Whenever a dangerous person is killed, U.S. leadership says that the world will be a safer place. They said it when former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was executed. Former U.S. President George W. Bush said then that the world had become a safer place. When the Americans managed to kill Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Bush also said that the world would be a safer place.
The situation was the same when Zarqawi’s successors Abu Umar al-Baghdadi and Abu Hamza al-Muhajir were killed—the Americans said that the world would be a safer place. After U.S. special operations forces killed Osama bin Laden, the global leader of al-Qaida, former President Barack Obama said that the world was a safer place.
When the Americans killed Hamza bin Laden several months ago, the talk was the same. Today, the Americans have killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, and President Donald Trump said that the world is “now a much safer place.”
However, this raises the question: has the world really become a safer place after all these deaths? The answer is certainly no. With respect to the war on terror, the world has become more complex, particularly after terrorist movements spread to numerous areas across the world from east to west. Rather than the “caliphate” declared by Baghdadi from the Nouri Mosque in Mosul when it was occupied by the Islamic State group from 2014 until 2017, when Iraq expelled the Islamic State group in a great victory that impressed the world, this organization began to shift its cells and the segments of its leadership to different areas around the world in an attempt to reconstitute the organization.
Another critical issue is that despite all that is happening to the organization and its leadership, the Islamic State group plans to announce soon that it will continue its mission and announce alternative plans. At the same time, this is a story in and of itself, but one aspect of it is reflected in the fact that this organization may become a “gun for hire” here or there; that is, it could exist even without symbolic or charismatic leadership.
The “new” thing that could make the world safer is what President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, tweeted after Baghdadi’s death: “the world is a safer place.” I do not know whether Ivanka wants to encourage her father, who needs a story like Baghdadi’s death to overcome two very serious challenges he is facing—impeachment by the Democrats and the upcoming battle for the presidency—or whether it has a political dimension, in which Ivanka is one of the decision-makers behind the scenes in the current administration along with her husband, Jared Kushner, who plays a critically important role advising his father-in-law.
What is true for every girl is also true for Ivanka: every daughter admires her father. This is especially true since her father was anxiously awaiting Baghdadi’s death, but not only so he, like his predecessors, could tell us that the world has become a safer place. Rather, Trump was waiting to tell us that he has become safer from impeachment or from losing reelection. What matters to Trump is safety, so it goes without saying, God has heard Ivanka’s “solution.”