The drumbeat of old neocons neoconning again in the face of the victories by ISIS/ISIL in Iraq. It is Richard Cohen's turn today to bloviate on the ed pages of WaPo, "A do-nothing disaster." Yeah, looks pretty bad for Barack, all those ISIS/ISIL forces swarming all over Iraq. Obviously he could have and should have stopped it.
Two points, beyond noting that Cohen was quicker than many of those supporting the Iraq war to realize it was a big mistake.
1) On chemical weapons in Syria, Cohen says, "He wanted Bashar al-Assad to cease using chemical weapons. His language was strong, nearly warlike... What happened next? Virtually nothing." Really? Because in his final paragraph he says, "Obama settled for a victory jog around the political infield after getting Assad to give up most of his chemical weapons." This is "virtually nothing"? Cohen does not even seem to proofread what he writes before sending it out.
2) And, of course, we have "A civil war that might have been stopped in its tracks was allowed to fester. The Syrian dictatorship survived, and the war spilled over into Iraq." Unfortunately Cohen never says how this might have been achieved. The favorite explanation of most neocons, and he does not even bother bringing it up as did Fred Hiatt yesterday, would have been to have provided heavier arms to the "moderate opposition." But as those who have looked at it really closely realize, including apparently Obama's advisers, it was clear from early on that they were never strong enough to defeat either the Islamist radicals or the Assad regime, with it more likely that those heavy arms would have ended up in the hands of ISIS/ISIL. But Cohen does not bother addressing that, indeed, does not even attempt to say how Obama might have achieved the stopping in its tracks of the civil war, which all of us would have welcomed (hint: maybe by having supported Assad, despite his awfulness).