The US president was criticised on Twitter for his language, a media outlet was skewered for its headline and Muslims celebrated the death of a terrorist who is responsible for the brutal killings of so many Muslims.
On Sunday October 27, US President Donald Trump announced that Daesh leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi had been killed in a raid in Syria.
The so-called ‘caliph’ of Daesh was responsible for ordering many atrocities carried out by the terror group.
In a news conference, Trump said Baghdadi’s capture or death had been “a priority” for his administration and that the terrorist leader had been “whimpering” and “crying” in his last moments as he “died like a dog”.
Twitter was abuzz with the news of Baghdadi’s death and Trump’s delivery. User Clifford L Freedom, followed by Barack Obama, pointed out the exaggerated, film-like aspects of Trump’s retelling of the story of Baghdadi’s death.
You just know that this entire narrative is a bullshit, Schwarzenegger style movie plot that they have fed him so that he’ll have something to talk about. Because he doesn’t understand global military operations or much of anything else. @POTUS #BaghdadiKilled— Clifford L Freedom (@CliffFreedom) October 27, 2019
Political analyst and former under secretary of state in the Obama administration Richard Stengel has also criticised Trump’s speech, saying that the president drawing parallels between the dying terrorist and a cornered dog would only alienate “mainstream Muslims … who should be our allies”.
Again, #Baghdadi's death is a good thing, but Trump's unseemly spiking of the football -- "whimpering," "screaming," "dying like a dog" -- will only alienate mainstream Muslims who also rejected ISIS and who should be our allies. Graceless. Inept. Unfit.— Richard Stengel (@stengel) October 27, 2019
Journalist Mehdi Hassan has celebrated the death of Baghdadi “whose primary victims were Muslims, who was loathed by Muslims”.
"On behalf of every Muslim I know...every Muslim watching...good riddance to Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi. Here is a man whose primary victims were Muslims, who was loathed by Muslims...The world is a a better place...Good riddance to this piece of human scum." - me on MSNBC on #Baghdadi pic.twitter.com/XUun352yrD— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) October 27, 2019
Middle East reporter Sam Dagher cautioned about the events in other Middle Eastern countries, namely Iraq and Syria, that should also be the focus of the West rather than solely rejoicing Baghdadi’s death.
As Baghdadi’s death being cheered, in #Iraq protesters being shot dead by their own US-backed government & in #Syria many see #Assad as other face of #Baghdadi. West focused on #ISIS but people of region seek liberation from failed states & tyrannies that spawn the likes of #ISIS— Sam Dagher (@samdagher) October 27, 2019
Writer for The Intercept, Murtaza Mohammad Hussain, compared the death of Osama bin Laden with the death of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi.
Different responses are natural and appropriate in my opinion. Bin Laden was known by every American and was responsible for perhaps their greatest national trauma. Baghdadi is probably unknown to the overwhelming majority of Americans and never did anything similar. https://t.co/dn8v1eQP1C— Murtaza Mohammad Hussain (@MazMHussain) October 27, 2019
Some have also insinuated that Trump was not at the White House when the operation began, preferring to golf instead. One of these people was Jon Cooper, President of the Democratic Coalition.
FUN FACT: Trump was golfing when the #Baghdadi raid began.🏌️— Jon Cooper 🇺🇸 (@joncoopertweets) October 27, 2019
The main suggestion that something was amiss came from Pete Souza, White House photographer during the Obama administration, who checked the timestamp of the Trump photo released with his raid staff and compared it with the start time of the operation.
The raid, as reported, took place at 3:30PM Washington time. The photo, as shown in the camera IPTC data, was taken at "17:05:24". https://t.co/XV0MFfFiTt— Pete Souza (@PeteSouza) October 27, 2019
Trump was also criticised for opting to share critical information about the Daesh raid with the Russians rather than the US Congress. Christine Pelosi, a Democratic Party political strategist from California who happens to be the daughter of Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, said this reflected the Trump presidency “in a nutshell”.
Trump telling Putin not Congress about the operation, golfing while US military, Intel, and allies hunted #Baghdadi, and then staging this Situation Room photo after the raid is his presidency in a nutshell. pic.twitter.com/lOQH8yzzkk— Christine Pelosi (@sfpelosi) October 27, 2019
Trump wasn’t the only one being criticised for his delivery. The Washington Post called Bagdhadi “an austere religious scholar” in its headline for his obituary, much to many people’s disappointment. The newspaper’s Vice President of Communications Kristine Coratti Kelly apologised in a tweet.
Regarding our al-Baghdadi obituary, the headline should never have read that way and we changed it quickly.— Kristine Coratti Kelly (@kriscoratti) October 27, 2019
But the damage to the newspaper’s reputation was done.
The very first headline called #Baghdadi as 'terrorist-in-chief'.It was DELIBERATELY CHANGED to 'austere religious scholar'. After backlash you changed it to 'extremist leader'.— Sir Jadeja fan (@SirJadeja) October 28, 2019
Who forced you to change the very 1st headline @kriscoratti ? What kind of terrorists are you hiring? pic.twitter.com/8r8DWIiT9W
Then came the parody #WaPoDeathNotices. A memorable one was written by Twitter user Andrew Leber for Osama bin Laden of Al Qaeda infamy. Leber ironically called the terrorist killed during the Obama administration a “scion of major contracting firm”, making no mention of his ‘extracurricular’ activities.
Osama bin Laden, scion of major contracting firm, dead at 54.#WaPoDeathNotices— Andrew Leber (@AndrewMLeber) October 28, 2019