Media and "Experts" Wonder Whether Killing Al-Baghdadi Actually Helps ISIS

The machinations of the mainstream media since the successful killing of ISIS caliph Al-Baghdadi have been something to behold.

My colleague Nick Arama shared some initial reactions in a piece yesterday morning. I then reported on CNBC’s John Harwood, who was essentially losing his mind trying to handwave away the operation as anything positive. It’s something to behold.


Of course, the next logical evolution was a bunch of “experts,” who’ve managed to get just about everything wrong in the last two decades, to tell us how killing the terror leader is actually a bad thing.

Yeah, I’m sure having their leader be hunted down and blown up is a real green light for recruitment. This is the kind of nonsensical tripe that passes as “expert” thought in the beltway and that has led to so much frustration about foreign policy among normal Americans.

And here’s Obama’s Ambassador to Qatar with a galaxy brain take.

Because otherwise, terrorists would have laid down their arms or something. I mean, if a guy is about to go behead someone, clearly giving his terrorist leader a proper burial is going to sway him to take up knitting.

Compound this kind of laughable analysis with the results of the foreign policy people like Shell Smith helped push and you begin to see why things have been such a mess post 9/11. People sitting in classrooms and think tanks coming up with military strategies is a recipe for disaster. It’s how you got people like Max Boot at the forefront of disasters.


Then there was the media’s reaction. Here’s CNN’s Jake Tapper, unbiased journalist extraordinaire, pondering whether we are helping ISIS by killing Al-Baghdadi.

“Lastly, what do you make of the president’s — he painted a very vivid picture of al Baghdadi dying a very cowardly death, which I don’t doubt for a second, ISIS fighters are very cowardly,” Tapper began. “He talked about al-Baghdadi detonating his vest, killing his three children while he did so. I don’t doubt it, they’re monsters, but is there any concern on your part because now there is a question what ISIS will do in response to this move, in response perhaps to the president’s rhetoric. Does that concern you at all in terms of galvanizing or motivating ISIS terrorists?”

What a brilliant question from the intrepid reporter.

It’s also completely dumb. Al-Baghdadi was the caliph. He was the “authority” holding the caliphate together. Not just any Muslim can be that, as there has to be some kind of claimed lineage from previous caliphs. Killing him undeniably hurts ISIS and in no way results in some kind of positive recruitment tool. That doesn’t mean their ideology or all isolated attacks go away, but as a caliphate, ISIS is officially dead.

There’s also the fact that our cooperation with Syria and Turkey here further forms a bulwark against a possible resurgence. ISIS is in a land with no allies and there is little pathway back.


It would have been really simple for our foreign policy establishment and media to admit these facts. Instead, for purely political reasons, they’ve got to try to spin this as a loss or at least muddy the waters. It’s pathetic.


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