Dear Mr. President:
I assume you or someone on your team of advisers is being innundated with all the strategic, economic, practical and moral reasons not to emulate the last administration and commit American lives, cash and credibility to a pointless shaking of peepees in a region where we are unloved and untrusted.
Well, I'd like to think so, at least.
I'll leave all those highfalutin' academic arguments to the highfalutin' academics. My point here is purely, cynically political.
You gained your office, and a brief trifecta of single-party government, on the strength of one issue. Not health care, not building the middle class, not even staunching the bleeding "banking" system. Nope, you moved up the Avenue on the strength of one card:
You were the one guy who hadn't bought into a patently stupid and useless war.
That brag enabled you to beat Hillary Clinton, arguably the sharpest knife in the Washington cutlery drawer. It gave you the edge over a well-financed veteran pol and Genuwine War Hero (TM). It made you what you are today.
It also did something else. It restored a certain amount of credibility in our mutual political party. Finally, we'd backed someone with a lick of sense. Look, America: we're not really all the same! Some of us can think every now and then!"
This cred extended not just to the country's precious Undecideds, but refreshed the base of our own ranks. Democrats dispirited from years of lip-serving corporate toadies and "Me Too" spear carriers finally had a reason to believe, once more, in the possibility of a place for grownup, thinking people in public life. It can be plausibly be argued that you, personally, saved the Democratic Party.
So why do you want to destroy us now? What possible appeal is there in another stupid war based on muddled, slanted "intel" that promises another decade of body bags, hundred-K prosthetics (replacements needed every 3 years--for life) and shattered minds?
Your cho rep's set for life already. You called the strike on our Enemy of the Century, while cracking jokes at a correspondents dinner. You've drone-blasted more Evildoers than George Bush could've counted with bare feet and pants down. Nobody will ever think you're a softy.
All you can buy with this jack move are widows and orphans, national weakness and cynicism and the likely eternal distrust of the people our party needs most to participate in the public arena: the young, the idealistic, the energetic, the principled, all the people you were exhorting yesterday to get involved.
You go there on this tissue-flimsy narrative and you've lost those people. For good. You will kill whatever belief they might have grown in the cause of public service, crushing in the bargain, the hopes of our party for another generation.
People say your lofty ideals and soaring rhetoric are nothing but the disguise of a cyncial, hyper-partisan, old-school Chicago pol.
For the sake of our soldiers, their families and the dignity of our nation, I sure hope so.