The article in today's New York Times and Tom Friedman's column of several days ago make it clear that Syria is yet another religious war between the Sunni and Shiite Muslim sects. Syrian President Assad's Alawite sect is Shiite, a minority in Syria; most of the protesters are Sunni, who are the (oppressed) majority. So the Shiite Iranians are going to help Assad, and the neighboring Sunnis are going to help the protesting rebels. The NYT says that the Iraqi Sunnis, who used to rule Iraq, until they were overthrown by the US invasion, now support their rebelling colleagues in Syria.
In the Iraq war, the US overthrew the Sunni government and set up a Shiite government that is best friends with Iran. Now, the Republicans, who defeated Iran's worst enemy, Saddam Hussein, want to send in American troops to die overthrowing the Iranian government that was strengthened by the US invasion of Iraq. I guess the important thing is that the American government wants to foment sectarian warfare in the Middle East. It may well be coming next in Egypt.