It's relatively rare to see a conspiracy where the main conspirators are kind enough to set out the terms of the conspiracy in a published document. Such a document is "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm" written for Benjamin Netanyahu by a committee consisting of Richard Perle (direct Bush Administration connection), James Colbert (JINSA), Charles Fairbanks, Jr. (friend of Wolfowitz), Douglas Feith (direct Bush Administration connection), Robert Loewenberg (Israeli thinktanker), Jonathan Torop (WINEP), David Wurmser (direct Bush Administration connection), and Meyrav Wurmser (direct Bush Administration connection). The document spells it all out (my emphasis in bold):
"Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq - an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right - as a means of foiling Syria's regional ambitions."
Note that Job 1, removing Saddam (checkmark in that box), is part of the more important effort of dealing with Syria (and Iran, not a real Israeli target, is hardly mentioned in the document). The 'Clean Break' continues (my emphasis in bold):
". . . Syria enters this conflict with potential weaknesses: Damascus is too preoccupied with dealing with the threatened new regional equation to permit distractions of the Lebanese flank. And Damascus fears that the 'natural axis' with Israel on one side, central Iraq and Turkey on the other, and Jordan, in the center would squeeze and detach Syria from the Saudi Peninsula. For Syria, this could be the prelude to a redrawing of the map of the Middle East which would threaten Syria's territorial integrity.
Since Iraq's future could affect the strategic balance in the Middle East profoundly, it would be understandable that Israel has an interest in supporting the Hashemites in their efforts to redefine Iraq, including such measures as: visiting Jordan as the first official state visit, even before a visit to the United States, of the new Netanyahu government; supporting King Hussein by providing him with some tangible security measures to protect his regime against Syrian subversion; encouraging - through influence in the U.S. business community - investment in Jordan to structurally shift Jordan's economy away from dependence on Iraq; and diverting Syria's attention by using Lebanese opposition elements to destabilize Syrian control of Lebanon.
Most important, it is understandable that Israel has an interest supporting diplomatically, militarily and operationally Turkey's and Jordan's actions against Syria, such as securing tribal alliances with Arab tribes that cross into Syrian territory and are hostile to the Syrian ruling elite."
Destabilizing Syrian control of Lebanon? Check. Weakening Syria through securing tribal alliances with hostile Arab tribes? A work in progress centering on the Kurds and American incursions from Iraq. Redrawing of the map of the Middle East which would threaten Syria's territorial integrity? John Bolton's current big project involving the Mehlis report. The 'Clean Break' document even specifically advocates "striking at select targets in Syria proper", something that Israel has actually done (advocating such action appears to be, in itself, a war crime).
Critics of the idea that the current mess in the Middle East is part of an Israeli-directed plot can cavil all they want, but when exactly the same people who wrote exactly the same blueprint that is being followed all end up in the Bush Administration, and set up a specific organization, the Office of Special Plans (led by Feith), to ensure that only lies supporting the attack on Iraq reach Bush, such caviling appears to be a form of insanity. Just how much proof of the conspiracy do you need? The 'Clean Break' document is essentially a written confession of conspiracy, written for extreme right-wing politician Netanyahu, and carried out down to the letter by the United States government directed by a cabal of neocons (with the exception of the bizarre idea that they could install the King of Jordan as the King of Iraq, which seems to be a particular fantasy of Richard Perle).
The usual response to this conspiracy is to claim that picking out the Jewish members of the Bush Administration is just a form of anti-Semitism. What about all the non-Jewish members who also supported the war (see here)? In particular, what about the two main guys, Cheney and Rumsfeld? Cheney and Rumsfeld chose the members of the Bush Administration. Why do you think they chose a bunch of neocons, and put them in key positions to push and lie for the war? One reason is that their own patrons, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Military-Industrial Complex, wanted a war. The other side of the equation, just as important and perhaps even more important, is that they were told to put Israeli-friendly people in the Administration. Why did they do it? Because they needed to be elected. Who told them to do it in order to be elected? The Christian Zionists. And therein lies a tale which I'm currently thinking about, the revolution which has occurred in the Republican Party over the last thirty years. I think I'll call it "From Bitburg to Baghdad: A Rake's Progress".