al-Baghdadi finally meets his end

October 27, 2019 • 1:30 pm

As many sites have reported (the NYT is one), ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, 48, was hunted down by U.S. special forces and killed (or rather, committed suicide). He detonated a suicide belt, taking three of his children with him. As the NYT reports,

“Last night, the United States brought the world’s No. 1 terrorist leader to justice,” Mr. Trump said in an unusual nationally televised address from the White House. “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead.”

Mr. Trump said Mr. al-Baghdadi was chased to the end of a tunnel, “whimpering and crying and screaming all the way” as he was pursued by American military dogs. Accompanied by three children, Mr. al-Baghdadi then detonated a suicide vest, blowing up himself and the children, Mr. Trump said.

I can’t say I’m unhappy that he’s gone. Although I’m a pacifist, and would prefer that he be captured and tried, he was also an enemy. But I see Trump’s gloating as unseemly for several reasons.

1.) al-Baghdadi did not die “like a dog”: that is offensive to dogs. What does that mean, anyway? In fact, the only U.S. injury in the operation was a wounded U.S. attack dog. That dog was a hero and should be honored. Further, how many dogs would take their puppies with them?

2.) Is it really cowardly to blow yourself up? Perhaps “whimpering and screaming and crying” is cowardly, but suicide as an alternative to capture is not something I consider cowardly. If al-Baghdadi is a coward, so was Chilean President Salvador Allende, a socialist who did a lot for his country, but killed himself in a coup (engineered by the Chilean military and the CIA) as the military approached the Presidential Palace. After giving a final radio address, Allende killed himself with an AK-47. Was that cowardly? I think not.

3.) Finally, the credit for the al-Baghdadi operation should go primarily to the U.S. military. Trump, as Obama did with bin Laden, simply gave the go-ahead. But Trump is going to be trump-eting this as evidence for his “stable genius” until the next election. Compare the President’s gloating and swaggering now with the low-key way that Obama announced the death of bin Laden.

155 thoughts on “al-Baghdadi finally meets his end

  1. There’s a rumor going around that Trump was golfing at the time of the operation and they staged a photo op with Trump, Pence, Esper(anto), and a couple generals in the situation room an hour and half after the raid was over.

    Trump wanted a photo like the one of Obama and team when they got bin Laden.

      1. I think that is spelled “Moran” — just went through Moran, Texas on way to an obligation in Dallas. Dealey Plaza right below our hotel window … what a reminder.

    1. The person who started that rumor has retracted it. It appears that the image was taken a few minutes after the SF teams departed Iraq, and approximately an hour before the shooting started. So the image was at least posed, since Trump and the others were waiting for the troops to land. But that does not mean it is inauthentic.

  2. It took Trump nearly an hour of BS to say what Obama said in 9 minutes when Bin Laden was killed. Trump can do nothing but the disgusting.

    1. It is painful to listen to Trump speak. I was listening to Obama speaking at the funeral yesterday, and the comparison is striking.

      I have heard from people who know him that he is a fairly bright person, but you would never know it from his manner of speaking. I am amazed that through all the TV stuff leading up to his entry into politics, nobody has been able to convince him to take some public speaking instruction.

            1. I don’t think it is a good idea to assume Trump is stupid in all things just because he sucks as president. He ran a successful election campaign. Don’t assume he can’t run another one just because furling an umbrella defeated him.

              1. It’s not an assumption. It is a conclusion based on an enormous amount of evidence. It is very much possible to be an all around idiot and become President. There are more than enough other inputs to the political system to allow this (now-demonstrated) possibility.

              2. To the best of my knowledge, one. Certainly this is true for the years in which I’ve been on the planet.

              3. Are you actually arguing that there has to be other all around idiots for us to identify an all around idiot because the criteria for “all around idiot” can only apply to presidents before this one?

              4. No. I claim that Trump is not an idiot in at least one respect I.e he is good at getting elected president. GB James countered by saying that an all round idiot can get elected but if his example of an all round idiot is Trump, his argument is circular because it is Trump’s level of idiocy that is in dispute.

              5. I think you need to define your terms….Trump has the talents most narcissists have and often these innate talents are also their worst detriment. He can find out what hurts a person fast and with skilled precision, exploit that hurt. That doesn’t qualify you for president IMHO.

              6. I think “idiot” is too simple a descriptor.


                A major factor here – and I say this occasionally- is Fantasyland. A land where anything can happen as long as the (in this case) voters believe – and do so good and hard. … with such voters, he’d be an idiot NOT to be president.

              7. I don’t think you understand what a circular argument is, Jeremy. You asked how many, I said one. It happens to be Donald J tRump. There’s no circularity involved at all.

                If you’re looking for logical fallacies, look no further than defining “not an all around idiot” as “became President” and then concluding therefor that tRump can’t be an idiot.

              8. I claim you have to have some level of intelligence to become president. My evidence for that is you have to beat out a lot of reasonably intelligent people to get there. Trump beat a lot of Republicans and Hillary Clinton. Your counter to my claim was that an all round idiot became president, but that assumes your conclusion that Trump is an all round idiot. Your argument is circular.

              9. I hear your argument but I’m not so sure. Trump is a guy with lots of money and fame. He can attract relatively smart people that will figure things out for him. His shamelessness and single-mindedness will make up for his intelligence deficit. He definitely has some skills but I hesitate to call them intelligence.

              10. In my book, “aggressive narcissist” and “all around idiot” are not mutually exclusive. One can be both. It is the former which can allow one, under certain circumstances, to become President.

                As said before, I think there is more than enough evidence that tRump is an all around idiot. His fans, of course, disagree.

              11. “I claim you have to have some level of intelligence to become president.”

                It takes some level of intelligence to be a fruit fly.

                This is a pointless argument. I’m out.

              12. The thing to fear, Jeremy, is not Donald J tRump. He’s an idiot. One should fear the Republican Party, which has large numbers of unprincipled people working overtime to keep themselves in power.

                Now, I really am out.

              13. He ran a successful election campaign.

                He didn’t run a successful campaign. He was the most popular GOP candidate but couldn’t get the corresponding primary/caucus votes that normally every other candidate did. He was literally throwing away votes he had “earned” until Paul Manafort came in and fixed things.

                We can argue over the definition of “idiot”, but judging by Trump’s struggles with language, his inability to learn, and his bonehead decisions (abandoning Kurds, Ukraine fiasco, etc.), he qualifies as idiot in many people’s books.

              14. Peter Sellers, in “Being There” was an amusing example of how someone of very low capacity can rise to the top. tRump isn’t quite that, but I don’t think he can take all or even much of the credit for his election. His handlers were doing much of the heavy lifting behind the scenes. His boorish persona was responsible for much of his popularity, and his support from politicians was, I suspect, strategic in that they could get much of what they wanted, politically, in spite of the nasty taste he left on the palate.

              15. It’s helpful, too, to remember that many corporate CEOs have sociopathic tendencies. This means it’s probably an element in the formula for “success”, and is probably a reason for tRump’s climb to “leader of the free world”, in spite of any other talents, or lack thereof, he may have.

              16. I was about to say that. You can get pretty far on bravado and hard work (but only when it makes you look good). A miscalculation in who you shit on though can end you. I’ve worked with so many narcissists and sociopaths I totally get what’s going on with many of them. Sometimes they even help you and your career but only if you are where they want you. They can be fierce defenders too because they don’t like others playing with their toys and you are their toy.

              17. “It’s helpful, too, to remember that many corporate CEOs have sociopathic tendencies.”

                As former CEO of a (small) corporation, I resent this implication. LOL. But seriously, isn’t this just a trope from movies and tv? Do you have any references to back up that claim? I have yet to meet a CEO that seemed sociopathic but perhaps they just hide it well.

              18. It often depends on the industry. Lawyers and surgeons contain a larger proportion of sociopaths.

                CEOs of large corporations require a lot of the skills that come naturally to sociopaths, at least the ones that we value as s society. The numbers are hard to really gauge because sociopaths famously have little to no self awareness but they know it’s socially unacceptable to be a sociopath. This Forbes article mentions some of the books and studies:

              19. I can’t be arsed to look it up, but, to the best of my recollection it came from reliable sources. Diana’s experience is one case in point.

              20. No offense to Diana but I have had enough interaction with employees and their bosses to know that hearing one side of any complaint is very likely to give the wrong idea. It is very much the same as when some friend complains to you about their spouse or significant other. You hear only one side and so you should take it with a grain of salt.

                I can also say that there are more crazies in the employees than in the managers or CEOs. I could tell you quite a few horror stories and my company never had more than 28 employees. Movies and TV like to portray bosses as evil but there are way more evil employees in real life. Of course, you are hearing only one side. 😉

              21. To be fair to Diana, it wasn’t just Diana who noticed this behaviour of these individuals (who weren’t CEOs). They did atrocious things to family, friends, and employees. Some were dismissed as bullies finally or at least squeezed out.

              22. Thanks for the link above Diana. Actually, I thought it would be much higher than the 3% level the researchers suggest. It’s good to know that it’s really not that bad. So, Paul, looks like you’re off the hook. 😎

              23. Sociopathy is rare in the general population anyway but it’s still a PITA. The article was good because they explain that it seems to correlate with observed experiences of sociopathy and also it’s not very easy to get accurate numbers with sociopaths.

                I think I found a lot of them in my positions because they were highly competitive industries that attracted people with very small amygdalas. I actually admired a boss I had (I didn’t realize he had stolen someone’s work and passed if off as his own as I thought he did it so I had come to work for him thinking he was brilliant). I realized what he was when he had to be tested for empathy and it was low. OMG that whole conversations was just hilarious for me. He did so many bad things to people but he was also instrumental in helping me in my career.

              24. “Lawyers and surgeons contain a larger proportion of sociopaths.”

                One cuts people open and makes ’em bleed; the other has a medical degree. 🙂

            2. I don’t think is an idiot, exactly. I think the North Koreans were right – he’s a dotard. GW Bush, Reagan, were idiots, though the latter was also likely a dotard.

              1. I was just looking it up – dotard suggests an impairment, as in neurodegenerative…

              2. Well….it’s an old word back to medieval times so it’s probably best to describe as physically and/or mentally weak due to age. A bit on the agist side.

              3. Yes, can be agist – but I don’t *fault him* for being that way though. I fault his friends and family for not helping him out – though that may be impossible because I think he’s also a narcissist (in the technical sense).

          1. Or he has a unique genetic heritage that gives him behavior uniquely positioned to take advantage of other people and an upbringing that honed those skills to perfection. On top of that, he was given hundreds of millions by his father which essentially started him on third base. In short, he’s the perfect human storm.

          2. “He who knows not,
            and knows not that he knows not,
            is a fool; shun him.

            He who knows not,
            and knows that he knows not,
            is a student; Teach him.

            He who knows,
            and knows not that he knows,
            is asleep; Wake him.

            He who knows,
            and knows that he knows,
            is Wise; Follow him.”

      1. I have heard from people who know him that he is a fairly bright person …

        Donald Trump isn’t lacking in cognitive ability. He’s demonstrated a low cunning, especially when it comes to separating marks from their money and bending weaker men to his will. He also has an animal instinct for sussing out where the clout and leverage lie in any power structure.

        He has as well a certain set has communication skills, vulgar though they may be. He has a knack for branding, for getting free media, and for keeping the news cycle in a constant state of flux. He also knows how to command a room’s attention, how to dominate an interview by never leaving any dead air for another to speak, and how to sense the mood of an audience, the better to feed it red meat.

        But the man is a complete ignoramus when it comes to anything resembling the life of the mind. I doubt he’s ever read a book cover to cover. I’ve yet to hear him make a cultural allusion when speaking extemporaneously — historical, literary, or even to pop culture. And he was completely unprepared for the serious business of being president of the United States. For the first 70 years of his life, Donald Trump demonstrated no interest at all in public policy or the efficient functioning of the federal government, only as regards money and fame.

        1. Like many who tend toward the sociopathic/narcissistic spectrum of things, he has no inner life. It is conceivable that he has no real beliefs either. These things don’t interest him and so he can adopt a belief on whim that suits his purpose.

        2. “I doubt he’s ever read a book cover to cover.”

          I’m sure that includes all the books he “wrote.”

    2. I’ll always remember the understated, classy way Obama handled the demise of bin Laden in his interview on 60 Minutes. The interviewer asked if he had seen the pictures. “Yes,” he said. “And…?” the interviewer asked. There, for a moment, I expected some comment perhaps to the effect that, while mangled, he was recognizable, or something like that. Instead Obama simply said, “It was him.”

  3. Very much agree with PCC’s points here. This should be a sombre moment of quiet triumph at best.
    Talking about people dying ‘like a dog'(what is his fucking obsession with people doing things ‘like a dog’ by the way? he appends his moronic tweeted insults with those three words so often; ‘begged me like a dog’, ‘lost like a dog’, etc.) is just more evidence of his total inability to rise to any occasion, ever.

      1. Yes, ‘dumb as a rock’ is another one of his favourites. God what a total, irredeemable wanker he is.

        1. And I meant “reuses” not “refuses”. He’s so obnoxious that I can’t stand seeing him announce anything. I couldn’t stand him before he was president but his narcissism has gotten worse & worse and I can’t watch it.

          1. I find him nauseating to the point of being unbearable, but there’s one thing that allows me to be relatively detached about him: the presence of the Atlantic ocean.

            But to have that jabbering rotten pumpkin head running your country into the ground(or the country next door, as in your case) must be unbearable.
            I’m the same with Brexit. I just can’t bear hearing about it any more.

            1. Even from NZ I’m hating seeing two great countries ruined, both through blatant manipulation of public opinion and lies.

              Andrew Sullivan thinks that the Brexit vote should be respected, but how can you do that when you know the lies, spread by a cabal that included Boris, that made people vote for it?

              As for Trump, he’s not just destroying the US, but he’s having a pretty good go at the whole of Western democracy. He’s Putin’s Patsy. No one can get it into his head that he might be wrong sometimes. To have got to his age without learning that is astounding.

              There are people who admire the revolting way he announced the death of Baghdadi. They like the way he, “tells it like it is.” They say he talks like a “normal” USian. If that’s the case, I’m glad all the USians I’ve got to know are abnormal.

              1. There are people who admire the revolting way he announced the death of Baghdadi. They like the way he, “tells it like it is.” They say he talks like a “normal” USian.

                It’s not normal USian. Trump’s base likes his disdain for immigrants and dark skinned people in general, and they like his misogyny and narcissism. It seems 40% of the country share a kind of insecurity similar to Trump’s, the kind of insecurity that leads to that teenage tough talk.

                But Trump’s word salad way of talking is fairly unusual.

              2. I do know it’s not “normal” USian, and it’s only his base that believes that. And I know that most of you are better than that. Sorry I didn’t make that more clear in my comment.

              3. People mix up “plain speaking” with all sorts of crude ways of expressing oneself. Going on and on about what a wimp an enemy was, how he cried when he was going to die, calling allies assholes, swearing all the time, inciting violence, that’s garnishing a speech and making it completely unplain. If his speech were a meal, it would be loaded with unnecessary condiments.

              4. Given his policies of environmental depredation and his alliances, formal and informal, with corrupt dictators across the world wherever he finds them, etc., I’d say that he’s having a pretty good run at destroying the entire world; and if he gets his Space Force, there’ll be no stopping him.
                Impeach him immediately before he can do more damage. And take that loathsome creature, Boris Johnson, with him.

              5. The trouble is, getting rid of him might help the rest of the world slightly, but the GOP will still be in charge in the US. You’ve already got a VP and Secretary of State who believe we’re in the Last Days, and that God will sort out the environment when Jesus returns. Imagine what putting them in charge would mean.

              6. You’re right about that. I was hoping that the House committees could find enough to go after Pence (and Barr)but unless some really hard, definitive evidence is uncovered soon, nothing will happen, though all three of them, Pence, Pompeo and Barr, are implicated in the Ukrainian business. As far as succession goes, Pompeo and Barr are remote, Pence is the important one. I’d love to see both Trump and Pence knocked out and then we’d have a President Pelosi. But I dream. Meantime, he continues to wreak havoc.

                I know that the Dominioninists in Washington are truly scary and they operate by stealth from the inside; their tentacles are everywhere if one just scratches the surface, but you know that far better than I because you’ve done extensive research on the subject. Whenever I look at Pence, I see him with that tight enigmatic half-smile as a Grand Inquisitor, consigning people to horrible deaths smug in the knowledge that he’s a soldier for Christ. But he also reminds me of one of the pod people from “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” Have you had the chance to read “Piety and Power,” by Tom LoBianco, the new biography of Pence that was published earlier this year? I haven’t yet but it’s gotten great reviews and there are some good interviews with the author online.

                BTW, I learn that though Trump didn’t inform Pelosi and Schiff about the operation to assassinate al Baghdadi ((because he considers them untrustworthy),he did tell Putin. Par for the course.

              7. Heard a long interview with Pence on The NewsHour tonight. His slime is less obvious than Trump’s, but he’s a scary man.

              8. Although a President Pelosi might have its attractions, not the least of which is its alliteration, I would worry that it unnecessarily support Trump’s “coup” narrative for little real gain.

              9. I heard Trump say he didn’t tell Pelosi because he didn’t consider her “trustworthy”. I was horrified that he would say such a thing about a leading politician, even though she’s the opposition. Nothing is too low for him though.

              10. Now we hear Trump didn’t tell Mick Mulvaney, his acting chief of staff. Trainwreck all around.

              11. Pence is definitely scary, but I’d still say he’s saner than tRump. I think he has enough self control to make him hesitate before triggering a nuclear war. tRump, however, would probably think only about how being a destroyer of worlds might attract viewers.

              12. I agree. Also, Pence would have to be a bit scared that he’d be next on the chopping block. Even if he isn’t, he knows that the Dems and people in his own admin will be watching like hawks. My guess is he’d live out the rest of the term with his head down and then quietly disappear.

  4. Keep in mind this man’s death has been announced and even “confirmed” nearly a dozen times in the past and the nature of his suicide by explosive means no intact corpse will be recovered.

    1. It would be tremendous PR blunder to erroneously announce al-Baghdadi’s death. While Trump might be capable of such a blunder, I think the military/FBI* would take extreme care not to.

      *I’m guessing the FBI would be in charge of the DNA testing to determine who got blown up.

      1. Papers claims they would have, except that this president demanded a rush job so it is not as thorough an analysis as it should have been.

        Speaking of botching ops, the papers also notes the earlier rush to get the job done because of Trump pulling troops out. And that despite being sold out, the Kurds helped all the way.

        Seems to me everyone *except* Trump should claim this feat.

    2. Yes, no surprise that Trump failed to find magnanimity in “victory”. Given the many-headed hydra that Isis is, it won’t be long before a replacement for al-Baghdadi is announced. And Trump’s deliberately provocative and triumphal language will only intensify the inevitable reprisals.

      1. It will probably turn out to be the wrong head, but that will make absolutely no difference whatsoever to the tRump.


  5. I make it a point never to celebrate anyone’s death (for the reason’s given in John Donne’s poem), but al-Baghdadi was a bad hombre and the world is much better off without him.

    As for Trump, he went on and on in vivid detail about about watching the whole thing unfold on teevee. He’s president Chauncey Gardner — if the only tube Chance the Gardener ever watched was reality tv and World Wide Wrestling.

    Trump also went on and on about how al-Baghdadi died whimpering and crying like a girly man. This is counterproductive. As Christopher Hitchens frequently observed, much of radical Islamic terrorism is driven by humiliation and young Islamic men’s feelings of emasculation. It does us no good to add kerosene.

    And, as for Trump’s braggadocio regarding his pwn role in the matter, there is, as the saying goes, “always a tweet” showing his hypocrisy:

    1. Thanks Ken. Yeah, past tweets by Trump almost daily highlight his hypocrisy and obsession with politicizing every facet of his reality.

      Nice reference as well. Incidentally, I finished For Whom the Bell Tolls a few weeks back. I have to say I enjoyed it very much. I hadn’t read any Earnesto for many years and relaxed easily into his terse prose and dialogue. I also enjoyed the history lesson on the Spanish Civil War; for some reason, my education seems to have glossed over that influential conflict.

      1. For Whom the Bell Tolls has its many fans — oddly enough, both Barack Obama and John McCain cited is as among their favorite books during the 2008 campaign.

        I like it all right, but, for my money, his one great novel is The Sun Also Rises. And his real literary legacy is the short stories he wrote, especially the ones from the 1920s, the ones collected as The First Forty, plus a few from 1930s — especially “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” and a couple of the stories set in Africa, like “The Short, Happy Life of Francis Macomber” and “The Snows of Kilimanjaro.”

        There’s also some of his later writing like The Old Man and the Sea, which many critics disparage as Nobel-bait, but I quite like it. And he finished strong with his memoir A Moveable Feast, although much of that comes from the notebooks he kept in Paris in the Twenties (which were originally thought to have been lost on a train by his first wife, but were rediscovered and reworked into the book).

        If Hemingway had kept his mouth shut about things like his “code” and his “iceberg method” — if he’d have shunned publicity the way Thomas Pynchon does today, and simply let his writing speak for itself — I think he’d have maintained a mystique and his literary legacy would be the stronger for it.

        1. Thanks for your analysis here Ken. Interesting thoughts. But if he shunned publicity, he wouldn’t have met Ingrid Bergman. 🙂

          I’ve read pretty much all his short stories; I agree that these make up the bulk of his literary legacy. Haven’t read The Sun Also Rises. Will pick it up.

  6. Did you see Trump’s adolescent tweet “Something very big has just happened!” at 6:23 PM, more than 12 hours before the announcement? He just wanted to let us know that he knew a secret.

    Every time I think I can’t hate him more he proves me wrong.

    1. The ‘something very big has happened’ tweet was actually about the fact that he’d successfully tied his own laces for the first time in his life. Then that got overtaken by the Baghdadi news.

      1. In my neck of the woods (California), the report that Baghdadi had been killed came Saturday night and it came before the news that Trump was had scheduled a news conference for the next day. I’m sure it doesn’t mean anything but I’m reporting it for the record since it differs from most of the accounts here.

    2. that was just one more demonstration that he doesn’t understand that the office of President carries with it its own status. He is too stupid and ignorant to realise he doesn’t need to big note himself anymore, just as he is too stupid and ignorant to realise the office grants him political superiority over Kim Jong-Un and Erdogan every other person on the planet.

      Recognising the status the Office carries with it would require a degree of knowledge and imagination of which he is incapable, and above all, he’d have to overcome his aversion to accepting that that black guy had exactly that same status.

    3. Upon reading his tweet my first thought was “Please tell us you’re going to resign!”.

      Let’s not forget his other tweet from Oct. 23, 2012:
      The military and Navy Seals should be given more credit for Bin Laden’s death, not Obama, who works hard to take all the credit away from them.

      1. “I know something you don’t know” (“You were born in a peanut shell”.) Haven’t thought of that little ditty since I was about 8, which maybe makes it a bit over Donnie’s head…

        1. This is way over my head. What is this ditty, “You were born in a peanut shell”? (Sounds like it was some taunt yelled at Jimmy Carter.) And who is Donnie and why is it a bit over his head? And what is “it” that’s over his head.

          1. Donnie is our presidential idiot. He told everyone he had a big secret, it reminded me of the taunt we had as kids:
            I know something you don’t know (la la lal)
            You were born in a peanut shell.

            Nada to do with poor Jimmy Carter.

            1. I’m tired. I was thinking back to the beginning of the thread when Ken Kukec wrote about John Donne. I thought you were referring to the poet, and that you might have misspelled his surname, either inadvertently or as a bit of cryptic wit that went right over my head. And then the peanut ditty. I couldn’t fit those disparate mysteries into something that was coherent and had meaning No wonder I was confused!

              1. Nothing related to Trump is coherent. Johnny Donne don’t enter into it (as in the Norwegian Blue’s plumage…)🤓

  7. Even though I am sure this story must be correct, it says a lot about the past three years that I want to see all the evidence before I am completely convinced.

    Trump boasted of watching the raid as it happened. He also said (if I have it right) that Al Baghdadi had been identified almost straightaway by an on-site DNA test. Can both these assertions be correct? If so, are there any security implications?

    Otherwise, I guess my reaction is like Ken’s above: I don’t like extra-judiciary killing, but the world is a much better place without this very nasty individual (and by that I mean Al-Baghdadi).

    1. The method appears to be DNA evidence, in which case they’d have to have al-Baghdadi’s DNA (unlikely) or the DNA of a relative (more likely). There are portable kits (see NYT article) that can do a field test in about two or three hours, which was longer than the team was on the ground. There is no way they could have unequivocally identified him almost immediately–at least as far as I see.

  8. 2. It was “cowardly” of him to kill his children, like that. Yes.

    Will be interesting to see if and how PZ Myers reacts.

    A few days ago he was wishing a very decent Jewish scientist and scholar was dead, so I wonder if he will moan about the death of al-Baghdadi, because Trump, etc.

    1. That’s a literal description, I’m sure, because I’ve seen videos of Trump at his rallies with his adoring base surrounding him, and whenever he gets off a zinger and they roar, he acts like a prizefighter or wrestler who’s just cold-cocked his opponent. He draws his body up, gets a super-supercilious expression on his face, steps away from the podium, turns to one side, and does a little walk-dance swagger.

      It would be laughable if it weren’t so pathetic.

  9. I suspect the dog references were deliberate. Strict Islamists hate dogs almost as much as they hate pigs.

    It is notable that a different raid took out Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir, the head spokesman for ISIS. Lots of minor ISIS figures were also killed in both raids, so these events are a big setback for them.

    1. “Strict Islamists hate dogs almost as much as they hate pigs.”

      You think the tRump even knows that? You’re giving him way more credit than I would. Unless he has a speechwriter in charge of supplying insults.


      1. Judging the overall announcement (its structure, choice of words, and delivery), I’d say that Trump had s speechwriter for at least part of it; but whether those particular remarks were scripted or not, I wouldn’t venture to say. I think those remarks could have been scripted or extemporaneous, but I’d also bet that however scripted his remarks were, he took the text and ran with it,”his way”.

        Either way, the effects would be the same, and Max Blancke’s remarks should should be given serious consideration. I hate to be crude but it’s all about who has the biggest dick (that translates to power) so any slight to either party’s manhood is explosive.

  10. That former Caliph Al Baghdadi blew up his children along with himself indicates the
    character of his ideology clearly enough. On the other hand, some look at his stance differently. Britain’s Stop the War Coalition, for example, at one point featured an article by Matt Carr which thoughtfully explained that “the jihadist movement that ultimately spawned Daesh is far closer to the spirit of internationalism and solidarity that drove the International Brigades than Cameron’s bombing campaign”.

    1. The STWC are an appalling bunch of fringe dickheads, still riding on the momentary high they enjoyed in opposing the Iraq war fifteen plus years ago. They represent the worst of the worst of the left and should be treated with utter contempt.

  11. Sub

    The relish is vile. Yes, a dangerous murderer is no longer a threat, through a terrible but necessary function of the country. It’s the perfect time to show what “speak softly but carry a big stick” means.

  12. You reminded me of one of the many ways tRump and Obama were polar opposites. Obama handled everything in a smooth, low key manor, while tRump is a brash and bumbling bragger.

  13. So, a dangerous lunatic is now dead. Great.

    Now, when will the next dangerous lunatic please blow himself up? We’re looking at you, Mr Trump…


    1. A caption for the photo could be : “two of these people are not like the others” – I might even go as far as one.

    2. Whoops … i was looking up bin laden’s death – 2011. The other comment got in here – that’s what a messy desk leads to.

  14. It is possible that the vile, vengeful language the President used, is simply his giving voice specifically for the feelings of the family of Kayla Mueller. The raid was named after Kayla. I’m not sure what to make of that scenario.

  15. Yes, the dog used in the Baghdadi death deserves better recognition than merely “dog wounded”, then dropped by the media. It must have had a name, and maybe died. Animal exploitation is wrong. They have no choice. I can’t stop that but at the very least their sacrifice should be noted with a name and a regret.

  16. I’m predicting that the backstory on Turkey, Assad, Putin, Baghdadi, etc. will come out soon and we will be disgusted by it. With any luck, it will come at the right time in the impeachment process and we’ll be rid of Trump. My fingers are crossed.

  17. Always nice to see the Donald handle matters with his customary quiet dignity.

    Trump attended the World Series game last night at Nationals Park in Washington, DC.

    When his presence was announced and picture shown on the big screen, he was greeted with boos and chants of “lock him up.”

    From the look on his face, that wasn’t the reception he was expecting after his big al-Baghdadi announcement.

    1. It was strange, the way I felt hearing the crowd boo him.

      I realised that the constant barrage of positive images of him – of him standing in exactly the same position at each rally, in front of smiling and laughing supporters, cheering his every word – really has had an effect on me. Without my knowing it.

      So even though I know that the polls say he’s despised, even though I read the figures that say he’s the least popular president since god knows when, nevertheless some basic, deeply suggestible part of me was genuinely surprised to hear people booing him.

      The tactics his team use, of only filming him in front of and around people who are smiling and laughing: that shit works, even when you know what they’re trying to do, and even when you know that every meeting he goes to is cherrypicked and curated to weed out anyone who might criticise him. It still works.

      That was a creepy little realisation.

      1. It is rare, especially these days, to get a venue where an informal mass popularity poll can be taken. Notwithstanding any partisan bias of baseball fans, I guess a World Series game comes closest. I wonder what the boo-to-clap ratio was?

        1. Keep in mind, too, that the game was played in our Nation’s capital, which is deeply blue and where Donald Trump is deeply unpopular. So it wasn’t as though this was a typical cross-section of baseball fans.

          Trump originally declined the opportunity to throw out “the first pitch” (as is traditionally done by presidents when attending such a ballgame), probably because he feared he’d receive such a negative reception. But he went ahead and attended the game anyway after the al-Baghdadi announcement, likely thinking he’d receive a warmer welcome.

          Narcissists never appreciate how deeply they’re despised.

          1. Ha ha. I’ve actually watched a narcissist fail miserable then brag that they are great. I saw someone fail at an interview, tell the the questions they couldn’t answer then say that they handed in their resume and it “was very impressive” then walk off the failure. It’s actually something I admire about them. Yeah they have absolutely no self awareness which impedes their ability to learn, but damn are they resilient.

              1. And they charm people so women don’t know what they’ve done until after they’ve had a child….

          2. Which is why next year’s vote needs to be overwhelming. We need to send a strong message to future narcissists who may be thinking of entering politics. Not they would hear it.

  18. I have no idea what Trump’s IQ score is (like his taxes, I’m sure it’s hidden away somewhere) but he is a textbook example of narcissistic personality disorder. He is also a pathological liar. He is one of the most incurious and uninformed people on the planet and simply makes stuff up to cover for his lack of knowledge. And he is the most corrupt president in my lifetime, possibly the entire history of the US.

  19. I also meant to add, what a way for your children to die, terrified, murdered by your father and for what?
    Had a flashback to when reading about Goebbels ordering the murder of all five of his daughters when the Russians were bearing down on Hitler’s bunker.
    In that case it kind of made sense, however perverse that may seem. However, seeing how the Russian army weren’t particularly honorable victors he could have arranged it that they were captured by the Allies.

    1. Goebbels wife had another child from a previous marriage. He was older and not in the bunker; he actually survived the war. Talk about the evil stepdad…damn.

      1. If memory serves, for marrying a divorced woman outside the Church, Joseph Goebbels was the only Nazi excommunicated by the Catholic Church.

        1. Oh that’s rich. Ethnic cleansing was 👍 but marry a woman outside the church and now we’ll kick you out.

      2. Yeah, someone who can actually say that his step dad was a Nazi and be being completely literal & not engaging in hyperbole. I think he has descendants too.

  20. To me, it seems, while Trump will claim this is a great achievement of his administration (as did Obama the killing of Bin Laden) not much will change in overall terrorism and conflict in the Middle East. Not until the oil runs out will there be less emphasis on radical Islamic figurehead, fighting terrorism and conflict resolution in the region.

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