In 2003, the United States set out to stymie the looming threat of a nuclear-capable Saddam Hussein at the insistence of our then Commander in Chief, George W. Bush. Some, in retrospect, feel the invasion of Iraq was a bad idea, believing it to be nothing more than a decade of tragic missteps waged under false pretenses.
Here are some things we can do differently to ensure a more succinct, effective war with ISIL.
1. A good soundtrack is pertinent to war. Lee Greenwood found relevance once again in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks when his 1984 hit “God Bless the USA” climbed the Billboard Hot 100 seventeen years after its release. A good song, but not really “impending war” good. In 2016, we need to mount an offensive grounded in the resurgence of Van Halen’s “Eruption.” Few things demonstrate vigor and tenacity more than war waged to the sounds of a face-melting guitar solo.
2. No one was really sure when the Iraq War began. Use a starter pistol this time, or take a page from professional football and begin the war with Hank Williams Jr. yelling “are you ready for some military intervention in the middle east?”
3. Fear-mongering was easy in 2003, but alleged weapons of mass destruction hold very little weight in the age of the millennial. Strike genuine fear into the heart of every American by insinuating ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is in possession of potentially devastating Force Awakens spoilers.
4. We all remember the “mission accomplished” banner from the speech Bush delivered from an aircraft carrier just weeks into the Iraq War. This is actually now a good idea. With their burgeoning social media presence, feigned celebration of victory could conceivably trick every member of ISIS into thinking they lost.
5. An idiom we hear often during wartime is “boots on the ground,” meaning ground forces in direct combat with enemy soldiers. This is simply not menacing enough. Picture the contort on Islamic State military chief Abu Suleiman al-Naser’s face when he hears the U.S. is putting “laser-outfitted rocket-propelled hoverboots on the ground.”