We were discussing the appropriate reply to ISIS the other day. ISIS or ISIL has become a source of outrage and offense of global proportions. Today’s latest was burning a Jordanian prisoner to death; locked in a cell, doused with fuel and torched. There have been beheadings, throwing people off buildings, executions of every possible kind. Our consensus is this must stop.
We worked through a number of scenarios after the video of Kenji Goto’s beheading was released and after today’s outrage, are more convinced of our favoured reply to ISIS, which we are of mixed feelings for sharing.
Our initial responses were considered and lengthy, starting with simple ones like sending over 250,000 troops from an international coalition to hunt every member down like rabid dogs, incarcerating them and letting the Hague figure it out in trials that might last for decades.
One featured B-52’s with a full combat load of dumb iron bombs, starting at map coordinate X and working up the alphabet to A, making nice boxes on Google Maps 2016 that look like the surface of the moon. Iron bombs are cheap, the BUFF is reasonable in its maintenance hours to combat hours ratios and it gives the US Air Force some important and needed practice in terrain modification without expending the expensive precision ordinance. Mark-84’s run about $3,100 a piece and a H model BUFF can rack 51 a trip, so just under $160,000, not counting gas, maintenance and crew. Compared to others fancy-pants Things That Go Bang that start at $100,000 a go, we don’t need that expense, what with the economy these days.
Others were a tad excessive, involving turning significant parts of Syria and Iran into large lakes of glass with tactical weapons of a nuclear nature. We eventually considered that the collateral damage (making a few thousands square miles of the Middle East uninhabitable for 10,000 years) and the unintended immolation of a few million innocents was, well, excessive.
Then we struck upon the proper, reasoned and effective response that combined the right notes of economy (Coalition military response is pricey and cumbersome with weird political overtones) and the clarity of a well-stated message that cannot be misinterpreted, even by illiterates, uneducated, or those in the narcissist throes of some jihadist fantasy of being immune to discipline as their own blessed caliphate.
Jordan, happily, does not have the greatest international reputation for being kind, considerate or caring, (see Norway, or Canada as a compare and contrast exercise) so they are a natural fit in our scheme. Jordan has several dozen convicted ISIS members in custody. The reason ISIS was holding Kenji Goto hostage was to use him as a bargaining chip to get their people released from Jordanian prisons. The same is true with the Jordanian Air Force pilot, although Proof of Life has not been provided by ISIS yet, so negotiations are at an impasse.
Since ISIS wants their people back, we should give ISIS what they want.
Every two or three days a lone or escorted Jordanian Air Force helicopter ($500/hour gas, maintenance and crew) can bring one of the ISIS members in custody over some of the lands held by ISIS. Come in fast, if only to keep the RPG interference to a minimum. Slip into a quick hover over a village square, or some gathering place, preferably on market day when there are a lot of ISIS-supporting people milling around.
Attach a simple note in the appropriate languages to the ISIS prisoner. The text should be along the lines of: You want your people back? Here you go. We’ll be back in a while with another one until you smarten up. Lay down your arms and give it up. Sincerely, The Rest of the World.
Then deliver the prisoner to ISIS. From 1,000 feet. Alive. Without a parachute.
Post video of the whole thing, from inside the helicopter, watching the prisoner all the way down to his or her somewhat unpleasant (and probably pixelated) impact.
Retweet it, cross-post it on every social media site that ISIS uses to recruit new members. Hack the ISIS web pages and post it there too.
We figure it will take about three trips for the message to be received and understood.
If your opponent is a savage, the only thing they can comprehend is greater savagery. We’re better than that, but if that’s all ISIS can comprehend, then game on.
Enough. We’re pissed. Send in the savages.