As pointed out in the background material, the neocon's (Neo Conservatives) staffing the defense department have a grand scheme, a master plan if you will, that's been nurtured over the last 15 years. The scheme goes, first you change the regime in Iraq, giving it a moderate democracy, then you do the same in Syria, then in Iran, and then the whole of the Middle East will turn in Western favor. Further, that America must strike now because we're the sole superpower and we can dominate the world.
You can almost hear the mad cackling in the background. Unfortunately these people got elected (well, GW Bush stole the election, but that's a different story entirely) and are "in charge".
[April 16, 2003; Washington Times] Hawks recycle arguments for Iraq war against Syria (washtimes.com/world/20030416-64307592.htm) The talk over war with Syria increasingly resembles a spring rerun of the debate over war with Iraq, with virtually the same cast of characters and plot. .... Neoconservative Richard Perle, a leading hawk in the Iraq debate, yesterday called for Congress to pass a "Syrian Liberation Act" modeled on the 1998 law that made regime change in Baghdad official U.S. policy. ... "The War Party has blood in its nostrils and is headed for Damascus," said conservative columnist Patrick J. Buchanan, a fierce critic of the Iraq war who accused American hawks of putting Israel's security needs above U.S. interests in the region. "This is the neocons' hour of power, and they do not intend to lose this chance to remake the Middle East in their own image," Mr. Buchanan said. ... Syria's occupation of neighboring Lebanon, its reported chemical-weapons programs, its support for Hezbollah and other Palestinian terrorist groups targeting Israel, and Mr. Assad's rapprochement with Baghdad in recent years have all been criticized by neoconservatives. ... The case has been strengthened, U.S. officials say, by clear signs Syria provided aid and comfort to Saddam's regime in recent days, despite siding with the United States in the 1991 Gulf war against Iraq and despite Syria's decision to vote for U.N. Resolution 1441 in November, demanding Iraq disarm or face the consequences.