Killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi gives Trump lifeline amid political combat

Presidents advocates framing the impeachment hearings as an unpatriotic attack on a lead retaining America safe

The killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has given Donald Trump a lifeline in the middle of a battle for his own political survival and he has grabbed it with both hands.

Trump’s fifty instant television figure on Sunday to announce the successful assignment is starting a sombre announcement before straying into something more rambling and vainglorious, signalling how he will use it for political objectives, and as a society to change at his political opponents pushing for his impeachment.

He stressed that congressional Democratic rulers had been maintained out of the loop, as they could not be relied on to keep it secret. Within minutes, his supporters were framing the impeachment hearings as an unpatriotic attack on a lead preserving America safe.

Trump celebrated the deaths among Baghdadi , remark “hes had”” died after running into a dead end tunnel whimpering and crying and screaming “. The Isis leader was a ” pup”, a” gutless swine”, and the Isis activists who died alongside him were “losers” and” frightened puppies “.

It resonated like the dialogue of a exultant chieftain in a made-for-TV warrior epic, and at one point Trump approved he had watched it almost as a piece of cinema,” as though you were watching a movie. The engineering alone is really great .”

While the prepared statement focused on the special forces who had carried out the attack, the president’s impromptu remarks in answer to reporters’ questions, reverted to the Trumpian norm, presenting it as a personal achievement.

” I deterred saying where’s Al-Baghdadi ,” he said.” I have been looking for him for three years .” Days earlier, Trump had defamed his former defence secretary, James Mattis, for being “overrated” and” not tough enough”, and boasted:” I captured Isis. Mattis said it would take two years. I captivated them in one month .”

The personality cult that Trump is seeking to construct had already taken on an alarming tone. Over the weekend, his press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, had denounced another former aide turned critic, John Kelly, as” absolutely unequipped to handle the genius of our great chairwoman “.

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Who was Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi?

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Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is thought to have been born in the central Iraqi city of Samarra in 1971. Though a weak student, whose good eyesight disqualified him from joining the Iraqi military, he rose to command al-Qaeda’s Iraqi division and then broke away to word Islamic State( Isis ).

In July 2014, shortly after Isis said it had established a caliphate in Iraq and Syria, Baghdadi delivered a speech from a mosque in the captivated Iraqi city of Mosul. Appearing unmasked for the first time, he affirmed himself to be the caliph: the political and religious leader of the world Muslim community.

His declaration was roundly rejected by almost all Islamic religious authorities but his caliphate became a magnet for thousands of foreign boxers and women. The group attempted not just to hold territory but to administer it like a district, give a harsh judicial systems, accumulating taxes and doling out public services.

Baghdadi had been seen publicly on one other occasion, in an 18 -minute video released in April this year. From 2016 he had a $25 m reward on his head.

He had been reported to have suffered serious injuries in airstrikes over the years, and there had occasionally been speculation that he had been killed, but he continued to resurface in audio strips and videos. He killed himself in October 2019, while under onrush from US forces.

Michael Safi

Photograph: -/ AFP

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It was clear within instants of announcing Baghdadi’s death, that the delusional bubble around the president would now be even harder to puncture. In one particularly bizarre claim for someone known not to use a computer, the president said that Isis” use the internet better than almost anyone in the world, perhaps other than Donald Trump “.

Trump’s infatuation with his predecessor was also very much at the fore. He left little doubt that Barack Obama’s success in tracking down and killing Osama bin Laden was on his judgment. Baghdadi was the greater scalp, he quarrelled.” Osama bin Laden was very big but Osama bin Laden became big-hearted with the World Trade Center ,” Trump testified.” This is a man who improved a whole … country, a caliphate, and was trying to do it again .”

Trump also repeated specific claims that he had somehow had a hand in Bin Laden’s downfall by calling for him to be targeted before the 9/11 strikes, before he was generally perceived as a threat. It is a false claim. Trump mentions Bin Laden in passing in one of his books, does not call for him to be tracked down, and the al-Qaida leader was already widely seen as a substantial threat following several attacks on the US.

Within hours a photograph was put online of Trump in the situation room, that recalled the far-famed picture of Obama and his top aides watching the final instants in the hunt for Bin Laden. The Trump version was more formal, more staged, and with the president much more clearly the central, focal point.

When Bin Laden was killed in 2011, one of Obama’s first requests was to George W Bush, who the hell is launched the hunt for the al-Qaida leader. By contrast, Trump is seeking to erase the Obama legacy. Secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, repeatedly does the spuriou contend that it was the current administration that amassed a coalition to defeat Isis. That organization was almost totally developed in partnership and drew operational under Obama.

In anticipating how Trump is likely to spend this treasure trove of political uppercase, the guild in which other parties were given credit is instructive. Russia was reputation first and frequently. Moscow had no part in the operation but after inform members through deconfliction canals that an operation in the Idlib area was imminent they did not try to shoot the US gunships down.

Turkey was thanked several times very, and even the Syrian regime, for no more than being the sovereign superpower in its national territory where the raid took place.

The commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, Mazloum Kobani, tweeted on Sunday morning that the hunt for Baghdadi had been a five-month US-SDF joint intelligence operation, but in Trump’s mentions, the Kurds were mentioned last and somewhat grudgingly.

Trump has abandoned the SDF and the Kurds in a deal with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, that has allowed Turkey, Russia and the Syrian regime to take over control of northeast Syria, and at the expense of the Kurds. If Mazloum’s claim of the SDF role in the Baghdadi hunt is accurate, the scale of assessments of Trump’s disloyalty is all the greater.

In his remarks on Sunday, Trump said Turkey has taken huge extinctions … they’ve lost thousands and thousands of people from that safe zone” referring to the border area that was under SDF control. The allegation is false, but it repetition Ankara’s talking objects, likening the SDF with the PKK Kurdish rebels inside Turkey, and arguing the attack was an urgent necessity for Turkish security.

If there was any doubt before this week, Trump did more clear that his sole preoccupation in Syria was with the oil reserves in the east.

” The oil is so valuable ,” he said. US pushes, who have already begun streaming back into Syria heading for the oil fields around Deir Ezzor, would help to keep them out of the mitts of Isis. Secondly, petroleum incomes would help the Kurds.

” And digit three, it can help us because we should be able to take some too ,” Trump said.” And what I intend to do perhaps is make a deal with an ExxonMobil or one of our great companies to go in there and do it properly .”

Baghdadi’s killing will help underline the simple foreign policy message that Trump is crafting for his re-election campaign. He alone imposed a decided defeat on Isis. Having achieved that, US units will be withdrawn except when it is direct US financial interests to stay. Trump’s cooperation with Russian and Turkish rulers had brought about this great success. And lastly, and most importantly, the Democrat, like the intelligence committee chair, Adam Schiff, are seeking to undermine these achievements with their politically motivated seek of impeachment.

One of the president’s Fox News surrogates, Jeanine Pirro, dedicated an early delicacy of White House messaging. “Judge Jeanine” tweeted:” So proud of @ realDonaldTrump taking out abu bakr al bagdadi. Maybe the intelligence committee under @Adam schiff is the beginning focusing on America’s opponents and not their greedy policy agenda .”

A lot can still go wrong for Trump. A passion for avenge could trigger an Isis resurgence, aided by the chaos caused by the Turkish offensive. Escaped Isis detainees could be involved in onslaughts. Conflicts with Iran and North Korea could sour the Trump pitch of having saved America from world conflicts.

But there is no doubt that a damaged, embattled Trump, who was losing the confidence of even stanch politically allies, is now greatly strengthened.

Read more: www.theguardian.com


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