Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Labels, the Levant and Lunatics

Donald Trump is taking heat from the media for a statement he made in the aftermath of the Orlando shootings that questioned why President Obama would not utter the words "Radical Islamic Terrorism" despite what all of us are seeing with our very own eyes.

This is what Trump said on Fox & Friends.

“Look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind.” 
 "People cannot, they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and can’t even mention the words “radical Islamic terrorism.” There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable. There’s something going on. He doesn’t get it or he gets it better than anybody understands — it’s one or the other and either one is unacceptable."

Those that are regular readers of BeeLine know that I am no Trump cheerleader or apologist. However, I agree with him there is something going on with this President that is difficult to understand.

President Obama angrily went after Trump yesterday when he was called him out for his refusal to recognize "Radical Islam". In his defense, Obama argues that putting a "label" on someone does nothing to make us safer or make it go away.

This all led to one of the better comebacks I have seen from Trump recently.

"I watched President Obama today and he was more angry at me than he was at the shooter." 
All of this reminded me of of the following post I wrote two years ago. This is the most popular post I have ever written in the 5+ years that I have been writing BeeLine. It is not just the most read by a small margin, it has been read and shared 10 times more than my next most popular post!

That itself seems to suggest two things:

1) There are a lot of people who think that what the President is doing is difficult to understand.

2) A prime reason that Trump is popular is that he voices what a lot of other people are thinking.

If you have ever heard the President refer to the radical islamists as ISIL rather than ISIS, have you wondered why he does that? I did a little research on the subject right after he started doing it. It left me with even more questions of what is going on. Therefore, I understand where Trump is coming from.

You will probably wonder even more yourself after reading my post below.

Apparently, a label does not matter when it comes to "Radical Islamic Terrorism" but it matters a great deal on being very precise by referring to ISIL, rather than ISIS. Why does Obama do it? Why does he seem deferential to these lunatics?

As Trump says, "There's something going on. It is inconceivable."

(Originally published Septermber 7, 2014)

You may wonder, as I did, why President Obama and his administration refer to ISIS as ISIL.

As ISIS rose to power in Syria and Iraq over the last year or so, we consistently heard it referred to as ISIS for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

All of a sudden our President started referring to it as ISIL.

I understood where ISIS came from. What does ISIL stand for?

It turns out it is the acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

What is the Levant?

It is a term used for centuries for the area shown in the map below.  The Levant today consists of the island of Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and part of southern Turkey. It does not include Iraq.


In other words, Obama is effectively giving due recognition to the ambitions and dreams of these extreme Islamists for their caliphate by his use of the term ISIL. Notice also that ISIL includes all of the territory of Israel, ISIS does not.

Consider this perspective from, which wonders about the President's use of ISIL instead of ISIS.

Now, to us Westerners we don’t really make much of a distinction, do we? No, honestly from our perspective its all about the same. But how would a Muslim living in the Middle East view it? Just what is the Levant anyway? Let’s take a look.
The geographical term LEVANT refers to a multi-nation region in the Middle East. It’s a land bridge between Turkey to the north and Egypt to the south. If you look on a map, however, in the near exact middle of the nations that comprise the Levant, guess what you see? Come on, guess!
It’s Israel.
When Barack Obama refers over and over to the Islamic State as ISIL, he is sending a message to Muslims all over the Middle East that he personally does not recognize Israel as a sovereign nation, but as territory belonging to the Islamic State.

With the exception of Reuters, no news organization was using the term ISIL until President Obama started to use it. However, it seems the ISIL label is being used more in the media thanks to the consistent use of it by our President and his administration. For example, the Associated Press recently started referring to ISIL instead of ISIS. The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post still refer to the group as ISIS.

When has the President of the United States ever been so deferential to a sworn enemy of the United States?

ISIS is a group that has stated,

“I say to America that the Islamic Caliphate has been established and we will not stop."

“We will raise the flag of Allah in the White House."

We are a long way away from when President George Herbert Walker Bush (41) referred to Saddam Hussein leading up to and during the Gulf War as SAD-em rather than Suh-DOM, which was the accepted pronunciation of Hussein's name. Bush clearly did this intentionally to get under Hussein's skin in some way. It should be noted that he stopped pronouncing it this way when the war was over.

There was an ulterior motive. Does Barack Obama have his own motive in using ISIL, rather than ISIS?

Those who are regular readers of BeeLine know that I am not a conspiracy theorist. I draw my conclusions based on facts and analysis of those facts. However, in this case, it really does make you wonder what Obama is doing, doesn't it?

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