I don't think that kind of comparison can be made between Iraq and Syria. Saddam killed most of the intelligentsia and ruthlessly suppressed all opposition, so there wasn't a strong force that could replace him like there is in Syria. We won't have to nation build in Syria, because the rebels should do that for us.It's taken a decade in Iraq, over $1 trillion in American currency, thousands of American lives, countless Iraqi lives, and even now Iraq has the most fragile of democracies and certainly lingering civil-war like tensions between factions. The Iraqi people, like Syrians, are well educated, intelligent, and generally sectarian in their outlook to government and governance, and still religious tensions spoil the mix for those who just want to survive and thrive. Clearly, Syria is far better poised to recover than Afghanistan ever will be, but still, I don't see any great improvement there for a couple of decades at best.
Are Americans prepared to own Syria for a couple of decades too?