The predictions of Navy veteran and terrorism expert Malcolm Nance that Daesh (ISIS/ISIL) would use Donald Trump’s incendiary remarks about the Brussels bombings in their propaganda videos came true almost immediately. The Al-Battar Media Foundation (“Sword of the Prophet”) released a video celebrating the bombings on Thursday, prominently featuring the words and image of Donald Trump. “Brussels was one of the great cities, one of the most beautiful cities of the world 20 years ago, and it was amazing actually and safe, and now it’s a horror show, it’s an absolute horror show” says a flame-shrouded Trump as the black flag of Daesh waves in the corner.
This is not the first time Trump has been used in propaganda videos by terrorist groups. The murderous extremists of Somalia’s al-Shabaab featured Trump in a January recruitment video. Members of the media, national security community, and politicians from both sides of the aisle have all condemned Trump for his xenophobic anti-Muslim remarks, warning that they only serve to legitimize the propaganda of terrorist groups and perpetuate the idea that Americans despise Islam and that Muslims cannot coexist with Western civilization.
Trump’s casual demands to torture captured Daesh agents and his simplistic promises to inflict wanton death and destruction to the Middle East only serve the interests of our enemies. The Daesh video references “crusade jets” in reference to American and NATO bombing campaigns, and such depictions resonate heavily with a Middle Eastern population for whom the whir of drones, the scream of F-15s and shattering destruction is a far too familiar experience. It’s obvious that none of the war hawk candidates have considered what happens after Daesh is “taken out.” Do they believe that the cells implanted around Europe are simply going to wither away into nothing? That the continuous cycle of violence and extremism is going to be solved by more death? That Daesh won’t splinter into countless other groups, prompting a fresh round of conflict?
The quagmire of the Middle East is as murky and complex as it ever was. But these videos make one thing clear – that the Islamophobic rhetoric and primitive militarism of the Republican candidates are a threat to our national security and to peace and stability in the world as a whole.
Watch Trump’s starring role here:
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.