Kevin Drum makes a plausible prediction about next year's presidential race (once we get through the foolishness and the Republicans settle on someone):
He's riffing off Professor Stephen Walt's sensible observation that the entity called ISIS, or ISIL, or Islamic State or Daesh seems to be successfully establishing itself as the effective government of a goodly swath of Sunni Muslim former Syria and Iraq and isn't going to be dislodged by U.S. bombing and ineffectual, fragmented enemies. As Sarah Chayes would highlight, at present it has banished a humiliating, exhausting culture of corruption from its conquests and that would give any governing authority a novel legitimacy. Even the New York Times documents this:
I hope we can be confident that, whatever provocations the aspiring caliphate may pull off before next year, the outgoing Obama administration is unlikely to dump U.S. troops into the fray. The Prez seems determined as I write to go out without "doing stupid shit", an admirable policy framework we could use more of.
But Drum may be right that an argument about whether the U.S. should go crashing into another war could become a central issue next fall -- and the idea has disquieting implications.
For Hillary Clinton, this will require some fancy footwork. Aside from her Wall Street ties, distrust of Hillary over her hawkishness is probably her greatest liability among Democratic voters.
On the other hand, we can count on any Republican to promise to (re)establish imperial dominance by maximum force and violence. Anything less would unmanly, un-exceptional, unAmerican. And just consider, that nominee could be named Bush ...
People who care about peace can't allow this horror show to develop without loudly raising up a picture of a more peaceable posture. Otherwise we'll be as organizationally enfeebled as we found ourselves after the 9/11 attacks.