To the editor: In a presidency filled with seemingly one new low point after another, finally we have some legitimately very good news: Islamic State leader Abu Bakr Baghdadi was killed in a raid by U.S. forces in northern Syria on Saturday.
To his credit, in a news conference on Sunday, President Trump rightfully gave praise to the great intelligence work that preceded the Baghdadi operation, and to our elite military forces for their phenomenal and precise execution. His restraint in not making this operation all about him was appropriate and surprising.
Trump might just find that acting in a truly “presidential” manner garners such positive affirmation that he will try it more often. If the economy does not falter before the next election, and if Trump can just tamp down his impulsiveness and ego a bit, he will truly be a formidable candidate.
Personally, I do not believe that he wants to do this, nor do I think he is capable of doing it.
Ken Derow, Swarthmore, Penn.
To the editor: Baghdadi’s death marks the end of a chapter, but the saga continues.
I’m not one to celebrate a death, and Trump’s remarks about a whimpering, weeping coward aren’t helpful. He praised the Russians, Syrians, Turks and even Iran, then cast shade on our European allies. Now Trump is sending troops to “guard” the oil fields, which just reinforces the militant jihadist narrative.
Baghdadi may be gone, but the extremist beliefs that took down the twin towers in 2001 and carved out a provisional caliphate aren’t going away.
Mark McIntyre, Los Angeles