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Trump and the Chicago Way: How We Used to Strike Back at Terrorists

AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

The only good terrorist is a dead terrorist, although sometimes it’s nice if you can extract some actionable intelligence from them first.

But only sometimes.

With that in mind, let’s applaud Presidentish Joe Biden for ordering the strike — or having been instructed to order the strike — that killed an ISIS-K “planner” late on Friday.

Still, one dead planner for 13 dead American servicemembers isn’t very good math, especially after the huge propaganda victory earned by the Taliban and ISIS-K these last two weeks.

Biden needed a big display of strength and resolve. What we delivered, at least so far, was quite a bit less.

Maybe there will be more dead terrorists soon, lots more. But given that Biden has left behind untold numbers of Americans and our Afghan allies, the Taliban and ISIS-K have a lot of potential human shields.

And as I wrote yesterday for our VIPs, it didn’t have to be that way — the dang Soviets showed the world how to safely withdraw from Afghanistan more than 30 years ago. The only thing more embarrassing than getting shown up by your superpower rival is getting shown up by your defunct, former superpower rival.

Democrats are the modern Bourbons: They have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

Actually, Biden has learned nothing and apparently forgotten quite a bit.

Thursday’s one-day total of American KIAs in Afghanistan was greater than all of 2017 or 2818, barely less than all of 2019, and three times more than we lost there in the last year of the Trump Administration.

So what did Donald Trump know that Biden never learned or has since forgotten?

Recommended: Even the Soviets Managed to Achieve Something in the ‘Graveyard of Empires’ That Joe Biden Couldn’t—Or Chose Not To

For one thing, in Afghanistan, it helps to play the Chicago way.


Of course, Trump’s version of the Chicago way was, “They send one of yours to the hospital, you send hundreds of theirs to the morgue.”

Affectionately known as the Mother of All Bombs, the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) is the biggest bomb in the American arsenal that doesn’t split atoms to go boom.

Just three months into his term, then-President Trump dropped a MOAB — for the very first time in anger — on an ISIS cave complex in Afghanistan. Afghan officials said the blast killed at least 92 ISIS, some of them mid-level leaders.

In 2018, about 500 pro-Assad forces (with the aid of Russian mercenaries) attacked our troops in Syria.

Here’s what became of them:

The artillery barrage was so intense that the American commandos dived into foxholes for protection, emerging covered in flying dirt and debris to fire back at a column of tanks advancing under the heavy shelling. It was the opening salvo in a nearly four-hour assault in February by around 500 pro-Syrian government forces — including Russian mercenaries — that threatened to inflame already-simmering tensions between Washington and Moscow.

In the end, 200 to 300 of the attacking fighters were killed. The others retreated under merciless airstrikes from the United States, returning later to retrieve their battlefield dead. None of the Americans at the small outpost in eastern Syria — about 40 by the end of the firefight — were harmed.

And in 2019, when the Taliban forced Trump and SecState Mike Pompeo to call off peace talks, we killed 1,000 of them over the next ten days.

It’s no coincidence that American casualties were so low while Trump was in office: He showed the strength and resolved that Biden at best pretends to have.