Now, I’m not persuaded deeper U.S. military involvement in the Middle East is wise. It’s probably in America’s interest to let the regional players fight it out 6,000 miles away, with Americans playing a more humanitarian role in accordance with the Pottery Barn rule.
But it is easy to envision the facts on the ground changing, and ISIS metastasizing into a much graver threat. In a region filled with bad actors, they are most closely related to the forces that brought down the twin towers and murdered our countrymen over a decade ago.
At that point, reflexive hawks who have spent decades advocating nearly every politically possible war, who seem to see military force as the first resort, and who have labeled every tin pot dictator another Hitler, will complicate the debate over what to do next.
The moral of the story is familiar: If you cry wolf constantly, nobody believes you when the wolf finally comes.