Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Incredible Credibility Argument

     One of the main reasons given by its supporters on both the Left and the Right for missile strikes in Syria, is to save the credibility of the United States and President Obama. The theory goes that since President Obama spoke about chemical weapons being used in Syria as a red line that would change his "calculus" for intervention, the U.S. is on this runaway freight train and can not get off. Even though last week, President Obama un-spoke the "red line" comment. It is fascinating to watch a media, that five years ago was anti-military intervention anywhere, now salivating to "punish" the Assad regime with missiles that are etched with the name of the great avenger, Barack Hussein Obama. Oddly enough, President Obama has said that his credibility is not at risk, taking away the core reason that has been given by the media and other pro-intervention types.
     President Obama's statement that claimed everyone in the world has their credibility at risk , even America, and his remains unchallenged, shows not only how disconnected the President is from any semblance of a coherent foreign policy, but from his own country as well. He is somehow outside America and above the human frailty of having one's credibility called into question. The President, as well as the supporters of military intervention in Syria, forget that credibility is not won or loss by a single event or decision, it is developed over time, with the aggregation of many decisions and actions. Barack Obama can not risk his own credibility because he has none, and he can not risk America's credibility because she has an almost 240 year history from which her coffers of credibility have been supplied.
     Some of the very same people that said our nation's credibility was at risk of being destroyed with military intervention in Iraq, are now saying that that same credibility is in peril if we do not militarily intercede in Syria. In Iraq, we faced a dictator who had already invaded his neighbor and threatened the free flow of oil that is vital to the world's economy. Bashar Al Assad, as brutal a dictator as he is, has never engaged in either of the previously mentioned behaviors. And now the President, who was elected to "end wars, not start them," has not only allowed U.S. foreign policy to be determined by statements he made and then unmade, but has looked like a petulant child with his exclusion of his own credibility from the massive risk pool he has helped create.
     Not only has the President's credibility been shattered with the American people, but around the world with our allies and enemies alike. The mantel of leadership waits to be lifted and employed, but Barack Obama does not possess the credible strength to take it upon himself, this is to the great peril of the United States and the world.

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