President Obama’s new war on ISIS is bringing back some old names and faces from the George W. Bush years, especially as the war appears to be expanding into Syria. Though the neoconservative vision failed miserably in Iraq after the 2003 invasion they have not given up hope in the power and glory of US imperialism. Despite even mainstream voices calling the expansion of the war against ISIS into Syria flawed, the old neocons are ready, once again, to sacrifice the lives of other Americans for their pipe dreams.
As Jim Lobe over at LobeLog points out, many of the voices championing the bombing campaign in Syria were the cheerleaders for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Familiar names like Fred Kagan, Danielle Pletka, and Max Boot are excited by the opportunity for the US to show dominance and the possibility of things going boom.
Many are affiliated with the Foreign Policy Initiative, the successor to the Project For A New American Century:
Unsurprisingly, the same people who loudly championed the 2003 invasion of Iraq are clearly at it again, although this time they want not only to see US troops fighting in Iraq, but also in Syria…
In other words, almost exactly four years after the last US combat brigade left Iraq, these analysts are calling for US ground forces to play a key combat role alongside whatever presumably friendly forces can be mustered to fight ISIS in Iraq, if not Syria. Without US troops fighting by their side, the implication goes, our putative allies will simply fold, even if US warplanes and drones are striking the enemy from above.
We truly have come full circle. The president elected on rolling back the reckless imperialism of the Bush Administration has stumbled his way back into Iraq and now is eying Syria. How many times will the US try to reshape the Middle East?
One can not expect the neoconservatives to ever restrain themselves, they have no shame and no conscience. But Americans should be able to reasonably expect that the man elected to purge neoconservative policy from the presidency does not become a neoconservative himself.
Image by Futuretrillionaire under Creative Commons license.