Barry, My Liege :
In several ways, our decision to stay out of the Syrian situation has helped our current policy choices.
Many people paid for our choices with their lives, pain and suffering through their involuntary uprooting to refugee position. We cannot ignore their sacrifice.
The overriding judgment remains - Assad is a butcher who must be killed.
The ghosts of his victims past and present demand it.
But, time has focused some of the forces opposing him into a single, evil faction, namely ISIL.
Here's how we should proceed :
1. Kill Assad with a bomb, a big bomb, not a nuke, but a really big one. It is a war, after all.
Maybe we lost a missile or it malfunctioned, or something. Maybe an ISIL suicide bomber made it into the palace. Who knows? Oops. Our sincere apolologies for any action we took which hastened his untimely demise. we will strive to ensure that it will not happen again. Our sincere condolences to the survivors.
2. Systematically destroy ISIL's war making equipment from the air regardless of where it is - Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iran or Saudi Arabia. Allow no safe haven for ISIL.
3. Locate the banks which collect and transfer funds to ISIL. Blow them up. Especially the branch close to or in Syria.
4. Do not commit US combat troops to the ground; use air power and friendly forces to wither ISIL.
5. Contact Syria Army officers after Assad is dead with an offer: Stay and build a stable society under a temporary military government toward a goal of elections in five years. To do so, they must agree to swear loyalty to the new government, renounce the old including all Ba'ath party ties and allow a political officer from the non-ISIL opposition forces in every unit of more than 2000 men. The PO will report any infractions to a special court for prosecution.
Those who abide and commit to a new regime are allowed to serve. Those who refuse serve prison terms.
The locals - Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iran and Saudi Arabia - agree to provide manpower and/or money to secure a peaceful Syria.
6. Construct secure refugee camps from neighboring lands with neighboring funds to give respite to the refugees.
As you understand, My Liege, the USA cannot fix this area. But, taking the actions above will lessen the evil there.
Your faithful servant,