The easiest way to solve a complex problem is to belligerently ignore the complexity. This allows you to press on blindly with wild guesses, intellectual nonsense, and ideas that in hindsight appear written by drunken kangaroos. But you know what, it’s all we got, so we’re going with it.
I’m becoming more and more convinced that the human race is overrated. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not quitting the club, but we’re just not that smart. We make dumb decisions. We don’t plan correctly. Things don’t get thought out. Chaos ensues.
For example, take the Ray Rice fiasco. Roger Goodell is one of the smartest, most successful businessmen in modern history. Still, by any measure he made a hash of this issue. Why? Because he’s incompetent? He’s out of his league? Well, no, he made a mistake. Humans are dumb. He was dumb. I’m dumb. You’re dumb. Get over it.
We don’t need to bring up current events to validate this point. Take a guy everybody worships, especially us, in good old Abe Lincoln. This guy is rightly held up as a master politician, strategist, and pretty much the coolest guy since Jesus. We even contacted Jesus at his castle in Hawaii and he confirmed that he shares this opinion of Lincoln.
But we’re reading a delicious book on Civil War strategy provided by a close friend. Our inescapable conclusion thus far (we’re not done yet) was that Lincoln was not necessarily the master as much as he was the guy with the least amount of leadership problems. At times, Lincoln comes off indecisive, bizarrely at out touch, unjust, or even downright silly.
A flawed human; but never overrated
So why is he still the man, the very best? Because everybody else did a worse job than he did. So he won. And made history.
Yes, he was also extremely wise, quite talented, a great risk taker, and ultimately & unquestionably dedicated to freedom. But we know and accept these traits from history’s perspective. During his time, a lot of folks tended to see him without these favorable traits. Only the real geniuses of the war were the ones who came away from one meeting with Lincoln and knew how special he was.
Why am I rambling about this? Not because I think there’s a Lincoln in today’s American government somewhere. There isn’t. But because I’m trying to illustrate the unreasonable expectations we now impose on our leaders. Whether they be Barack Obama or Roger Goodell. If even Abe Lincoln can occasionally come off as a complete basketcase, we need to be measured in how we judge our rulers.
So whatever happens tonight, whatever is said, we should take it all calmly and thoughtfully. Like we said yesterday, we think this issue is lose, lose.
We’ll present our plan here, and we’ll see another plan from the President tonight. But either way, it’ll be a mess. But mess that it is, this is a cause worth fighting for. And so rather than trashing the plan, we all need to work together to make the goal happen.
And so, here we go:
– The Arcturus Project Plan for the Liquidation of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)
Captain (Exiled) Esh-Ala, Senior Editor
* The Arcturus Project steadfastly refuses to call ISIS the “Islamic State” as they are neither a state nor Islamic. Accordingly, for the purposes of this plan, we hereafter refer to them as The Progeny of Satan (POS).
1) Bomb POS Into Oblivion
It’s time to take the gloves off. POS has made it a point to cross just about every line of decency that should result in destruction. Religious & cultural genocide, brutal murders, totalitarian governance, and outright lunacy are things that should merit aggressive and violent retaliation from the planet. But up to this point we’ve launched less than two hundred airstrikes. A pittance.
The reasons given for such limited action are reluctance to get involved and the thought that we could not become the Shia air force. These are valid concerns, but both are overcome by events. I think the speech tonight is going to admit this.
Inaction has only allowed POS to become stronger and made the problem harder to solve. Iraq’s government is now, in theory, established again under less sectarian lines. At the very least Maliki’s out of the picture. And, in theory, this lays the groundwork for a return to a multi-ethnic elected democracy. More on the Iraqi government later.
POS has acted with near impunity, confronted substantially only by overstretched Syrian forces. They’ve managed to field a very large, flexible, and well equipped modern fighting force. It’s time to return their battlefield capability to the sewer.
Using overwhelming air power we’d take most major assets out of play, in Iraq or Syria, vehicles, artillery, large mortars, and other heavy weapons. POS will find it awfully difficult to destroy all humanity when the vast majority of their fighters are equipped with only light, man-portable weapons. Just ask your Taliban neighbor. They’ll still remain a grave threat, but greatly diminished in their lethality and reach.
Air power is not perfect or all-seeing. An effective air campaign will require thousands of special forces on the ground for targeting, reconnaissance, damage assessment, and coordination with local forces. And airstrikes are not going to fatally wound POS. But substantial ground forces are not an option on the table. So this is the best tool left.
The strikes must target POS in both Iraq and Syria. This widens the war but if allowed a sanctuary in Syria, POS can never be defeated. Syria has abrogated its right to rule. We should not let borders that no longer exist restrain our actions to hit POS in Syria. Any Syrian air defense forces that resist this action should be destroyed. Which brings us to our next point.
Time to get your beak wet, buddy
2) Pursue the Violent Death of Bashar Assad
The entire reason POS flourished is that the chaos of Syria’s Civil War has allowed beyond fringe lunatics to build, consolidate, and wield power. There’s a reasonable argument that this is why the Syrian Civil War should never have been allowed to continue. That everybody should have just let Assad crush it. Maybe, but we’re past that. It’s too late to back away.
However, the West has for years pursued a policy of backing away. Neither cutting a deal with Assad to end the war nor supporting his enemies to the point that he’s eliminated. We must pick one.
We choose violence. POS is the greater threat. But Assad remains in league with Satan. He should have gone years ago. It’s time he dies now. Only when he’s finished will Syria have any chance of returning toward peace. A peace that will not include safe havens that support groups like POS.
We should not broaden our airstrikes directly against Syrian forces or establish a no-fly zone. These options are beyond what the planet or public is willing to accept. Only if Syrian forces resist our POS strikes should we respond. But it’s time to wholly back Assad’s enemies who are not POS.
Time to die
3) Turn the Syrian Rebels into Freedom’s Proxy Army
Are the anti-Assad rebels good or bad? You can debate this point until you pass out from exhaustion. It’s just time to choose. Sorry.
We say that POS is bad. We say that Jabhat al-Nusra, as al-Qaeda’s local goons, are also bad. We recklessly declare everybody else as good and choose to arm them. Do you think this is crazy? It’s a crazy world, friend.
This civil war has been going for over three years. Think of what could have been achieved if towards the beginning we’d, with Arab allies, grabbed say twenty thousand moderate Syrian rebels, trained them in the dark arts inside Turkey and Jordan, armed them with modern weaponry, and then thrown them back into Syria. I submit Assad’s already weakened forces could not have withstood such an onslaught for long.
The most we’ve been willing to do is train small numbers of rebels and hand out a limited number of weapons. Time to get serious. The bad rebel groups get left out. Our designated good rebel groups get unbridled access to weapons, intelligence, equipment, and training. This is unleashed against Assad until he dies, leaves, or surrenders.
Again, no strikes directly against Syrian forces, or a no fly zone. No ground forces or special forces alongside the rebels inside Syria. The good rebels have to do the job themselves. Only now they are given the tools to succeed.
Over the long term, it will take years, this will help solve the POS problem in Syria. It also dispenses with one of Earth’s most brutal and evil dictators. Which is usually a good idea.
Time to turn the tide
4) Turn the Peshmerga into Freedom’s Proxy Army
In Iraq, it’s going to be awfully hard to count on the government to do its job. Maliki’s gone, but the same corrupt fools from all sides are still there. America left Iraq with a non-functioning constitution implemented by idiot crooks. Don’t expect them to change.
The same silly power games are still being played. Even when POS has a dagger to the throat of the whole nation, this new Iraqi government still can’t bother themselves to appoint a defense minister. Such an act was considered too hard to achieve. Really?
Iraq’s government can’t be written off, but relying upon them to substantially assist in the destruction of POS is a non-starter. We’d provide about the same level of limited assistance that already exists, and as previously mentioned, increase the level of airstrikes.
So what do we do about Iraq? We’d leave the Sunni areas to choose. We weaken POS to the point that the Sunnis have the option to kick them out and rejoin Iraq. Or they make the decision to rot. Their call. Either way, we’re hitting POS, and anybody who supports them.
To buttress our cause, we’d also turn the Kurds into a wall against POS in the east. Kurdistan (yes, it exists) is a reasonably well governed quasi-democracy committed to trade, stability, and growth. Kurdistan’s leaders aren’t angels, but they’re fairly decent in this neighborhood.
Plus, Kurdistan is faithful to the kind of multi-ethnic democracy that Iraq should be. You don’t see Kurdistan’s leaders tolerating the kind of power-drill-bit torture militias that Baghdad does. Who’s taken in all the religious refugees lately? The Kurds. Sure, Kurdistan’s kind of really taken advantage of the POS assault by grabbing Kirkuk, but can you blame them? With this government ruling Baghdad we’d do it too if we were them.
And so to keep that eastern wall in check against POS, it’s time to make the Peshmerga another of freedom’s little armies in the same mold as the good Syrian rebels. The same training, intelligence, and equipment made available to the Syrian rebels belongs in the hands of the Peshmerga. Only we’d give them heavy weapons too, tanks, artillery, and so on.
We’d also place special forces on the ground inside Kurdistan for training and combat support. This is essentially what’s already happening right now, but we’d make it last for the long term.
Time to live
5) Don’t Count on Anybody to Help
We’ve already written off Assad and most of the Iraqi government to assist in destroying POS. We’re also writing off the Arab League, Europe, Iran, and the UN. Sorry, life sucks, life isn’t fair, like always, we’re going to have to do this alone.
The Arab League is so dysfunctional on this issue they couldn’t even agree to support the current series of airstrikes. Europe has the military capability and political will of a turtle with a meth addiction. Iran’s only true goal is not to destroy POS, but increase its influence. The UN will meet by target date March 2017 to pass a resolution mildly condemning POS as a potential threat to the Iraqi people.
If any of these entities want to help, fine, but they should not be courted like beautiful women. If they want to play in our plan, they should play on our terms. We’ve already chosen our allies, the good Syrian rebels, the Peshmerga, and to a limited extent the Iraqi government. Everybody else can contribute, but only in a meaningful way convenient to us.
Perhaps you feel this is too diplomatically simple and stupid? Better stupid than ineffective due to inaction. The only action these entities have mostly shown thus far is the desire to obstruct, slow things down, and make the problem worse. Ignoring them, at least at first, is unfortunately the course we must take.
Time to stop pretending they care
6) Accept That This Plan is Awful
Finally, accept it up front, this plan is garbage. It relies too heavily on violence. It makes reckless assumptions about the Syrian rebels. It depends too much on us saving the planet, again. The chances for failure or making the problem worse are great. But this is our plan. Although we’re not entirely happy with it, we’d defend it sharply in debate.
Want to see what happens when you’re not reckless, when you’re too cautious, when we don’t take the lead? We invite you to observe the current status quo. You get genocide, murder, chaos, and death. The status quo isn’t working. It’s time to change plans.
We’ve tried to craft a plan that allows the folks who live there to make their own decisions. To fight for their own freedom. They’re the ones who end this crisis, we do not.
We merely enable to success of the good Syrian rebels, the Peshmerga, and the Iraqi government. They are the ones who ultimately destroy POS. We do not. We can only degrade POS. We get it started. They finish it.
End The Arcturus Project communication.
We wish the President the best tonight, for all our sakes. If you disagree with our plan, or the President’s, we completely understand. We only ask that you make your criticism reasonable, and offer a plan of your own too. Let’s work this out together. And together, let’s liquidate these lunatics.