The recent tough talk from U.S. President Obama against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is a similar refrain from Democrats when they are accused by Republicans of being too soft on the "enemy" or "terrorist threat." The Democrats have to show that they can ride higher on the imperial saddle than GOP super hero Ronald Reagan.
At the same time, when not pushed by the GOP, Democrats have attempted a gradual approach to deal with something like the ISIS crisis. They would let negotiations be prioritized. But they only hold out for so long, allowing, e.g., weapons inspections inside a country occur and continue, but then find themselves pushed again by the GOP to end the peace planning and vote for war. The 2003 Iraq War is a prime example.
ISIS, though, doesn't sound like it's ready for negotiations. Given its religious fanaticism, it sounds like it's on par with the Taliban or Al Queda. It has created military carnage, sweeping into Eastern and Central Syria from Iraq (and thus violating Syrian sovereignty). And according to journalist Patrick Cockburn, ISIS leaders dominate the Syrian military opposition.
Given the situation, it would be plausible to ponder a military option. And that's what the Obama administration has done, albeit limited, in the form of carrying out of air strikes. But further U.S. military involvement will only worsen the situation by fueling Iraq's civil war between ISIS and the Malilki government and Syria's civil war between the "Free" Syrian Army and the Assad government.
U.S. foreign policy objectives are not about prioritizing peace, especially for the GOP. The latter have thought up of convoluted, contradictory and ultra-nationalist rhetoric to bolster their case for full U.S. military involvement. For example, in a YouTube video put out by The Young Turks, GOP Senator Lindsey Graham is shown doing verbal acrobatics when trying to justify U.S. interference in the overall conflict. Host Cenk Urgher gives very appropriate responses.
But as some GOPers attack Obama's position on the Middle East conflicts, others attack him for promoting a military solution. Above all, the GOP "anti-war" oppostion is fed by anti-Obamaism. Blame is also put on Obama for his lack of military "gumption" by, e.g., GOP Senator James Inhofe and GOP Representative Jeff Duncan, and so a war is not wise. But other reasons exist as well, such as feeling remorse for the Iraq War and the taking of an isolationist position.
Obama is trying to sort out the situation, proposing meetings to find ways to deal with the conflict. But playing the role of the world's policeman again won't be wise. Hopefully, Obama will not play cowboy because of GOP pressure.