The day the captured Jordanian pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, was horrifically burned to death by ISIS terrorists, the leader of his country was on a diplomatic mission to Washington. Shortly after King Abdullah got the news, he was in a closed-door meeting with members of the House Armed Services Committee. One congressman who was present said Abdullah was visibly shaken and furious, and he swore to fight the until his country “runs out of fuel and bullets.”
According to the Washington Examiner:
“He said there is going to be retribution like ISIS hasn’t seen,” said Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr., a Marine Corps veteran of two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, who was in the meeting with the king. “He mentioned ‘Unforgiven’ and he mentioned Clint Eastwood, and he actually quoted a part of the movie.”
Hunter would not say which part of “Unforgiven” the king quoted, but noted it was where Eastwood’s character describes how he is going to deliver his retribution. There is a scene in the picture in which Eastwood’s character, William Munny, says, “Any man I see out there, I’m gonna kill him. Any son of a bitch takes a shot at me, I’m not only going to kill him, I’m going to kill his wife and all his friends and burn his damn house down.”
In a statement released in Amman, the King said Jordan’s response “will be harsh because this terrorist organization is not only fighting us, but also fighting Islam and its pure values.”
That afternoon, the King flew home to Jordan, clearly determined to act but not announcing the details. Before the death of his father, King Hussein, Abdullah was a pilot himself, and leader of the country’s special forces. In a post on its Facebook page, The Royal Hashemite Court emphasized the King’s military leadership by publishing this photograph:
The next morning at dawn, Jordan hanged two terrorist prisoners whose release ISIS had sought.
That same day, he dispatched a combat mission that bombed ISIS strongholds. Iraqi media reported 55 ISIS fighters were killed, including a top-tier Islamic State leader known as the “Prince of Nineveh.”
There had previously been disagreement within Jordan about the country’s role in the U.S.-led coalition to bomb ISIS. Since Lt. al-Kaseasbeh’s murder, sentiment has coalesced around the King. The young pilot is part of a large Bedouin clan that has been a pillar of support for the Heshemite monarchy. Like the King, the pilot’s father has sworn revenge, and in the Bedouin culture, revenge is serious business.
There has been significant criticism of President Obama for a lack of leadership in the fight against ISIS. Maybe it’s time for him to take some lessons from King Abdullah.