US Gen Wesley Clark is a retired general of the US army who served in Vietnam and led the NATO forces in Bosnia and Kosovo. He was retired in 2000 and was a vocal critic of the Bush administration and the war in Iraq.
In this segment from a Decocracy Now! iterview he details a private conversation in which it was made clear to him that there was a plan back in 2003 to bring down the regimes of not only Iraq, but also those of Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Somalia and Sudan - within a 5 year time frame.
I would pose the question how would any government respond to a major threat to its power and legitimacy? Probably something like the current response of the US government to internal opposition.
If the government was confronted by an armed insurrection by groups that were being armed by hostile foreign governments, how would that government respond? Quite likely in some way that is not unlike that of the government of Assad in Syria.
General Wesley Clark explains US plans