As fighting in Syria continues to rage, the Obama administration's wait-and-see approach to the conflict is coming under increasing assault. Not coincidentally, the advocates for US intervention in Syria are represented by a coalition of the same strange bedfellows that pushed for an invasion of Iraq a decade ago: neoconservatives and liberal hawks. And, like the Iraqi misadventure, their calls are guided by misconceptions, a lack of understanding of the region and a blurring of US, global political and Israeli interests.
The calls are having some effect , as President Obama recently threatened intervention for the first time, citing as his red line the Syrian government's possible use of chemical weapons in the fighting. The crucial question is why the interventionists, who do not have a track record of humanitarian compassion but rather one for cynical rhetoric that couches larger geopolitical goals in the language of humanitarianism, are determined to see a U.S. presence in Syria.