Former vice presidential candidate John Edwards was right when he said in 2004 that there are two Americas. The reaction to the targeting and death of ISIS leader Abu al-Baghdadi demonstrates the moral divide in this country between normal people and the “elites” more than ever.
Normal people who believe in good vs. evil, victim vs. criminal, and right vs. wrong reacted to the news yesterday the way it’s expressed in Proverbs 11:10: “When the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.”
Those who believe that criminals are victims, babies should be executed, and murderers should be released from prison, aka progressives, have a difficult time with Trump celebrating the lowly death of one of the most brutal terrorists of this generation.
The Washington Post, in a roundly mocked obituary, titled its screed, “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State, dies at 48.” They have since modified the title to “extremist leader,” refusing to mention which form of extremism.
Could you imagine such a headline from the media about Hitler’s death? For that matter, could you imagine a headline like this regarding a conservative they detest, such as Jesse Helms?
The media seems to have a fascination with humanizing people like Baghdadi, while President Trump rightfully depicts them in the dehumanizing way they acted. Bloomberg published a profile yesterday describing Baghdadi as a man who “transformed himself from a little-known teacher of Koranic recitation into the self-proclaimed ruler of an entity that covered swaths of Syria and Iraq” and said he “was killed along with a number of his followers.”
Rukmini Callimachi, who covers ISIS for the New York Times, in a profile piece at the Gray Lady, felt a need to quote local people who grew up with Baghdadi describing his pious devotion to his mosque and how he cleaned the building.
10. We are familiar with the atrocities his group carried out & are used to thinking of Baghdadi as a criminal & a thug. But those who knew him as a teen & as a young man described him as having a spiritual gift. The owner of the first mosque he attended described him like this: pic.twitter.com/bghskTyvUi
— Rukmini Callimachi (@rcallimachi) October 27, 2019
What exactly is the point in pushing this line of reporting now?
Even Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, in response to a question about the president describing Baghdadi’s death as a “coward” and “dog,” said he felt “a little uncomfortable to hear a president talking that way.” CNN’s Jake Tapper bizarrely felt that there was something wrong with what the president said, although he never explained exactly why it was wrong for him to paint such a “vivid picture” of the terrorist’s demise.
Thornberry qualified his answer by noting that there was utility to Trump taking the glamour away from Baghdadi’s death as an inspirational figure in the eyes of young recruits to terrorism. But why did he need to preface his remarks with the fact that he felt “a little uncomfortable?”
I guess we should just be relieved the Ninth Circuit didn’t place an injunction on Baghdadi’s death.
In reality, this was one instance where Trump’s undisciplined and unorthodox way of speaking is just what the time called for. The entire draw of ISIS was its glamour in martyrdom. Trump did a superlative job dehumanizing him while playing up the bravery of the special operators – all without too much focus on himself. He was actually right on message.
Also, Trump took the time to explain in greater detail and clarity why he believes it’s wrong to have a permanent ground presence in Syria. He deftly explained how ISIS is a bigger problem for Russia and the other neighbors and how it’s not our job to have a permanent presence there, but rather to engage in quick strikes and maneuvers as necessary. Taking away the shine from ISIS recruitment speaks exactly to what threatens us here at home, thanks to all of the people we’ve admitted into our country over the years who subscribe to this ideology. Trump’s rhetoric following this operation did more to deter their actions than a permanent presence in the region, which does nothing but help Russia and the Shiites. (For more from the author of “America’s Moral Divide Extends Even to the World’s Most Evil Terrorist” please click HERE)