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HORIST: How to spin the killing of al-Baghdadi against Trump

HORIST: How to spin the killing of al-Baghdadi against Trump

You read that headline correctly – and if you watched any news on CNN or MSNBC you know how things got reported.

I must preface this commentary by resurrecting an old joke that suggests that if President Trump walked on water, the press reports for the next day would be that he can’t swim.  In the coverage of the Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi killing, we saw that joke played out in reality.

Of course, the initial reports were fairly straight forward.  We got him.  Baghdadi was dead … dead … dead.  Much deserved praise was heaped on our finest military leaders and operatives – those special forces that take on the toughest and most dangerous jobs.  These reports came before Trump was to address the nation.

He spoke for about 50 minutes – offering his high praise for our men and women in uniform.  He noted that this was a particularly dangerous mission since it required flying over an active war zone, landing to attack the compound and flying out over hostile territory.  Trump opined that this was an even more important achievement than taking down Osama Bin Laden.

Trump repeatedly complimented American intelligence agencies and officials for the outstanding work they did in making the raid possible.

While on the ground, our troops engaged in an exchange of gunfire, killed several terrorists, took two into custody even as they shepherded woman and children to safety.  They pursued Baghdadi into a tunnel where he blew himself and three children up.  Trump described Baghdadi’s approach to Hell as a man crying, whimpering and screaming.

Trump thanked nations that had supported the operation – especially Russia and Turkey because our aircraft had to fly over their airspace.  He thanks the Kurds for their intelligence that led to pinpointing the movements and location of Baghdadi.

He explained that we would be leaving troops in Syria to defend the oil fields in the Kurdish region.  The two purposes were to (1) keep the oil from being used by ISIS to finance its terrorism and (2) to use oil money to financially support the military needs of the Kurds.

The positive reporting did not last long.  The hosts, reporters and the panelists of print newsies began to evolve their anti-Trump narratives based on distorted interpretations or created out of whole cloth.

Here are a few samples.

Trump provided too much intelligence detail – risking the security of future operations.  In fact, Trump had declined to answer some questions based on intelligence security.  Those raising the issue gave no examples – and no leader of our military or intelligence services expressed any such concern.  Ironically, the media maintained constant inquiry to gain more details of the operation – details that would compromise our intelligence operations.

Trump said that he did not inform members of Congress because of the culture of leaks that has reached nuclear proportions in recent years.  For sure, this was a change from past protocols.  Under the War Powers Act, presidents have ordered military actions without informing Congress.  It is always controversial, but not unheard of.  Consider the high risk to this action, keeping advance information closely held seems reasonable – and whether the so-called Gang of Eight knew in advance or shortly afterward makes no difference to the reality of things.  It is just an ego issue.

Talking about oil made it look like the United States was only interested in getting the oil.  Trump explained the reasons for guarding the oil – and frankly, it made sense.

Democrats disagree that getting Baghdadi was a bigger deal than getting Bin Laden.  That is in the eye of the beholder.  Bin Laden produced the biggest attack on the United States since the English invaded in the War of 1812.  On the other hand, Baghdadi built the biggest and most vicious terrorist organization in the world – and a califate to host it.  This is a political peeing contest that has virtually no importance.  It is just cheering the home team without paying attention to the score.

Along the same line, Democrats and the anti-Trump media undertook narratives to marginalize the significance of Baghdadi.  He was not all that important.  He will be easily replaced.  That is just wrong.  Democrats seem to have forgotten the wave or grizzly killings as Baghdadi-led ISIS grew from a “junior varsity” team to a dominant force in the Middle East during the Obama administration.

To back into Trump’s removal of troops from the Turkish/Syrian border, Democrats claimed that the Baghdadi raid would not have been possible without boots on the ground.  In fact, America had no boots on the ground in that region of Syria because it is held by hostile actors.

Democrats criticized Trump for informing Russia before telling members of Congress about the raid.  Here Democrats are being disingenuous.  Russia was not informed of the details or purpose of the military action, but under the policies of deconfliction (avoiding an accidental conflict), it was necessary to let Russians, Turks and Syrians know that we intended to enter airspace they controlled.  Failure to do so could have resulted in direct engagements with aircraft and anti-aircraft weapons in the possession of any of them.

Democrats chose to believe that Trump was exaggerating Baghdadi’s reactions to the raid without any evidence to the contrary.  Yes, Trump is known to hype a story – and maybe he did it to damage the reputation and memory of Baghdadi among his followers.  So, what is the benefit to the United States in challenging that description?  Is it the desire of the Democrats to build up Baghdadi’s reputation and postmortem influence among ISIS terrorists?

Proving that nothing was too trivial or petty to attack Trump, several talking heads noted that Trump spoke for 50 minutes while President Obama spoke only nine minutes when announcing the killing of Bin Laden.  Perhaps they want to add that factoid to the list of impeachable offenses.  I mean really … what difference does that make?

Democrats and their media cronies used more time by multiples to nitpick Trump’s statement and his role in getting Baghdadi than they did applauding the biggest fact – the world’s number one terrorist leader is dead.  It happened on Trump’s watch and with his strategic involvement.  Good on him.

CNN’s Jake Tapper said that he was “not trying to take away from the celebration” of Baghdadi’s demise and then proceeded to do just that.

This was an instance when the political leaders should have come together – should have left partisan politics at the water’s edge – and focus on an important accomplishment in the war on world terror.  The target of Democrat disdain should have been Baghdadi, not Trump.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Mike Tanco

    Does anyone with half a brain know why the Democrats in Congress criticize President Trump for everything he does? Because they lost the 2016 election that’s why.
    All of this crap that the Democrats have been investigating would have never come up had Hillary won. Why? Because their corruption would have continued and the taxpayers would have continued to get screwed. All of the money under the table would have continued and the wasting of taxpayer money would have continued to flow to corrupt people and groups.
    Folks !! Please wake up? The old Democratic Party no longer exists. It has become the American Communist Party, the same Party that tutored Obama when he was a student at Occidental College as a foreign student. Isn’t Hawaii a state in the United States?? Duh!!!

    • Bill

      Mike: You are more right than you wrote. Hillary had already been crowned Queen. When Hillary lost the Dems had to work to destroy Trump. The problem is that as Never Trumpers the Dems so how they are communists. We in America want to keep our freedom and give in to Communists Dems.

    • Christel

      Soooo totally agree with your comment!!!! I have been a swing voter for many years…BUT that stops with the next election! I will never vote for a CommyCrat again!! The DNC is dead….there are, per google, 82 REFISTERED Communists in the DNC. Back some months ago it gave me ALL the names…which have since been removed…just the number was still there! SO…my thoughts are that the Democratic Party …as I have known it…IS DEAD

      • Joe S Bruder

        Follow the money… The Russians put something like $50 million into the NRA, which distributed it to McConnell and Republican elections. Trump is, of course, beholden to Putin. He literally grovels when he’s in the same room as Putin.

        Putin demanded that his conversations with Trump be protected – since when do we take orders from the Russian leadership? I can list at least a dozen instances of the Trump administration kowtowing to the Russians.

        Every foriegn policy move by Trump somehow always ends up benefitting Russia. In the case of Turkey and Syria, Trump just pulled out with no notice, and Russia jumped in a filled the void. He has essentially handed Turkey, Syria, the Kurds, and Syrian oil fields to Russia without even a whimper.

        And you have the gall to say that Democrats are Communists? What evidence do you have for that?

        Democrats are not “nitpicking” at Trump’s statements. It’s full-out disagreement with Trump for giving up the security arrangements with Europe and the Middle East that were bipartisan and have kept the US and the entire western world safe since World War 2.

  2. Gerald J Boyum

    Right on! The only valid elections that the Socialists/communists who’ve hijacked the so-called Dem. Party recognize are the ones they win- and they will whatever it takes to win (ends justify the means): voter fraud, altering votes, intimidation, paying people to vote, etc. They are quite familiar with Saul Alinky’s Rules for Radicals, especially the “political power is all that counts”.

  3. Rivahmitch

    “While on the ground, our troops engaged in an exchange of gunfire, killed several terrorists, took two into custody even as they shepherded woman and children to safety.”

    Mistake there. Should have just killed them all. Leaving present and future enemies alive is always a mistake.

  4. David Barron

    Mark my words. Hillary and Sorros are behind all the Democratic attacks on Trump. It is sedition pure and simple. Hillary lost and cannot accept it. She is planning a return to take the POTUS from Trump. She is directing her minions, mostly Pelosi and Schiff, who she owns, to do her biding to weaken Trump. When the Clown Car stops in center Stage at the DNC nobody will come out a winner and it will be acceptable for Hillary to come to their rescue by riding in on a White Horse. She will be crowned the Democratic Candidate and you will see a full frontal press with huge sums of money, and army of supporters flood the USA with her propaganda. She will escape any legal action of corruption from her time as SOS because law says she is untouchable while running.
    Schiff has been on the Clinton Payroll for years. He was basically put in office by the Clinton’s as a safety and he is doing her work for her now. He knows if Trump is taken down he will rise in power and assume center stage in her Cabinet, SCOTUS, or something else. Its either that or two bullets to the back of the head and have it classified as a suicide.
    Sorros is just the money man as he hates the USA as it is and wants it a socialist country where he can continue to rake in the billions of dollars annually. Google up Businesses owned by George Sorros and be prepared for a shock.
    You will never see any congratulations given to Trump as the Republicans are afraid of the Democratic Socialists and the Democratic Socialists have done nothing over the past 3 years except look for ways to take Trump down. Personally I given the circumstances in which he has had to operate, I think he is done an outstanding job.

    • Joe S Bruder

      Oh, give it a rest! Hillary is not in the background pulling the Democrats’ strings. The Clintons were successful in the politcal realm, and still make their living giving speeches. I’m sure they have some influence in the Party – after all Bill was President and Hillary was Sec. of State – but Hillary is also a 2-time failed candidate for President. At some point, failed candidates lose their luster…

      This website is a magnet for conspiracy theorists, and every one of them ends up pointing to George Soros or Hillary Clinton. Instead of looking at them, take a critical look at Trump’s crimes happening today. There are valid reasons for the impeachment hearings, and you would be better served by going to real news sites and keeping up with developments.



  6. Jeanette Kelley

    It’s so GREAT to read all the pro AMERICAN COMMENTS
    on this subject! It’s also nice to see LEVEL HEADED
    AMERICANS know this is all a BIG/LIE/FARCE against
    CLINTON & GEORGE SORORS are behind all of this.

    GEORGE SOROS has destroyed other countries economy
    and political systems, this is what he’s trying to do here.
    The Democratic Party of JFK has been DEAD FOR YEARS.

    Don’t think KILLARY LYING CLINTON doesn’t have a
    Plan for 2020! BEWARE AMERICA!

    Kathy Long who always comments on these articles would
    Love this, as she and People like her, hate this country