I was not surprised that Chuck Hagel had to go.  After all, he was among the very few in governments of late to have ever seen combat, not to mention to have been wounded.  Men of his ilk do not draw their swords at the drop of a hat—unlike neocons, that is, who demand bloody solutions to every problem.  Others’ blood, needless to say.  Hagel did not want escalation in Iraq, Iran, and Syria.  He was selected for his willingness to challenge the chickenhawks of the Republican Party, and to oversee a shift to a peacetime military, but it was not to be.  Obama is muddled, as are the American people, as they watch inner cities burn when cops shoot black criminals, and Islamic thugs behead innocent Americans in color.  It’s a confusing time, to say the least.

Let’s take it from the top.  It was the good Uncle Sam who assessed all strategic and moral issues in terms of their function in his rivalry with the Soviet Bear during the Cold War.  This led to a loss of proportion that had us empowering the Pakistani military’s promotion of Islamic extremism.  Even after September 11 the penny did not drop.  We still thought we could order the duplicitous Pakis to be on our side.  Thirteen years later, we are still losing men and materiel in Afghanistan and still trust the Pakistani army, one that covertly supports the Taliban while accepting the billions we pour into that lousy place year after year.  History has taught Obama nothing.  Alexander the Great, the British Empire, the Soviet Union: All got to Afghanistan safe and sound, but left rather suddenly and with their tales between their legs.  As the great Yogi Berra said, “It’s déjà vu all over again,” and if it weren’t as tragic as it is, I’d be laughing my head off.  Who the hell cares what those savages do to poor girls who want to learn to read?  Why should American boys die for those poor women who are daily raped and tortured by Afghani men?  The same thing happens to African girls and women, yet I don’t see Obama landing the Marines over in Nigeria.  We are not our sisters’ keepers, and even if we were, we would just lose yet again, just as we lost in Vietnam, in Iraq, and in Afghanistan.  The moment our last boys quit that godforsaken land, the Taliban will take over and the present Afghani government will install itself in Virginia and enjoy the billions of aid they have stolen these last 14 years.

And speaking of graft, does anyone reading this really believe that ISIS knows how to fight better than us?  Or even the discredited Iraqi army?  It does not, except for the fact it’s better paid and on time.  The Iraqis broke and ran last spring, despite the 25 billion greenbacks we’d given them for training and arms, because most of it had ended up in the pockets of nonfighters back in Baghdad.  Generals had stiffed colonels, and colonels had stiffed lieutenants, and lieutenants had stiffed soldiers of their pay, and so on down the line.  Why fight on an empty stomach when your pay has been docked by fat men in suits who have safely deposited American dollars in Western banks?  Obama should know that all the money in the world will not stop the graft of the Iraqis, both Sunni and Shi’ite.  He is now requesting another $25 billion in order to bribe the tribes and rearm those who left their equipment behind, which is the whole of the Iraqi army.  If this were a movie, it would be laughed off the screen; perhaps a comic book would do better.

In the meantime, the Iagos in all this—the Saudi, Qatari, and Kuwaiti troika—are busy pretending they’ve fallen out with ISIS because of the latter’s rude behavior toward people in general, and Anglo-American journalists in particular.  If you believe that, you’ll also believe that those two fatties, John Podhoretz and William Kristol, are ready to volunteer for duty in the Middle East.  (Both of these girls are known to faint when someone passes wind rather loudly.)  The unholy troika continues to funnel funds to the head choppers in order to guarantee their palaces, whores, and yachts, at least for the time being.  Yet when any of these towelheads arrives in Washington or New York, our officials literally bend over and kiss his you-know-what.  As an English hack used to say, “Pass the sick bag, Alice!”

If Obama weren’t as muddled as he is, perhaps he’d take some advice from yours truly, one who has seen it all, alas.  The remnants of Al Qaeda in Iraq and the Sunnis we fought back then are the present ISIS.  We should have taken the side of Assad, a man who protected Christians and other minorities, instead of falling for the big lie, that he was gassing his own people.  (That was ISIS 100 percent.)  We should lift the Iran boycott—Iran being the greatest enemy of ISIS—and tell the Likudniks and the Saudis to go to hell.  If Obama did that, and pulled all our troops back, he might even end up being known as a successful president.  But I’m not holding my breath.