Sometimes actually whistling Dixie is a good passive-aggressive strategy to make other people reveal their real type, so that then you can smash them in a way that looks better.
"What are you going to do, whistle Dixie?"
That's a line from the Outlaw Josey Wales, who when confronted by four would-be collectors on his bounty, says, "Well are you going to draw, or just whistle Dixie?"
Since Josey Wales was a Confederate and fugtive, the taunt was a double entendre, a sneering taunt that Eastwood made millions with and that finished of course with Clint ventilating everyone.
(Josey Wales is actually a really good movie as to the West, with actual Indians, partisan warfare as the nastier side of a Civil War that really wasn't always very civil at all, and just good stuff.)
In any event, as to the Middle East is Burning, Iran announces it controls the Persian Gulf, and if we have naval vessels there, we don't have the bombardment capability on Diego Garcia that says we are going to efface large parts of that regime, nuclear programs included, if they don't do what we tell them to do, thereby violating a key law of international relations:
"It is a law of nature that the strong seek such terms as they can get, and that the weak accept such terms as they must."
But, if you make Iran make a move, then their the bad guy, and even the left-wing types that dominate OS can get with that program, which is after all the President's political base.
Meanwhile, in Iraq after a clear warning that people were going to drag out what was crap about a girlfriend for reasons one would have to understand why randomly pensioning off Foreign Service Officers after an interview with moi would be a good idea, who was by the way a hot Chinese-American reporter from the Wall Street Journal, we seemingly don't have a backup plan for an ambassador to Iran's neighbor Iraq, the one we clearly prematurely pulled all troops from, shhh.
Of course, as anarchy gets worse in Iraq, that is a head-clearing experience there, and here, which might make left-wing types re-think something that would be smart, which is restoring a light troop footprint to train, do intelligence work, be an emergency reaction force, and deterrent to people in Iraq pushing their stupid arguments to their logical conclusion.
Then next door, we have Syria in the middle of a civil war, moving chemical weapons around, and in response to Israeli concerns about Sarin gas, hello gas and Israelis don't go together well, saying that it will use chemical weapons if anyone intervenes while Assad massacres his political opponents.
Then again, the Syrians then sort of said "If of course we have chemical weapons," and in general disavowed that statement to a point, which after all was triggered by a defector it would now seem, who to our knowledge hasn't been waterboarded to see what his real deal is after all, not that people ever wonder about things like that, and of course there could be confirming intelligence a la intercepts.
At least if the weapons moved away from the conflict to more central areas, it would be easier to blow them up, and of course Sarin at least isn't that bad if you distributed auto-injectors of atropine on the defense, and made it privately clear to Assad that he will rue the day any use of chemical weapons on his neighbors, which there are ways of demonstrating quietly (some convenient dead body is often found most efficacious in such affairs, if there are many ways to make the same point, and live and let live has its place in life too).
But, as to whistling Dixie while the Middle East Burns, the whole thing makes Assad look even worse, and Russia and China more inhumane than usual, not all bad as to whistling Dixie, and letting Assad kill a lot more people until even Vladimir Putin wants to puke.
So, if some would like a more "forward" policy from the United States while the Middle East burns, like massive no-warning bombardments of Assad and Iran to just "rip the bandaid off," there's always a plus and a minus to any strategy pretty much, if of course one can see in the Assad affair, and with Iran too, that Israel is looking pretty powerful out of the chaos and anarchy among the Arabs.