A more-than-fascinating “Morning Joe” segment aired recently as New York Times columnist Tom Friedman (no Bill Nemitz – but an interesting fellow nonetheless) discussed his interview with President Obama.

The host of the show, full of himself as always, quipped, “Europe has been on a vacation from history since 1991” – suggesting that the European nations have essentially sat out, for the most part, the squabbles and turmoil in Iraq, Gaza, Ukraine, Afghanistan and everywhere-else-istan, where we somehow simply must be intricately involved.

Perhaps it’s time to take a more European attitude. Let some of these countries work it out for themselves – however bloody and distasteful we view the process. Our country endured a bloody revolution and a bloodier civil war. But we worked it out ourselves.

I just recently read David McCullough’s “1776.” It seemed that George Washington achieved more in the long run by retreating and avoiding catastrophic no-win fiascoes.

His ability to command was in great doubt. Desertion was rampant. It wasn’t until he collected his thoughts and opted to choose the time and place to engage – achieving small successes – that he began to turn the tide and win the hearts and minds of a deeply divided populace.

How much more deeply divided can we be today? How many more fiascoes can we afford?

I believe it’s time to retreat. Stay the hell out of these horrendous hotbeds of hatred and hellfire. Let’s collect our thoughts before we talk about Iraq as “a long-term project.”

Really? I mean, really? The definition of insanity comes readily to mind: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Quick! Will somebody please sound the retreat?

Buddy Doyle

Gardiner