Right wing pundits have piled criticism on President Obama's foreign policy because they don't like his doctrine has been diplomacy and, failing that, economic sanctions in cooperation with America's major allies. You know, ask questions first before shooting.
The results are not as spectacular or simple-minded as dropping an air-fuel bomb on somebody, but they have been highly effective.
Iran's nuclear ambitions have been severely hurt by U.S.-led international economic sanctions, which dealt a crippling blow to the country's economy. It can't sell its oil. It can't move its money. It's national soccer team couldn't even get any practice matches against other World Cup qualifiers.
"Right now Iran is suffering 30 percent inflation, 20 percent unemployment," former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich said last year. "I mean this nation is hurting and our economic sanctions, because we've been patient with them, because we have actually rounded up almost every other nation to support us, have had a huge impact."
By freezing the assets to Vladimir Putin's inner circle, Russia has quickly and quietly backed down from its misadventure in Ukraine. This week, "rebels" (actually Russians in masks) in eastern Ukraine agreed to a cease fire, no doubt on Putin's orders. Vlad's pals would rather have their cash than Kiev.
Syria just handed over the last of its chemical weapons, not because U.S. Marines landed on its shore but because Obama laid down a red line.
"The greatest obstacle to ending the Syria war is the notion that it can be won militarily," added U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
In Iraq, meantime, the fruits of American intervention 11 years ago are being harvested as the worst terrorists on the planet have launched a civil war. Call it Saddam's Revenge.
This one may require military intervention, and of course whatever Obama might do on that front will be wrong as far as conservatives are concerned. Supporting the president in time of war? That's so 1944.
So my challenge today, readers, is for you reactionaries out there to tell the rest of us very specifically what should be done in the hot spots and, more important, describe to us the acceptable cost for America in terms of lives and tax dollars if we do as you suggest.
Just don't tell us what you're against for the hundredth time.
Tell us what you are for.