I started out preferring that people use the term ISIS rather than ISIL. I mean, it rolls off the tongue a lot easier, and it looks like they could be a James Bond villain, or maybe GI-Joe or something. But I’ve changed my mind.
The final “S” in ISIS hides the extent of ISIL’s ambition. The “L” stands for the “Levant”, which Wikipedia tells me consists of “Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and part of southern Turkey (the former Aleppo Vilayet).”
That’s a lot different from just “Iraq and Syria”. If it were just that, we could maybe let them fight it out with the Iraqi and Syrian governments and let the chips fall where they may… and perhaps drop a few bombs afterwards.
The Levant is a much bigger deal, and doesn’t as easily lead to the conclusion that we can ignore them for a while and see what happens.