The only real surprise here is that it’s no surprise at all:
Syria always feared that the White House of George W Bush and Dick Cheney would invade Damascus once it had dispatched with Baghdad in 2003 and, in his newly released memoirs, the former British prime minister Tony Blair confirmed those fears were well founded.
Describing the former US vice president as an advocate of “hard, hard power”, Mr Blair said Damascus was next on Mr Cheney’s hit list.
“He would have worked through the whole lot, Iraq, Syria, Iran, dealing with all their surrogates in the course of it – Hizbollah, Hamas, etc,” Mr Blair wrote in his autobiography, A Journey. “In other words, he thought the whole world had to be made anew, and that after September 11, it had to be done by force and with urgency.”
One of the aspects of the Iraq disaster that hasn’t really penetrated the American psyche in an adequate way is the degree to which this kind of erratic belligerence undermined global nonproliferation goals. In a world where the United States initiates aggressive wars unilaterally, nuclear weapons become a vital source of security and responsible and patriotic leaders of all sorts of countries are going to want to at least keep the door open to WMD acquisition.