I thought it was obvious, but if Obama ever says that ISIS is engaged in a religious war, he hands ISIS a ready-made video clip to use for propaganda and recruitment purposes.

ISIS wants to frame this as a west vs. middle east war, a Christian vs. Muslim conflict. Or better yet: a Judeo-Christiam vs. Islam war. They already say the US is trying to take over the region and use it as recruitment material. Having the US president call it a religious conflict, a war against Islam or even a war against radical Islam, takes it to another level. A level which would probably result in more self-radicalization of Muslims, more people to go to Syria and join up with ISIS. I think it’s very strategic of Obama to not make this bigger than it is (which is pretty fucking big already) and call ISIS merely terrorist thugs.

Also remember, we are trying to get other followers of Islam (Turkey, Kurdistan, UAE, Jordan) to fight against ISIS. Saying ISIS perverts Islam and does not represent Islam is smart strategy. And Obama knows this.

Calling it a war against radical Islam gains us nothing, rather it has the opposite effect: it emboldens ISIS, threatens the fragile regional coalition against ISIS, and takes a healthy step toward WWIII.

And on top of all that, those in Congress who are demanding Obama call it a war on radical Islam should remember that Congress itself has been afraid to call it a war at all, to declare war on anything at all, even ISIS, let alone radical Islam. Also: only Congress can declare war, if it would like to declare war on radical Islam it is free to do so.

It fact, per the Constitution, Congress allowing (or requesting) the President to declare war and then get Congressional buy-in has it all backwards.