As ISIS evaporates, who deserves credit? Well, if you ask Donald Trump, it's Donald Trump:
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PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I totally change rules of engagement. I totally changed our military. I totally change the attitudes of the military and they have done a fantastic job.
ISIS is now giving up. They're giving up. They're raising their hands. They're walking off. Nobody's ever seen that before.
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That is classic Trump. So that has riled up the media who hate his boasting. Thank God no one else ever did that:
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THEN-VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Usama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.
THEN-PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Al Qaeda is on the path to defeat and Usama bin Laden is dead.
My opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy. They want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost America so dearly. After all, you don't call Russia our number one enemy -- not Al Qaeda, Russia -- unless you're still stuck in a Cold War mind warp.
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That did not age well.
So should you care if Donald Trump blows his own horn? Again, I'll take a win led by a blowhard over a failure led by a thoughtful academic. But for the media the story is always Trump's words and not his deeds. 2014, it seems long ago, but you must remember that time when ISIS sprang from hell. That first beheading? A valentine of evil. It's nothing we'd ever seen before. And the hits kept coming. And as our commander in charm dismissed them, they flourished. Even after they graduated from J.V. to varsity. Now they're nearly gone and only because we returned to a simple truth: annihilation trumps analysis.
All this matters in another context: North Korea. President Trump is facing the same gripes for his rhetoric towards North Korea, who said yesterday, again, that we're on the brink of nuclear war. It's been only Trump who's got China attention on this. It's been only Trump who's drawn a red line that few doubt. And so as with ISIS, it's only Trump who has any hope of success here. Because negotiation without leverage isn't negotiation. It's blather. Blather got us ISIS. It got us the Iranian nuke deal. Blather got us a nuclear North Korea. There are some problems impervious to blather.
So let the media blather on. This is a street fight on Planet Earth Avenue. Ask yourself: Who would you rather square off against? A president who promised to annihilate ISIS and does it, or the professional blatherers, appalled when our president actually wins one?