The one question that hawks need to answer about Syria

The hard-working staff here at Spoiler Alerts has discussed the mess in Syria a lot in recent weeks, to the point of accidentally midwifing a conspiracy theory. Other things happening in the world should probably be talked about as well, so I’d like to pivot away from this topic.

As a parting shot, however, I was struck by this exchange Sunday on “Fareed Zakaria GPS” between Zakaria and the Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens. For anyone familiar with Stephens’s oeuvre, it should come as no surprise that he wants to intervene more forcefully in the Syrian civil war. Then Zakaria asked him the following question:

ZAKARIA: But when we think about Syria, which is to my mind more messy, because what you’re talking about is any U.S. involvement would have to be aimed at essentially dislodging Assad from power. Okay. We dislodged Hussein from power. We thought we had good guys who are going to take — pick up, total chaos, civil war, 10 years, 400,000 people dead. We did it in Libya, we dislodged Gaddafi, we thought it would work out well. We had democrats, total chaos. We did it in Yemen. Total chaos.

It feels like we know how this movie will end. If Assad is dislodged from Damascus, what do you think is going to happen? Total chaos.