The other ISIS

Oops! The problem with acronyms, so beloved of government bureaucrats, is that they can be used by others. Consider ISIS. Kate Wright sent me a link to this ISIS, which turns out to be an arm of US intelligence:

ISIS provides worldwide security, intelligence, technology and training to government and private enterprises. ISIS is strategically positioned across the globe, with a highly credentialed management team and personnel. We have a superlative track record for delivering exceptional service and support to the most demanding of clients in the most challenging of circumstances.

It’s a distinctly odd coincidence, don’t you think?

Clarice Feldman yesterday published this insightful commentary on the Obama administration’s preference for ISIL as an acronym:

The ISIS/ISIL formulation reminds me of the “You say tomato,  I say tomato” lyrics but seems to have a more studied propagandistic intention:

With the exception of Reuters and now the Associated Press, most news organizations have not referred to ISIL until President Obama began using the term, which stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. But when Obama used the term 5 times on June 13, and 16 times in his commencement speech at West Point on June 19th, he was using his bully pulpit to make a point.

Most, like this publication, continue to use the widely accepted acronym ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or al-Sham, but both describe the same murderous organization. The difference is that the Levant describes a territory far greater than simply Iraq and Syria. It’s defined as this: the Levant today consists of the island of Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and part of southern Turkey.

Why would Obama prefer ISIL? An “army” of that territorial magnitude takes the focus off the two countries that many believe define Obama’s continued failure in the Middle East. Most likely, he would rather eliminate the connection between the chaos in Iraq with his inaction in Syria. Better that the upheaval in a country to which we committed so much blood and treasure remain the fault of George W. Bush. The president has already been tarred with having failed to secure a Status of Forces deal with Prime Minister al-Maliki, which would have allowed a contingent of American troops to stay in Iraq.

She notes:

The rest of the world calls this group ISIS and don't seem to be confusing it with a US govt bureau.

Oops! The problem with acronyms, so beloved of government bureaucrats, is that they can be used by others. Consider ISIS. Kate Wright sent me a link to this ISIS, which turns out to be an arm of US intelligence:

ISIS provides worldwide security, intelligence, technology and training to government and private enterprises. ISIS is strategically positioned across the globe, with a highly credentialed management team and personnel. We have a superlative track record for delivering exceptional service and support to the most demanding of clients in the most challenging of circumstances.

It’s a distinctly odd coincidence, don’t you think?

Clarice Feldman yesterday published this insightful commentary on the Obama administration’s preference for ISIL as an acronym:

The ISIS/ISIL formulation reminds me of the “You say tomato,  I say tomato” lyrics but seems to have a more studied propagandistic intention:

With the exception of Reuters and now the Associated Press, most news organizations have not referred to ISIL until President Obama began using the term, which stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. But when Obama used the term 5 times on June 13, and 16 times in his commencement speech at West Point on June 19th, he was using his bully pulpit to make a point.

Most, like this publication, continue to use the widely accepted acronym ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or al-Sham, but both describe the same murderous organization. The difference is that the Levant describes a territory far greater than simply Iraq and Syria. It’s defined as this: the Levant today consists of the island of Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and part of southern Turkey.

Why would Obama prefer ISIL? An “army” of that territorial magnitude takes the focus off the two countries that many believe define Obama’s continued failure in the Middle East. Most likely, he would rather eliminate the connection between the chaos in Iraq with his inaction in Syria. Better that the upheaval in a country to which we committed so much blood and treasure remain the fault of George W. Bush. The president has already been tarred with having failed to secure a Status of Forces deal with Prime Minister al-Maliki, which would have allowed a contingent of American troops to stay in Iraq.

She notes:

The rest of the world calls this group ISIS and don't seem to be confusing it with a US govt bureau.