National Security & Defense

Give Thanks That ISIS Is Going, Going . . .

An Iraqi soldiers walks past an ISIS emblem during fighting north of Mosul, January 2017. (Khalid al Mousily/Reuters)
The terrorist group is nearly crushed, an achievement for which the Trump administration deserves applause.

As Americans pause this week to give thanks, let us be grateful that the dramatically diminished ISIS caliphate is nearly crushed. And let’s applaud the Trump administration’s role in so severely reducing this threat.

As President Donald J. Trump took office, the Islamic State was not just another terrorist group. It was a Muslim-extremist mini-nation. Straddling Iraq and Syria, ISIS controlled some 17,500 square miles — visualize two New Jerseys — according to the Washington Examiner’s Jamie McIntyre.

Its 35,000 fighters enforced Sharia law, detonated historical sites, hurled gay men off of tall buildings, and displaced, persecuted, and slaughtered tens of thousands of Christians, Shiites, and Yazidis. Radical Muslim fools rushed in, boarded the jihadist bandwagon, and stretched ISIS’ bloody tracks from Paris to Brussels to San Bernardino. The Islamofascist group terrified Europeans and Americans. ISIS’ trained killers and Internet-inspired lone rats could attack anytime, anywhere.

But by last September, this veritable Islamic-terrorist country had shriveled to its last 200 square miles — an area roughly the size of Tulsa.

According to a September 27 Operation Inherent Resolve statement, this U.S.-led multinational effort is responsible for “liberating nearly 8 million Iraqis and Syrians from ISIS’s brutal rule and reducing its control of territory to approximately 1 percent of what it previously held.” The Syrian Democratic Forces have worked closely with American personnel to wipe out ISIS. Today’s military combat reportedly focuses on Deir az-Zour, ISIS’ holdout beside the Euphrates River.

“The fight is continuing, and we hope that it will be over in a few months and that will be the last of ISIS’s terrain that it holds in a quasi-conventional way,” Ambassador James Jeffrey, U.S. special envoy for Syrian engagement, told Reuters. “The enduring defeat means not simply smashing the last of ISIS’s conventional military units holding terrain, but ensuring that ISIS doesn’t immediately come back in sleeper cells, come back as an insurgent movement.”

ISIS has lost nearly all of its real estate. Perhaps more important, it has surrendered tons of prestige. Why would anyone brave the blazing sunshine and blistering sands to join the virtual mirage that is today’s Islamic State caliphate? This would be like fording the Rhine to fight for Nazi Germany — in March 1945.

Why is ISIS’ headquarters nearly gone with the wind? Obama’s pussyfooting yielded to President Trump’s robust attacks.

“The Obama White House micromanaged the war against ISIS and did a poor job of it,” Heritage Foundation national-security scholar Jim Phillips told me. “The Pentagon was forced to pull its punches because of tight political restrictions on the use of force. The Obama administration initially ruled out air strikes against ISIS-controlled oil fields and oil trucks carrying ISIS oil because of a fear of causing civilian casualties.” This brilliant policy made ISIS Earth’s wealthiest terrorist group, awash in petroleum revenues.

“President Trump deserves credit for removing counterproductive political restrictions on the U.S. military, escalating the air campaign, deploying U.S. advisers and special operations forces closer to the fighting, and accelerating the defeat of ISIS,” Phillips said. “The U.S. military did the bulk of the heavy lifting in the international campaign to defeat ISIS. Without U.S. involvement, ISIS would still be crucifying its opponents and holding non-Muslim women as sex slaves.”

These positive developments likely are news to most Americans. The Trump-hating old-guard media have sat on this story, lest the president enjoy any kudos for making America and the world safer from these bloodthirsty murderers (ISIS, not the press).

“Since Inauguration Day (January 20, 2017), the three broadcast network evening newscasts have spent more than 10,000 minutes on the Trump presidency, and only 33 minutes (0.33 percent) involved the administration’s handling of the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria,” Media Research Center analyst Bill D’Agostino wrote last month.

There you have it: President Trump has helped shrink ISIS by 99 percent, while his nightly-news tormentors have spent 99.7 percent of their time looking elsewhere.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.

Most Popular

Culture

Thank You, Kanye West

It was “a plan by the Devil to have our kids committing suicide at an all-time high.” So said Kanye West, who recently declared, via Twitter, that he was running for president, on the “Birthday Party” ticket. It’s about the best explanation I’ve heard for the non-coronavirus that plagues us. There’s ... Read More
Culture

Thank You, Kanye West

It was “a plan by the Devil to have our kids committing suicide at an all-time high.” So said Kanye West, who recently declared, via Twitter, that he was running for president, on the “Birthday Party” ticket. It’s about the best explanation I’ve heard for the non-coronavirus that plagues us. There’s ... Read More
Education

The Case for Reopening Schools

On the menu today: My reader who is the head of research for a top-ten hospital weighs in on how to get kids back into classrooms safely this fall, a blathering Biden comment I missed that could have gotten his Twitter account suspended, and California’s state government tries to implement an ambitious ... Read More
Education

The Case for Reopening Schools

On the menu today: My reader who is the head of research for a top-ten hospital weighs in on how to get kids back into classrooms safely this fall, a blathering Biden comment I missed that could have gotten his Twitter account suspended, and California’s state government tries to implement an ambitious ... Read More
Markets

Panic on ESG Street

The sub-headline in a Financial Times story on the anguished reaction of some asset managers to the Trump administration’s belated (if modest) efforts to protect the threat to pensioners' investment returns represented by “socially responsible” investing (SRI) shows where the paper’s sympathies lie (not ... Read More
Markets

Panic on ESG Street

The sub-headline in a Financial Times story on the anguished reaction of some asset managers to the Trump administration’s belated (if modest) efforts to protect the threat to pensioners' investment returns represented by “socially responsible” investing (SRI) shows where the paper’s sympathies lie (not ... Read More
Culture

The Fragility of the Woke

A TikTok video that recently went viral on social media showed a recent Harvard graduate threatening to stab anyone who said “all lives matter.” In her melodrama, she tried to sound intimidating with her histrionics. She won a huge audience, as she intended. But her video also came to the attention of the ... Read More
Culture

The Fragility of the Woke

A TikTok video that recently went viral on social media showed a recent Harvard graduate threatening to stab anyone who said “all lives matter.” In her melodrama, she tried to sound intimidating with her histrionics. She won a huge audience, as she intended. But her video also came to the attention of the ... Read More

The Devil Wears Prada: CDC Edition

Fade In: The Runway Magazine team is busily trying to arrange things for the next fashion shoot. Miranda Priestly, the imperious and impatient and withering editor in chief, sorts through the various items from the racks of couture garments. The underlings stand by, terrified. Off to the side, Miranda’s ... Read More

The Devil Wears Prada: CDC Edition

Fade In: The Runway Magazine team is busily trying to arrange things for the next fashion shoot. Miranda Priestly, the imperious and impatient and withering editor in chief, sorts through the various items from the racks of couture garments. The underlings stand by, terrified. Off to the side, Miranda’s ... Read More
Science & Tech

The Ideological Corruption of Science

Why don't many people “trust the science” anymore? Perhaps because science, as an institution, has fallen prey to the same ideological infection that has invaded and corrupted many other institutions. But it is too rarely discussed, which is why a Sunday Wall Street Journal column by theoretical physicist ... Read More
Science & Tech

The Ideological Corruption of Science

Why don't many people “trust the science” anymore? Perhaps because science, as an institution, has fallen prey to the same ideological infection that has invaded and corrupted many other institutions. But it is too rarely discussed, which is why a Sunday Wall Street Journal column by theoretical physicist ... Read More
National Review

Saturday Night with Bill Buckley

Our late founder rules tonight (July 11) on C-SPAN2, which marks its Summer Series program by rebroadcasting nearly six straight hours of discussions of select books and one in-depth interview on Bill’s overall body of work. Here’s the lineup (times are Eastern): 8:01 p.m.: A 1993 interview with Brian Lamb ... Read More
National Review

Saturday Night with Bill Buckley

Our late founder rules tonight (July 11) on C-SPAN2, which marks its Summer Series program by rebroadcasting nearly six straight hours of discussions of select books and one in-depth interview on Bill’s overall body of work. Here’s the lineup (times are Eastern): 8:01 p.m.: A 1993 interview with Brian Lamb ... Read More