... is what I do.
Everywhere across the political spectrum, people agree that invading Iraq was a mistake. Some think invading Afghanistan was a mistake. Failure is an orphan and since Obama stole defeat from the jaws of victory (or at least a stalemate), Iraq and Afghanistan are seen as failures.
Allow me to suggest something different.
Had I been in charge, I would have declared both Iraq and Afghanistan American protectorates. Sufficient garrisons would have been stationed there and the duration of the stay would have been declared indefinite. Second, I would have used both locations as jumping-off points for an invasion of Iran, whereupon Iran would have been declared an American protectorate for indefinite duration.
Yes, casualties would have been heavy and ongoing. Yes, it would have cost a lot of money. There are times when such actions are the best of a set of bad choices.
Iran wants nuclear weapons and have stated plainly that they intend to use them on us and Israel. For the life of me, I can't understand why that is acceptable or why that is preferable to invasion and occupation. The only thing I can think is that those who dismiss the Iranians' threats are utter racists. "Oh look at those silly, little brown people with goofy names. They say such crazy things." (Pats one on the head.) "You really just want to go back to herding your goats, eating ethnic foods and dancing colorful, native dances, don't you?" It's as if people believe that no one in the world can have global ambitions but us.
Second, had we not invaded Iraq, why wouldn't Saddam or one of his successors pursued nuclear weapons with as much zeal as Iran? It would have been crazy for him to allow Iran to get them and have such an enormous military advantage over his country.
Finally, with all three countries, there's no indication that any of the can be trusted with any weapons at all. Every time they're given the chance, they're out there shooting things, blowing things up and causing trouble. The more we withdraw, the worse it gets.
Throughout history, there have been nations that have wrought death and destruction as far as they could reach because that's just what they were determined to do. Stopping them has always required large costs in blood and treasure, whether it was the Aztecs, the Apaches, the Nazis or the Communists. Thinking that such nations no longer exist or never did exist, in the case of truly advanced progressives, is sheer folly.