Americans unsure what to think about President Obama's plans for Syria should remember that all military action undertaken by Democrats for the last half-century has led to utter disaster. (With the possible exception of the Village People's "Y.M.C.A." video, which I say still holds up.)
Democrats are gung-ho about deploying the U.S. military provided only that it will harm the national security interests of the United States, but vehemently oppose interventions that serve American interests.
Republican President Dwight Eisenhower, the supreme commander of the Allied forces in World War II, said he could conceive of no greater tragedy than the U.S. getting heavily involved in Vietnam. He sent aid to the anti-communist forces, but no troops.
Democratic President John F. Kennedy sent troops. But in short order he was conniving to assassinate South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem -- also known as "our ally in the middle of the war."
JFK's brother, the Democratic attorney general, actually suggested that Americans donate blood to the North Vietnamese -- or "our enemy" -- as a gesture of good will. (Secretary of State John Kerry's bold threat this week of an "unbelievably small" strike against Syria sounds positively macho by comparison.)
Kennedy's successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, escalated the war in Vietnam in order to prove that Democrats could be trusted with national defense. Which they cannot. As journalist David Halberstam reported, LBJ would "talk to his closest political aides about the McCarthy days, of how Truman lost China and then the Congress and the White House, and how, by God, Johnson was not going to be the president who lost Vietnam and the Congress and the White House."
LBJ sacrificed tens of thousands of American lives to try to make the Democrats look manly.
Nixon came in and honorably ended the Democrats' disastrous handling of the Vietnam War by signing the Paris Peace Accords in January 1973. In return for the lousy terms we jammed down South Vietnam's throat, America promised that, if the North attacked, the U.S. would resume bombing missions and military aid.