The Neocon Pathology

Daniel Larison dismantles Max Boot’s unhinged argument that we should get involved in the Syrian civil war to “settle the score” with Hezbollah:

To seek to “settle” a score from 1983 by increasing U.S. involvement in a potentially even more dangerous civil war in Syria is nothing more than the foolish pursuit of revenge. It also demonstrates a complete failure to understand the original error of the Lebanon intervention, which [Max] Boot and [Lee] Smith think Reagan ended too quickly.

If intervention in Lebanon should have taught us anything, it is that the U.S. has no business meddling in another country’s civil war. To cite the costs of the disastrous Lebanon intervention as a “compelling” reason to intervene in Syria is perverse. If the U.S. made policy decisions today based on carrying out vendettas from thirty years before, there would be no end to the wars that we would feel “compelled” to join or start. The truth is that there are no compelling reasons for the U.S. to become more involved in Syria’s conflict. Many Syria hawks have been desperately trying to find some for two years, but to no avail.