06/10/2005 03:59 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Out Now -- or on to Damascus and Tehran?

What do you do when the war you’ve started is increasingly unpopular, costly, and inimical to American interests in the region?

Why, start another one of course!

The neocons who control our foreign policy are getting bored with Iraq – been there, done that – and have now set their sights on Iran and Syria. You can hear the tom-toms beating with the introduction of such legislation as the “Syria Accountability Act” (already passed) and the “Iran Freedom Support Act” (pending), calling for economic sanctions and other punitive measures just as in the prelude to war with Iraq.

Both measures have overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress. Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi supported the Syrian measure, and is co-sponsoring the Iran bill.

Is anyone ever going to introduce an “America Accountability Act” – or are we the only nation on earth that never has to answer for its crimes?

The next stage is a lot of phony “intelligence” leaked to the always-obliging media, detailing Syrian “interference” in Iraq (American interference doesn’t count) and baldly asserting (without evidence) that every assassination in Lebanon, no matter how murky, is always the work of Damascus. The Iranians are in for the same treatment.

The War Party isn’t through with the Middle East, not by a long shot. And the logic of intervention makes escalation nearly inevitable. That’s why it’s imperative that we start demanding an exit strategy from Iraq – because wars, being unruly phenomena by their very nature, don’t respect national borders. The spill-over into Syria, Iran, and beyond had to happen, and it’s only a matter of time before Iraq’s agony is turned into a regional conflagration.

It’s either “Out now!” or “On to Damascus – and Tehran!” Either we hightail it out of Baghdad, or we’ll soon find ourselves back in Beirut. No time for hedging, and waffling: which will it be?