Major news from the Middle East over the weekend: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi officially proclaimed complete victory over the Islamic State, bringing three years of terror and war to an end at last.
“Our forces fully control the Iraqi-Syrian border, and thus we can announce the end of the war against Daesh,” Abadi announced, using the group’s Arabic name. “This victory was achieved when Iraqis united to face a heinous enemy that didn’t want us to see this day. They wanted to return us back to the dark ages.”
Abadi’s announcement, which was rather short on thanks to President Donald Trump (but we’ll be gracious and overlook that), inspired a new national holiday and a military parade in Baghdad on December 10.
Lt. Gen. Paul Funk, the commander of the U.S. anti-ISIS campaign in Iraq, issued a statement reminding Americans that the threat was not quite over yet. “The Coalition congratulates the Government of Iraq on its announcement of the liberation of Iraq from Daesh,” said Funk. “Much work remains, and we will continue to work by, with and through our Iraqi partners to ensure the enduring defeat of Daesh and prevent its ability to threaten civilization, regionally and globally.”
Trump should not hesitate to take his fair share of the credit for this long-overdue victory. ISIS has been obliterated in Iraq and they have been all-but-eliminated in Syria. After three years of total ineffectiveness by our last commander-in-chief, Trump took over and put this problem to bed within a single year. He didn’t do it by coming up with some new brilliant game plan. He didn’t do it by sending in ground troops.
He did it by unleashing the military, listening to his generals on the ground, and letting the Pentagon take the initiative in this war. He, unlike Obama, understands what he doesn’t understand. He isn’t up there in the White House pretending to be the 21st century’s answer to George Washington. And – more importantly, perhaps – he took the politically-correct handcuffs off the military so they could unleash the kind of bombing campaigns it took to eliminate these terrorists once and for all. THAT’S leadership.