Jim Lobe reports: Ten years after right-wing and liberal hawks came together to push the U.S. into invading Iraq, key members of the two groups appear to be reuniting behind stronger U.S. military intervention in Syria.
While the liberals appear motivated by a desire to stop the violence and prevent its spread across borders, their right-wing colleagues, particularly neo-conservatives, see U.S. intervention as key to dealing Iran a strategic defeat in the region.
“…[T]he most important strategic goal continues to be to defeat Iran, our main adversary in the region,” according to Tuesday’s lead editorial in the Wall Street Journal.
“The risks of a jihadist victory in Damascus are real, at least in the short-term, but they are containable by Turkey and Israel,” the editorial asserted. “The far greater risk to Middle East stability and U.S. interests is a victorious arc of Iranian terror from the Gulf to the Mediterranean backed by nuclear weapons.”
The immediate impetus for the reunion between the country’s two interventionist forces seems related primarily to charges that Syrian security forces have used chemical weapons in several attacks on insurgents and growing fears that the two-year-old civil war is spilling over into and destabilising neighbouring countries.
Those fears gained greater urgency this week when Israeli warplanes twice attacked targets close to Damascus and reports surfaced that Lebanon’s Hezbollah has sharply escalated its role in actively defending the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
Both developments appear to have emboldened hawks here, particularly neo-conservatives who have sought for more than two decades to make the overthrow of the Assad dynasty in Damascus a major priority for U.S. Mideast policy and now see the conflict in Syria as a proxy war between Iran and Israel. [Continue reading…]