Shortly after posting this on my own site, a reader emailed me asking if I was saying that I wanted the US to bomb Syria. But this cartoon isn't really about what we should do. I don't have any good answers. What I find fascinating about this whole situation is how different our reaction was ten years ago to the idea of chemical weapons in the hands of a brutal dictator. In that case, of course, Americans had been knowingly misled to think Iraq had some connection to 9/11. Much of our nonchalance about Syria is clearly a reaction to the debacle of Iraq. But I can't help wishing more of the skepticism and prudence people are exhibiting now (including many politicians who were gung-ho on attacking Iraq) had been around in 2003, when those of us who voiced such skepticism were pilloried.
Adding: In response to readers who ask why I am mocking the characters "exhibiting prudence" in the 2013 column -- I'm only really mocking the last one for his disinterest. Some people may have learned a lesson from Iraq, but I believe many are being reactionary (such as Republicans who oppose Obama no matter what he does). I also think Iraq should not cause us to ignore the humanitarian crisis in Syria, although it is not clear to me how to best address it.
Moreover, anyone who does not remember the Bush administration's conflation of 9/11 and Iraq was either in short pants at the time, or severely not paying attention.