Friday, June 27, 2014


So, how do you translate "al-Sham?"

There is a real difference between "Syria," a modern state, and "the Levant," a nineteenth century translation of "al-Sham" that included most of Iraq, greater Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel.  Recently (on YouTube, of course,) "al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi Iraq wa al-Sham" cleared it up for us.  They're talking Levant.  Their intended caliphate includes pretty much all of of the aforementioned states.

Poor Jordan. Poor Lebanon, only recently emerged from so many years of internal strife.  Poor everybody else, if Israel decides it has to use its nukes.

Now and in the future, when I use the term "ISIS," the final "S" stands for "al-Sham."

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