I have a recurring nightmare in which the war criminals who lied us into Iraq reappear to mock the hundreds of thousands they murdered in cold blood, repeating the same lies, the same rationalizations, the same mindless slogans that lured us into that hellhole to begin with.  Bill Kristol, the Kagan clan, the Israel Firsters, and their frontmen in government and the media rise up, shrieking their war cry: “Invade, invade, invade Iraq!”  Shock and awe, weapons of mass destruction—it’s 2003 all over again.

I wake up in a cold sweat.  Thank God, I think; it is only a dream.

Except it isn’t.

As ISIS—the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham—advances on Baghdad, the neocons are on the march once again.  Kristol and his fellow laptop bombardiers are demanding that we send the troops back in, and John McCain is bellowing that failure to do so amounts to a “betrayal.”  Dick Cheney and his daughter are in the War Street Journal denouncing the President for his “foreign policy of weakness,” and Obama is contemplating air strikes while declaring that the duly elected prime minister of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki, must step down before we intervene.

The Iraqi “army”—on which we’ve spent billions—has collapsed faster than the French in 1940, throwing their uniforms by the side of the road as they flee.  ISIS is executing them by the hundreds, posting videos of disgusting atrocities on the web, and railing that the “polytheists”—the majority Shi’ites who control the Iraqi government—will see their shrines desecrated and their people converted by the sword.  ISIS was expelled from Al Qaeda—for being too brutal.  Spawned in Syria and subsidized by Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia—our “allies” in the Gulf region—ISIS has spilled over the border, outfitted with the latest weaponry, much of it made in America.  Reportedly, they looted the arsenals of captured Iraqi bases, but when the full story is told—it probably never will be in the mainstream media—don’t be too shocked to discover that we armed them in our campaign to oust Syrian despot Bashar al-Assad.

The neocons are all over the media, telling us how the disaster they made possible can be averted if only we recognize that they were really in the right all along: We should never have left Iraq, says Paul Bremer, the former head of the Occupation Authority who dismantled the Iraqi army and presided over the systematic dissolution of Iraqi society.  Kristol opines that “now is not the time to relitigate” the decision to invade.  Of course it isn’t, because being a neocon means never having to say you’re sorry.  “A war-weary public can be awakened and rallied,” he insists.  “Indeed, events are right now doing the awakening.  All that’s needed is the rallying.”  When a neocon smells fresh blood, he can’t help but get excited.

And then there’s Cheney, who slithered out from his undisclosed location in the company of his creepy daughter to deliver a line that defies parody.  Attacking Obama for withdrawing from Iraq, he writes, “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.”

This from a man who effectively controlled an administration that led us into what Gen. William E. Odom rightly called “the biggest disaster in American military history”—a war in which thousands of U.S. soldiers perished and tens of thousands were maimed, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who were killed, mutilated, or rendered impoverished in the maelstrom.  And for what?

Those “weapons of mass destruction” never did show up, to George W. Bush’s chagrin—not that the neocons didn’t know they were lying.  And as for building “democracy,” that once-famous election of the “purple thumbs” delivered the country into the hands of Shi’ite theocrats, whose sectarian policies were the second-biggest factor in building mass support for ISIS among the Sunni population—the first being the money, arms, and logistical support the Sunnis are getting from our Gulf “allies.”

So what was the point?

Chaos.  What they achieved was the atomization of the entire region, and this was precisely their goal.  Death and destruction for their own sakes: an agenda worthy of Satan.

There is a method to the neocons’ madness.  The one nation left standing amid the ruins is the one to which they owe a special allegiance.  As champions of Israel, their foreign-policy views have always revolved around the perceived interests of the Semitic Sparta.  And what better way to serve the Jewish state than to pulverize its hostile neighbors, using the U.S. military as their cat’s-paw?

Will Americans be sucked into the Iraqi vortex yet again?  Seventy-five percent oppose sending in ground troops, according to the latest poll, but a plurality supports air strikes—which are just the first phase of full-scale intervention.

Down below, Satan is smiling.