What’s in a word? A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet …
Maybe, but official Washington has adopted a rather silly wordplay in calling the terrorist group ISIS ISIL instead. It’s a rather contrived attempt that makes us look weaker than we really are.
Yes, ISIS sounds more powerful than ISIL; it’s got that Greek god sound to it; even Bob Dylan wrote a song called Isis. But are we really so scared of this terrorist group and its propaganda war that we can’t even call the organization by its proper name?
The circumlocution makes for awkward writing by reporters. Every time they quote an administration official calling the group ISIL, they have to write “as it is also called” before providing the quote.
ISIS does prevent a real threat to the United States, and they did behead three people in a brutal and gruesome manner. The organization is also rather adept at using social media as a recruiting and informational tool.
But the rather obvious refusal to call the group ISIS is a petty and rather obvious tactic. We will defeat ISIS, at least in Iraq; there is no way they can withstand the assault of the U.S. air force.
And then it won’t matter what we call the organization except defeated.