Originally appeared at TheBlogMire
The sequel to Kill ISIL: Get Assad – A Game of Smoke & Mirrors From @POTUS
Aim of the Game
You are the President of the United States of America and your aim is to topple the Government of Syria to create a failed state.
Introduction to the Game
As the President of the world’s biggest military spender, you have almost unlimited resources at your disposal to achieve your objective. Not only this, but you also have a number of vassals who you can arm-twist into doing your bidding. In theory, your job should be simple. However, your own population at home, although mainly disinterested in the affairs of a country thousands of miles away, is reluctant to support yet another full scale war. Therefore you will have to achieve your goal using other means.
Your Chief Weapons
Servile Media — Can by and large be relied upon to support whatever you do without asking challenging questions
Apathetic Population — Distracted by an endless stream of trashy entertainment, gossip and lives of “personal peace and affluence”, the vast majority of people are not interested enough in the game you are playing to hold your actions up to proper scrutiny
You are a Democrat — Being a Democrat, both Republicans and Democrats automatically think you are a dove — the former disdainfully, the latter approvingly. This gives you a free hand to do all kinds of dastardly things without the antiwar movement raising a peep.
The game begins with you covertly funding rebel groups to launch insurgency and foment civil war. This is a relatively simple operation: you must create a narrative which casts the President of Syria as a demon, the rebels as being “moderate”, and your own intentions as being entirely benevolent and about bringing “freedom’n’democracy” to the country.
The revolution has taken place, but the Government of Syria has not yet been toppled. You will now need to up the ante by training and arming the rebel groups through a covert CIA training programme, and by enlisting the support of various sinister despotisms in the region to supply both money and arms to these groups. The greatest danger at this level is therefore that people might see the absurd hypocrisy of your demonisation campaign against the Syrian Government whilst you continue to ally with countries that make Syria look like the prelapsarian Garden of Eden.
As you continue to covertly support the rebel groups, smuggling arms to them through Turkey and supporting other countries as they do the same, a new danger will arise. Those whom you are aiding and abetting will begin to form under one banner: ISIS. Yet the danger comes not from this group — on the contrary you are happy to willfully allow them to rise to Get Assad for you — but from the double game you are playing. These are fanatical jihadists using levels of violence not seen since the Khmer Rouge, and public perception of them is not favourable, to say the least. There is a growing clamour for you to Get Them, but the paradox you face is that you need Them to Get Assad. You will need all your skill and wiles to leave them to grow in strength, all the while convincing the public back at home that they are mortal enemies whom you are determined to destroy.
Your plan to Get Assad is driven in part by the need to build oil and gas pipelines from Saudi and Qatar to Europe, thus severing European dependency on Russia. This is intended to take Russia out of the game as a major player, which will allow you to establish full spectrum dominance across the planet and give you maximum bonus points. For a time, you must therefore turn your gaze away from Syria and look to Ukraine. Here your job is essentially the same as in Level 1: to “midwife” an armed coup against the elected Government, right on Russia’s border, but presenting it to the world as being all about “freedom’n’democracy”. You will need to draw on all the resources at your disposal to topple the Government, including the Servile Media, the Apathy of the People, and even far right militia.
You’ve reached Level 5, but your Ukrainian game-plan has gone seriously wrong. You had hoped to create a vassal state and to turn Sevastopol into a NATO naval base. However, although the first part of this plan has been realised, the Russians have thwarted the second part of your plans by retaking Crimea from under your nose, after a vote to secede. In addition, the counter-revolution against your puppet Government is successfully repelling the civil war they fomented at your behest. Here you must make good use of the phrase “Russian aggression” and some arm-twisting of your vassals into introducing counter-productive sanctions. Under no circumstances must the people be allowed to suspect that this was all started by your attempts to “regime change some folks”, and although the Servile Media can be relied upon to comply, there is a growing danger from the increase in alternative media sources who keep insisting on reporting what actually happened.
Things have got worse for you in Ukraine. Your initial strategy of creating a vassal state has worked for the most part, but your attempts to bait the Russians into invading the country have failed repeatedly, despite what the Servile Media keeps reporting. Worse still, the Russian President has played his secret weapon: a peace plan which has been endorsed by your vassal states France and Germany, and which compels the Ukrainian Government to recognise the rights of people in the East and to negotiate with them. It is a trap and you need to find a way out. If the peace plan is implemented, your puppets will be toppled by the far right militias that put them there in the first place. If they refuse to implement it, the world might suspect that they have no desire for peace. You must tread carefully here. At all costs you must avoid a lasting peace in the country, and so you will need to resort to yet another game of double bluff: publicly calling for the implementing of the peace plan, yet continuing to provide training and weapons to the neo-Nazis and blaming the Russians when war breaks out again.
Meanwhile back in Syria and Iraq, ISIS have continued to gain strength and their atrocities have risen. There is now a serious danger that one of your key weapons — the Apathetic Public — may be losing its potency, as people are starting to clamour for something to be done about the head-choppers. Your goal here is to assemble a coalition of nations — including many of the ones who have been arming and funding ISIS — in order to “go after ISIS”. In reality of course you cannot “go after ISIS” as they are key to winning the game, so you will need to engage in a campaign of smokes and mirrors: Pretending to kill terrorists, but bombing camels.
You need to make a speech to the United Nations. Here you will talk about the need to stand up to “Russian Aggression” and about confronting the evil of ISIS. This will require huge amounts of skill and subtlety if you are to progress to level 9. Your biggest danger here is in not being able to keep a straight face as you say these things to the watching world. It may help to draw on the experience of your friends David Cameron and Tony Blair who have perfected the art of sounding grave and sincere whilst lying through their teeth.
Disaster. The Russians, who you have repeatedly put in the same category as ISIS, have had enough of your deception and fraud and they are now doing what you have been saying you were doing for the last year or so: bombing the living daylights out of ISIS and other terrorist groups. What is worse, public opinion seems to be shifting in their favour. There is panic in your ranks and your job is to calm everyone down and once again draw on your big weapon — the Servile Media — to claim that the Russians aren’t even targeting ISIS, but are destroying “moderates” as well as schools’n’hospitals.
Two incidents in two weeks have put you in greater danger than ever. The first was the downing of a Russian airliner, apparently by ISIS. The second incident is carnage in Paris, also apparently by ISIS. The public clamour for something to be done against your proxy army is increasing massively. You must increase the rhetoric against ISIS, but you must also make sure you don’t lose sight of the goal which is to Get Assad. And so you must talk about destroying ISIS at the same time as insisting that Assad must go, and you must just hope for the best that not too many people cotton on to how stupid, illogical and wicked this position is.
Your whole plan is now on a knife edge and your game of double bluff is on the verge of being exposed at any moment. At the G20 summit the Russian President confronts you with evidence of who has been responsible for supporting, arming, and funding the terrorists. You almost suffer heart palpitations. However, he offers you a sort of way out by referring to it at a press conference, but without naming names. If his comments get exposure, public opinion might very quickly be asking a lot of awkward questions of you. Not for the first time, you will need to draw on the Servile Media and hope they completely ignore this bombshell.
Your plans to topple Assad are now in disarray. The Russians won’t allow it, you can’t do it openly, and you can no longer hope to topple him using a proxy army of terrorists. People are getting wise to your game, and one false move could result in your cover being blown. Your main aim now is to try to drag this out for another year, by which time you’ll no longer be President and this will be somebody else’s problem. You can then slink off to play golf and make fantastically well paid but utterly banal speeches about how you faced down Russian aggression and got the better of Vladimir Putin for the rest of your life.