When people think of terrorism in the modern world they no longer think of the attackers on september 11, Al Qaeda; they think of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or the more modern Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIS, or ISIL.
President Obama has taken to calling these truly monstrous human beings by their modern name, however Republicans, Senator Lindsay Graham and good ol’ Rush ‘Rushbo’ Limbaugh have taken to making this into a controversy, calling it “pretentious” and that it ignores who the enemy is.
Obama prefers to simply call ISIL ‘jihadists’ not muslim extremists, which still sticks in some craws.
From every point of view this is an argument on the basis of semantics alone.
Whether you call this organization ISIS or ISIL, jihadists or extremists, it doesn’t matter.
They are the same thing and are recognized as such, only differing in wording.
ISIS took their name from areas they were operating in, ISIL is meant to convey their intentions, to control the entire levant, or the Middle East.
A jihadist is a violent religious extremist, particularly of Islam.
All the more reason as to why this argument is worthless is that ISIL is hurt on almost all fronts.
The second in command of ISIL, Mohammad al-Adnani, who has acted as the mouthpiece of ISIL, was killed in an airstrike claimed by Russia in the past two weeks according to MSNBC.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the true leader of ISIL is still nowhere to be found.
On top if this, their ability to bankroll their caliphate is being drained by the United States and our allies air strikes against ISIL controlled oil fields and ISIL smuggling lanes.
Beyond this, ISIL has lost Fallujah to the Iraqi forces and the road towards Mosul, their de-facto capital is open to the Iraqis.
This isn’t the only force looking at Mosul, as the Kurdish Peshmerga has opened up their own path to Mosul by liberating several key villages around Khazir.
According to the New York Times, a defector by the name of Harry Sarfo in Germany has shed light on the organization’s global terror apparatus.
He revealed how ISIL’s intelligence organization “Emni” (formerly headed by al-Adnani) plans and coordinates terror attacks across the globe.
He revealed some parts of their operation, such as how recruits come to join the caliphate (by going to a resort in the southern part of Turkey and then being smuggled into Syria, it was also a perfect cover story in EU), the use of newly radicalized Islamists to help connect agents with each other and help them with preparing their attacks.
However, to argue over semantics when there is clearly a much larger discussion to be at hand is a ridiculous and callous waste of everybody’s time and energy.
ISIL, while hurt, is a far from being destroyed and then there’s their militaristic ideals that need wiping out.
It would be more effective discussing how to move forward and take control of our new found momentum, and as to whether or not we should work closer with Russia – putting aside allies, history and moral high grounds – and simply deal with the greater evil in a more effective coalition.