Words Have Meaning
Punning ISIS to Death
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  • jeburke

    It does matter what it’s called but daesh doesn’t come into it. ISIS IS al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) operating under a new and grander name. Calling it al Qaeda would actually be more informative and perhaps make it less appealing to young Muslims, hither and yon. Certainly, blindly adopting “Islamic State” pointlessly gives them a propaganda edge. Al Qaeda in Iraq first rolled out the Islamic State ploy in 2006 when it forged the so-called “Islamic State in Iraq, which was, in effect, an AQI front, encompassing a half dozen other groups but clearly led and dominated by AQI. Note that then as now, al Qaeda was proclaiming a “state,” headed by an emir. What happened since is that AQI/ISI was largely defeated, its remnants went underground only to gain new life across the border where the jihad against Assad gave it space, time and resources to regenerate, whereupon it moved back into Iraq.

    Let’s just tell the truth and call them al Qaeda.

    • Corlyss

      Batchelor has said for the last 13 years that we can’t name the enemy, and if we can’t name the enemy, we can’t defeat it.

    • B-Sabre

      But…but…the President said Al Qaeda was decimated and on the run!!

  • Corlyss

    “The Boston Globe . . . unfortunately wrong in both facts and views.”

    News flash . . .

  • Thirdsyphon

    Propaganda isn’t the primary instrument of war, but it is one of them. In the right hands, mockery and humor can be the kiss of death, especially for groups that thrive on fear. This particular effort might not have been well-crafted, and it might not work; but similar tactics, used properly, almost certainly can.

  • ShadrachSmith

    Call evil by its name, Islamists.

  • FriendlyGoat

    It should be called ISIL, pronounced as “issul” (like would rhyme with “missile”).

    The reasons are:

    There is no long “I” sound in the real name and no reason to put one there when pronouncing an acronym as a word.

    The sound symbolism of reminding everyone of Islam whenever “issul” is spoken is priceless. (Yes, our minds do respond to sounds and repetitions.)

  • Somebody

    I saw it claimed that some people in the Middle East are calling ISIS the orcs (as in Lord of the Rings). I don’t know whether it is true …

  • Bruce

    Silliness like this will not work. But remember, it’s the good intentions that matter most. (sarc)

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