Sunday, September 15, 2013

Musty Idea: War To Maintain "Credibility" As A Global Hegemon

By Chris Rossini

In the most recent episode of U.S. war hysteria, the media was filled with endless remarks on how Syria had to be attacked to maintain U.S. "credibility".

Here are just a few examples from some rabid warmongers:
Max Boot: "Credibility is a precious coin in international affairs and unfortunately the president is rapidly devaluing America’s currency in that arena."

Jonathan Tobin: "If Congress fails to grant him authority to attack Syria his credibility is shot at home and abroad and we might as well hang a sign around his neck saying 'lame duck.'"

John McCain: "Now this is the same president that two years ago said that Bashar Assad must leave office, and so where is America’s credibility? ... Where is our ability to influence events in the region? And I promise you that those who say we should stay out of Syria do not understand that this is now a regional conflict."
These individuals, and many others just like them, care not a whit about the lessons of history. 

Ronald Reagan sang the same interventionist tune while he was President. Even after 241 U.S. Marines were killed in the Beirut barracks bombing, he kept up the "credibility" rhetoric.

For a quick refresher, this was during a Lebanese Civil War in which the U.S. and other western countries got involved. Sound familiar?

Here's what Reagan said on Oct. 24, 1983 right after the Beirut bombing (my emphasis):
"Peace in Lebanon is key to the region's stability now and in the future. To the extent that the prospect for future stability is heavily influenced by the presence of our forces, it is central to our credibility on a global scale."
It's the same old story, just a different year, and a different set of characters. As could be expected, Ron Paul was saying exactly what he does today. Here's a YouTube of the young Congressman calling for the U.S. to get out of Lebanon in 1983.

Reagan would later on express regret on his Lebanon decision:
"Perhaps we didn't appreciate fully enough the depth of the hatred and the complexity of the problems that made the Middle East such a jungle. Perhaps the idea of a suicide car bomber committing mass murder to gain instant entry to Paradise was so foreign to our own values and consciousness that it did not create in us the concern for the Marines' safety that it should have. In the weeks immediately after the bombing, I believed the last thing that we should do was turn tail and leave. Yet the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics forced us to rethink our policy there. If there would be some rethinking of policy before our men die, we would be a lot better off. If that policy had changed towards more of a neutral position and neutrality, those 241 Marines would be alive today."
The warring classes know that the American public has a short memory. Few will recall what happened in Lebanon and the "credibility" garbage that was tossed around back then.

The warring classes may have suffered a defeat in not having the support to attack Syria, but they'll surely be back.

Best to be intellectually prepared and able to counter their "credibility" nonsense, so that they can't get away with that argument again.

Follow @ChrisRossini on Twitter


  1. This "credibility" issue only occurs with a controlled media.

    Boom !
    Right there the empires alleged credibility goes out the window.
    Apparently Bahrain with help from the Saudis
    can launch chemical attacks on Shiites, no problem.

    Just bring up the home of the 5th fleet anytime these "democracy builders" want to start a new war.

  2. Under what moral code is your credibility worth someone else's life?

  3. “My view is that if you have both a credible threat of force, combined with a rigorous diplomatic effort, that, in fact you can . . . strike a deal,” President Obama said, confirming what we have always known about how the Govt invariably acts under the direct or implied threat of violent force.

    Voluntary taxation ... at the point of a gun. Peace treaty.... at the point of a gun. Liberty ... at the point of a gun.

  4. Displaying his skills at diplomacy, Obama elaborated, “Mr. Putin and I have strong disagreements on a whole range of issues, but I can talk to him. We have worked together on important issues. . . . This is not the Cold War. This is not a contest between the United States and Russia.”

    Later, in the same interview, when asked if a president just couldn’t stop economic inequality, he responded, “I think the president can stop it. The problem is that there continues to be a major debate here in Washington.”

    That's the problem. Too much debate. But we can sort this out diplomatically. Using executive orders. Or a few bombs.