On Saturday evening, Donald Trump tweeted that “something big” had happened. For the next eight hours, the nation was left to wonder if this meant another almost-there trade deal, that Trump hand installed his name in gold letters across the White House, or an incoming missile. Just about the only certainty was that it didn’t mean Trump had perused Judge Beryl Howell’s ruling and determined that he should just go ahead and resign. The issue was not made any clearer with an early morning White House press announcement that Trump would “address the nation” at 9 Eastern Time.
However, there was one pretty good clue. An hour or so before Trump’s tweet came the first news that forces in Syria appeared to have located and killed ISIS-leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in an operation carried out near the Syrian town of Barisha.
There is no doubt that al-Baghdadi was both a monster, and long a target of U.S. forces. The former leader of the “caliphate” had been thought to still be somewhere in Syria, but even an offer of a $25 million bounty hadn’t coughed him up … until now.
So it seems almost certain that Trump’s deliberately mysterious announcement will focus on this military operation behind the apparent success in finally locating, and ending, the ISIS chief. And of course, knowing Trump, it will also be treated as proof that his actions in Syria were brilliant, the generals are all idiots, and the Kurds should stop wandering in the stunned exile from centuries-old homes to give Trump a thank you.
And naturally, as with most topics, there’s a tweet for this.
Why don't we ask the Navy SEALs who killed Bin Laden? They don't seem to be happy with Obama claiming credit. All he did is say O.K.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 22, 2012