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Why America Lacks Credibility in the Middle East


Why America Lacks Credibility in the Middle East

Musa al-Gharbi

To hear politicians and beltway pundits tell it, credibility in international relations boils down to this: Do others believe that the United States is willing and able to follow through on its word?

Actually, this is a sloppy and often pernicious way to think, leading policymakers to senselessly commit themselves to failing policies (like enforcing a “red line,” for instance) for the sake of “maintaining credibility” — and actually undermining it in the process.


As long as Israel benefits from instability in the region the U.S. will talk about establishing stability and act to undermine it.

The neocons are quite happy with things are they are, that's why they don't want any kind of agreement with Iran. That might stabilize a government they want destroyed.


...we have no moral ground in the Middle East...in fact, we are responsible for the worst atrocity on earth at the moment...and, I lay the rotting corpses of over 100,000 innocent Iraqi and Afghani civilians, including women and children on your front lawn as proof...And, sadly, your voice is nothing but a clanking bell of hypocrisy when denouncing any other injustice in the region...


"These glaring contradictions imbue the entire ethical project with a cynical hue — undermining not just American credibility, but the general value of moral discourse on the world stage more generally. This breakdown, in turn, disrupts consensus building and cooperation, threatening the long-term viability of the rules-based international order Americans sacrificed so much in years past to establish and preserve."

This key point cannot BE over-stated.


This concentration on what the US has done in the ME is misleading as this has been done (hypocrisy and outright lies) all over the globe. Take a look at the Ukraine, as well as Venezuela (since Obama has declared that country a national threat. Cuba is a perfect example as well as Iran, two countries sanctioned for decades for failing to kneel before Crusade Imperialism. The US has destroyed all social democratic movement wherever it reared its head. Regime change is now in the works for Venezuela, Syria, (and dozens of other countries) too long it list. H. Clinton was all about regime change in Honduras and look how well that has worked out for those living (and dying) there. In fact, they all danced when Husasein and Gaddiffi were murdered and that has worked out really well also. The US is NEVER to be trusted.


Excellent article and excellent advice. For America, the message is before you clean up somebody's else's house, best to clean up your own first. That comes back to election reform, how we select the people who lead us. Alone, it won't do the job, without it the outlook for the American people and the world is bleak. With the Republican Congress trashing our the separation of powers with its latest action on Iran, how clear can it be.


Why are the neoconservatives running the foreign policy of the United States? Replacing Chuck Hagel with someone who is even closer to this kind of thinking is going even moreso in the wrong direction. America is lacking credibility in America as well. Meanwhile we have Obama in Selma speaking about "we the people" and at the same time pushing for more free trade agreements to benefit the corporations.


You nailed it. Unfortunately many Americans may call you a "conspiracy theorist" or more rudely a NUT, or worse anti semite. I'm with you though. This has been American foreign policy for the Arab/Muslim Middle East for quite some time. Thanks for having the moral courage to speak the truth. Your message is encouraging, a breath of fresh air in a land of confusion. May we who have not lost all sense of human dignity keep speaking up, acting up,- fighting the good fight!


Where did you get that notion? Think a minute: Israel a tiny country, the sole Jewish nation on Earth, surrounded by vast, oil rich Arab nations. Each of these Arab nations are heavily armed by China, Russia AND the US. These Arab nations vow to mass-murder every Jew in the Mideast. Yet Israel is the instigator? Israel's sole (but vital) use to the US is as a landing base for troops fighting our periodic oil wars. As we have seen in recent decades, oil shortages and high gas prices can end political careers in this country. US oil corporations are the equivalent of occupying military forces in the Arab nations. As long as US oil companies remain in the Mideast, war will continue. Americans notoriously refuse to accept responsibility for their own actions, so hey, let's put the blame on Israel.


The neocons are running the country because this is what our middle class has chosen. Taking this a step further, consider our quite unusual situation at this point, looking to 2016. VP Joe Biden is the candidate. Any Dem pol can challenge him for the nomination, of course, splitting Dem votes to ensure a 2016 Dem defeat... which is likely, regardless. What is unique is that the media marketed to libs have gone into overdrive to sell H. Clinton for 2016, sweeping Biden under the carpet. Clinton has a long, consistent record as a pro-corporate war hawk. Prior to playing the role of coy candidate, Clinton had put a lot of work into promoting the TPP. Libs rail against the TPP and bow down to neoliberal Clinton. No wonder the international community can't make any sense out of Americans.


The neo-cons who drove Bush policy are very pro-Israel and AIPAC has pur$e power over Congress. To deny that Israel has a disproportionate impact on U.S. policy is to deny reality.


Hey, Ms. Hasbara,

More and more of us are getting too educated about that Zionist bleep. We're very much aware of the Aliyahs of Invasion by the European Ashkenazi of weak and distant Semite ancestry assaulting the Semites - Muslim, Sephardi, and Christian - at the eastern end of the Mediterranean. We're very much aware that the Ashkenazi Zionists ripped their pirated, bigoted state directly out of the entrails of the Semites, driving with murder and terror many hundreds of thousands of them into misery.. We're very much aware of the Ashkenazi war of conquest that still continues, piling atrocity upon atrocity. Yeah, let's put the blame on the merciless invaders, as savage as any Waffen Schutzstaffel.


Ah yes, the good old Protocol of the Elders garbage.


The right wing is pro-control over the piece of land that makes up Israel, as a vital landing base for US troops fighting our periodic oil wars. You confuse this with being pro-Israel. The right wing would be fine with getting rid of all the Jews in the Mideast, as long as our oil companies retained control of that land. As for being allies: The US is one of the three biggest providers of weapons to the Arab states -- the very states we periodically engage in oil wars. Jews are the one people against whom it is socially acceptable for liberals to express their bigotry.


Exactly, but we aren't supposed to talk about any of this. Our "peace loving nation" has remained engaged in wars almost constantly, almost always by choice, for over a century now. War is what we do -- war outside the country, class war at home via our mass imprisonment of the poor.


Periodic oil wars? Sorry, you think destabilizing Iraq and Afghanistan have increased our access to oil?

Missed that bit about ISIS, did you?

No shock that you've played the anti-semitism card. It's the Israel supporters substitution for logic.


Yes, although this is too complex for a simple post. US oil corporations have remained the equivalent of occupying military forces in the Mideast for decades. ISIS is, in a nutshell, an ongoing response to US (oil) imperialism. In the US, oil shortages and high fuel prices can cost political careers. Of course, Americans hold themselves innocent of any responsibility for the backlash against America.


Well, oil was certainly part of the perfect storm of motivations the led to the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions, but you can't discount the fact that the neo-cons driving the Bush policy (and opposing negotiations with Iran now) wanted to get rid of governments they considered a threat to Israel.

It seems to me that you're responding seriously on issues here. Don't be so quick to assume that opposition to Israel's policies and impact on U.S. politics is based on a hatred of Jews. That's been a really contentious issue here and was a large part of the reason the comments system was changed.

I don't know if you were around for last year's brouhaha about our rabidly anti-Semitic poster who turned out to be a Jewish grad student using several identities to make it look as if the commenters here were anti-Semitic, but it left a bad taste in everyone's mouth and poisoned the discourse on the issue. If you enter the cd website URL, followed by /hambaconeggs you can read about it.

I, thinking hambaconeggs was a real bigot (unlike a few of our more astute commenters), often chided him for his actual anti-Semitic quotes, and was then attacked by his other personas, and a few actual commenters and someone else's fake persona, who thought that my responses to hambaconeggs were proof I was a Zionist.

So I'm in the unique position of being accused of being both anti-Semitic for my opposition to Israel's policies and influence on the U.S. government, and also of being a Zionist because I oppose actual anti-Semitism.

The point being the knee-jerk response of anti-Semitism to comments about Israel and the U.S. relationship with Israel is just going to undermine your credibility. Certainly some criticism of Israel comes from people who are anti-Semitic, but a lot of it comes from those of us who once supported Israel but saw too many news reports about settlement announcements just prior to 'peace' negotiations and innocent Palestinians slaughtered for the crime of being on land Israel wants.


No, that's just another Zionist smearing from you. It has nothing to do with the Protocols fraud. You know better than that.

Read some history and science from which this is available from multiple respected sources, and get back with an actual criticism, rather than a Zionist smear. Do you disagree with the Aliyahs? Do you agree with the genetic research showing only distant connection to the Middle East among the Ashkenazi? Do you disagree with the hundreds of Arab villages being destroyed by the invaders from Europe? Do you disagree that the Ashkenazi Zionists drove hundreds of thousands of Semites from their homes in terror? If there's nothing you can refute, your Protocols charge stands exposed as another Zionist smear.


It's the price you pay for a war of conquest driving other people into misery. You had no right to come and seize their homes and their villages in which their ancestors had a much stronger and longer Semitic heritage to the Middle East than the Ashkenazi, who have been European fully for over 1500 years.

The cruel conquest continues with "mowing the lawn" in Gaza and more aggressive land thievery on the West Bank.

The only ways you will have a hope for peace is either wipe out your remaining Semite victims or work as hard as you can to alleviate the vast misery your invasion caused them.