On October 27, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of terrorist organization ISIS, was killed in a raid conducted by Delta Force in Syria, bringing about the end of the world’s most wanted terrorist in recent years. However, while the raid was deemed an operational success, the actions of President Trump during the raid shows that this is not his “Obama got Bin Laden” moment.
One of the greatest examples of Trump’s involvement of the raid can be found in his public calendar, where Trump was out golfing with Senator Lindsey Graham at his Virginia resort while his top military advisors were in the Situation Room. The operation must have seemed unimportant to the president at the time considering he did not reach the Situation Room until after the helicopters had departed from their forward operating base.
But as Trump arrived in the Situation Room, he took the opportunity to take a posed photo of his top military officials for his own propagandic purposes in order to feel victorious for doing absolutely nothing but watching the raid on the TV. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley looked directly into the camera to visualize his disapproval of such an act. The highest ranking military officer in the country, with over 40 years of combat experience, did not want to be apart of Trump’s own media game.
The image itself cannot even capture the seriousness of the operation at hand compared to the now iconic Bin Laden Situation Room photo with all eyes focused solely on the raid. This is just another attempt by Trump to one up the accomplishments of Obama in a Great-Value way that fails miserably.
Even though Baghdadi was killed in the raid, the actual organization of ISIS did not end. Like any large organized body, there is a clear chain of command in the event that leaders are removed from their position. This was the case immediately after Baghdadi’s death where ISIS media announced a successor, albeit more unknown to intelligence than Baghdadi.
Trump’s participation in the raid is as credible as a degree from Trump University; nearly nothing but attendance and money for “success.” And while the raid was a success, it should be credited to the Special Forces operators who personally took down the terrorist leader and not the commander-in-chief-in-attendance.
But while the death of Baghdadi could be seen as a spiritual blow to the terrorist organization, the basic structure and the sheer number of members in the group will still allow itself to continue its savage attacks on innocent civilians unless some drastic military measure is taken to ensure its demise.