OK, I know that “Levant” refers to a broader area than Iraq and Syria.
My point: if you’re trying to communicate clearly, it usually helps to speak in the jargon of the listeners.
Even, media shills refer to the terrorists as ISIS … and, they even do it to help readers — translating what Obama means when he says “ISIL”.
To get a bit more technical, Wiki says:
“The usage of the term “Levant” has been relegated to academia in the fields of archeology and literature, but there is a recent attempt to reclaim the notion of the Levant as a category of analysis in political and social sciences.”
An arcane academic usage … being reclaimed by politicos.
But, for what reason?
My bet: It’s a card out of the “Power Personna” playbook.
Establishing superiority through language.
“I’m way smarter than you are, so I’ll call it ISIL (especially since you don’t call it that since you’re stupid)”
Before you dismiss the notion, consider 2 other examples …
Did you notice that Obama was standing at a podium in the Oval Office when he delivered the speech?
What’s up with that?
Presidents always sit at the desk when they speak from the oval office.
According to the Washington Post:
We’ve long been told — and know intuitively — that standing up makes you look more powerful and confident.
This is why phrases such as “stand up for yourself” and the aforementioned “not going to take this sitting down” exist in our culture.
Obama’s critics consistently call him weak on terrorism, which was part of the reason he spoke Sunday night.
Standing up is a simple, unstated way for him to project strength.
Also, did you notice that – during their joint press conference a couple of weeks ago – President Obama kept referring to French President Francois Hollande as simply “Francois”.
I thought that would be a violation of protocol.
If it’s not, it certainly should be.
Obama’s penchant to call lesser men by their first names reminded me of his long ago televised meeting with GOP leaders to “share ideas” re: healthcare reform.
He immediately called Senator McCain “John” … and Congressman Ryan as “Paul”.
I was waiting for one of them to to answer: “Well, Barack” … but they were sufficiently respectful of the office of the Presidency not to do it.
With that backdrop, “ISIL” seems completely logical …