Listen, the Constitution clearly states that foreign policy is the purview of the President of the United States. At no time, did our founding fathers want there to be hundreds of little presidents running around the globe making policy for the United States government. There had to be one single source and that source was to be the President. Of course, you couldn’t tell Nancy Pelosi that during the Bush years, when she went on a listening tour of Syria. Not really sure what there was to listen too either. How they have no civil rights, support terrorist organizations and commit brutalities against their own people on a daily basis. Or maybe she wanted to be regaled about what a good guy Assad’s friend in Tehran happens to be, you now genocidal maniacs are so misunderstood. Anyway, no one stopped her from going; no one in the MSM even said it was inappropriate. I’d like to see Rep. Boehner try to go overseas now and meet with leaders the Obama administration doesn’t particularly care for. Of course in that case he would be meeting with other democratic leaders so I am not too sure if the analogy really holds, but oh well…
Granted it is infuriating as individuals to see foreign policy that you did not sign up for or did not expect. Personally this is exactly what I expected and I will tell everyone is one of many reasons I did not vote for the present administration. Now if that leads you to not read this blog, so be it. But I have never in my adult life been so flabbergasted by an administration’s self-delusion as to foreign reality. I am not sure what decade or even what century they inhabit. They are definitely not living in the world that I presently live in and hopefully if this administration doesn’t screw up the world too bad, I will continue to live and grow old in the world as well. But what this world will look like when this Administration is done is anybody’s guess.
So what recourse do we as citizens have in the area of foreign policy? Quite frankly, very few. We can vote him out of office, next go around. We can vote into Congress representatives who will fight against his policies with the tools at their disposal: a financial club and treaty negation. Light bulb time (OK our founding fathers didn’t know from electric lights, but the sarcasm works here). So the founding fathers were not so trusting after all. There is a check and balance written into the system of foreign policy. While the President can make any agreements he wants, any treaty, such as the one just recently negotiated with Russia about nuclear arms reduction, it has to be ratified by 2/3 of the Senate. No reconciliation crap here. Also the House of Representatives controls the purse strings. They do not have to fund any of the President’s adventures overseas; that was one of the more controversial tactics discussed by the Anti-War brigade during the Bush years. They tried to call on their representatives in Congress to not fund the war. Of course, Congress, while the jury is still out about whether they care about the will of the people, do know that if the people see them cutting off aide to their children who as soldiers have sworn to protect this country, these representative will under no circumstances get reelected. So preservation does trump politics at times and cynicism runs rampant. (Yes, of course I mean here on this blog too)
So our system of checks and balances works in an interesting way under our Constitution in the area of foreign policy. We hand over the keys to the kingdom, sort to speak, to someone with no foreign policy background, other than the fact that he lived overseas as a child, and then are shocked when he gets played on every level by every chess player on the planet. What I can’t figure out is the advisors around him. Are our own civil service bureaucrats so inept that they have no real idea what is going on?
The CIA did say that Iran had not been trying to build a nuclear bomb for years and then all of a sudden they were proven wrong. Was it craven politics by some at the CIA who just didn’t like the Bush administration or was it just ineptitude? Either way those that are supposed to protect and secure our world seem to be morons. I really can’t say which is worse, being craven or completely inept. At least with being inept you didn’t put everyone’s life in danger on purpose. If it was a calculated craven move to undermine the foreign policy of a president and play politics with everyone’s lives then I think that is a violation of their oath of office and tantamount to treason.
So then what are the State Department’s issues? They are supposed to be the experts on foreign policy. They are supposed to be schooled in the nuances of geopolitics. How could they be so out of touch that they actually think the present foreign policy is helpful to the country? Ok, considering their history of extreme anti-Israel bias at the State Department, I can see that they are generally overjoyed at the President’s desertion of Israel. Who knows? I could say that they all want to retire on the Saudi retirement plan that so many of their predecessors, like James Baker, have done, but then you would think they would be worried about the Iranian bomb because the Saudis are scared to death. It is well established that an Iranian bomb will begin a major nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Do they really think MADD will work with those that believe they are destined to bring about Armageddon? MADD only works because no one on the other side wants to die or bring about the end of the world as we know it. That is not the case here with Iran and their search for an atomic weapon.
So what is it? I do not know. But for the time being the Constitution is clear. The President sets the foreign policy agenda and all Congress can do is not fund the policy or not ratify a treaty. Heck even if Congress does not want to allow for an appointment of an individual, the President has the power of recess appointments. So for the near future we will have to put up with insults to our allies like Britain and Israel, and insults to men of peace like the Dalai Lama; bowing to the likes of the Saudis, who are not only anti-democratic but practice gender apartheid and who actually fund the jihadist campaign against the US and, holding out an outstretched arm, cozying up to those who wish to annihilate us like Iran. Wonder if the founding fathers ever saw this coming how they would have rewritten that portion of the Constitution? Hamilton was wrong; there is something inherently wrong with an imperial presidency especially when that Presidency dilutes the power of this country overseas and turns us into a laughing stock among our enemies. For believe me we have enemies, they are evil (anyone who doubts that just has to watch the latest news out of Russia) and they are out there and they know what they are doing and they are doing it well.