When U.S. president, Barack Hussein Obama gave his prime time address to the nation on August 8, 2014, he conspicuously changed the name of the terrorist group commonly known as ‘ISIS’ to ‘ISIL.’ Obama knew exactly what he was doing. He was speaking in Islamic code language that few westerners understand. Instead of saying, ‘ISIS,’ or ‘Islamic State of Sham,’ (Sham being an Arabic term that refers to Greater Syria) Obama referred to the group as ‘ISIL,’ which means ‘Islamic State of the Levant.’ Notice the significance of the word, ‘Levant.’ Christopher Wolf of the website “PRI.com” provides some insight into the meaning of the term. He writes, “Scholars today largely agree on the bounds of the Levant, extending from the Antakya region of Turkey, through Syria, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, Jordan, and round to the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. Some include Cyprus, as well. This coincides exactly with the classical Arab region of Sham.”
The question that begs to be answered is this. When Obama said, “Islamic State of the Levant,” was he implying that Israel is an Islamic state, since Israel is considered part of the Levant? When one examines Obama’s actions since he first took office, it is clear that he has consistently favored Islam over other groups and religions. Volumes could be written about Obama’s loyalties to Islam. Suffice it to say that, beginning with his speech in Cairo in 2009, to his appointing of Muslim Brotherhood members to the Department of Homeland Security, to his cold-shoulder treatment of Israel, it is hardly a stretch to imagine his intention of dissing Israel once again by using the term.
It is equally important to understand what is really meant by the term ‘ISIS’ or ‘Islamic State of Sham.’ In some ways, both ISIS and ISIL are interchangeable since they both speak of “Greater Syria,” although invoking the term ‘Levant’ has much more historical significance. Claude Salhani of the website, “Oil Price.com” provides further insight into the ISIS threat. He states, “Here’s why the threat goes beyond Iraq and Syria…Modern Syria is bordered by Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan and Israel to the south and Lebanon to the west. ‘Greater Syria’ incorporates most of the territories of each.
Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, puts it this way. “If we can teach people that so many Arabs still think of Syria as Greater Syria, they will begin to understand the extent to which Sykes-Picot remains challenged in the region.” Salhani explains the meaning of Sykes-Picot and the significance of the term “Greater Syria.” He states, Sykes-Picot, of course refers to the secret agreement drawn up by two British and French diplomats — Sir Mark Sykes and Francois George-Picot — at the end of World War I dividing the spoils of the Ottoman Empires between Britain and France by drawing straight lines in the sand. To this day, many Arabs refuse to accept that division and think of ‘Syria’ as ‘Greater Syria.’ Some go so far as to include the Arab countries of North Africa – which from the Nile to the Euphrates forms ‘the Fertile Crescent,’ the symbol of many Muslim countries from Tunisia to Turkey. And some even go as far as including the island of Cyprus, saying it represents the star next to the crescent.
Could Obama and other world leaders be conspiring to actually return the land to the boundaries of the former Ottoman Empire? Mike Whitney of “Counterpunch.com” speculated on Landis’s remark above regarding Sykes-Picot remaining challenged in the region. He states, So, if Mr. Landis is right, then the fracas in Iraq and Syria might just be the tip of the iceberg. It could be that Washington, Tel Aviv and Riyadh –who we think are the driving force behind this current wave of violence–have a much more ambitious plan in mind for the future. If this new method of effecting regime change succeeds, then the sky’s the limit. Maybe they’ll try the same stunt in other countries too, like Turkey, Tunisia, Cyprus, and all the way to North Africa. Why not? If the game plan is to Balkanize Arab countries wholesale and transform them into powerless fiefdoms overseen by US proconsuls and local warlords, why not go on a regime change spree?
While Mr. Whitney’s comments seem plausible, it is entirely unlikely that Tel Aviv would want to be involved in a “regime change spree” and that is where we must part company with Whitney’s remarks. Israel would not go against itself but one can understand that countries like Saudi Arabia and even the United States may have an interest in regime change. This is evidenced in Obama’s support to overthrow Mubarak in Egypt by cooperating with the Muslim Brotherhood.
There is also growing speculation that Obama is intent on overthrowing Al-Maliki in Iraq. Whitney commented,
“What matters to Obama and his deep-state puppet-masters is regime change that is, getting rid of a nuisance who hasn’t followed Washington’s directives. That’s what this is all about. Obama and Co. want to give al Maliki the old heave-ho because he refused to let US troops stay in Iraq past the 2012 deadline and because he’s too close to Tehran. Two strikes and you’re out, at least that’s how Washington plays the game.”
To the countless Christians and other ethnic minority groups being slaughtered in Iraq, it matters little what name the terrorists are called. They and everyone else in the world should call it one name and one name only: pure, unadulterated evil. Anti-Semitism is rising throughout the globe while millions chose to stand with Hamas against Israel under the red herring of the “Free Gaza” movement. Obama has turned his back on Israel time and time again and has throne a token bone to the victims in Iraq not because he cares but only to gain political points. Obama turns a blind eye to the evil perpetrated by what he deems to be the Islamic State of the Levant while quietly giving a wink to ISIS/ISIL and Hamas. The world is on fire and Obama is on vacation. Is it a stretch to think that Obama would imply an “Islamic State of Israel?” Sadly, the conclusion must be no.