Donald Trump is Wrong about the Founding of ISIS

the White HouseMost people had forgotten all about it, but Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump recently revived a comment he had made in January, stating that President Obama was the founder of ISIS. “President Obama. He’s the founder of ISIS,” Trump said at a campaign rally in Florida on August 10. Apparently he did not want anyone to mistake his point, for he immediately added: “He’s the founder of ISIS. He’s the founder. He founded ISIS.” Then he added: “I would say that the co-founder would be crooked Hillary Clinton.”

Asked about his comment in interviews the next day, Trump did not back down. To conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt, who seemed to be fishing around with Trump to try to find a way to soften Trump’s language, Trump said, “No. I meant he’s the founder of ISIS. I do. I don’t care. He was the founder.” It seems a ridiculous waste of time to have to state the obvious: President Obama did not found ISIS (see below). But Trump’s handle on foreign policy lends itself to the ridiculous.

Now I hold no brief for the CIA, but you really should read this New York Times op-ed by Mike Morell, the acting director and deputy director of the CIA from 2010 to 2013. No matter what you think of the CIA, it’s clear that one thing they do well is to identify vulnerabilities in people and exploit them. With that in mind, keep in mind that for months Trump has been singing various praises of Russian President Vladimir Putin (see this link also).
In his op-ed., Morell explains why.

He reminds us that Putin was a career intelligence officer, skilled at identifying people’s vulnerabilities and exploiting them. Noting Trump’s “obvious need for self-aggrandizement,” Morel writes that “[t]his is exactly what [Putin] did in the primaries. Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump’s vulnerabilities by complimenting him. He responded just as Mr. Putin had calculated.”

Egyptian lamp and jug (Matt Create)In his op-ed, Morrell also argues persuasively why Trump is not only unqualified to be President but that he has already posed a threat to U.S. national security. A few days later, Morell was on the Charlie Rose television show for a major interview, in which he explained in great detail why he wrote the op-ed. You owe it to yourself to listen closely to that interview.

But to return to Trump’s ignorance about the founding of ISIS… I wrote a series of articles for this blog two years ago that traced a large and important branch of the roots of ISIS back through al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden to the militant vision of Sayyid Qutb, a radicalized Egyptian intellectual in 1950’s Egypt. Never heard of Sayyid Qutb? Apparently neither has Donald Trump.

So, having suggested that you take time to read the above links and listen to Mike Morell on Charlie Rose, now I’m going to give you some more homework. For a crash course on what Trump doesn’t know about the religious-political roots of ISIS, set aside time to read this series of articles. It will take you about an hour, but it will be time well spent.

Here’s the first one in the series. They are all linked, so you can read through them at your own pace, or skip through them to find those that interest you. And lets talk about this along the way. The Comments area for those articles is open. I hope this helps you. If it does, do forward this post to your friends. This issue is too important to let an outrageous falsehood hang in the air unaddressed, as if it were true.

©2016 by Charles Strohmer

Images by Adam_Inglis (top) and Matt Create (lower) from Creative Commons.

For other posts about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, see these, beginning with this one: To Boldly Go: anti-Trump Republicans Speak Up [Jun 11]; A Christian View of Not Voting for Donald Trump of Hillary Clinton [Aug 25]; Is Donald Trump Merely Lending His Name to “America”? [Sept 16]; Predicting Presidential Debates [Sept 23]; Who Lost the First Presidential Debate? [Sept 26].

A note from Charles: If you want more of the perspectives that Waging Wisdom seeks to present, I want to invite you to follow this blog for a while to see if you like it. Just click here and find the “Follow” button in the right margin, enter your email address, and then click “Follow.” You will receive a very short email notice when I publish a new post. Thank you.

2 thoughts on “Donald Trump is Wrong about the Founding of ISIS

  1. I am quite sure Mr. Trump was being sarcastic with that statement. I have a very hard time understanding how so many people think Trump is so terrible, when Hillary has lied over and over, so many people have been mysteriously murdered that have been very close to her and her campaign, 4 of our service men were killed in Bengazie it has been proven, by the FBI that she lied. These Clinton’s are so corrupt and it seems that people who “love” her so much, cannot see clearly!!!!! Her husband has no integrity!!! He had an affair with another woman, (several women) lied about it, then retracted. Wake up people, seriously, Trump may have had his several marriages, may have had an affair causing his divorces, but, I truly believe he loves America and wants us to be a respected country as we used to be, and bring jobs back, not let refugees in, take care of our own first. People must remember, Trump is a businesman who knows how to negotiate, he is funding his own campaign. He worked hard to build the TRUMP EMPIRE! Making items in China, or Mexico, is what our country made easier for the businesman. Trump wants to change that. Sure, he took advantage of it, because the government allowed it. Wake up people!!!!!!!!! We don’t need another politician in the White House!!!!! I so truly believe, Trump wants to help this country be “Great Again”!!!! I want this country Great Again for my grandchildren!!!!!!! HILLARY is out for HILLARY !!!!!!!!!!

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  2. Thank you Jackie for taking up Charles’ challenging “cat among pigeons” post. You certainly have our sympathy for a choice as to which will be the least worst possible outcome. And yet it is undoubtedly a competition of significance for the whole world. What will the election result signal to the rest of the world about the way the US views itself? We can answer that pretty well already by reference to the way these two view the world outside the US from their respective “America First” standpoints. For instance, the careful mapping of the elitist trajectory of Ms Clinton – in Daniel Halper “Clinton, Inc.: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine 2014″ – had me wondering how the co-president of the Clinton Global Initiative would view her US Presidency. Is the US to become a subsidiary of that firm? That question seems to be where Trump gets some of his peculiar leverage.

    But what question would I put to both candidates if they were on an international panel with me? My question might go something like this: “Given the American Federal Supreme Court’s endorsement of ‘same sex marriage’, tell us how you now understand the commitment of the US to Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Are you committed to it or not? If yes, what are you as a signatory to do to overturn the Supreme’s Decision?, and if not, let’s have some openness about what you are doing and what you propose for the rewriting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to comply with the US Supreme Court’s decision. Why has the US has not waited until that Article has been re-written?” Their responses might not explain much about their presidential ambitions, but it might help clarify just what the rest of the world is up against when faced with this particular consequence of the US civil-religious assumption of its own exceptional standing among the nations.

    Its international posturing tends, whether the US or the rest us likes it or not, to misrepresent the non-US world as subsidiaries or potential subsidiaries of itself, of US (“America first”) power and institutions, however these come to expression, and the ongoing efforts of libertarian elites in your country, left and right, to deconstruct and reconstruct a basic human institution that is found everywhere, not only in the US, is only one aspect of this hegemonic aspiration.

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