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originally posted by: whyamIhere
a reply to: zazzafrazz
Although, I agree we should not get involved in this Civil War.
I have never heard a man say more words that mean absolutely nothing.
It's exhausting trying to even make sense of it...
originally posted by: Wookiep
I have a question.. What is the difference between ISIS and ISIL? Obama keeps saying ISIL, so I'm even more confused.
But the acronym that's now deployed by many agencies as well as the United Nations and the U.S. State Department -- and President Obama -- is ISIL, for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Here's how the Associated Press justified switching its acronym style from ISIS to ISIL.
In Arabic, the group is known as Al-Dawla Al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham, or the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham. The term “al-Sham” refers to a region stretching from southern Turkey through Syria to Egypt (also including Lebanon, Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan). The group’s stated goal is to restore an Islamic state, or caliphate, in this entire area.
The standard English term for this broad territory is “the Levant.” Therefore, AP’s translation of the group’s name is the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.
originally posted by: Wookiep
a reply to: zazzafrazz
So then, what's ISIS?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Good afternoon, everybody. I just met with my national security team to discuss the situation in Iraq. We’ve been meeting regularly to review the situation since ISIL, a terrorist organization that operates in Iraq and Syria, made advances inside of Iraq. As I said last week, ISIL poses a threat to the Iraqi people, to the region and to U.S. interests. So today I wanted to provide you an update on how we’re responding to the situation.
First, we are working to secure our embassy and personnel operating inside of Iraq. As president, I have no greater priority than the safety of our men and women serving overseas. So I’ve taken some steps to relocate some of our embassy personnel, and we’ve sent reinforcements to better secure our facilities.
Second, at my direction we have significantly increased our intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets so that we’ve got a better picture of what’s taking place inside of Iraq, and this will give us a greater understanding of what ISIL is doing, where it’s located and how we might support efforts to counter this threat.
Third, the United States will continue to increase our support to Iraqi security forces. We’re prepared to create joint operation centers in Baghdad and northern Iraq, to share intelligence and coordinate planning to confront the terrorist threat of ISIL. And through our new Counterterrorism Partnership Fund, we’re prepared to work with Congress to provide additional equipment. We have had advisers in Iraq through our embassy, and we’re prepared to send a small number of additional American military advisers -- up to 300 -- to assess how we can best train, advise and support Iraqi security forces going forward.
American forces will not be returning to combat in Iraq, but we will help Iraqis as they take the fight to terrorists who threaten the Iraqi people, the region and American interests as well.
Fourth, in recent days we’ve positioned additional U.S. military assets in the region. Because of our increased intelligence resources, we’re developing more information about potential targets associated with ISIL, and going forward, we will be prepared to take targeted and precise military action if and when we determine that the situation on the ground requires it. If we do, I will consult closely with Congress and leaders in Iraq and in the region. I want to emphasize, though, that the best and most effective response to a threat like ISIL will ultimately involve partnerships where local forces like Iraqis take the lead.
Finally, the United States will lead a diplomatic effort to work with Iraqi leaders and the countries in the region to support stability in Iraq. At my direction, Secretary Kerry will depart this weekend for meetings in the Middle East and Europe, where he’ll be able to consult with our allies and partners. And just as all Iraqis’ neighbors must respect Iraq’s territorial integrity, all of Iraq’s neighbors have a vital interest in ensuring that Iraq does not descend into civil war or become a safe haven for terrorists.
Above all, Iraqi leaders must rise above their differences and come together around a political plan for Iraq’s future. Shia, Sunni, Kurds, all Iraqis must have confidence that they can advance their interests and aspirations through the political process rather than through violence. National unity meetings have to go forward to build consensus across Iraq’s different communities. Now that the results of Iraq’s recent election has been certified, a new parliament should convene as soon as possible.
The formation of a new government will be an opportunity to begin a genuine dialogue and forge a government that represents the legitimate interests of all Iraqis.
Now, it’s not the place for the United States to choose Iraq’s leaders. It is clear, though, that only leaders that can govern with an inclusive agenda are going to be able to truly bring the Iraqi people together and help them through this crisis.
Meanwhile, the United States will not pursue military actions that support one sect inside of Iraq at the expense of another. There’s no military solution inside of Iraq, certainly not one that is led by the United States. But there is an urgent need for an inclusive political process, a more capable Iraqi security force, and counterterrorism efforts that deny groups like ISIL a safe haven.
In closing, recent days have reminded us of the deep scars left by America’s war in Iraq. Alongside the loss of nearly 4,500 American patriots, many veterans carry the wounds of that war, and will for the rest of their lives. Here at home, Iraq sparked vigorous debates and intense emotions in the past, and we’ve seen some of those debates resurface.
But what’s clear from the last decade is the need for the United States to ask hard questions before we take action abroad, particularly military action. The most important question we should all be asking, the issue that we have to keep front and center, the issue that I keep front and center, is, what is in the national security interest of the United States of America? As commander in chief, that’s what I stay focused on. As Americans, that’s what all of us should be focused on.
And going forward, we will continue to consult closely with Congress, we will keep the American people informed, we will remain vigilant, and we will continue to do everything in our power to protect the security of the United States and the safety of the American people.
So with that, I’m going to take a couple of questions. I’ll start with Colleen McCain Nelson of The Wall Street Journal.
Q: Thank you, Mr. President. Do you have any confidence in Prime Minister al-Maliki at this point? And can your -- can Maliki bring political stability to Iraq?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: As I said, it’s not our job to chose Iraq’s leaders. Part of what our patriots fought for during many years in Iraq was the right and the opportunity for Iraqis to determine their own destiny and chose their own leaders. But I don’t think it -- there’s any secret that, right now at least, there is deep divisions between Sunni, Shia and Kurdish leaders. And as long as those deep divisions continue or worsen, it’s going to be very hard for an Iraqi central government to direct an Iraqi military to deal with these threats.
And so we’ve consulted with Prime Minister Maliki. And we’ve said that to him privately. We’ve said publicly, that whether he is prime minister or any other leader aspires to lead the country, that it has to be an agenda in which Sunni, Shia and Kurd all feel that they have the opportunity to advance their interest through the political process.
And we’ve seen over the last two years -- actually dating back to 2008, 2009, but I think worse over the last two years -- the sense among Sunnis that their interests were not being served, that legislation that had been promised around, for example, de- Baathification had been stalled. I think that you hear similar complaints that the government in Baghdad has not sufficiently reached out to some of the tribes and been able to bring them into a process that, you know, gives them a sense of being part of -- of a unity government or a single nation-state.
And that has to be worked through. Part of the reason why we saw better-equipped Iraqi security forces with larger numbers not be able to hold contested territory against ISIL probably reflects that lack of a sense of commitment on the part of Sunni communities to work with Baghdad. And that has to be fixed if we’re going to get -- get through this crisis.
Q: Thank you, Mr. President. Americans may look at this decision that you’re making today as a sneak preview of coming attractions that the number of advisers that you’re planning to send in may just be the beginning of a boots-on-the-ground scenario down the road. Why is Iraq’s civil war in the national security interest of the United States? And are you concerned about the potential for mission creep?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I think we always have to guard against mission creep. So let me repeat what I’ve said in the past: American combat troops are not going to be fighting in Iraq again. We do not have the ability to simply solve this problem by sending in tens of thousands of troops and committing the kinds of blood and treasure that has already been expended in Iraq. Ultimately, this is something that is going to have to be solved by the Iraqis.
It is in our national security interests not to see an all-out civil war inside of Iraq, not just for humanitarian reasons, but because that ultimately can be destabilizing throughout the region, and in addition to having strong allies there that we are committed to protecting, obviously, issues like energy and global energy markets continues to be important.
We also have an interest in making sure that we don’t have a safe haven that continues to grow for ISIL and other extremist jihadist groups who could use that as a base of operations for planning and targeting ourselves, our personnel overseas and eventually the homeland. And you know, if they accumulate more money, they accumulate more ammunition, more military capability, larger numbers, that poses great dangers not just to allies of ours like Jordan, which is very close by, but it also poses, you know, a great danger, potentially, to Europe and ultimately the United States.
We have already seen inside of Syria that -- or groups like ISIL that right now are fighting with other extremist groups or an Assad regime that was nonresponsive to Sunni majority there that that has attracted more and more jihadists or would-be jihadists, some of them from Europe. They then start traveling back to Europe, and that, over time, can create a cadre of terrorists that could harm us.
So we have humanitarian interests in preventing bloodshed. We have strategic interests in stability in the region.
We have counterterrorism interests. All those have to be addressed.
The -- the initial effort for us to get situational awareness through, you know, the -- the reconnaissance and surveillance that we’ve already done, coupled with some -- some of our best people on the ground doing assessments of exactly what the situation is, starting, by the way, with the perimeter around Baghdad and making sure that that’s not overrun -- that’s a good investment for us to make.
But that does not -- that does not foreshadow a larger commitment of troops to actually fight in Iraq. That would not be effective in meeting the core interests that we have.
Q: Just very quickly, do you wish you had left a residual force in Iraq? Any regrets about that decision in 2011?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, keep in mind that wasn’t a decision made by me. That was a decision made by the Iraqi government. We offered a modest residual force to help continue to train and advise Iraqi security forces. We had a core requirement, which we were require in any situation where we have U.S. troops overseas, and that is -- is that they are provided immunity at the -- since they are being invited by the sovereign government there, so that if, for example, they end up acting in self-defense if they are attacked and find themselves in a tough situation, that they’re not somehow hauled before a foreign court. That’s a core requirement that we have for U.S. troop presence anywhere.
The Iraqi government and Prime Minister Maliki declined to provide us that immunity. And so -- I think it is important, though, to recognize that despite that decision, that we have continued to provide them with very intensive advice and support and have continued throughout this process over the last five years to not only offer them our assistance militarily, but we’ve also continued to urge the kinds of political compromises that we think are ultimately necessary in order for them to have a functioning multi-sectarian democracy inside the country.
US will lead a diplomatic effort sending John Kerry