As ISIS is gaining notoriety at a global level, my observation of a specific segment of news tells me something is off-key and it is not by default but rather by design. I am not sure about the details and so I wish to begin with my observation and try to drive backwards to see if there is a starting point that is reachable from this point in time.
Here is my observation:
Obama and ISIL
Barrack Obama, in almost all of the interviews and speeches he did, is using the term ‘ISIL’ instead of ‘ISIS.’
Here is a small compilation of video clips of him using the titles ‘ISIL’:
Now from what I understand, ISIL stands for Islamic State of Iraq and Levant and ISIS stands for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
What I don’t understand is why is the head of a nation intentionally using a brand that is otherwise largely neglected by the mainstream media. My automatic response is to look into the possibility of a reason behind such an insignificant yet odd-looking outlier.
ISIS/ISIL and What They Are
Here is a small clip compilation of Barrack Obama defining the ‘ISIL’ as he [or should we say, the US administration] perceives it to be:
Even when the journalist uses the term ISIS, Barrack Obama uses the term ISIL. He doesn't seem to care to make the correction established. Here is a clip showing that:
So the definition here indicates that those who were affiliated with Al-Qaeda and/or other larger terror networks in Iraq got together to form a new alliance for an operations of their own.In one way, this makes a little sense. My understanding says, ISIS [I would call it this way] is an integrated terror network where one large group decided the branding and objectives and other regional groups pledged their support to the growing brand and the brand is on a continuous expansion mode as new groups across the Middle-East are integrating under the ISIS banner while also attracting international terror groups.
Here’s what confuses me. See below a video clip of a press-meet where Barrack Obama says he ordered the speeding up of the training of ‘ISIL’ forces and Sunni tribes:
The news reports indicate that the White House later clarified it was a typo/mis-spell incident and the statement had not intended to use ‘ISIL.’
If it was not ‘ISIL’, what was it? ……ISIS??? Also apart from the specific banner, he also mentions Sunni tribes. So the US government has been actively supporting other groups in its ‘Regime-Stabilization’ operations in the Middle-East.
My interpretation is, if ISIL and ISIS are in fact two different things and Barrack Obama made a mistake of using ISIL’s name during the press-release, then the US administration perceives the existence of ISIS [or something other than ISIL but sounds very similar to ISIL] that are pro-democratic rebel groups representing different clans in the region. Then there are Sunni tribes too that were trained/helped.
US Involvement in Anti-ISIL Efforts
Here’s another clip from an interview where Barack Obama mentions the US involvement in supporting Sunni tribes that are resisting ‘ISIL’:
Earlier, Barrack Obama said US forces helped and trained Sunni tribes to fight against Al-Qaeda and they reconstituted to integrate with ISIS. Now he says the US administration is working to support Sunni tribes that are operating against ISIS.
Here is the next confusion I have as Barrack Obama makes gives a slightly contradicting definition of what has happened with ‘ISIL’:
Now, based on what Barrack Obama said, if Al-Qaeda was a vicious group that was quashed by US Marines with the ‘HELP OF SUNNI TRIBES’, and ‘they’ were able to reconstitute themselves later on, then clearly it has to be one of the two following options:
Option 1: The Al-Qaeda group that was ‘quashed’ by the US marines reconstituted themselves.
This means the US operations against Al-Qaeda in Iraq wasn’t entirely successful.
Option 2: The Sunni tribes that helped US troops reconstituted themselves.
This means the US administration made a mistake in choosing their right ally or at east failed in keeping the ad-hoc ally in check. Basically what it means is, they got weapons from the US troops and then vanished along with them…only to be back in a different name.
Getting down to the Syria connection, here is a clip where Barrack Obama clarifying US administration’s aspirations with respect to Assad’s regime in Syria:
The questions that rise are:
Why would the US help smaller rebel groups and leave them unchecked after the operation? Is that militarily impossible to do? If yes, then that indicates the deficiency/weakness of US/NATO military operations in the Middle East?
Why would the US continue to help support and train regional rebel groups, including Suni tribes, in spite of knowing that part to whole of them are going to integrate with the ISIS terror network?
The State of the Western Military Involvement in the Middle-East
Owing to budget cuts, both US and its NATO allies are finding it hard to carry out extensive military operations. However, their military help is required in the regions that does not have a powerful government military arm to effectively crack down on the terrorist groups [including ISIS].
The Arab Spring movement just complicated things as many regional rebel groups sprung up fighting oppression and anti-democratic regimes. Now the Middle-East has more than expected rebel groups with many of them integrating under the ISIS banner.
However, it is very evident that the US/NATO forces at some point in time had a part to play in the arming and training of the rebel groups that are now part of ISIS.
From a NATO perspective, Europian countries are also still struggling with budget cuts and are not in a position to carry out dedicated large-scale military operations in the Middle-East. With the Remotely Piloted Aircraft [RPA] strikes growing, following the troops drawdown from Iraq/Afghanistan, the European military forces are now obligated to contribute to the collaborative efforts in the Middle-East.
The current trend is to receive specific ‘Air-Strike Packages’ from NATO members and allies and use them in the Middle-East. However, the european countries had to avoid excessive contribution as they are facing funding shortages and rising internal demand [civilian] for funds. Another reason for this might also be Russian military operations in Ukraine and alleged intrusive air operations in the Easter-Europe air space. The European countries in the eastern ends of Europe not only have limited funding to support their militaries but also need their military forces to make presence felt over their air space that they feel is being intruded by Russian military aircraft.
Out of some weird coincidence, it is exactly during this time [of European countries gradually refraining from extensive collaboration in the Middle-East] the terror attacks on the European countries happen.
If the countries now agree to share intelligence seamlessly, what were they doing so far?
Why are terror attacks influencing actions that were otherwise restricted by reducing military budgets?
Why now, when these terror attacks could have happened anytime after the troops drawdown from Afghanistan/Iraq?
There need not be a specific connection, but my interpretation refuses to accept the absence of such a thing.
The Syrian Confusion
While US/NATO allies are trying to contribute to collaborative military operations in the Middle-East [including Syria] and continue to maintain a negative stance against Russia, they are now facing Russia actively taking part in the effort maintaining an individual stand. Russian forces have been conducting air raids on ISIS targets. The US/NATO allies are now seeing their publicised antagonist playing the larger protagonist role in Syria.
However, it has to be noted that the US administration is consciously expecting a regime change in Syria as it feels Assad represents an anti-democratic leadership. That may be the reason for the media propaganda that has been accusing Russia of failed strikes and hitting civilian or pro-NATO targets.
In the end, the US, from what Barrack Obama said, has been directly or indirectly responsible for a part of the ISIS terror network’s growth over the past few years. If the US administration cannot track or control the integration of the rebel groups they helped in Iraq in the past, then it only indicates an obvious lack of capability on the US/NATO side.
The question is, Why help someone whom you cannot track or control? If you have helped someone with weapons and training and now they are fighting against you, are you not using your own taxpayer’s money to fund the killing of your own soldiers? What were you thinking then and what are you thinking now?
To be fair, it takes a big heart to spend one’s taxpayers’ money for the benefit of some other countries’ citizens. So from that perspective, the intentions are all good. However, the contradicting methods of stabilising and/or de-stabilizing regimes in the Middle-East indicates that the objectives are not entirely what they are being released to the media.
My subsequent question is, why use taxpayer’s money to do something internationally which cannot be revealed in entirety?
Getting back to the ISIS vs. ISIL branding confusion, my interpretation says that for some reason the US administration perceives the brand ‘ISIS’ as something related to an ally from the present or the past. That is why there is a deliberate avoidance of the term ‘ISIS’ which is being replaced by ‘ISIL.’
Irrespective of what ISIS or ISIL is/are, the names represent a terror network wreaking havoc in the Middle-East. Why bother so much about mentioning the ‘RIGHT VERSION OF THEIR NAME’????
If such a concern is being genuinely addressed and efforts are being made to use a specific term to describe a FREAKING TERRORIST GROUP, with the executive head of a country’s administration exercising that effort at an individual level, then there is something behind it that we as commoners do not know entirely about. It may not be what I might propose, but it definitely exists and it exists at the cost of billions of taxpayers’ money from multiple countries.
So my conclusion is that, Barrack Obama does not want to officially record an opinion where the US administration admits all non-government military activity in Syria as ‘TERRORIST’ activity. The reason is, it wants Assad to be removed and ISIS group is allegedly operating against the current Syrian administration headed by Assad.
Why is something we may never know but we can be absolutely sure that ‘ISIS’ and ‘ISIL’ are not necessarily the same from certain perspectives and the perspectives are not being publicly elaborated. It is the deliberate withholding of clarity on trivial aspects such as the branding of a terror group [or groups should I say] that tells us, there is a lot more than meets the eye or ears and that those cost a whole lot of taxpayers’ money.
So, what would you recognise as the REAL ISIS BRAND? Does ISIL mean anything different to you? In the end, we are now facing a terror network that has successfully established two brands in the minds of its victims, observers and adversaries. While any act of terror or human rights violation is condemnable, why are we still struggling to use the same name to describe the bad?
abc, 60-minutes, C-Span, WH-gov