advise and consent, D/S/Cs, foreign policy, Iran, Mike Pompeo, Mohammad Javad Zarif, President Trump, Sen. Chris Murphy, useful idiots
It has always been an article of faith among D/S/Cs that merely talking with the enemies of the United States is in and of itself a great diplomatic accomplishment. Securing anything for the United States, accomplishing anything that might deter war or make American safer is very much beside the point. Merely talking to people that would love to murder every American in the most barbaric ways possible is the height of statesmanship.
Over the years, various people—almost exclusively D/S/Cs–not constitutionally authorized to treat with foreign governments, have done just that. Our enemies call such people “useful idiots,” because in so doing, they are betraying America and furthering the goals of those that would do America harm. One such is Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn), as Fox News reports:
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., confirmed on Tuesday that he met with Iran’s foreign minister, arguing that ‘it’s dangerous not to talk to adversaries.
Let us ignore, for the moment, Murphy does not know what kind of communication President Trump or his designees are having with the Iranians or anyone else. Let us also ignore that Iran declared war on America in 1977 and has been killing Americans since. Let us also ignore that when the Iranian government chants “death to America,” they are not engaging in figurative language.
The two met at the Munich Security conference amid tough rhetoric between President Trump and Iran’s leadership. Murphy claimed he told Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif that Congress is also responsible for setting U.S. foreign policy.
Perhaps the Senator should read the Constitution, particularly Article II, Section 2:2:
2: He [the President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur;
Here’s what Murphy told the public:
I don’t know whether my visit with Zarif will make a difference. I’m not the President or the Secretary of State — I’m just a rank and file U.S. Senator. I cannot conduct diplomacy on behalf of the whole of the U.S. government, and I don’t pretend to be in a position to do so,” Murphy wrote.
If he’s not pretending to be in a position to do so, why was Murphy, and several of his fellow D/S/C Senators, talking with our deadly enemy?
But if Trump isn’t going to talk to Iran, then someone should. And Congress is a co-equal branch of government, responsible along with the Executive for setting foreign policy. A lack of dialogue leaves nations guessing about their enemy’s intentions, and guessing wrong can lead to catastrophic mistakes.
“Someone should”!? Cool. Why not me? Why not Bob, the local stoner? Why not Mary who runs the local floral shop? Congress is a co-equal branch that has only one role in foreign policy: advise and consent. They don’t formulate it. They don’t negotiate it. They can only vote treaties—treaties already negotiated by the President, and nothing else—up or down. That’s their only constitutionally valid power regarding foreign policy.
Let’s see what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has to say about Murphy, courtesy of The Free Beacon.com:
Pompeo, speaking to reporters during a tour through Africa, said that the Democrats who participated in the meeting are aiding and abetting the globe’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism and anti-Semitism.
‘This guy is designated by the United States,’ Pompeo said, referring to Zarif’s recent addition to official U.S. terrorism lists
‘He’s the foreign minister for a country that shot down an airliner and has yet to turn over the black boxes,’ Pompeo continued, referencing Iran’s recent downing of a commercial airliner that killed all of those aboard. ‘This is the foreign minister of a country that killed an American on December 27. This is the foreign minister of a country that is the world’s largest state sponsor of terror and the world’s largest sponsor of anti-Semitism.’
‘If they met,’ he said of the Democratic senators. ‘I don’t know what they said. I hope they were reinforcing America’s foreign policy, not their own.
Let us give Murphy the benefit of the doubt, even though he likely does not deserve it. Let us assume he did not, like virtually every D/S/C before him, do his best, like the traitorous John Kerry, to undercut the efforts of the elected Republican President. Let us assume he did not tell the Iranians Trump would be defeated in 2020 and all they had to do is wait for D/S/Cs to be in control again to get what they want. Why shouldn’t he talk with the Iranians? Why shouldn’t I, or Bob or Mary?
Murphy has been a harsh critic of the administration’s policy toward Iran and said in a Medium post that he had raised the U.S. airstrike that killed a top Iranian general in Iraq and told Zarif that despite differences, Congress and the administration are united in sending a message that any Iran-backed attack on American troops in Iraq would be ‘an unacceptable escalation.’
I suspect Mr. Trump, through the proper diplomatic channels, was just a bit more forceful on that point. There are times when leaving an enemy guessing about our intentions is vital. This is one of Mr. Trump’s strengths; he is not like previous presidents. He is unpredictable, but has demonstrated he will use decisive military force. This is surely a good thing when dealing with theocratic, apocalyptic madmen like the Iranian Mullahs. The Iranians know what will lead to catastrophic consequences—for them. As much as they want to murder every Jew and American—including idiotic Senators—they want, as much, to remain in power.
The danger is not in leaving enemies guessing, but in giving them mixed messages. Other countries, particularly totalitarian countries, speak with one voice only. Any Iranian doing otherwise is liable for assassination. When people with that mindset find themselves approached by useful idiots, the probability of misunderstanding is great, or they may be canny enough to use those idiots to sew dissention among their enemies.
Our government, particularly in foreign affairs where deadly and dedicated enemies are involved, must speak, always, with one, clear voice. People like Murphy aren’t helping, even if they are sincere, and even if Murphy did as he claimed. One cannot, however, help but think Senator Murphy and his D/S/C pals were less than complimentary toward Mr. Trump, and that considering their public statements about Mr. Trump and his Iran policy, believe they tried to impose their own policy, which is far more accommodating to Iran.
If they did this, considering Iran is in a declared state of war with America, they arguably gave aid and comfort to an enemy, and may arguably be charged with treason. Of course, no such thing would ever happen, certainly not to a D/S/C, and Republicans tend not to do such things in the first place. I was about to ask where the Media’s outrage over Murphy is, but we know the answer to that, don’t we gentle readers?
It is, however, reassuring to know some things, like death, taxes, fake news, and D/S/C freelance foreign policy conducted by useful idiots never change.
Impeach Chris Murphy!(Ha,ha)
Did I miss where Congress declared war on Iran somewhere? Are there travel restrictions in Americans going to Iran or in Iran allowing them in? Perhaps define “killing Americans”. Admittedly one death is too many but what Islamic group took the credit? Is it extremists? Since 1977 how many Iranians have been killed in the U.S. due to anything?
I’m not necessarily supporting the Senator’s trip… but given there’s no open conflict and no wholesale slaughter or shooting spree against Americans in Iran… you could call his visit a “good will” tour.
I guess my point here is that you’re trying to impose a fear of Iran by supporting Trump’s… whatever he is trying to do, given he’s gutted the State Department. He had to kill a single guy out of some tough-guy BS not-thinking vindication… and as a result 100+ GI’s got injured… and the region is worse off for it politically.
The other Phil said:
See the post-9/11 2001 authorization for the use of military force (AUMF). According to NBC News: “That law gave the president the power to use force against ‘nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.’ ”
Since Soleimani was designated as a terrorist by the US government, and he was in Iraq, not his home country of Iran, and was not on official Iranian government business, then under both the 2001 law and the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 the strike was legally justified.
I don’t agree with such broad laws, but congress is filled with cowards who want to push their own responsibilities on the president or other executive agencies and then criticize whatever is done, so here we are.
Also, the Constitution gives the President unlimited power as Commander-in-Chief. Yes, it also says that only congress can “declare war” but it provides no further definition. In the end, the only real check on the president’s power as CiC is congress’ power of the purse, which they essentially gave away after 2006, which was the last time that they passed a legitimate budget. So, like many aspects of the Constitution, areas were purposefully vague, with the understanding that they were political matters that would need to be worked out by each generation.
As to your assertion that the region is “worse off”, that’s laughable. The Middle East has been a mess for a very long time. See Churchill’s writings about his time there as government official in the 1920s. And Iran has been killing American’s for 41 years. Trump’s maximum pressure campaign has pushed Iran into a very tight corner. We will have to wait to see the results.
Very good you’re citing NBC for a change… and not American Patriot or some other right wing non-journalistic source like FOX & Friends, or our new award-winning “hero” Limbaugh.
I’m fully aware of AUMF 1.0 and 2.0… but in my reply to your claim that since Iran has “declared war” on the Satan U.S. in their street rhetoric and slogans and in clerical speeches that somehow we are “at war” with Iran because they’ve killed Americans… not one has officially declared war on anyone. I could care less what Trump uses as an excuse for using force… it will never be thought out, it will always be knee-jerk and an emotional thing with him, and there will always be better alternatives. That’s pretty much a given and he’s seen to that by making sure few are around to argue the point with him anymore.
The region being worse off? I think it’s universal that what he has done, and will do in the future, will not be anything good for America much less any of the Middle East. Again… was his idiocy worth 100+ American injuries… and who know how many are permanent?
And while we are at it… who was in charge in the Pentagon to never anticipate that there were missiles in the region where our soldiers had no adequate defense against.. either with shelters or an ABS system? You think anyone was advising Trump that if he offed that bozo that Iran just might launch a missile or two and our bases were not defended against them? Likely Trump had those advisers all fired.. and no one dare challenges Herr Trump anymore.
Mike McDaniel said:
Congress has not declared war on Iran, but they have declared war on us and have been killing Americans in that declared war since 1977. That we have not engaged in a hot war with them does not negate their hostilities or our ability and responsibility to respond.
Mike McDaniel said:
The region is worse off, really? Do we predicate our foreign policy on what an enemy already killing Americans and our allies might do if we kill some of them? We can’t act because we can’t make madmen mad? They might act like terrorists?
The other Phil said:
I’ve never quoted Fox news, and I never said that Iran “declared war”. Please keep your fact straight.
If you’re truly familiar with the 1st AUMF then you’d understand that it was an open-ended declaration of war against terrorists and terror sponsoring nations. That’s all the president needs to kill terrorists anywhere in the world. It’s what Obama used to justify his 563 targeted drone strikes, including the purposeful killing of an American citizen in Yemen, with no congressional or judicial oversight. I feel that it’s overly broad and should be repealed, and I will gladly vote for Trump in November in part because he’s the only politician who can end these otherwise endless wars.
I’ll lend a hand, Doug!
Leonard Jones said:
Right on Phil! The only jurisdiction Congress has in the Constitution
is a formal declaration of war. The president has the power to use
military action in exigent circumstances. Doug is totally oblivious
to the fact that the strike was not to avenge a single American death.
Iran has been supplying Muslim terrorists with explosively formed
munitions that have caused the deaths of more than 600 American
soldiers and thousands of wounded soldiers, mostly in Iraq. Riddle
me this: What is the difference between a formal declaration of
war, and a congressional vote like we had with Afghanistan and Iraq?
Not a damn thing! The vote to authorize the use of force carries the
exact same weight under the Constitution as a formal declaration.
So much for the myth that Korea and Vietnam were illegal wars!
Taking out Kamal Shredded Salami sent a stern message to the
Mad Mullas in Iran: We will no longer sit on our asses while
people like Salami orchestrate wars against us using proxy groups!
I’ll gladly offer to send Doug a Pocket Constitution, but I doubt he
will ever read it. He is too wedded to leftist propaganda to let
something like facts destroy his beliefs.
The other Phil said:
If congress really wanted to end the wars then they should repeal the AUMF laws. I’m sure Trump would sign them. He wants out of Afghanistan and Iraq. But they won’t because they’re cowards, they don’t want to give Trump a “win”, and war can be profitable…for the right people.
I’m scratching my head on that one (although I leave up to you which head that is.).
I’ll lend a hand, Doug!
Two Dougs/Dugs, no waiting!
Lester Curtis Smith said:
If a country declares war on youi and attacks you, are you at war, even if you don’t declare it? Or have permission to declare it?