The machinations of the mainstream media since the successful killing of ISIS caliph Al-Baghdadi have been something to behold.
My colleague Nick Arama shared some initial reactions in a piece yesterday morning. I then reported on CNBC’s John Harwood, who was essentially losing his mind trying to handwave away the operation as anything positive. It’s something to behold.
Of course, the next logical evolution was a bunch of “experts,” who’ve managed to get just about everything wrong in the last two decades, to tell us how killing the terror leader is actually a bad thing.
At @lawfareblog, I wrote: "Much as al-Qaeda has used Osama bin Laden’s legacy as a propaganda tool since his death, were Baghdadi to be killed by U.S.-backed coalition forces, his legacy would almost certainly function as a recruitment tool for [ISIS]." https://t.co/quIvzr1RAt pic.twitter.com/OyGI2eu16b
— Michael S. Smith II (@MichaelSSmithII) October 27, 2019
Yeah, I’m sure having their leader be hunted down and blown up is a real green light for recruitment. This is the kind of nonsensical tripe that passes as “expert” thought in the beltway and that has led to so much frustration about foreign policy among normal Americans.
And here’s Obama’s Ambassador to Qatar with a galaxy brain take.
When bin Laden was killed, we were careful to be clear that he had been given a proper Muslim burial. Not because we gave a damn about him but because it was important for our relationships in the region and safety of our military and diplomats.
— Dana Shell Smith (@AmbDana) October 27, 2019
Because otherwise, terrorists would have laid down their arms or something. I mean, if a guy is about to go behead someone, clearly giving his terrorist leader a proper burial is going to sway him to take up knitting.
Compound this kind of laughable analysis with the results of the foreign policy people like Shell Smith helped push and you begin to see why things have been such a mess post 9/11. People sitting in classrooms and think tanks coming up with military strategies is a recipe for disaster. It’s how you got people like Max Boot at the forefront of disasters.
Then there was the media’s reaction. Here’s CNN’s Jake Tapper, unbiased journalist extraordinaire, pondering whether we are helping ISIS by killing Al-Baghdadi.
Jake Tapper Wonders Whether Trump’s Critique Of ‘Coward’ Al-Baghdadi Will Galvanize ISIS https://t.co/8Cs5OkNejn
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 27, 2019
“Lastly, what do you make of the president’s — he painted a very vivid picture of al Baghdadi dying a very cowardly death, which I don’t doubt for a second, ISIS fighters are very cowardly,” Tapper began. “He talked about al-Baghdadi detonating his vest, killing his three children while he did so. I don’t doubt it, they’re monsters, but is there any concern on your part because now there is a question what ISIS will do in response to this move, in response perhaps to the president’s rhetoric. Does that concern you at all in terms of galvanizing or motivating ISIS terrorists?”
What a brilliant question from the intrepid reporter.
It’s also completely dumb. Al-Baghdadi was the caliph. He was the “authority” holding the caliphate together. Not just any Muslim can be that, as there has to be some kind of claimed lineage from previous caliphs. Killing him undeniably hurts ISIS and in no way results in some kind of positive recruitment tool. That doesn’t mean their ideology or all isolated attacks go away, but as a caliphate, ISIS is officially dead.
There’s also the fact that our cooperation with Syria and Turkey here further forms a bulwark against a possible resurgence. ISIS is in a land with no allies and there is little pathway back.
It would have been really simple for our foreign policy establishment and media to admit these facts. Instead, for purely political reasons, they’ve got to try to spin this as a loss or at least muddy the waters. It’s pathetic.
All kinds of elite prattling from New York and DC over the last 3 weeks regarding ISIS has not aged well.
We have the worst experts. https://t.co/ddvMcxLqmB
— John Ocasio-Nolte (@NolteNC) October 27, 2019
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