We've already entered the period when strategy, such as it is, falls away, and our leaders feel strangely helpless before the drip, drip, drip of failure and the unbearable urge for further escalation.
America is now fighting the Iraq War for the third time, somehow madly expecting different results, while guaranteeing only failure. To paraphrase a young John Kerry, himself back from Vietnam, who'll be the last to die for that endless mistake? It seems as if it will be many years before we know.
Our symmetrical strategy is obvious. Send in the New York Police and arrest every member of ISIS. NYPD has 34,500 uniformed police officers, outnumbering ISIS by roughly two to one. Last year, NYPD made over 400,000 arrests. They could arrest every member of ISIS 15 to 20 times a year.
If airstrikes don't work and ISIS conquers Bagdad, will he still keep his promise of never sending American troops back to Iraq? Of course not.
Here is a nation they maligned so much a decade ago which now is doing for President Obama what it refused to do for Bush -- join in what neocons like to do best: bomb, bomb, bomb. Should the neocons be grateful to the French?
There are over 50 other major terrorist organizations in the world, from Nigeria to the Philippines, and America can't wait for any of them to become the next ISIS.
That whole litany of killing and more killing can be traced to previous leaders' reluctance to consider the results of their actions. This time, do you think our military action and the arming of militants will have a different outcome?
While we used to feel inspired by our country, we now feel disenchanted. While we used to hope, now we doubt. And rather than listening to leaders who unite us, too often we pay heed to demagogues like Rush Limbaugh whose sole source of profit comes from division and discord.
Obama's speech is addressed to a nation with a dead imagination. Doing "something" about the Islamic State means dropping bombs on it. Bombing runs don't inconvenience a politician's constituents and always seem like stalwart action: a squirt of Raid on an infestation of bugs.
In the eyes of many Muslims, it is most certainly not a fair fight and America will gradually and perhaps inevitably begin to be perceived as the overzealous outsider rather than the redeemer we wish to be.
While the president has justified his plan to arm and train "moderate" Syrian armed groups on the grounds that it would counter the growth of the Islamic State, it will likely have the exact opposite effect. Further funding for "moderate" Syrian opposition groups will embolden IS and risk widening the brutal Syrian war.
Nearly a week has passed since President Obama at last announced his tardy strategy for dealing with Isis, the jihadist organization Obama now calls a huge threat only months after dismissing it as the "junior varsity" of jihadism. There's been no shortage of activity, as distinguished from action, from the Obama administration.
As the U.S. launches its first airstrikes against ISIS, we must ask this crucial question: Who is paying for the war? Because, if indeed it is worth fighting for, all of America needs to chip in and share the sacrifice. It is time to reinstate the draft and a war tax to give everyone a real stake in decisions on war.
Today Congress will vote on the McKeon Amendment, a piece of legislation most Americans haven't heard of. But the consequences of the vote today are grave: funding Syrian "rebels" will precipitate a new and wider war in the Middle East.
We've already spent over ten years in Iraq and "terror" hasn't been destroyed. To pretend that another group won't replace ISIL once ISIL is defeated, through another decade of war in Iraq, perhaps, is simply playing a dangerous game of semantics.
Here are five things to consider as we discuss this latest insertion of US military personnel, money, and weaponry into, potentially, another Mideast quagmire -- this one being pitched as the "good" or "justified" Iraq War.