warriors — thank you.”
Diane Foley, whose son James was beheaded by ISIS on orders from Baghdadi, tweeted this: “I am grateful to our President and brave troops for finding ISIS leader Al-Bagdadi. I hope this will hinder the resurgence of terror groups and pray that captured ISIS fighters will be brought to trial and held accountable.”
Marsha Mueller, mother of the late human rights activist Kayla Mueller, went even further. Her daughter was brutally tortured, raped and forced into “marriage” with Baghdadi before being killed in a Jordanian airstrike on ISIS-held areas of Iraq in 2015. Mueller said, “I still say Kayla should be here, and if Obama had been as decisive as President Trump, maybe she would have been.”
On the other hand … jealousy and envy are ugly things, but when you mix them with the kind of partisan political hatred that Democrats feel toward President Trump, you get their reactions to the long-overdue killing of al-Baghdadi.
To hear how some leading Democrats and their media cheerleaders tried to twist the news to sound negative, you’d think they would actually prefer al-Baghdadi still be alive than for Trump to get any credit for eliminating him.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for example, issued a statement that devoted only two short sentences to celebrating the end of Baghdadi and congratulating the troops responsible for it, followed by two long paragraphs taking shots at Trump. Classy!
Like Pelosi, Adam Schiff seems to think classified info about the raid should have been shared with him, because he apparently believes he not only has the power to decide who should be president, but that he himself is now president.
From the “Questions That Answer Themselves” Department: Some “journalists” are asking in shocked and appalled tones if President Trump actually thinks it would not have been safe to share classified information about the raid with House Democratic leaders such as Pelosi and Schiff.
The answer is so blindingly obvious, I’ll just respond with another question:
“If Trump had shared this information with Adam Schiff, who would have warned Baghdadi of the impending raid first: CNN, The New York Times or The Washington Post?”
Trump made no bones about why he didn’t share it. He said, “Washington leaks like I’ve never seen before. There is no country in the world that leaks like we do, and Washington is a leaking machine.”
You’ll notice that the Democrats and media figures (pardon the redundancy) who are huffing and puffing in outrage at that comment are not actually daring to try to refute it. Not even Anderson Cooper could keep a straight face if they did.
Besides, there were several potential target dates that were considered and discarded before the trigger was pulled, which would have given it even more time to leak out.
(On a separate but related issue, now that a federal judge has stupidly allowed Schiff’s committee to have access to confidential grand jury testimony from the Mueller investigation, how long do you think it will take before it ends up in the media? I predict that the only way it’s not in the headlines by mid-week will be if they can’t find anything that they can possibly spin to damage Trump.)
The Flopping Aces blog has a good round-up of some of the more embarrassing attempts to downplay Trump’s achievement, some of them bleeding over outrageously into near-praise of Baghdadi.
These include former Obama officials fretting that killing Baghdadi might “galvanize” ISIS to retaliate (because if we don’t kill their leaders, they won’t attack us?… I think I understand why ISIS grew so big under their watch), and blasting Trump for not showing more “respect” under Islamic tradition in talking about Baghdadi’s death, the way Obama did with Osama bin Laden (ISIS slaughtered and enslaved countless Muslims; why do they assume that Muslims think he deserves “respect?” Besides, maybe plainly describing how he died like a sniveling coward will make some would-be ISIS recruits think twice.)
But the Pulitzer Prize for Putting Trump Hatred Ahead of Country has to go to The Washington Post (followed closely by Bloomberg and The New York Times.) They all attempted to downplay the awfulness of Baghdadi, to try to cast him as some sort of vague “cleric,” but only The Post first described him in their headline as “terrorist-in-chief,” then knowingly jettisoned the truth to change that to “an austere religious scholar,” then after being assailed by furious readers, switched it to “extremist leader.”
All these attempts to whitewash Baghdadi to downplay Trump’s victory inspired some meme maker to create this satirical (some might call it “fake-but-accurate”) CNN headline: “Trump Kills Unarmed Father of Three.”
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