We have some strange alignments shaping up in the debate—now suspended—over military action in Syria, with many normal “hawks” lined up against while “doves” coo angrily for bombing Bashar [Assad]. The principle dividing line, it seems, is not whether Barack Obama has laid out a clear and convincing case that this military action is in our national interest, that the proposed action would serve that interest and that the consequences of the action would be overwhelmingly positive, but rather that the US must strike to preserve our “credibility” in foreign policy. And certainly “the credible threat of military action” is a cornerstone to much of our foreign policy in a dangerous world.
But who is responsible for making the threat, and for making the threat credible? Isn’t it the President himself? Why is it the responsibility of the military or the Congress or the majority of Americans to preserve the credibility of a President who never HAD any credibility in foreign or military affairs? Certainly it is not for a President who never worried about Saddam Hussein’s use of chemical weapons, who telegraphed surrender in Iraq and Afghanistan, who kowtowed to Arab leaders, who actively worked to reduce our military capability and who has already bungled interventions in Libya and Egypt. It seems the only “WMD” involved here is Obama shooting off his mouth and hitting the US in the foot.