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Just Imagine

If the US had killed the ISIS leader! Neil Clark wonders if he’s living in a bizarre and one-dimensional world

We still don’t have physical evidence that the ISIS head honcho was killed in a Russian airstrike, but we never actually saw physical evidence of Osama bin Laden’s death, either

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ow would Western media have responded if it was reported that it was ‘highly likely’ that US air strikes had killed the head of ISIS? We’d have been told, of course, how it proved that the US was the ‘greatest nation on earth.’ We’d also be reminded how grateful we should be that America – aka ‘The World’s Policeman’ – always went after – and got – ‘the bad guys.’ Then there would be those ‘We Came, We Saw, He Died’ type of comments from leading US politicians. Donald Trump would be boasting about the killing for the rest of his life. Al-Baghdadi vs. Osama bin Laden – spot the difference But Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of ISIS, was reportedly killed by Russian airstrikes, not US ones, so there hasn’t been much fuss made. In fact, many leading pundits and commentators didn’t even bother to tweet the news. It’s revealing to compare the lowkey coverage of the al-Baghdadi story to the great fanfare that greeted the news that Osama bin Laden had reportedly been killed by US Navy SEALs in Pakistan in 2011. Then, large crowds – waving the stars-and-stripes – gathered in Times Square and other US cities to celebrate. Former President George W. Bush hailed a “momentous achievement.” NATO Secretary Rasmussen lauded a “significant success.” The media was equal-

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ly euphoric. Got Him! Vengeance At Last – US Nails The Bastard, was the splash on the New York Post. ‘Justice Has Been Done – Us Forces Kill Bin Laden,’ announced the Washington Post. ‘Rot In Hell’! Osama Bin Laden Killed In Secret Attack By Us Forces,’ exclaimed the Toronto Sun. The headlines surrounding the killing of the head of ISIS, by contrast, have been rather more muted – and skeptical. “Russia claims to have killed ISIS leader,” said Newsweek. “Little proof to back Russian claims they killed al-Baghdadi in air-strike,” declared the Toronto Sun. “White House casts doubt on Russia’s claims it killed ISIS leader,” reported Politico in an article that – surprise, surprise – made it straight to alBaghdadi’s Wikipedia page. Although it’s true that we still don’t have physical evidence that the ISIS head honcho was killed in a Russian airstrike, it’s worth pointing out that we never actually saw physical evidence of Osama bin Laden’s death, either. But it was the US government that claimed to have killed him, so skepticism did not feature in the newspaper headlines. In fact, any doubting of the official narrative in 2011 would have seen you dismissed as a crazy conspiracy theorist. If Uncle Sam says something is true, well, we are all expected to believe it. It’s all very different though if someone else claims to have killed the ‘bad

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