Let's play a game, the kind that makes no sense on this single-superpower planet of ours. For a moment, do your best to suspend disbelief and imagine that there's another superpower, great power, or even regional power somewhere that, between 2001 and 2003, launched two major wars in the Greater Middle East.
The ultimate folly is the belief that people are infinitely malleable, that Americans have been anointed to shape and mold humanity against its will, and that there is nothing which cannot be achieved through a few bombing runs, an occasional invasion, and a thorough military occupation. Real leadership means being prepared not to get involved. Real leadership means not being flattered into war by other states proclaiming America's indispensability in solving their problems. Real leadership means allowing, indeed, expecting, others to take control of their own destinies. Foreign policy is a difficult business. In practice the administration has been foolish and feckless, often blundering along even when it has made the right decision, such as not to attack Syria. And its desperate desire to do something risks drawing it in by increments, a serious danger in Iraq today.
If the War Party wins in 2016, all bets are off. We will prepare to fight in the Eurasian heartland, the South China Sea, and the resource-rich lands of Africa -- because if we don't fight them there, we'll have to fight them here. Just when it seemed like we were about to give peace a chance, the United States will suddenly revert to a three-war doctrine.
Regardless of outcome, stepping in to urge treatment and set boundaries is a way of showing an addict just how far they've fallen at the same time that you're showing them how deeply you love them. Being part of such an event can be a profound, even sacred experience. If it doesn't change the addict, it might change you.
My nightstand served as a holding tank for the turquoise kidney shaped throw-up trays I'd need over five years of chemo. It converted to a trashcan for all of the Kleenex used to wipe the vomit off my face. It displayed fish tanks, terrariums and cool lamps. It housed the first love letter I ever received. When I moved away from home, my nightstand naturally came with me.