The deceased leader of ISIS Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (Image: SalamPix/ABACA)

So, after years of looking, US troops found Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, founder of ISIS, while they were clearing out of northern Syria, and killed him. What a coincidence, hey! What extraordinarily good luck to land a blow on ISIS just as the withdrawal is giving it a chance to restart! And, of course, what bollocks.

Baghdadi's whereabouts has clearly been known for a long time. We are so far into these simulacrum wars that that sort of thing doesn't surprise anymore. It doesn't fool anyone in the media or political classes -- nor is it meant to. It's a purely formal move to shape the narrative for a knowing audience.