THE BLOG

ISIS - ha, rather To be or NOTNOT to be.

23/11/2015 12:13 GMT | Updated 22/11/2016 10:12 GMT

The craziness continues across four continents, rarely in history has something been drawn out and exaggerated in such a magnificent way. Why is it we cannot get some moderation in peoples minds about ISIS? or NOTNOT as they should be rephrased. Why does it have to be black, or white? Why is it from every corner of the politicised spectrum we are belt-fed bile spewed nonsense from misinformed and belligerently arrogant people. Its disturbing that our views have clearly become so polarised and that before speaking, or more importantly writing, we don't stop to think a little about whats actually going on around us.

On the one hand we have those politicians who think we should declare total war on all Muslims and bomb the middle east back to the dark ages, which for sure could be easily arranged but has absolutely no logic, nor moral and ethical authority to it, save as for good old fashioned revenge and appeasement for the baying public. Given tens of thousands of civilians would die, with perhaps the rightful demise of only a few hundred combatants, and that is mass murder. That's why we have expeditionary soldiers, they go and kills bad guys but not innocent civilians, otherwise our soldiers would also be called terrorists. You see the distinction, professional soldiers should not kill civilians, that's how the process of soldiering and the nobility of the trade craft works, despite the crap shown in movies.

Fighting an enemy that likes nothing more than to hide behind civilians, wears no uniform and whose only modus operandi is to attack in the dark recesses of their medieval lands, with dirty bombs and deploy children as suicide vest wearing proxies is not easy, its highly challenging and deeply complex, and that's why it not so easy to say that now infamous line "get boots on the ground".

But that in itself does mean we should not aim to have a foothold and ground forces to take and hold ground in the urban cities of Syria. Here is perhaps how. Regional Arabic forces, the neighbours and partners in the area, must align to deploy a coherent strategy with clearly set out tactical aims, built around a peace accord. This means a leadership role must be taken by an Arab country and with a commitment to then reach out the US and UK to ask for training teams to deploy and assist in the training and capacity building of Syrian young men, taken from the refugee camps, armed and trained and then employed as Free Syrian Regiments under their sovereign flag, under the direction and leadership of an Arab Multi National Force. There is absolutely no reason why these men cannot be recruited to secure lasting peace for their country, I am well informed this number could be as high as 300,000 men displaced and of fighting age.

Sometimes we have to chill out and wait a little while for a plan to happen, or to become clear, its frustrating I know, but look what happens when we 'shock and awe' and rush into things. I understand that the majority of the time we have zero faith in our politicians and believe all they say is usually wrong. But we need to give it a chance, there are believe it or not some smart people working behind the scenes and they have reintroduced that fabled weapon called diplomacy, like it or not, its diplomacy which will survive the last firefight and the last suicide bomber. Soldiers say the best laid plans survive only the first contact with the enemy, and its true. So too is diplomacy now needed more than ever. Putin is now realising his two minutes of bombing campaigns won't work, although he will continue to bomb the rebels and few IS targets till he has finished showing everyone how tough and masculine he is. Iran is close to sitting down and leading an Arab coalition, we have collectively now finally started to stop the supply of black market oil, and therefore the finances supplying NOTNOT.

This Arab led coalition of stakeholders is a necessary tool for peace to work, and yes folks its got people we might not like around the table, much like Christmas dinner. As history showed us with the Dayton Peace Accord in 1995 when we were faced with tri-warring factions in Bosnia, a peace accord that still stands today. You see none of this is new, we do actually have the diplomats to pull this off. Stuff is happening. Its better this way than destroying the entire region even though there are occasions to want and warrant it, not least after the slaughter in Paris and likely the slaughters yet to come before this is over. Look, you cannot kill all the fathers within a psychotic organisation and create a vacuum and not expect their sons to come hunting for you, its when our governments change their leaders they often drop the ball, they don't focus on fixing the mistakes their predecessors made, its easier to blame them for their mistakes, so we have a democratic stagnation for a while, terrorists exploit this, its the way this stuff works, its a sad floor in democracy, and we were poorly prepared and ignorantly blasé. Now we get it, now we understand, we can fix it, but not as a religious crusade with christians and muslims screaming that their Monkey God or their Dolphin God is more believable, but as a global unified democratic society that criminalises heinous evil and terrorism and hunts down those responsible and deals with them appropriately, ideally by a judge and jury, not detention and internment centres without a lawful process that will later fall apart.

Given the failed state in Syria, we can't catch all these bad guys, and limited SF assets are focused on other more pressing matters, the preferred current method therefore given how dangerous these people are, is a drone, sadly we cant make them stand before a jury, but for many of them, that day will come in the future, so we have to work with what we have.

For those who keep believing the rubbish on the Internet that the air strikes are killing droves of innocents in Syria and Iraq, nothing could be further from the truth. These photos are mostly from the Syrian air strikes that Assad authorised on his own people last year, and they are being used as propaganda by islamists. It's true drone and air strikes in the latter half of the Iraq war and Afghan/Pakistan killed civilians, but there are now so many protocols and procedures in place that they rarely get this wrong. Although sadly occasionally it does go wrong when dealing with other nations requesting allied air strikes on targets not properly deconflicted. I appreciate these mistakes are wrong, innocents die. This is tragic for everyone, but the distinction here needs to be wholly understood and clear. We do not intentionally kill innocent people, they are a tragic byproduct of military activities, terrorism foreign or domestic is the intentional murder and slaughter of men, women and children, it is a premeditated act of mindless massacre, its design is to invoke TERROR given its name. I can assure you the only innocents currently dying are the poor souls caught in the medieval crossfire of this barbaric regime.

So please tell your friends and spread far and wide the message, to exercise caution before absorbing ludicrous rubbish online, and give some pause for patience, this will get resolved, but perhaps in a more socially acceptable and evolved way than we are all historically accustomed. This is what after all what separates our societies from the barbaric savages that know nothing of humility and kindness.