A joint Iraqi-Kurdish offensive against the ISIS-held city of Mosul is underway, a development that seems to disprove Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s talking points that ISIS is poised to take over the United States.
Trump claimed last week that ISIS was hoping for Hillary Clinton to win the election, implying that she would be a weak leader against their terrorist ambitions.
“Because they’ll take over not only that part of the world, they’ll take over this country, they’ll take over this part of the world,” Trump said.
Don’t freak out yet, though, because Trump’s political bluster has yet to be supported by reality.
Trump has similarly claimed in the past that Clinton was a co-founder of ISIS alongside President Obama—which is, of course, categorically untrue—and his strong-man schtick is merely an attempt to take advantage of the mistaken yet persisting conservative fear that Islam terrorism poses an existential threat to American society and culture.
Trump’s rhetoric is shallow, election-time posturing because ISIS has been losing territory since its initial blitzkrieg through Iraq and Syria stalled back in January of 2015. ISIS has yet to regain momentum, especially considering the fact that President Obama has authorized over 9,000 airstrikes against the terror group’s capacity to function as a military or political force.
Accordingly, the Iraqi army has since organized itself considerably, and joined forces with the impressively resilient Kurdish Peshmerga. Aided by American and Iranian military advisers, the country formerly known as Iraq is gradually defeating the severely weakened ISIS wannabe caliphate, and significantly deflating Trump’s fear mongering.
In contrast to President Obama’s persistent focus on helping Iraq degrade ISIS’s military capability and reclaim its national borders, Trump has yet to offer an alternative strategy.
Instead, Trump claims he has a “foolproof” plan, but that he cannot reveal it in case ISIS hears about it. It is the rhetorical vagueness of a con man, and only a political con man would claim that his partisan opposition is the founder of America’s top ideological enemy in the first place.
Trump is merely a fear monger.