Monday, March 2, 2015

Credibility And Plausibility

“A thousand truths do not mark a man as a truth-teller, but a single lie marks him as a damned liar....Lying to other people is your business, but I tell you this: once a man gets a reputation as a liar, he might as well be struck dumb, for people do not listen to the wind.”[Robert A. Heinlein, Citizen of the Galaxy]

The statement above, from a book once derided as one of Heinlein’s “juveniles,” has more political application than anything else you’re likely to read in an op-ed column today. Here’s why:

An explosive report in a Kuwaiti newspaper claims that President Obama thwarted an Israeli plan to attack Iran’s nuclear weapons program in 2014 by threatening to order American military forces to shoot down the Israeli jets.

To be completely clear, this is essentially a third-hand report from a Bethlehem-based news agency, Ma’an, which transcribed the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida’s report, which in turn was based upon anonymous but “well-placed” sources in the Israeli government.

According to Ma’an’s transcription of the Kuwaiti report, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the decision to launch airstrikes against the Iranian nuclear program after “Israel revealed that the United States and Iran had been involved in secret talks over Iran’s nuclear program and were about to sign an agreement in that regard behind Israel’s back.”

Believing such an agreement would be a threat to Israel’s national security, Netanyahu, defense minister Moshe Yaalon, foreign minster Avigdor Liberman, and top Israeli military commanders spent four nights discussing their options, after which Israeli Army chief of staff Beni Gants was instructed to draw up plans for an airstrike. The report says that Israeli pilots trained for weeks to prepare, and even ran some test flights through Iranian airspace.

The Kuwaiti report then makes the remarkable claim that an Israeli minister with “good ties” to the Obama Administration revealed plans for the impending airstrike to Secretary of State John Kerry, who told President Obama, who responded with a threat to shoot down the Israeli jets before they could strike their Iranian targets. Netanyahu is said to have backed down in the face of this threat and canceled the operation, which Ma’an suggests was a major contributing factor to the souring of relations between Israel and the United States ever since.

Two questions for you, Gentle Reader:

  1. Do you find the above report plausible?
  2. Why do you think so?

Ponder that for a bit.

At this point it seems indisputable that regardless of what Barack Hussein Obama might say, or where or when or to whom he might say it, he cannot be taken at his word. He’s gone back on too many public statements, has “evolved” on too many subjects, and has allowed his deeds to contradict his words in too many instances. Thus, he has no credibility. A sensible man’s prima facie assessment of any statement he makes would be that its chance of being correct is no higher than that of its exact opposite...and is quite probably lower.

Yes, politicians lie. Yes, they chisel around the edges of their previous statements. Yes, they attach sotto voce qualifications to everything they say, including supposedly solemn promises. But no one has taken it to the Obama extreme before Obama.

As if more were necessary, the entire Administration takes its lead from Obama. I can’t name a single figure in the Obama regime whose word is trustworthy. Indeed, the better known the Obamunist, the less credibility he possesses. You’d almost think duplicity is a requirement for federal employment in the Obama era.

Many a politician thinks he can get away with a fib here or there. Many, though not all of them, do. But a steady accumulation of deceits, especially deceits plainly tailored for personal or partisan advantage, has more than one effect. In particular, it makes ever more dramatic accusations of misconduct ever more plausible.

The story cited in the previous segment would have been laughed aside under Reagan or either of the Bushes. It probably would have gained very little traction under Carter or Clinton. Under Obama, its plausibility is frightening. His utter lack of credibility makes it impossible to wave aside. Add that to his frigidity toward Netanyahu and the tale becomes more believable than any of Obama’s public statements in support of the Jewish state.

The icing on the cake is that Obama could deny the story a thousand different times, in a thousand different media, and it would remain a millstone around his neck. The denials would have his credibility – i.e., none at all.

I can think of no more profound condemnation of the man who occupies the Oval Office.

It’s been said that nothing reveals the true shape and color of a man’s character like power. Give him power and you’ll see the real man, no matter how carefully he’s tried to conceal it. We gave Barack Hussein Obama power, and so learned what an absolute and complete liar he is. Among the consequences is the heightened plausibility of stories like the one cited above.

We’ve given ourselves a lot to worry about.

I wrote back in 2004 that character trumps all. In the race between George W. Bush and John F. Kerry, one was of deep and abiding character, not to be set aside for any reason, while the other was as inconstant as the breezes. I didn’t endorse President Bush for re-election because I approved of all his policies, but because in contrast to his opponent, you could believe what he said and trust that what he said is what he’d do.

In other words, any worries you might entertain because of President Bush would arise from the specifics of the courses he chose and announced. Were we to have put Kerry in the power seat, we could never have been sure of anything. Neither would any foreign statesman or tyrant, which is the position Obama has put us in.

In the months before us, we’ll be choosing among applicants for the Republican presidential nomination. They’ll talk a blue streak. They’ll promise us various outcomes. They’ll tell us whatever it is they think we most want to hear. On the basis of such representations, added to their records in public office to date, will we make our choices.

Please, please: put character first. Support the man who never lies, who never dances around the subject, and whose public record is of always doing what he said he’d do. All other courses lead to calamity.

Who is that man? I don’t know yet. But I’m determined to find out. I hope you’ll help.


Anonymous said...

I find several things interesting about this new tidbit on Obama. It's the first believable thing I've heard attributed to him, and as such, it took being passed along by a third party for it to be revealed, as opposed to the blatant lies he spews forth daily. I just have this feeling that, although he'd outwardly deny it, it's probably a source of deep pride for him. Where, in defense of our republic, its ideals, its people, has he used such pointed threats? The answer to that is obvious. The cold, calculating resolve of this man has now been revealed. He is not the shambling, "give peace a chance" idiot he'd have us believe. (Some of us of course had this idea already) For the next two years, the soft underbelly of Liberty, OUR Liberty, and the future of our nation, is at his mercy. Have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

1) Do you find the above report plausible?

2) Why do you think so?
Because anything BHO says is to be taken as the diametric opposite of the truth based on history. He is a Muslim and Islam regards lying for the benefit of the Ummah is an obligation of the faith, i.e. taqiyyeh.

Anonymous said...

1) Do you find the above report plausible?

2) Why do you think so?
Because anything BHO says is to be taken as the diametric opposite of the truth based on history. He is a Muslim and Islam regards lying for the benefit of the Ummah is an obligation of the faith, i.e. taqiyyeh.

A Reader said...

I take the oppose view, not on Obama's infinite mendacity, which our Gracious Host has rightly described, but on the matter of the source. It strikes me as a report of a paraphrase of an off-the-record comment, going through multiple languages - English to Arabic to Hebrew - so I am frankly skeptical. Could this happen? Yes. It's really weird to think of US pilots facing off against Israeli pilots over the skies of Iraq with Iranian nuclear sites as the flashpoint, but given that we seem to be fighting the War on Terror from both sides, nothing is impossible anymore. I hope that the tasked pilots would resign their commissions rather than sortie to defend our enemies from our friends. But did the conversation reported take place? A corroborating source would be a Godsend right now.