What’s behind the choice of name of Mideast terror group?
WASHINGTON – President Obama may have had a difficult time formulating a strategy to deal with the ISIS crisis, yet he alone has been almost obsessively resolute in referring to the group as “ISIL.”
In some of Obama’s briefings on ISIS, he has gone so far as to spell out ISIL.
Puzzling to reporters and pundits, the use of ISIL by Obama has prompted a bevy of theories.
ISIS was the original name of the al-Qaida offshoot. It’s an acronym that stands for Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. But, months ago, ISIS changed its name to ISIL – the Islamic State in the Levant. More recently, ISIS chose to be known simply as Islamic State.
Most news organizations, pundits and policymakers chose to stick with ISIS, perhaps to discourage the ISIS shell game of frequent name changes. Obama, though, has stuck with ISIL.
His determination took on almost comical tones in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd that aired Sunday.
Obama: “I’m preparing the country to make sure that we deal with a threat from ISIL.”
So confusing was the discussion, it forced Todd to clarify for viewers: “Obviously we refer to it at NBC News as ISIS. The Obama administration, president, says the word ISIL. The last S stands for Syria, the last L they don’t want to have stand for Syria.”
Todd apparently was suggesting the Obama administration would like Americans not to associate ISIS with Syria.
Capitol Hill Democrats decided earlier this week to go with ISIL – but for multicultural reasons. Isis was the name of a deity popular among feminists, many of whom named their daughters after her. It seems Isis Martinez, a woman in Miami, has been gathering signatures on a petition to the media to use ISIL.
Fox News’ Harris Faulkner suggests Obama is “tipping his hat” to ISIS by calling it ISIL.
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