The 2003 US invasion of Iraq and the protracted occupation was such a disaster that officials are still desperate to see comparisons between it and future US conflicts, and the White House is in particular rejecting comparisons between the push for the Iraq War and their ongoing push to attack Syria.
Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest insisted that Iraq involved an administration “searching high and low to produce evidence to justify a military invasion” and that the Bush Administration had an explicit goal of regime change.
By contrast, the Obama Administration’s argument for war in Syria has involved producing no real evidence at all, and after years of openly demanding regime change, officials suddenly insist that’s not the goal of the war.
Though that does make it somewhat distinct from the Iraq War push, it isn’t clear how this is any better, since the Bush Administration at least went to the trouble of fabricating a lot of phony evidence to fool people into backing their war, and were straightforward about their agenda in doing so.
The Obama Administration isn’t fabricating evidence on Syria, but is instead making allegations of a totally unsubstantiated nature and expecting them to be universally endorsed automatically. Likewise, while it is clear the administration’s agenda of regime change is still there in the long run, they’re just pretending it’s not until the missiles start flying.
Even the ever-hawkish Donald Rumsfeld, one of the architects of the Iraq debacle, is warning that the Obama Administration hasn’t done anything to really make a case for why the war is in the national interest. And if there’s one thing Rumsfeld knows, its how to sell the American public on a bad war.