- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 12, 2018

Let’s poke the bear for a moment.

Or, more truthfully — because of this White House’s strength and boldness and utter disregard for the left’s preferred method of dealing with terrorists, known as the Diplomatic Dance — let’s poke the widdle baby bear for a moment.

ISIS back in August 2014, while Barack Obama was president, released a propaganda video that included this eye-raising claim: “We will raise the flag of Allah in the White House.”

A couple months later, another ISIS terrorist, the so-called “ginger jihadist,” threatened similarly, saying in a video message to Obama and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and to the people of America, Britain and Australia: “We will not stop fighting … until we reach your lands … until we put the black flag on top of the White House.

And then in December 2017, another ISIS jihadist going by the name of Abu Salih al-Amriki released yet one more video with a message aimed right at President Donald Trump that went like this: The ISIS flag would be “raised over the White House.”

Well, here we are, and here’s our American flag. Now where’s that black ISIS flag?

Hmm, right-o.

“Five Most Wanted leaders of ISIS just captured!” tweeted Trump, just this week.

What a difference a new administration makes. Instead of cowering in fear from ISIS, America’s got a new “come ‘n’ get me, copper” ‘tude, and it’s paying off big time both on the ground and in the press.

The headlines under the prior administration used to sing of ISIS’s march across the world, of the devastation the terror group inflicted, of the names of its poor and defenseless beheaded victims — including those of U.S. journalists James Foley, then Steven Sotloff. Americans remember those occasions well; the first was marked by egregious headlines like this, from The New York Times: “A Terrorist Horror, Then Golf: Incongruity Fuels Obama Critics,” above a story that gave an apt description of how that particular president chose to respond to the horrible execution of Foley.

But fast-forward to today’s administration and ISIS, the once roaring beast and bane of the Obama era, has not only been tamed, but also shamed and humbled.

Now headlines, like this from MSN.com, just this week, strike a more hopeful note: “U.S. military under Trump winning the war on ISIS?”

Or this one, from the Washington Examiner back in December 2017: “Here’s how much ground ISIS has lost since Trump took over.” And, as that story opens — it’s been quite a bit, it seems: “The defeat of [ISIS] rapidly accelerated during President Trump’s first year in office, beginning with the fall of East Mosul on Jan. 25, and continuing with a cascading series of defeats for the brutal terrorist group over the next 11 months.”

Perhaps even more significantly, there was this well-balanced analysis from the Heritage Foundation in January, that acknowledged that even though “the war is not over, “the threat has mutated and will continue to mutate,” and that “victory is not just around the corner,” Trump deserves much credit for his blunting of ISIS’s force.

“President Trump deserves credit for hastening the downfall of their Caliphate,” the Heritage analysis found. “[T]he Trump administration could lay the groundwork for a strategy that will one day deliver [victory].”

Again, what a change of direction from the previous administration.

Meanwhile, let’s not forget this bright spot, either. At least ISIS has shut its silly mouth about flying black flags over America’s noble White House. Or, more to point, had its mouth shut for it.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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