There has been no official word on whether or not the United States Government will use airstrikes against ISIL but it definitely sounds like President Obama is moving in that direction.
First, on Friday Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes let it be known that when dealing with ISIL, “we’re not going to be restricted by borders.”
Then we learned that this week President Obama authorized surveillance flights over Syria to gain more intelligences about the military situation inside the country. This information could be used for selecting targets for possible air or missile strikes.
Finally, last night at the American Legion National Convention the President used interventionist language when talking about the group. Obama said “we’ll continue to take direct action where needed to protect our people and to defend our homeland. And rooting out a cancer like ISIL won’t be easy and it won’t be quick. ”
The phrase ‘rooting out’ is an interesting and powerful rhetorical choice. By definition you root out something by attacking it at its roots, and for ISIL that means destroying the foundations they’ve laid in Syria. That is where the metaphorical “roots” of the organization are currently located.
It definitely sounds like we are ready to get your war on, although of course it won’t be called a war, instead it will probably be labeled something silly like a “limited engagement kinetic military action.”
Official White House photo by Pete Souza