White House Cites a Strategic Logic (The New York Times)


Critics of President Obama’s approach to talking about Al Qaeda, ISIS, and their allies are engaging in a “pseudocontroversy” driven by politics, Dartmouth’s Daniel Benjamin tells The New York Times.

Those who criticize Obama for not labeling the groups as Muslim terrorists or characterizing them as Islamic or jihadist are forgetting that the president must think about how his words will be received overseas, says Benjamin, the Norman E. McCulloch Jr. Director of the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding.

“Our allies against ISIS in the region are out there every day saying, ‘This is not Islam,’ ” he says. “We don’t want to undermine them. Any good it would do to trumpet ‘Islamic radicalism’ would be overwhelmed by the damage it would do to those relationships.”

Read the full story, published 2/19/15 by The New York Times.

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