In history there are the Punic Wars and the Opium Wars, each a turning point, and now we must talk of our Iraq Wars. As of this week they count three since George Bush the Elder cynically drew Saddam Hussein into invading Kuwait 23 years ago.
Some of us may struggle with speechlessness, but there are many things to say about President Obama's decision to widen his Iraq War with his new bombing campaign in Syria. The most important extends far beyond the shocking mess Washington has done so much to make in the Middle East, and it is this: Our wars deliver us to our turning point. In the blindness of our leaders, we Americans are being set up for an era of tragic, unnecessary decline.
It starts to look angelic, to put this point another way, to suggest that America still has a chance to correct some of its costliest and most destructive errors in the 20th century as it proceeds into the 21st. One guards optimism as a precious gift, but I confess mine now flags.
There is so much wrong with Iraq War III it is hard to know where to begin. The purported strategy, the what of it, will get us going.