Decoding Obama-Speak: Why He Says ‘ISIL’ When Most Experts Call Them ‘ISIS’
As radical Islamic terrorists in the Middle East have grown in strength and numbers while seizing territory and waging jihad abroad, the name by which the group calls itself has morphed from “Unity in Jihad” its early days in 1999, to a variety of geographically-specific names until it now identifies only as the Islamic State (IS).
However, President Obama is careful to refer to the terror group as ISIL (the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) in press conferences, public statements and media interviews.
Media and citizens alike have speculated both as to the differences between the terms and the president’s preference in addressing the Islamic terror group, even as he is unable or unwilling to use the term ‘radical Islam’ in reference to the violent extremists.
The distinction between the terms is important, as it offers clues as to the goals of the terror group itself.
Because ISIS refers to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, using the term would suggest that action against the group in Iraq and Syria would be effective in stemming the tide of radical Islam.
President Obama has steadfastly held to his stated goal of leaving behind a legacy of withdrawing American troops from the Middle East and reducing America’s influence around the world and an acknowledgement of ISIS would call into question that strategy.
The use of the term ISIL by President Obama gives credence to radical Islam’s goal of establishing a caliphate not only in Iraq and Syria, but in the entire Levant in the Middle East.
The term refers to a much larger area, a region spanning Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan, which fits with radical Islam’s stated goal of destroying Israel.
The Islamic terror group has now adopted the very broad term “IS,” meaning simply the Islamic State, which encompasses any and all countries within its control.
IS openly proclaims its goal of establishing a worldwide caliphate that disregards drawn boundaries and answers only to the most radical and extreme interpretations of Islam, including the imposition of Sharia law on the entire populace.
Disregarding the nuances and meanings of the terms, as President Obama does, continues to ignore or misrepresent the stated mission of radical Islamists, including those who are waging jihad against Judeo-Christian and Western values around the world.