by Deacon Blues
Americans have a right to be war-weary after eight years of Bush-Cheney, over four thousand dead and hundreds of thousands maimed, and $3 trillion in new debt from fighting wars of choice on a collective credit card. Yet as evidenced by the tragedy in Paris, which we now know was somewhat preventable if only the French intelligence services gave a damn, the threat to many nations from ISIS and Al Qaeda is real and can no longer be dismissed as "let the Sunnis deal with it."
Yes, Hillary riles up a pro-Bernie debate audience for the Iraq war vote, while O'Malley correctly says this is America's war. A media looking past substance for horse-race politics doesn't change the following facts:
1. Barack Obama and the White House staff controlled policy over Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, not Foggy Bottom.
2. Regardless, the GOP needs to keep tying Hillary to things she didn't control.
3. Hillary and others wanted a more aggressive policy towards Syria than the White House.
4. ISIS is coordinating attacks from Syria.
5. Half-measures like inserting 50-100 Special Forces inside Syria to coordinate air strikes and assist the Kurds won't slow ISIS.
6. Until the United States, and yes Russia agree on a no-fly zone and coordinated boots on the ground inside Syria to attack ISIS in their safe havens, nothing will change.
Yes, the area Arab Sunni nations need to be part of the campaign, but Hillary is wrong to say that others will have to do the fighting. Nothing effective against ISIS will happen until the American military is directly involved, and yes, that will mean 10-20,000 troops and air power. Sorry, that's the reality. Hillary might as well start admitting as much, and stop letting O'Malley and Bernie sound like the realists. By coming out for this approach now, Hillary will do three things:
1. Align herself with a growing body of Americans who are coming around to this regrettable reality;
2. Be the realistic adult among all electable candidates; and
3. Separate herself from Obama's decisions and outcomes, inoculating herself from GOP attacks.
The country will not trust these decisions to a nutcase who calls for turning Paris into Dodge City as the best remedy to avoid terrorist attacks. Nor will they trust a youngish GOP senator who didn't have the balls to vote for a Syria war resolution when he had the chance for leadership. But they will trust someone who takes a sober-eyed view of things as they are instead of how we wish they would be, and demonstrates the ability to learn from the past to deal with the here and now.