Daniel Greenfield writes in his blog Sultan Knish: The Case of Obama’s Missing Pants
The only real argument in favor of hitting Syria is that Obama laid down a red line and Congress is obligated to protect his credibility when making poorly thought out threats for the sake of national security.
But it’s not Congress’ job to protect Obama’s credibility for the sake of the nation. It was Obama’s job to protect the nation’s credibility by not setting a red line until he had Congressional approval.
Bush was able to go to Congress and get an authorization to use force against Iraq contingent on the failure of diplomacy and Saddam continuing to flout United Nations Security Council resolutions.
Obama could have done the same thing on Syria. He could have done it at any point in time after his original red line remark a year ago. Bush got his authorization half a year before the war. Obama had twice as much time to get his.
Credibility isn’t just about making and keeping threats. It’s about knowing which threats to make and why to make them.
Credibility is about more than bombs. It’s about being able to effectively play the game of nations. In the bigger picture, it’s about the perception that your opponent knows what he’s doing. Announcing that you have to bomb another country to demonstrate your credibility is about the best possible way of proving that you have no idea what you’re doing. It’s begging for your bluff to be believed.