Our confused polices in the Middle East have left us trusted by no one (not even Israel), respected by no one and feared by no one. We’ve scattered our military advisers around Iraq, providing Iran-backed militias with instant hostages. We continue to fund those who hate us in Iraq (where our diplomats can’t think past the walls of our white-elephant embassy). We continue to pretend that we can convince Iraqis and Syrians to fight for what we believe in, rather than for their own interests.

And should Putin shoot down a US aircraft and should Obama finally screw his courage to the sticking point and attempt an appropriate military response, Turkey — disloyal to us and terrified of Russia — would deny us the use of Incirlik airbase.

The White House response now? Spokesman Josh “Baghdad Bob” Earnest tells us everything’s under control and we’re working things out. The new line is that Russia will only get bogged down in a quagmire, as the Soviets did in Afghanistan. Sorry, folks: Just because Obama’s incapable of learning doesn’t mean Putin is, too. And Putin’s forces won’t go into battle with lawyers looking over their shoulders, either.

Want to know how low we’ve sunk? The president of France just repeated his demand that Assad has to go. Secretary of State John Kerry, following the pattern of his surrender to the Iranians, has already said that, well, maybe Assad can stay for a while until there’s a “managed transition.”