Dan Gilmore / November 13, 2015

Jihadi John ‘Evaporated’ in U.S. Airstrike, Officials Say

This is a propaganda hit.

Of course, we can’t know with 100% certainty whether or not the member of the Islamic State who beheaded several high-profile hostages is dead. It’s not like the U.S. can waltz down and swab a DNA sample from the pink slime formerly known as Jihadi John coating a bombed-out car near Raqqa, Syria. A counter terrorism official recounted the Thursday-morning drone strike saying, “He walked out of a building and got in the car. We struck it right after with zero collateral damage. The vehicle was on fire. It was a 100 percent flawless, direct hit.”

But let’s be clear: This is a propaganda hit, a way to get a good headline and bolster the Obama administration’s strategy of talking the Islamic State to death. It was Barack Obama that originally delayed a rescue attempt of journalist James Foley, who eventually became one of Jihadi John’s victims.

Furthermore, this single assassination does little to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State. Currently, the Kurds are in the process of retaking the Iraqi city of Sinjar, a victory that could sever Islamic State supply lines. And the Iraqi army is beginning its build up to retake Ramadi. But hey, Obama smoked a guy.

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