Prevailing over the Islamic State

What’s in a name?  That which we call ISIS by any other name would smell as foul. It is puzzling that President Barack Obama has preferred the appellation "ISIL."  It does make a difference.  The variously named terrorist group began in 2003-4 as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), after the invasion of Iraq by the U.S.  Its original leader was killed in an air strike in 2006, and he was succeeded in 2010 by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.  A new name, ISIS, was adopted in April 2013, reflecting what was supposed to be the merger of AQI with the Syrian based al-Qaeda affiliate the Nusra Front.  A break between the two groups took place a few months later.   Translating Arab phrases into English has its pitfalls, but it is generally agreed that ISIS means the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (Syria).  Most commentators used this definition.  However, President Obama on numerous occasions, especially his speech at West Point on June 19,...(Read Full Article)

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