“Credibility”

An embarrassing number of people in DC have been saying publicly since Friday that we have to launch cruise missiles against Bashar al-Assad or risk the “credibility” of the United States. John McCainMike McCaul. Adam Schiff. Former NSC staffer Barry Pavel.

But this WSJ piece — after describing how central the Saudis were in presenting earlier claims that Assad had used chemical weapons and in the midst of descriptions of how central a role Bandar bin Sultan is playing in drumming up war against Syria — reports that Saudi King Abdullah and others were bitching about US credibility as early as April.

In early April, said U.S. officials, the Saudi king sent a strongly worded message to Mr. Obama: America’s credibility was on the line if it let Mr. Assad and Iran prevail. The king warned of dire consequences of abdicating U.S. leadership and creating a vacuum, said U.S. officials briefed on the message.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, who was the first Saudi official to publicly back arming the rebels, followed with a similar message during a meeting with Mr. Obama later that month, the officials said.

I wonder if we started taking Saudi taunts about our credibility more seriously after Bandar made a show of wooing Vladimir Putin?

In any case, here we go, hastily getting involved in the war in Syria and potentially escalating it across the region as a whole, without proper review much less a plan on how to actually improve the situation in Syria.

Credibility.

Apparently, the only kind of credibility that matters for America’s place in the role anymore is if our Saudi overlords suggest we lack credibility if we fail to do their explicit, and long-planned, bidding.

Credibility.

Meanwhile think of all the things American has squandered its position as unquestioned leader of the world without confronting. Poverty, hunger. The most obvious, of course, is climate change.

How much more “credibility” would the United States have by now if, at the start of his Administration, Obama had launched not just a Manhattan project to dramatically curb American use of fossil fuels, but also invested the goodwill Obama had (back before he expanded the drones) to find an equitable, global approach to climate change.

Credibility.

Apparently, the only thing the Villagers in DC think could or should win us “credibility” is in unquestioningly serving as global enforcer against the brutal dictators our brutal dictator friends the Saudis wants us to punish (though the Saudis are quite selective about which brutal dictators they stake our credibility on).

America could have used its power and leadership to earn real credibility. Instead, we’re trying to suck up to Bandar Bush.

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz RT @stephenlemons: Good stuff from @brahmresnik: Former superior court Judge Gary Donahoe calls Arpaio a "domestic enemy" http://t.co/H8fDz
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bmaz RT @fedcourts: Reason Senate hasn't confirmed DOJ's acting Civil Rights Chief Vanita Gupta? WH has never formally nominated her. https://t.…
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emptywheel RT @BORDC: Conscientious officials who resigned their careers to serve you agree: #Fight215 & support #SSRA https://t.co/5fflcGkjAH #p2 #tc
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bmaz Agreed RT @bsdtectr Have to give props to Lemon for pushing back.
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bmaz .@MikeForester The Baltimore mayor seemed to have a bit of perspective, but, yes, Gov Hogan seemed like Ross Barnett or early George Wallace
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bmaz RT @MikeForester: @bmaz He borrowed Ross Barnett's playbook
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bmaz RT @BlanksSlate: @bmaz It worked for Bull Connor & George Wallace...what?!?
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bmaz Hey Maryland Governor Hogan, these are your citizens, that your state and cops have shit on and killed. Wake up man.
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bmaz Welp, this Larry Hogan, Governor of Maryland, is quite the jackass in saying it is all the fault of "outside agitators".
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bmaz I bitch+moan enough about @CNN lameness, but tonight in Baltimore is what they still do superbly. @jaketapper and crew are doing great work
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bmaz @ThomasonTweet Not sure there is a great answer. Good night.
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