One day after a prominent U.S. Muslim leader reacted to the November 2015 Paris attacks with a declaration that the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, has nothing to do with Islam, President Obama made the same assertion.
Who exactly is the enemy we face, not only in the Middle East but also within our borders? Is it “murderers without a coherent creed” or “nihilistic killers who want to tear things down,” as some described ISIS after 130 people were brutally slain and another 368 injured in a coordinated attack on Western soil that authorities say was organized with help from inside France’s Muslim communities.
After the Paris attacks, Obama, himself, described ISIS as “simply a network of killers who are brutalizing local populations.”
But how much do words and definitions really matter? According to the legendary military strategist Sun Tzu, if “you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one (battle) and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.”