That’s what happens when you deny reality and insist that you can achieve peace by making nice to your enemies; you get more war, with even fewer good options than before. George W. Bush bequeathed Obama a greatly weakened al-Qaeda, a lot of discouraged Islamists, and a cautious Iran. Five years later, Obama faces rampant Islamic forces, new al-Qaeda armies, and an Iranian regime that believes he will bend to their wishes.
Our enemies expect to keep fighting until they have defeated us, even if they get beaten up along the way. That’s Fallujah again, a sort of Islamist version of the Brezhnev doctrine: once they’ve conquered territory, it’s rightfully theirs forever. They think they’ve proven it.
Fallujah means we can expect things to get worse. Why shouldn’t our enemies press ahead? Wouldn’t you, in their boots? And why should anyone think it’s strategically wise to bond with the new America? The Egyptian generals will explain to you that the Americans can’t be trusted to support their friends.
Here in Washington, some pundits are saying that things are actually going well, since radical Sunnis and Shi’ites are killing one another. The problem with this cheery outlook is that eventually one of them will win, and the winner won’t be good for us. Moreover, Sunnis and Shi’ites have demonstrated they can work well together when the mission is killing Americans.
They can do that even when they’re killing one another. Just wait.