Bright eyes, burning like fire
Bright eyes, how can you close and fail?
How can the light that burned so brightly
Suddenly burn so pale?
It seems poignant that this was the song playing on my Spotify playlist when I watched Donald Trump’s vulgar and insensitive speech announcing the tragic probable death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. It’s so like Trump to find the death of a minority something to celebrate.
‘Something very big has just happened!’ he had tweeted an hour before, in the same way a child would announce to their parents they’d gone poopy in their potty for the first time. I dared to hope that perhaps he had accidentally impeached himself, but no such good fortune was to be forthcoming.
A video livestream was then posted on Trump’s Twitter feed and all was made clear. According to Trump, the world’s ‘most dreaded terrorist’ Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed by US troops.
‘He died after running into a dead-end tunnel whimpering and crying and screaming all the way,’ Trump gloated as the world looked on in stunned silence.
I didn’t know much about Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi but by all accounts, he was an inspiring figure in the Middle East and his loss was felt by many. The Washington Post was quick to revere him as an ‘austere religious scholar at the helm of Islamic State’. However pressure by far-right groups forced them to change the headline to ‘Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, extremist leader of Islamic State, dies at 48.’
Bloomberg Politics paid tribute by tweeting:
Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi transformed himself from a little-known teacher of Koranic recitation into the self-proclaimed ruler of an entity that covered swaths of Syria and Iraq https://t.co/CNI5XBsoai
— Bloomberg Politics (@bpolitics) October 27, 2019
What an inspiration, this man proved to us minorities that you can achieve anything you want if you really believe in yourself. Until his death, he was living his best life.
Trump of course showed him no such respect: ‘He died like a dog, he died like a coward’ the US dictator had declared, completely oblivious to the fact that proudly announcing the death of another human being from the comfort of his own press conference, shielded behind swathes of bodyguards, actually makes HIM the coward.
Thankfully, Trump’s vile hate speech was tempered by kind souls on social media. Jamie Lee Curtis, had this to say in response to the president’s spiteful outpouring:
‘He may have died a coward @realDonaldTrump but ALL living things suffer when they are blown up. Anyone who has experienced warfare, unlike yourself, would know that. War is brutal. Dogs are brave, bold, loyal, loving and healing.’
Trump using dogs as a metaphor in his abusive and thoughtless wordpuke really goes to show how out of touch he is with the common people. Dogs are Good Boys and he had no right to besmirch their reputation this way.
Also, think upon this zen-like phrase: ‘ALL living things suffer when they are blown up’. How true is this? (the answer is ‘very’). With that one sentence, Jamie Lee Curtis managed to encapsulate the devastating reality of the death of Baghdadi. No matter how ‘bad’ he was, no matter how many people he had supposedly ‘tortured’, no matter how many acts of ‘terrorism’ he may have orchestrated, he did not deserve to suffer by being forced to blow himself up.
Imagine the fear and despair he must have felt as he bravely strapped himself to those three children along with a heap of explosives and a detonator. Imagine the terror he must have felt when he knew the time had come to press the trigger. Does that sound like a coward to you? (the answer is ‘no’). Checkmate, Trump. Check. Mate.