Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-05-13 12:12pm

Patroklos wrote:
2018-05-13 06:19am
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-05-10 11:17am
There is an agreement. Do you have a real argument, Patroklos?
So an agreement is the same thing as a treaty? A completely legally nonbinding agreement between one dude via fiat reviewed and checked (as in government checks) by nobody is the same thing as a legally binding, Senate-approved via Constitutionally stipulated vote treaty respecting the democratic process? Get the fuck out of here Simon. Something tells me you wouldn't accept such terms for your mortgage payment, or even your cell phone bill.

The problem here, and what may lead to the problems you allude to, is not Trump canceling this agreement via the exact same powers with which Obama made it. Its that a pretentious Obama made it in the first place by overtly circumventing the normal process by which a long term, legally binding treaty you seem to wish this was comes into being. And yeah that was impossible for Obama to do because he had disagreement in the Senate. That's not a flaw of the process, that's a feature, that a chief executive is checked by a democratic means as much as you think Obama was right and the Senate was wrong. The proper response to this is to negotiate to get something resembling what you want, or if their is an impasse accept that what you want is not in your power to create and bow down to the coequal branch of government which has the Constitutional power for the issue in question. While it appears Raj above is completely cool with Presidents routinely acting as unrestricted dictators, I assume ignoring the democratic process checking the President's power is not something you approve of.
The problem here is that it's been roughly ten years since the idea of a foreign power being able to negotiate a stable agreement with the Senate has been much more than a farce.

We have a lot of treaties that are not ratified. Or pending ratification. Or non-ratifiable. We have a political party that will retain enough power to block treaties if not to pass them, willing to praise Trump for talking to the North Koreans even as they condemned the very idea of Obama doing the same.

Democratic processes work as long as people are willing to make them work, and the country has to be capable of functioning on some minimal level and making meaningful agreements with foreigners regardless of what internal political drama is going on. Being a stickler for the sanctity of a process that is likely to be abused is follow. And here, we are seeing the process abused by a party representing a minority of the population, in order to obstruct attempts to participate in international geopolitics on any terms other than "do what I say or I bomb you."

I would prefer a Senate capable of discussing legislation and treaties. Capable of compromising and behaving like adults. Capable of ratifying bills and treaties as part of a process in which discussion, negotiation, amendments, and give-and-take play a part. That is not the Senate we have, sadly. To get that, we're going to have to extract our collective heads from our collective colons and learn not to vote for short-sighted assholes who will shut down, break down, and obstruct the government when in the minority, while railroading past their opponents when in the majority. We can vote for conservatives, but we can't vote for short-sighted assholes.

The thing is, we need to change our Senate in order to have a Senate capable of negotiating treaties, as opposed to dumbass ultimatums chosen primarily to appeal to jingoist primary voters. That's going to take time. The world isn't going to obligingly go away and stop bothering us while we do that. Someone has to be capable of making deals for the nation to deal with emerging security threats, and for now, that is just about the only face the United States has to turn towards the outer world, because the Senate, the face we theoretically turn to the outside world, is busy bickering with itself and smacking itself and screaming insults at foreigners.
It is the height or arrogance to imply that follow on Presidents somehow lack the exact same powers to direct the executive branch similarly, or to do as you are and declare that this substitutes for, and assumes the same authority of, the superseding treaty making power of the Senate.
I'm not disputing that Trump has gotten hold of the authority. I'm claiming that this is a stupid decision which undermines the sole remaining meaningful negotiating authority within the US government, the Senate having taken itself out of the running years ago.

Lecturing me on civics won't change this. The theory, which worked wonderfully for over two hundred years, has always been that the Senate, this great deliberative body, would ponder and consider and contemplate each treaty, decide whether or not to pass it, and clearly communicate to the executive branch if changes needed to be made. This has simply not been the reality since some time in the early Bush administration.

Fix that, and then we can talk about what the president should and should not be trying to do in loco parentis due to the Senate having abdicated its responsibility to be willing to discuss treaties seriously.
And I am under no illusions that Trump is doing this to reign in Obama's executive privilege party. It has that immediate effect, but I have no doubt that whatever he replaces it with in this case or any similar circumstance with other foreign policy problems will follow Obama's example. But it's Obama's example, set in stone from now on just like all the war making liberties the executive has assumed in Raj's example. This is of course the classic problem with turning a blind eye to these erosion of the democratic process (the Constitutionally hard coded ones, not the nebulous and subjective "norms"), that it rarely trends the other way once the momentum is on the side of executive power.
This is also the classic problem with abusing democratic processes for personal gain, or refusing to fulfill the constitutional obligations of one's office in order to achieve a political agenda.

If you force a group within the government to start bypassing the Constitution to achieve basic requirements of governance like "is capable of keeping the lights on in government buildings" and "is capable of doing anything whatsoever about hostile Third World countries' budding nuclear arsenals," you are creating a problem. Namely, you guarantee that bypassing the Constitution will become the 'new normal.'

The Constitution is, famously, not a suicide pact. The reality is, and has always been, that no written or unwritten constitution will be honored after its mechanisms start acting in ways the state. Someone steps in to prevent total paralysis. For centuries, this has been an unspoken limit on how far anyone pushes their use of "checks and balances-" because if you check someone hard enough, the structure of checks and balances falls apart in a constitutional crisis.

The Republican Party has been engineering a constitutional crisis, albeit a slow-burning one, since at least 2010 and arguably 2008. I'm not going to say that the interim measures Obama took to try and deal with that were ideal or even good in an objective sense. But at the same time, I'm not going to ignore the responsibility of the people who made sure that the normal wheels of policy-making would grind to a halt for six years to minimize the risk of Obama being able to accomplish anything that he could spin to the media as a victory.
You say this will hurt us treaty making power? Absolutely not. This is a resounding reminder to the world that when you deal with the United States our President is just the front office, not the board. If you want to be able to make a hand shake/wink wink back room agreement with a one man decision making authoritarian (hint hint), find yourself a China or Russia or North Korea to haggle with. The United States is a democratic Republic with a constitutional agreement with its people, and if that is too messy for you to deal with you can fuck off. And I expect the US to deal honestly on its own part in the same vein by respecting the rule making process of other democratic governments in reciprocation. And if you truly believed all your ranting regarding the dangers of Trump, and are not a giant hypocrite, you should be the first one insisting this be the case. Unless you want to be beholden to Trump's version of ignoring the Constitution with his phone and pen?
What I want is a Congress capable of doing its job, and a president capable of doing their job. Under Obama we had the second but not the first. Now we have neither. I don't see an inconsistency in thinking it's bad when a maliciously incompetent president knocks down the interim structure created by a competent president who couldn't build a proper structure because he was dealing with a maliciously incompetent Congress.
And before you ask, no I am not absolving Congress from its blame here. It should not be the case that we can't rely on Presidents to take their oath to the Constitution seriously and police themselves. At the same time Congress should defend its own prerogatives when Presidents do not. We have checks and balances for a reason, and that requires self awareness and hard barriers. Presidents are usually filling in vacuums that Congress leaves as invitations to executive overreach, or are just cowards in the face of the Presidential bully pulpit. Just because I left my doors unlocked and and a pile of cash on the counter doesn't absolve the burglar of guilt, but I could prevent either of us from the resulting misfortune by locking my doors.
The problem isn't just Congressional cowardice. It's Congress effectively shutting down the United States' ability to make policy decisions, then daring the president to do something about it.

The branches of government are supposed to be able to work together, even as each has powers that can be used to restrain the other(s) if someone goes crazy. Both the ability to restrain acts of madness and the ability to work together for the greater good are important parts of the system.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by MKSheppard » 2018-05-14 07:10pm

Gandalf wrote:
2018-05-12 05:31pm
None. The US hasn't been at war since the forties.
I wish I could upvote this 11 million times.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by EnterpriseSovereign » 2018-05-14 07:37pm

MKSheppard wrote:
2018-05-14 07:10pm
Gandalf wrote:
2018-05-12 05:31pm
None. The US hasn't been at war since the forties.
I wish I could upvote this 11 million times.
You mean total war?
It's no use debating a moron; they drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.

Just because you have the attention span of a fruit fly doesn't mean the rest of us are so encumbered.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-05-14 07:41pm

They mean a war declared by the Senate.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Gandalf » 2018-05-14 11:23pm

U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2018-05-14 07:41pm
They mean a war declared by the Senate.
Which is, you know, the legal definition of the word. People just like using it for other stuff because it's short, simple and sounds good for politicians.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by TheFeniX » 2018-05-15 01:41am

Nitpicking the legal definitions of domestic laws on an international scale seems, in a word, stupid. I'm sure the people over in Afganistan or Iraq could give a shit less that them being mowed down for all sorts of reasons isn't a "war" when we don't want it to be and is a war when politicians want to stroke their dick. On the flip side, try telling a Korean or Vietnam War vet "well, it wasn't technically a war" after they had their asses drafted and shipped off to the other side of the world to die in droves so Congress could show them commies "whatfor."

If ever there WAS a legal U.S. definition of "war," that definition is worthless and has been for quite some time. And honestly, nitpickers like this really chap my ass because they were the same types back in the mid-2000s who said shit, unironically, like "The U.S. can't commit warcrimes because we're not legally at war."

So, if people here are just being coy or ironic and I'm being a stick in the mud: then apologies for the post, ignore away. But if anyone is actually serious about this, I just have say "grow the fuck up."

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Patroklos » 2018-05-15 02:33am

The pont Fenix, is that if we had gone through the process to be at war officially, is very probable some of those conflicts you mentioned would never have happened.

Korea? Gulf 1? Afghanistan? Iraq? Yeah they probably still happen, and each of those essentially had a legislative process involved which begs the question why they didn't just go the whole way via normal means (its because they don't want this point of order being used against the President in the future for other conflict initiations). But Vietnam? Kosovo? Libya? Probably not. And more importantly the open ended perpetual conflict characteristics of Vietnam or Afghanistan or Iraq would be far harder to maintain because declarations of war generally include clear, attainable war aims (not always, but the process of writing shit down and voting on it leads you in that direction).

So yeah you can use this ambiguity to skew the law and perception in any number of different ways given your agenda. That's a very good reason not to allow for that ambiguity. And like I told Simon above regarding treaties, if you can't get a war by the normal Constitutional means that just means you shouldn't be at war. This is a FEATURE of the system, not a problem to be solved.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Gandalf » 2018-05-15 03:13am

TheFeniX wrote:
2018-05-15 01:41am
Nitpicking the legal definitions of domestic laws on an international scale seems, in a word, stupid. I'm sure the people over in Afganistan or Iraq could give a shit less that them being mowed down for all sorts of reasons isn't a "war" when we don't want it to be and is a war when politicians want to stroke their dick. On the flip side, try telling a Korean or Vietnam War vet "well, it wasn't technically a war" after they had their asses drafted and shipped off to the other side of the world to die in droves so Congress could show them commies "whatfor."
Why the appeal to emotion?
If ever there WAS a legal U.S. definition of "war," that definition is worthless and has been for quite some time. And honestly, nitpickers like this really chap my ass because they were the same types back in the mid-2000s who said shit, unironically, like "The U.S. can't commit warcrimes because we're not legally at war."

So, if people here are just being coy or ironic and I'm being a stick in the mud: then apologies for the post, ignore away. But if anyone is actually serious about this, I just have say "grow the fuck up."
Why? Because you like to throw words around and now you're being all defensive about it? Do you also consider every act of killing a murder?
"Oh no, oh yeah, tell me how can it be so fair
That we dying younger hiding from the police man over there
Just for breathing in the air they wanna leave me in the chair
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-05-15 07:07am

There's a reasonable argument that the US Senate isn't actually the world's supreme universal arbiter of whether or not a conflict is a 'war.' If the US starts shooting and bombing people, they get to decide the US is fighting a war against them, not the Americans.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Civil War Man » 2018-05-15 08:16am

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-05-15 07:07am
There's a reasonable argument that the US Senate isn't actually the world's supreme universal arbiter of whether or not a conflict is a 'war.' If the US starts shooting and bombing people, they get to decide the US is fighting a war against them, not the Americans.
As much as people (often rightly) declare Americans of being guilty of it, arguing that Korea and Vietnam are/were somehow not wars because the US Senate didn't fill out form 948B in triplicate makes the same mistake of putting the US at the center of the universe.

I'm certain there could be an interesting debate, by people more versed in Constitutional law than myself, about the legality of US getting involved in those wars without issuing a formal declaration, but that does not mean that somehow North and South Korea are not at war, or that North and South Vietnam weren't at war.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-05-15 09:03am

Gandalf wrote:
2018-05-14 11:23pm
U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2018-05-14 07:41pm
They mean a war declared by the Senate.
Which is, you know, the legal definition of the word. People just like using it for other stuff because it's short, simple and sounds good for politicians.
I'll be the first one to say it's semantics whoring, but we must maintain our delusions, even in the face of the rest of the world.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by TheFeniX » 2018-05-15 01:19pm

Gandalf wrote:
2018-05-15 03:13am
Why? Because you like to throw words around and now you're being all defensive about it? Do you also consider every act of killing a murder?
Please define war. At it's most basic "an armed conflict between two groups." I don't see any reason "that's approved by a congressional body" has any relevance. To take your murder example, if killing X group was made 100% defensible in court and wasn't even considered murder by the U.S. Legislature, you really think anyone else in the rest of the world would give a shit about that?

No, they'd called it murder. Or, actually related, the idea of "enhanced interrogations." Call it what you want, we know it's torture.

There are some areas where you can debate what IS and ISN'T a war. But the U.S. Civil War, Viet and Korean War, Gulf War, Iraqi Freedom (facepalm), Afganistan. These are wars except out of the most rule lawyering, U.S. specific, areas.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-05-15 02:43pm

Pretty much. Far as I'm concerned, legalese aside, if you have two or more large groups of armed people fighting each other over political or ideological reasons, its a war in all the ways that actually count.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-05-15 04:23pm

Now, it can reasonably be pointed out ironically that the US was not at war during all these things, and nevertheless committed a great many acts of war and behaved in all ways as though it was at war, to the point where American history books talk about the Vietnam War and the Korean War.

But at this point, one is talking about the issue precisely because one is very much aware of the fact that America was de facto at war while avoiding both a de jure state of war, and the constitutional principles built into American government to avoid unnecessary wars.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Ralin » 2018-05-15 05:03pm

Patroklos wrote:
2018-05-15 02:33am
The pont Fenix, is that if we had gone through the process to be at war officially, is very probable some of those conflicts you mentioned would never have happened.
...
And like I told Simon above regarding treaties, if you can't get a war by the normal Constitutional means that just means you shouldn't be at war. This is a FEATURE of the system, not a problem to be solved.
It is not a feature of the system, because the system is set up so that the president doesn't have to get a declaration of war to invade other countries and launch wars on his own personal authority. 'The normal Constitutional means' of declaring war aren't normal at all when they've been successfully disregarded for over half a century.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Gandalf » 2018-05-15 05:23pm

Civil War Man wrote:
2018-05-15 08:16am
As much as people (often rightly) declare Americans of being guilty of it, arguing that Korea and Vietnam are/were somehow not wars because the US Senate didn't fill out form 948B in triplicate makes the same mistake of putting the US at the center of the universe.

I'm certain there could be an interesting debate, by people more versed in Constitutional law than myself, about the legality of US getting involved in those wars without issuing a formal declaration, but that does not mean that somehow North and South Korea are not at war, or that North and South Vietnam weren't at war.
I look at it this way. Those other states were at war. The US wasn't, because the mechanism for the state to officially be war was not triggered. That's why Vietnam was a police action; all of the polling boosts, but none of the hassle. War has a lot of requirements, and theoretical repercussions. Look up the Nuremberg trials and their subsequent codification for what I mean.
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-05-15 02:43pm
Pretty much. Far as I'm concerned, legalese aside, if you have two or more large groups of armed people fighting each other over political or ideological reasons, its a war in all the ways that actually count.
Is the US at war with its minority populations? Based on the police abuse sticky thread you could make an argument for it.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-05-15 05:31pm

Gandalf wrote:
2018-05-15 05:23pm
Is the US at war with its minority populations? Based on the police abuse sticky thread you could make an argument for it.
There is widespread abuse in many American police departments and government agencies, but there is not, at present, a consistent or official policy of violence against minorities by the US government. There is just a lot of unofficial/local shit that the Federal government is either unable to stop (under Obama), or doesn't care about/tacitly condones (under Trump). So I would say no, the US government is not at war with its minority populations, while noting that this is in no way an excuse for the current state of affairs.

The harsh treatment of illegal immigrants by the Federal government does approach being a low-key campaign of ethnic cleansing by the US government in my opinion, however.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Gandalf » 2018-05-15 05:37pm

So you're amending your first definition to require some sort of formal policy?
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-05-15 05:49pm

Gandalf wrote:
2018-05-15 05:37pm
So you're amending your first definition to require some sort of formal policy?
No, my point is that the US government, as a whole, is not waging an armed campaign against domestic* minority populations (though it can be accused of turning a blind eye to/tacitly condoning violence against minorities, particularly under Trump). Some local police forces may be engaged in such a campaign, though I'm not sure if the scale would justify calling it a war. This isn't simply an attempt to dodge the question or hand wave the problem- at what point does a conflict take place on a large enough scale to warrant calling it a war, rather than skirmishing or heightened criminal activity? That would apply to organized crime and terrorism, and any other form of organized, large-scale violence, not just police brutality. One ideologically-motivated gun man is not a revolt/civil war. Most people would say that the armed occupations of Federal land by the Bundy gang weren't either, though in my opinion they should probably have had the National Guard deployed against them, with any survivors facing charges of Treason or Terrorism. So at what point does it become a war, and not simply criminal activity?



*The US government is, as I said, arguably engaged in a low-key ethnic cleansing against immigrants.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by bilateralrope » 2018-05-16 12:46am

Gandalf wrote:
2018-05-15 05:23pm
I look at it this way. Those other states were at war. The US wasn't, because the mechanism for the state to officially be war was not triggered. That's why Vietnam was a police action; all of the polling boosts, but none of the hassle. War has a lot of requirements, and theoretical repercussions. Look up the Nuremberg trials and their subsequent codification for what I mean
If the US was officially at war in those cases, would it have behaved any differently in any of them ?

If not, then any distinction is meaningless. Especially when US allies involved in the conflict are calling it a war.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Patroklos » 2018-05-16 03:16am

bilateralrope wrote:
2018-05-16 12:46am
If the US was officially at war in those cases, would it have behaved any differently in any of them ?
Absolutely. It should be obvious that if you are exercising war powers entirely through the authority of one branch of government, that provides for a very different character of management and oversight than if its done via the authority of two branches of government.

But the real thing here is that if you had to get Congress to vote on it, to unambiguously have representatives and senators sign their name to vote where they can't weasel words their way out of their responsibility for doing so when the body bags start arriving in their district, you are going to get a lot more scrutiny of military actions up front.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by bilateralrope » 2018-05-16 03:35am

Patroklos wrote:
2018-05-16 03:16am
bilateralrope wrote:
2018-05-16 12:46am
If the US was officially at war in those cases, would it have behaved any differently in any of them ?
Absolutely. It should be obvious that if you are exercising war powers entirely through the authority of one branch of government, that provides for a very different character of management and oversight than if its done via the authority of two branches of government.
Please be more specific.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Patroklos » 2018-05-16 04:14am

If Congress is the font from which the warpowers flow, they can unambiguously direct the character (and indeed straitforwardly end) a war in progress. When you accept that it flows from the President alone, that everything happening is somehow already within his statutory authority as the chief exective, you are outright admitting that war making (at least in the specific instance) is outside of your reserve of Congressional Constitutional power elswise there would be no war without the consent of Congress.

This is why when Congress wants to influence warmaking now they have to go around their ass to get to their elbow by indirectly attacking funding streams or rearranging the procurment authorization in defense authorizations. Its also why the executive has no qualms about evoking executive privilege and ignoring Congressional subpeanas regarding war-making, the whol thing is happening under the auspacies of the executives

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-05-16 08:16am

The whole debate about War seems to me to be a weird hydra like tangent from the original issue: Trump's withdrawal from the Iran deal.

Apparently Trump has every right to withdraw from the deal because it's all done on executive power, I think is Patroklos' point? Which is all very well and good but doesn't actually make it a good idea for the reason's Simon Jester identified if all decisions and national commits are fair game after 8 years, it's hard for anyone to trust your nation to stick with it's word in the long term.

And this feeds back into Patroklos' point which is that doing everything through executive power is pretty stupid and it would be much better to go through the senate/congress. Am I wrong here? Because it seems like you've both got points and are essentially arguing past each other.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Khaat » 2018-05-16 10:41am

The deal "reflects political commitments" between the seven nations involved. It wasn't framed as a treaty (so no Sentate ratification), nor an Executive Order: it is merely policy. Oh, wait, except for that last bit....

Trump can reverse course on policy, he can. He does. It just makes his word as empty as his promises to go after China for being a currency manipulator, big pharma for price-gouging, his "tough" stance against the NRA (TBH no-one believed that one), or most of the other promises that he made in full-on school-yard bully mode (then quickly reversed when the other party punched back). He's happy to keep bullying those with no power: minorities, immigrants, the poor, addicts, "fake news" people who say unflattering things about him in the media.... But hey, it isn't like the development and possession of nuclear weapons in the Middle East (by others than Israel) would lead to, say, Armageddon and the End Times for all the evangelicals playing at home, or a realization that terrorists with nuclear weapons can do more than a handful with an airliner....

But Haley (US Ambassador to the UN) was just wrong about the US "Congress having no say in the deal": there was plenty of "say" in Congress, it just didn't ultimately matter because it isn't a treaty. And the House has no say in Treaties, even if it were one.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter ... iran-nucl/
(Congress) passed the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, a bill that had bipartisan support and allowed Congress the right to review any agreement reached in the negotiations. Obama initially threatened to veto the bill but did not.

Senators considered a separate, and ultimately unsuccessful, measure that would have given them the the power to block the agreement through a resolution of disapproval. A procedural vote on the resolution fell short of the 60 votes needed to override a Democratic filibuster.

Despite the resolution’s failure, by passing the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, Congress was able to have some authority and say in the final agreement.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who spearheaded the bill, has touted the legislation for taking "power back from the president" and forcing the executive office to be transparent.

...
It should also be noted that Obama administration officials went on the record about the Iran deal during congressional hearings and briefings, allowing members of Congress to bring up questions and concerns with the White House in a public debate setting.

Further, the review act imposed a requirement that the president recertify the deal every 90 days. In other words, every three months the president must ensure the following:

- Iran is abiding by the rules of the agreement,

- Iran hasn’t taken action to advance its nuclear weapons program,

- the waiver of sanctions on Iran are still appropriate.

"This kind of ongoing management I think is unusual and represented quite a compromise by President Obama," said John Glaser, the director of foreign studies at the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute. Glaser pointed out that the Obama administration would not have been able to handle "all of the subtlety, secrecy, and nuance that was required" to negotiate the Iran deal if it had involved Congress from the beginning.
LOL. Congress wanted a say, they made up rules so they could have a say, now they pretend they didn't have a say. Poor fuckin' losers, poorer fuckin' winners.

Subtlety? Secrecy? Nuance? Certainly not from the current Administration. They've gutted a generation of State Department know-how and practical functionality. Trump hears the words "soft power" and all he can think about is his little blue pills.
Rule #1: Believe the autocrat. He means what he says.
Rule #2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule #3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule #4: Be outraged.
Rule #5: Don’t make compromises.

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