Commander in Chief Trump defeats the ISIS Genocidaire

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead.

As the leader of ISIS, he represented one of the most important leaders of genocide in the 21st century.  Since his ascendancy in Iraq, created by the power vacuum endorsed by the election of President Obama, Baghdadi led a genocidal movement against Yazidis, Christians, Muslims, Kurds, and every conceivable dissident to his Islamic supremacist ideology that sought to create a global caliphate.  In the primary realms of his control – Syria and Iraq – he was responsible for the killing of more than 30,000 people.  His sadistic, genocidal ways displaced millions of people across the region and provided an important impetus to the current immigration crisis.

The city where Baghdadi announced his emerging caliphate, Mosul, is now under Iraqi government control.  The Mosul Dam that was once controlled by ISIS can now be maintained in a way that should prevent a disaster that could have killed tens of thousands of Iraqis.  The death of Baghdadi, the victory in Mosul, and the rapid decline of ISIS control across Syria and Iraq ought to be a point of American and international celebration.

If our intellectual elite truly had genuine empathy for Muslims, this would be a moment of great celebration.  Nothing to this point has done more to solve and reduce the immigration crisis as the current military successes.  To what do we owe this incredible reversal of fortunes against one of the West's worst adversaries?

  1. A reversal of U.S. military policy in Iraq.  President Obama led the war on terror with strict limits on U.S. military ground activity.  Withdrawal of American ground forces from Iraq was an important premise of his foreign policy success reinforced by a sycophantic media.  President Obama conducted more than 20,000 aerial bombardments across the region, but those did little to stop the expansion of ISIS.  President Trump's decision to increase ground troops access to ISIS by U.S. forces and defer control of those forces to American commanders produced a sharp and dramatic reversal of ISIS success.
  2. The United States challenged Russian hegemony in the region.  Despite the pathological fascination with "collusion" between President Trump and Vladimir Putin, the United States struck a proxy Russian military base in Syria to signal the return of the U.S. hegemony to the region.  The missile strikes diminished the military stature of Russia and sent a signal long overdue for Assad's violation of the American red line drawn by President Obama.  President Trump used the force against Syria that President Obama refused.  American leadership in the region was re-established.
  3. American allies in the region such as the Kurds are re-established as credible proxies of American ambitions for stability in the region.  This has exposed the ISIS sympathetic government of Turkey for the failed ally that has been for years.  Saudi funders find themselves facing a more vigorous public challenge issued by President Trump and backed by an economic mechanism of domestic fossil fuel production in the United States.
  4. Exposing the weaknesses of Iranian hegemony in the region.  Shia preferences acting as a proxy for Iran stimulated the formation of the Sunni backlash embodied in ISIS.  The United States now has the leverage to press Baghdad for more equity in Sunni relations.  Without this equity, Sunni terrorism will take new forms going forward. 

President Trump's promise to destroy ISIS was widely mocked in the campaign.  His promise is coming true, and our intellectual culture should celebrate this success.  If they fail to do so, they should be pilloried with charges of "Islamophobia."  The importance of this success provides principles going forward to defeat similar forces in Nigeria and the Philippines.

The return to a strong American military presence in Iraq has repudiated the central premises of an intellectual culture that rejected the Iraq war of 2003.  Anti-Americanism in the Vietnam war laid the political pre-texts for the Cambodian genocide and the premature evacuation from Iraq in 2009 led to the genocidal efforts led by Baghdadi.  Congratulations to American, Iraqi, Kurdish, and allied troops who defeated the evil governance and Islamic supremacism of Baghdadi.  President Trump's vision for destroying ISIS is coming true.

Dr. Ben Voth is an associate professor of corporate communication and public affairs and director of debate at Southern Methodist University.  He is the author of three books, including The Rhetoric of Genocide, and co-author with Robert Denton of Social Fragmentation and the Decline of American Democracy.

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