The events in Syria over the past weeks have been horrifying. The U.S. response to the gas attacks in Syria is the subject of heated debate. While major nations of the world have refrained from the use of gas in wars between nations, the consequences of a nation using such weapons internally during a civil war are harder to define. The U.S. President has advocated a military response, insisting that if we don’t intervene, our “credibility” will suffer and similar tactics will be used without fear of reprisal. By the President’s statements, the notion of American credibility is worth examining.
While it is justifiable to demand that the Syrian murderers be identified and punished, the United States hasn’t demonstrated much credibility recently in communicating the facts prior to engaging in military responses. The invasion and destruction of Iraq was based on bogus intelligence related to chemical and nuclear weapons that never existed. Sadly, the U.S. credibility gap in these matters is a long and sordid.