Max Boot Deletes Sentence Claiming al-Baghdadi Did Not Die a ‘Coward’

Author Max Boot speaks onstage during The New Yorker Festival 2016 - 'President Trump: Life As We May Know It,' featuring Max Boot, Amy Davidson, Roger Stone, and Sean Wilentz in conversation with Evan Osnos at MasterCard Stage at SVA Theatre on October 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo …
Anna Webber/Getty Images for The New Yorker

Following significant backlash, Washington Post (WaPo) columnist Max Boot deleted a sentence in a recent piece he wrote, in which he argued that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi did not die a “coward” because “he blew himself up.”

Boot — who is both a WaPo columnist and a CNN analyst — wrote a column on Monday, titled, “Baghdadi’s death could have been Trump’s finest hour. He messed it up anyway.” in which he appeared to join in on the left‘s attempts to dismiss President Donald Trump’s latest victory — the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

In his piece, Boot seemed bothered by President Trump’s characterization of the ISIS leader “dying like a coward,” and implied that al-Baghdadi’s suicide was somehow an act of bravery, by suggesting in his piece that the president’s assessment of the terrorist’s death was incorrect.

Boot’s — now-deleted — statement implying that al-Baghdadi did not die a coward read as follows:

The assertion that Baghdadi died as a coward was, in any case, contradicted by the fact that rather than be captured, he blew himself up.

The columnist’s assessment of the ISIS leader — who blew himself up along with three children — was met with a plethora of backlash, prompting Boot to retract the sentence, as well as insist that he never meant to describe al-Baghdadi as a courageous individual.

“An earlier version of this column included a sentence questioning whether Trump was right to call Baghdadi a coward because he blew himself up,” wrote Boot in his update to his column. “The line was removed because it unintentionally conveyed the impression that I considered Baghdadi courageous.”

Boot’s initial evaluation of al-Baghdadi’s suicide arrived on the heels of a separate WaPo gaffe, in which the newspaper referred to the ISIS terrorist as an “austere religious scholar” in their obituary, before ultimately changing it.

“Regarding our al-Baghdadi obituary, the headline should never have read that way and we changed it quickly,” tweeted WaPo‘s Vice President of Communications Kristine Coratti Kelly on Sunday.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo and on Instagram.


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