In a desperate attempt to compare himself to former President Barack Obama, Donald Trump on Sunday claimed that the death of ISIS militant Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is more significant than the death of Osama bin Laden. However, Retired U.S. Army Gen. Mark Hertling calls Trump’s assertion “absurd.”
In a rambling press conference on Sunday morning, Trump said that bin Laden only knocked down the World Trade Towers and killed over 3,000 people and sparked two wars. Baghdadi was a bigger deal, according to Trump, because he was running ISIS.
During a panel discussion on CNN’s Newsroom, Conservative commentator Max Boot told host Ana Cabrera that this isn’t “mission accomplished” for Trump and anyone who thinks that would be wrong.
“If people do take that perspective, but I think it will be very shortsighted,” Boot said. “Simply killing a terrorist leader does not necessarily kill the organization. Remember, in 2016, a U.S. drone strike killed the leader of the Taliban, and the Taliban are as much of a threat as ever in Afghanistan.”
Gen. Mark Hertling jumped in, explaining that he doesn’t see Baghdadi’s death to be more significant than bin Laden.
“What I’ll tell you, and I’ll reinforce what Max said a little while ago,” Hertling began. “In my several years in combat, we killed quite a few leaders of terrorist organizations, and every time we killed one of them, and it was a high-value target, another one would pop up later. This is an organization; these Islamic extremists will continue to repopulate.”
He explained that the fact Baghdadi killed himself with a suicide vest “Tells me everything I need to know.” ISIS still has “the will and the desire to fight until the death.”
Watch the full discussion below:
Share your thoughts.