Streetwise Professor

October 28, 2019

Trump Releases the Dogs of War (Literally!) Against Al Baghdadi, and the Media Has a Stroke

Filed under: History,Military,Politics — cpirrong @ 2:22 pm

Yesterday President Trump announced that ISIS leader Bakr al Baghdadi had blown (himself) up real good. His death was the culmination of a Delta Force raid, and al Baghdadi self-detonated when he was cornered by running American dogs. No, not “American running dogs” in the way that old Chicom and Nork propaganda used the term, but actual German shepherds. Trump (and Delta) literally released the hounds, and let slip the dogs of war on Baghdadi.

Beyond the satisfaction of a seeing a bad man come to a bad end, what is the benefit of such actions? Are they worth the risks they entail?

On one level, this just presents a promotion opportunity with the ISIS organization. (Although the heir apparent, ISIS propaganda chief–Baghdadi Bob?–also apparently met his doom yesterday.) If the dispatched leader is some sort of exceptional genius, his demise may degrade the organization as he would replaced by someone less capable. But you never know . . . maybe this could result in the terrorist equivalent of Lou Gehrig replacing Wally Pipp.

At a more substantive level, the role of such decapitation strikes is not so much the killing itself, or the capability of the target, but the chase. Threatening the leadership of a terrorist organization can deprive it of the initiative, and creates Clauswitzian frictions that reduce its lethality. The leadership spends disproportionate time and resources playing defense instead of playing offense. It has to utilize less effective means of communication, command, and control to avoid being detected. The constant threat of betrayal ramps paranoia to 11, which also limits communication, and can lead to paralyzing internal strife. All of these things degrade operational effectiveness.

In order for these things to happen, the terrorists’ opponents must make the threat credible. This requires them to devote the resources necessary to track down the leadership, and to execute strikes with sufficient frequency pour encourager les autres.

Since hardcore types like ISIS are unlikely to give up altogether, one cannot execute a raid like this and ride off into the sunset. The Lone Ranger’s job is never done here. It must be repeated over and over in order to keep the threat real, and thereby impair the effectiveness of its terrorist opponent.

Not willing to give Trump a single accolade, the media has utterly beclowned itself in the aftermath. I’m sure you’re surprised, right?

The first two clowns out of the car were the WaPo and Bloomberg, whose obituaries of Baghdadi portrayed him as an “austere cleric,” and student and teacher of the Koran.

Careful there folks, because pushing that line demolishes another one of your narratives: a clear implication is that deep study of the Koran encourages sectarian mass murder.

These dead-on-arrival obituaries unleashed a torrent of hilarity on Twitter, with mock obituary headlines containing benign descriptions of historical monsters from Hitler to Jeffrey Dahmer.

Most of the post-‘splosion coverage was a carnival of mass murder of straw men. A repeated theme has been that Baghdadi’s death will not be the end of ISIS, let alone terrorism.

Of course not.

Most “analysts” at best gave grudging compliments to Trump, but then unleashed a barrage of cavils and caveats. I have a dare for the media: write a column about the raid, and Trump’s role in it, without using the word “but.” Go ahead. I dare you.

And those who chided the media for not giving Trump even one day of credit–like lefty Nate Silver–were assailed relentlessly for their heresy. Die, Deviationist! Die!

Then there are jewels like this:

ISIS could attack the US as revenge for Baghdadi’s death, security experts say

Security analysts are idiots, people with actual brains say. We went after ISIS and Baghdadi because they were already attacking us. This cause and effect thing is apparently quite confusing to some people.

The Derp State weighed in too. A former ambassador to Qatar hacked up this hairball:

Yeah. As if ISIS people weren’t already panting to kill Americans. A far more important message in Trump’s very Jacksonian statement was that we will hunt you down–literally with haram dogs–in whatever hole you crawl into. Attempting to instill terror into terrorists is far more important than any infinitesimal increment to their desire to kill Americans.

Bloomberg panted to give credit to some mysterious international coalition:

What military coalition would that be? The early airstrikes on ISIS included a few UAE and Jordanian planes (one of which was shot down, resulting in the gruesome immolation of the pilot). The Europeans contributed their usual window dressing. But this was a US-Kurdish (and Iraqi) show.

Speaking of the Kurds, they provided vital intelligence that contributed to tracking down Baghdadi, and did so after Trump announced that the US would not oppose the Turkish border clearing operation.

This reinforces a point I made in an earlier post. The Kurds have a very strong incentive to fight ISIS, because ISIS wants to slaughter them. They aren’t so stupid as to withhold cooperation with the US in the fight against ISIS, because they would be cutting their own throats–literally. An autonomous zone in Syria and cooperating in fighting ISIS are not linked, at least not as inextricably as the Dunning-Kruger commentariat apparently thinks.

In sum, killing Baghdadi is a good thing, even though it is only another battle in a long war against Islamic terrorism. It has also given another demonstration of the utter stupidity and ill-will of America’s alleged elite, which has shown yet again that it is mean spirited, obsessed with Trump, and incapable of rising above banalities and trite analyses.

The media dogs bark, but the Trump caravan moves on. American dogs of war barked, and an evil man moved on to hell.

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14 Comments »

  1. Why do the elites hate Trump with such passion?

    Why not just wait him out, eight years is nothing, some say the swamp has been at it since 1945, eight years is a walk in the park.

    Could it be Trump is taking apart their network, their ability to steal and just like Trump is “guarding the oil” so ISIS can’t use it to terrorize, he is dismantling the swamp’s ability to control?

    BTW, watch Pelosi, I bet she has her hands deep in Syria, she went further off the rails last week and not because she is just hitting the sauce.

    Comment by Joe Walker — October 28, 2019 @ 4:38 pm

  2. I don’t think anyone should be surprised by the media and others’ reaction to the successful decapitation of the ISIS leadership. You always need to remember that the definition of a liberal is someone who hates his/her own people more than the enemy that seeks to do harm to his/her country and its people.

    I don’t know why that is so, but it holds in a great many cases.

    Comment by Ben — October 28, 2019 @ 5:08 pm

  3. You’re right that dogs are haram — ritually unclean — in Islam. Especially Sunni Islam. I’m sure that the image of al-Baghdadi being chased down by American dogs is raising goosebumps of horror all across the Arabist Near East (not to say, Dearborn, MI).

    Had al-Baghdadi been touched by dogs just prior to his death, chances are his arrival in heaven would have been in doubt. Or maybe getting access to fewer virgins, anyway (after Christoph Luxenberg, we know they’re just 72 white grapes but that fact hasn’t sunk in east of Greece).

    The only worse fate for al-Baghdadi would have been being chased down by war pigs. There’s a thought the US military might contemplate.

    One suspects al-Baghdadi may have blown himself up because of his ritual fear of contact with dogs. And he lovingly spared his children of that despoilment, too. What a dad!

    Comment by Pedric — October 28, 2019 @ 6:57 pm

  4. At first it was bizarre, and then I laughed when absurdities such as the Russia hoax disintegrated in their hands. But I’m now seriously concerned that people as stupid and ill-adjusted as this have positions of responsibility in society.

    Comment by EX-Global Super-Regulator on Lunch Break — October 28, 2019 @ 6:58 pm

  5. @Pedric–I agree. And great minds–I was also thinking about the war boar possibility 😉

    Comment by cpirrong — October 28, 2019 @ 7:04 pm

  6. @EX–It’s hard to argue with Hayek’s conclusion, namely that the worst end up on top.

    Comment by cpirrong — October 28, 2019 @ 8:12 pm

  7. So what was the Pelosi/Congressional delegation trip to Afghanistan and Jordan really about? Framed by the removal of our troops so that Turkey and the Kurds could see that maybe they should cease-fire beforehand, and terminating the austere cleric after the trip. Kind of suspicious that the Dems would send leadership there while they are in the SCIF (in the SCIF because they know their comms are exposed) trying to figure their way out of this pickle alive.

    Comment by Richard Whitney — October 28, 2019 @ 9:45 pm

  8. Can’t really comment on the media hysteria to which you refer – must have passed us by here in Europe. The one intriguing factlet for me (aside from the special forces pooch which they point blank refuse to name) was the allegedly staged that situation room photo. I have a sneaking suspicion the military may be just getting on with the job and just update Trump as when when something worthwhile happens, such is his inability to remember a bad guy’s name, hold more than one thought in his mind, or comprehend even the simplest strategic game-plan.

    Anyhow, good riddance to that murderous phuqer. I see his successor has already been killed too.

    Comment by David Mercer — October 29, 2019 @ 12:01 pm

  9. I take the claims about the killing of Mr al-Baghdadi with the same seriousness as I took the claims about the killing of Mr Bin Laden. I also extend the same credence to the photos of the President and his cronies purportedly watching events on the telly in each case.

    It has made me wonder whether Mr Trump is a subtler figure than I had realised: is it all a deliberate satire on the Bin Laden business? But if so, why?

    Comment by dearieme — October 29, 2019 @ 4:55 pm

  10. Thanks for the link.

    And it rings a personal chord (re. ‘Ex’).

    Comment by EX-Global Super-Regulator on Lunch Break — October 29, 2019 @ 7:08 pm

  11. “I have a sneaking suspicion the military may be just getting on with the job and just update Trump as when when something worthwhile happens”

    So, he delegates to the experts and lets them get on with it. Sounds OK to me…

    Comment by HibernoFrog — October 30, 2019 @ 9:16 am

  12. @David Mercer, “ his inability to remember a bad guy’s name, hold more than one thought in his mind, or comprehend even the simplest strategic game-plan.

    Quite a criticism of recent past presidents, as thus far Trump has been a far better and more effective president than any other in the past 30 years.

    He’s also the first president who is unashamedly patriotic since Reagan.

    Comment by Pat Frank — October 31, 2019 @ 11:37 am

  13. Trump is also the first president ever who actually has a good sense of humor.

    Comment by I.M. Pembroke — November 1, 2019 @ 10:18 pm

  14. @I.M. Pembroke–In living memory, anyways. Lincoln had a great sense of humor, but he too was ridiculed as an idiot and a baboon by the establishment of his time. Trump is obviously not Lincolnian in many ways, but his possession of a sense of humor which he isn’t hesitant to share, and the establishment’s reaction to it, are similar.

    Comment by cpirrong — November 2, 2019 @ 5:56 pm

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