|May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)|
|Contents||Bulletin||Scripting in shell and Perl||Network troubleshooting||History||Humor|
“Credibility” hawks also have the bad habit of exaggerating the significance of the commitment that the U.S. made in the past to pretend that the supposed “credibility” gap is far greater than it is.
Consider the infamous “red line” over Syrian chemical weapons. It’s true that Obama shouldn’t have drawn this line, but he did so in such a vague, almost meaningless way that he had not really committed the U.S. to any particular course of action.
It was Syria hawks that latched onto the “red line” and declared that it was a promise to intervene militarily. Similarly, the U.S. had made no commitments to defend Ukraine, but by pretending that the U.S. was ignoring its commitments in the Budapest memorandum “credibility” hawks insisted on taking a harder line in the crisis so that real American security commitments elsewhere wouldn’t be undermined.
That’s how it often works: the “credibility” hawks insist on adding major new commitments that the U.S. never even contemplated having before, and then declare the entire alliance system and security of the planet at risk unless the rest of us agree with whatever reckless and unnecessary scheme they have devised. The “credibility” argument is nothing more than a scam, and we are the marks.
The Weekly Standar
he American interest in choosing sides is, admittedly, difficult to identify. But intervention is necessary for one good reason with historical resonance: American credibility. This is no trivial matter. As the British Parliament demonstrated last week, there is no will in the world to protect human rights, or to enforce what passes for international law, in the absence of American leadership. If President Putin in Moscow and President Xi in Beijing, not to mention President Assad in Damascus, recognize that the United States is retreating from its global commitments, they will hasten to fill the vacuum. This will not absolve the United States and its war-weary people from responsibility, and afford us a well-earned rest; it will make the world a more dangerous place, less stable, surely more perilous for democracy and free peoples. In practical terms, we cannot allow Bashir Assad to deploy chemical weapons, and promote regional chaos, without paying a price in authority, credibility, and above all, safety.
I say this, incidentally, as one with mixed feelings about the practical consequences of the Syrian conflict. Relatives of my paternal grandmother, fleeing from the Armenian genocide, managed to cross the Anatolian wasteland on foot at the end of World War I, and landed, along with thousands of other Armenians, in Aleppo, across the border from Turkey in northwest Syria. There they remained, and prospered -- until now.
Because the Ba'ath Party in Syria is secular, and the Assads (as Alawites) are members of a religious minority, Christians have been comparatively unmolested in Syria since Armenians sought refuge there a century ago. No longer.
Whatever the consequences of this civil war, there will be no protection for Aleppo's Christians from distant Damascus, and Islamist rebels are committed to ending Christianity's 2,000-year-old presence in Syria. I have no idea what has happened to these distant relations, and can only hope they have found refuge elsewhere.
The American Conservative
Lincoln Chafee was the only Republican senator to vote against the Iraq War. Now neither a senator nor a Republican, the war is a major reason he is contemplating a run for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Although Iraq went unmentioned in a halting announcement video of sorts, Chafee has said Hillary Clinton's vote for the war is disqualifying and that the 2003 invasion helped trigger much of the chaos rippling through the rest of the world.
"I don't think anybody should be president of the United States that made that mistake," he told the Washington Post. "It's a huge mistake and we live with broad, broad ramifications today - of instability not only in the Middle East but far beyond and the loss of American credibility. There were no weapons of mass destruction."
August 11, 2014 | The American Conservative
Benjamin Friedman does a fine job of dismantling the "credibility" argument:
Historical studies show that leaders deciding whether to defy foreign threats focus on the balance of military power and the material interests of the threatening state, not on its opponent's record of carrying out past threats. Credibility doesn't travel well.
That is why the domino theory was wrong. Neither the West Europeans we were defending during the Cold War, nor their Warsaw Pact adversaries believed that U.S. withdrawal in Vietnam would mean U.S. abandonment of Europe's defense. The same goes for other U.S. military actions in the last several decades that ended badly-for example, the Marine deployment to Lebanon under President Reagan and the recent war in Iraq. Presidents initially offered big talk about goals. Later, we quit without having reached those goals. Contrary to claims of credibility hawks, other U.S. allies did not lose faith in American military power or come under attack from emboldened foes. Instead, new supplicants continued to ask for our help [bold mine-DL]. Often, when it was not forthcoming, or too limited for U.S. hawks, they insisted that we would lose credibility if we did not do more. They always proved wrong.
The strange thing is that "credibility" hawks' warnings continue to be taken seriously when, as Friedman says, they haven't ever been right. The fact that they've never been right should tell us that there is something inherently wrong with the concept they keep using. Considering how many times U.S. "credibility" has supposedly been shattered or ruined, it is remarkable how many dozens of eager would-be clients and long-standing allies still line up with Washington and fully expect the U.S. to protect them and/or do as they wish. Warning about "credibility" is a giveaway that the person issuing the warning has run out of persuasive arguments and has nothing else left. Friedman sums it up this way:
A good rule of thumb for foreign policy is that if someone tells you our credibility depends doing something, it's probably a bad idea.
This true not only because "credibility" hawks are always invoking credibility in order to justify more aggressive policies in places of little or no importance to the U.S., but because the reliance on the "credibility" argument is confirmation that these policies can't be defended on the merits. The arguments for deeper U.S. involvement in conflicts that are at best tangentially related to U.S. vital interests are not compelling ones, which is why the "credibility" argument is used so often in these debates. "You may not agree with doing X, but you don't want to risk encouraging a North Korean invasion, do you?" At its core, the "credibility" argument is a sort of extortion: if you don't agree to do what the hawks prefer in one place, your actual allies somewhere else are supposedly going to get hurt. This should alert us to the weakness of the policy arguments, but instead many Americans allow themselves to be tricked into letting "credibility" concerns overrule all of their objections.
"Credibility" hawks also have the bad habit of exaggerating the significance of the commitment that the U.S. made in the past to pretend that the supposed "credibility" gap is far greater than it is. Consider the infamous "red line" over Syrian chemical weapons. It's true that Obama shouldn't have drawn this line, but he did so in such a vague, almost meaningless way that he had not really committed the U.S. to any particular course of action. It was Syria hawks that latched onto the "red line" and declared that it was a promise to intervene militarily. Similarly, the U.S. had made no commitments to defend Ukraine, but by pretending that the U.S. was ignoring its commitments in the Budapest memorandum "credibility" hawks insisted on taking a harder line in the crisis so that real American security commitments elsewhere wouldn't be undermined. That's how it often works: the "credibility" hawks insist on adding major new commitments that the U.S. never even contemplated having before, and then declare the entire alliance system and security of the planet at risk unless the rest of us agree with whatever reckless and unnecessary scheme they have devised. The "credibility" argument is nothing more than a scam, and we are the marks.
FAIR USE NOTICE This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit exclusivly for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
ABUSE: IPs or network segments from which we detect a stream of probes might be blocked for no less then 90 days. Multiple types of probes increase this period.
Groupthink : Two Party System as Polyarchy : Corruption of Regulators : Bureaucracies : Understanding Micromanagers and Control Freaks : Toxic Managers : Harvard Mafia : Diplomatic Communication : Surviving a Bad Performance Review : Insufficient Retirement Funds as Immanent Problem of Neoliberal Regime : PseudoScience : Who Rules America : Neoliberalism : The Iron Law of Oligarchy : Libertarian Philosophy
War and Peace : Skeptical Finance : John Kenneth Galbraith :Talleyrand : Oscar Wilde : Otto Von Bismarck : Keynes : George Carlin : Skeptics : Propaganda : SE quotes : Language Design and Programming Quotes : Random IT-related quotes : Somerset Maugham : Marcus Aurelius : Kurt Vonnegut : Eric Hoffer : Winston Churchill : Napoleon Bonaparte : Ambrose Bierce : Bernard Shaw : Mark Twain Quotes
Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law
Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds : Larry Wall : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOS : Programming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC development : Scripting Languages : Perl history : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history
The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-Month : How to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Hater’s Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite
Most popular humor pages:
Manifest of the Softpanorama IT Slacker Society : Ten Commandments of the IT Slackers Society : Computer Humor Collection : BSD Logo Story : The Cuckoo's Egg : IT Slang : C++ Humor : ARE YOU A BBS ADDICT? : The Perl Purity Test : Object oriented programmers of all nations : Financial Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : The Most Comprehensive Collection of Editor-related Humor : Programming Language Humor : Goldman Sachs related humor : Greenspan humor : C Humor : Scripting Humor : Real Programmers Humor : Web Humor : GPL-related Humor : OFM Humor : Politically Incorrect Humor : IDS Humor : "Linux Sucks" Humor : Russian Musical Humor : Best Russian Programmer Humor : Microsoft plans to buy Catholic Church : Richard Stallman Related Humor : Admin Humor : Perl-related Humor : Linus Torvalds Related humor : PseudoScience Related Humor : Networking Humor : Shell Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2012 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2013 : Java Humor : Software Engineering Humor : Sun Solaris Related Humor : Education Humor : IBM Humor : Assembler-related Humor : VIM Humor : Computer Viruses Humor : Bright tomorrow is rescheduled to a day after tomorrow : Classic Computer Humor
The Last but not Least
Copyright © 1996-2016 by Dr. Nikolai Bezroukov. www.softpanorama.org was created as a service to the UN Sustainable Development Networking Programme (SDNP) in the author free time. This document is an industrial compilation designed and created exclusively for educational use and is distributed under the Softpanorama Content License.
Original materials copyright belong to respective owners. Quotes are made for educational purposes only in compliance with the fair use doctrine.
FAIR USE NOTICE This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to advance understanding of computer science, IT technology, economic, scientific, and social issues. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided by section 107 of the US Copyright Law according to which such material can be distributed without profit exclusively for research and educational purposes.
This is a Spartan WHYFF (We Help You For Free) site written by people for whom English is not a native language. Grammar and spelling errors should be expected. The site contain some broken links as it develops like a living tree...
|You can use PayPal to make a contribution, supporting development of this site and speed up access. In case softpanorama.org is down you can use the at softpanorama.info|
The statements, views and opinions presented on this web page are those of the author (or referenced source) and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of the author present and former employers, SDNP or any other organization the author may be associated with. We do not warrant the correctness of the information provided or its fitness for any purpose.
Last modified: October, 02, 2017