Jeff, on Iran and Israel we completely agree. This issue is where I part with the academic left and agree with you. If Iran and others say it will completely obliterate the Jewish state by nuclear weapons if necessary, the Jewish people have had too much experience with genocidal anti-Semitism not to take all of them at their word. There is no question about it you are completely correct.
However, where I think I part with you, is that I think American foreign policy since WWII has been nothing short of abysmal. The greatest victory in WWII was that it unequivocally showed US strength. Now since even Korea, certainly Vietnam and the worst debacle of all Iraq II because of its humongous regional consequences, the US has showed what the Middle East bloodhounds sniff and that is weakness. We are perceived as a weak country with the most moronic leadership by even our allies. That is, I believe, our nation's greatest threat and the greatest threat indeed to western civilization itself. No one ever gained anything through weakness. Nations gain prestige through strength.
How we arrive at a position of strength is the golden key. I believe we do not, as things exist today, arrive at strength through bombs. It is a new kind of world. A new policy for a new world order needs to be hewed. This requires the utmost brilliance and in depth understanding of international diplomacy and leadership. It is so very clear we do not have that in Washington today. I don't care if it is Republican or Democrat or the Martian party in power I am salivating for intellectual excellence especially in our executive branch. So far it is not to be found and our nation and world are at risk.