Trump said an insane thing. Again. Then Republicans tried to say he didn’t say it. So he repeated it.
No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS. I do. He was the most valuable player. I give him the most valuable player award. I give her, too, by the way, Hillary Clinton.
When conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt pointed out that President Obama “hates” ISIS and has been doing a great job killing them, Trump soldiered on.
I don’t care. He was the founder.
Trump, who was recently ranked the worst liar of any major politician in recent history by Politifact, can add yet more lies to his growing stockpile. No, President Obama isn’t the “founder” of ISIS. No, Obama isn’t responsible for the state of Iraq. No, Trump didn’t oppose the war before it happened (he emphatically cheered it on in 2002). These are lies, plain and simple.
But Trump is also ignoring the fact that if ISIS had to pick a side in the upcoming election, they would almost certainly ask for no better candidate than Donald Trump. If Hillary Clinton represents the continued policies of President Obama (i.e. bombing the hell out of their leadership alongside a coalition of Muslim allies in the Middle East), then Trump, whose bigotry towards Muslims has blinded him to any of the nuances key to victory, is a gift.
Who are two groups of people who would love to create the false narrative of a war between Islam and the West? Radical Jihadi terrorists… and Donald Trump.
And this isn’t merely an intellectual exercise. A perverse sort of campaigning for Trump is already underway in ISIS circles. The Republican candidate and his smears against Muslims make regular appearances in the propaganda being shoveled out of terror-related organizations.
Clinton pointed out as much as far back as December, but there is a growing volume of evidence to support it.
Not long after Clinton’s initial comments, Al Shabaab, the East African affiliate of the al-Qaida terrorist group, released a 51-minute video telling “Muslims of the West” that they are not welcome in countries like the United States. Ten minutes into the video, it says the United States has a history of “slavery, segregation, lynching, and Ku Klux Klan, and tomorrow, it will be a land of religious discrimination and concentration camps.”
Note: Trump really did float the idea of concentration camps for Muslim Americans. al-Qaida didn’t even have to blur the truth. ISIS itself even got in on the act in March, using Trump’s fear-mongering to pass the Brussels terror attack off as a decisive victory:
“Brussels was one of the great cities, one of the most beautiful cities of the world 20 years ago. It was amazing, actually, and safe. And now it’s a horror show. It’s an absolute horror show,” Trump says in the video, as ISIS lets the phrase “absolute horror show” repeatedly echo and fade.
Intelligence experts have watched this nightmare unfold and have repeatedly spoken out about Trump’s rhetoric. President Obama has also been absolutely clear that Trump’s behavior is only helping terrorism. His tough guy act doesn’t stop terrorists, but it certainly inspires them.
Do Republican officials actually agree with this? Because that’s not the America we want. It doesn’t reflect our democratic ideals. It will make us less safe. Fueling ISIL’s notion that the West hates Muslims.
The premise that ISIS would look forward to a nuanced, multifaceted approach laid about by President Obama and championed by Hillary Clinton is ludicrous. They need an American demagogue to demonize, and thankfully there is no better caricature of American hostility towards Islam than Donald Trump.
Featured image via Joe Raedle/Getty Images