Nuclear-armed Pakistan is trying to reconcile with its own Taliban. Al-Qaida has denounced the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria for atrocities and dividing the rebel cause in Syria.
Even the jihadi terrorists are fighting one another.
Behind these conflicts is a Moslem awakening, a Sunni-Shia struggle for supremacy, the rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia for primacy in the Gulf, and the ethnonational dreams of Pashtun, Baluch, Kurds and other tribes.
Still, it is hard to see any U.S. vital interest so imperiled in these conflicts to justify plunging into another war in that hate-filled and blood-soaked region. Sarah Palin's suggestion, "Let Allah sort it out," begins to sound like the sage counsel of George Kennan.
Twice since last summer, anti-interventionists have routed the War Party. First, with the popular uprising that swamped calls for strikes on Syria. Second, with this winter's blockage of new sanctions on Iran that could have torpedoed negotiations.
Yet in both cases the anti-interventionists succeeded because Obama has never at heart been a war president. And because the country does not want any more wars.
A sign of the times was ex-Reagan speech writer and veteran Congressman Dana Rohrabacher telling C-SPAN the U.S. media give too much time to McCain and Graham, who do not speak for the Republican Party when they call for military action. They speak only for themselves.
Yet, despite the victories of the anti-interventionists, the United States remains a hostage to war. Dating back to the early years of the Cold War, in the 1950s, we signed treaties obligating us to fight for scores of nations on five continents. NATO alone now requires us to defend 25 European countries, from Iceland to Estonia.
How many of these war guarantees are vital to U.S. security?
How many of these treaties, which could require us to go to war with nuclear-armed powers like Russia and China over tiny islets and minuscule nations half a world away, are truly in America's national interest?
The 2016 primaries are the setting for the Republican Party to debate and to adopt a new foreign policy for the 21st century, a policy that rejects the mindless interventionism of the McCains and steers us around, not into, the wars of the future that are surely coming.
It's time for antiwar conservatism -- staying out of other people's quarrels and other nations' wars -- one of the oldest and proudest traditions of the republic, to regain its rightful place in the Grand Old Party.
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