WaPo’s Max Boot Does His Best to Take Away From Trump’s Major Victory
The media has been in overdrive this weekend, trying everything in their power to deny President Donald Trump the credit he deserves for the biggest terrorist death since Osama bin Laden. Knowing full well that killing ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi will likely spike Trump’s approval ratings, sink Democrats’ impeachment numbers, and give the president renewed energy moving into an election year, the media wants to throw cold water on this monumental achievement as soon as possible.
They’re doing it from every angle. They’re saying the photo of Trump monitoring the developments in Syria is a fake. They’re telling us that his speech announcing the death of al-Baghdadi was “unpresidential” compared to Obama’s announcement that the SEALs took out bin Laden. They’re telling us that it really doesn’t matter that al-Baghdadi is dead. Some outlets on the fringes are even playing up doubts that any of this is real; under this theory, Trump simply…made it up!
But the most common narrative is that, even if al-Baghdadi being dead is a good thing, Trump is allowing ISIS to grow and thrive by pulling U.S. troops out of Syria. Carrying the water for this story was Max Boot, the former Republican who has had an ideological turnaround in the Age of Trump. Now a Democrat (or something), Boot devotes his Post columns to trashing everything and anything that our president does. He found yet another opportunity to do so on Sunday.
“There is every reason to fear that Islamic State now could prove distressingly resilient despite this monster’s death,” Boot tells us. “This summer, inspectors general from the Defense and State departments and the U.S. Agency for International Development warned that Islamic State retained as many as 18,000 fighters in Syria and Iraq and was starting to stage a comeback. That resurgence is likely to be accelerated by Trump’s ill-advised pullout from northern Syria, which ends a partnership with the Kurds that, among other benefits, provided intelligence that contributed to the track-down of Baghdadi. Trump is now dismantling the infrastructure that made this success possible.”
So we are to understand from this paragraph that the only thing that will prevent terrorism from flourishing in the Middle East is a U.S. military presence and a constant and neverending War on Terror.
So what to make of this next paragraph?
“A report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies last year found: ‘Despite nearly two decades of U.S.-led counterterrorism operations, there are nearly four times as many Sunni Islamic militants today as there were on September 11, 2001. … The regions with the largest number of fighters are Syria (between 43,650 and 70,550 fighters), Afghanistan (between 27,000 and 64,060), Pakistan (between 17,900 and 39,540), Iraq (between 10,000 and 15,000), Nigeria (between 3,450 and 6,900), and Somalia (between 3,095 and 7,240).’”
Hmm. So, two decades of U.S. military presence has increased the terrorist population fourfold? And the answer is to…stay and do it some more? Not sure that logic tracks, but hey, we’re not the experts.
Then again, we’re also not searching high and low for ways to cast this victory as some kind of blight against Trump’s presidency. Boot (and the rest of the media) is doing just that. And when you draw your conclusions first and go looking for evidence second, you can usually find just what you were looking for. All you have to do is ignore anything that doesn’t fit. Our media has gotten quite good at that particular trick.