Monday, January 30, 2017

Dear Donald Trump, if you want to defeat ISIS, here’s where to start

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Dear Donald Trump, I guess we’ve established that your Muslim Ban is total nonsense and won’t do anything to stop terrorism. Having said that, I believe you when you say that you intend to eradicate ISIS. So here’s my tip on where to start.

I usually prefer to use the name Daech but I’ll settle for ISIS if it makes it easier for you. Also, using a visual aid always helps. On top of that, I propose to add a quiz question to make the whole thing more interesting.

The visual aid you need is a map of Syria, and the quiz question you have to answer is: How did ISIS manage to retake Palmyra last December?

So what was going on in December 2016? The Russian air force, the Syrian army and their allies were busy with Aleppo, in northern Syria. The last area held by the “rebels” was about to fall.

Meanwhile, the international coalition led by the United States was supposed to be pounding the hell out of Raqqa, ISIS stronghold in Syria and self-proclaimed capital of the Caliphate.

Strangely, several thousand ISIS fighters and hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles managed to leave Raqqa, crossed over 200 kilometers in the open desert, attacked the ancient city of Palmyra and retook it from the Syrian regime forces stationed there, without the international coalition's firing a single shot to stop them.

How is that possible? Did ISIS use some sophisticated cloaking device the coalition didn’t know existed? Let’s agree that’s very unlikely.

So how come the coalition's military command didn’t see it happen? Were they all asleep after a late night out? Were they playing a poker game so exiting they couldn’t leave the table? Or perhaps they were busy watching the all-new episodes of Westworld...

Unless, of course, they saw everything and turned a blind eye. But why would they do that if their objective is to defeat ISIS? Now that’s an interesting question. Answer it and you’ll start figuring out why this terrorist organization is still alive and kicking.

After that, you’ll only need to pull the thread and many veils will fall.

By singling out then removing the people aiding and abetting ISIS, you’d begin the process of its eradication. Fail to do that, and anything else you’ll undertake won’t matter, ISIS will keep striving and sending suicide bombers anywhere they please.

Good luck Mr. President, you have a lot work to do.

© Claude El Khal, 2017