President Donald Trump. Picture: AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta
President Donald Trump. Picture: AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Trump deserves credit for taking out Baghdadi

It's hardly surprising that the baseball crowd booed US President Donald Trump when he showed up at a game in Washington on Sunday night.

Sports fans are notorious for booing presidents of all stripes. Barack Obama was booed, as was Bill Clinton and both Bushes. So, for that matter, were prime ministers including John Howard, Kevin Rudd, Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull. Scott Morrison was booed at the tennis. It's a time-honoured tradition in both hemispheres

The crowd in Washington also found it amusing to chant "Lock Him Up", a familiar refrain at Trump's rallies, referring to Hillary Clinton. Fair's fair. You dish it out, you get it back.

It's not as if Washington, DC is Trump territory, either. Just four per cent of residents voted for him in 2016 so there is no omen to be read in the boos.

But that hasn't stopped pundits on both sides of the Trump divide from attaching great portent to the aural thumbs-down. Some offered it as conclusive proof that Trump is on his way out. Other were outraged at the disrespect, especially on the day the President announced the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Syria.

The raid was a triumph for the US Special Forces, culminating in the world's most wanted fugitive cornered in a dead-end tunnel before he blew himself up. It also was a triumph for Trump, who had made hunting down Baghdadi a priority of his administration.

Not that he'll get any credit from the demented Trump-hating Resistance. Never-Trumper Max Boot was just one who found fault after the president gave a press conference describing the "daring and dangerous" raid in cinematic detail and saying Baghdadi died a "coward".

In a column for The Washington Post, Boot lambasted Trump and claimed Baghdadi was no coward because "rather than be captured, he blew himself up."

He later issued a clarification after backlash from readers, but it just goes to prove that you can be so blinded by Trump-loathing that defending a sadistic terrorist comes naturally.

In fact, The Washington Post, which never misses an opportunity to frame Trump in a bad light, was remarkably kind to Baghdadi, describing him in a headline merely as an "austere religious scholar", before being shamed into rewriting it.

Such attempts to downplay the significance of Baghdadi's death and the depravity of his reign is a sign that Trump derangement syndrome causes sufferers to lose all sense of right and wrong.

According to the critics, Trump made military officials "cringe" with embarrassment at his colourful account of the raid. He shouldn't claim credit for taking down Baghdadi, anyway, and Obama's brilliant take-down of bin Laden was much better.

This file image made from video posted on a militant website April 29, 2019, purports to show the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Picture: Al-Furqan Media via AP
This file image made from video posted on a militant website April 29, 2019, purports to show the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Picture: Al-Furqan Media via AP

Trump could walk on water and they'd criticise the shoes he wore. It's all beside the point. What matters is that the monster who ran the sadistic medieval caliphate of ISIS is no more. Good riddance.

It's remarkable how quickly the depravity of the ISIS caliphate has faded from memory. The President reminded us about four American hostages who were murdered by ISIS and the Jordanian pilot burned alive on camera. There also were more than 1200 innocents murdered in ISIS-inspired terror attacks around the world, from France and Egypt to Australia, from the Lindt cafe siege to last year's Melbourne stabbings.

ISIS took pleasure in inflicting pain. They chopped heads and fixed them to spikes in Raqqa. They threw gay men off roofs. They burned people alive, drowned them in cages, stoned them, crucified Christians, all the time filming the deaths as recruitment porn.

Thousands of Christians, Yazidis and other religious minorities were kidnapped as sex slaves, another lure for inadequate men around the world.

One victim mentioned by Trump, who Australians may not know, because her family had to keep her 2013 capture a secret, Kayla Mueller, 26, was an aid worker on the Turkey/Syria border when she was kidnapped by ISIS. In the three years before she died, she was tortured and repeatedly raped by Baghdadi, according to her parents. Sunday's operation in Syria was named in her honour.

President Trump with national security adviser Robert O'Brien, Vice President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary mark Esper, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley and Brig. Gen. Marcus Evans, Deputy Director for Special Operations in the Situation Room of the White House during the IS raid that took out Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Picture: Shealah Craighead/The White House via AP
President Trump with national security adviser Robert O'Brien, Vice President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary mark Esper, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley and Brig. Gen. Marcus Evans, Deputy Director for Special Operations in the Situation Room of the White House during the IS raid that took out Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Picture: Shealah Craighead/The White House via AP

So, if Trump took poetic license to describe Baghdadi's last moments, what does it matter in the scheme of things?

"He died in a vicious and violent way, as a coward, running and crying," Trump said.

Baghdadi most definitely was a coward, who used three of his children as human shields, blowing them up in that tunnel along with himself.

The next pressing issue is what to do about the surviving ISIS terrorists imprisoned in Syria, and their wives and children.

Like it or not, those who are Australian citizens are our responsibility.

In the Al-Hawl camp in Syria, alone, there are reported to be as many as 36 ISIS wives and children, whose lawyers are pressuring the Morrison government to bring them home. They're offering to submit to control orders, which is big of them, considering the enormous cost to taxpayers. They're willing, no doubt, to accept welfare benefits, too, despite having betrayed the nation which provides them.

No, the threat is not over, despite the trivial preoccupations of Trump haters.

While the ISIS leader may be dead and his caliphate destroyed, the ideology lives on.

@mirandadevine