Some very interesting things got said on the way to Damascus, Syria, home of a tyrant assiduously creating WMDs and long range missile capacity. The flavor of it is pure domestic politics, but the realm is wholly foreign... which is not a problem when it is stated at home and not promulgated over the borders to tyrants and dictators. One thing we did learn is that this is the Democrats NEW Foreign Policy! Yes, indeedy! How do we know that? Well one of them came out and said so:
Rep. Tom Lantos of California, a member of the delegation House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is leading to Syria, put the mission clearly: "We have an alternative Democratic foreign policy."That was brought to light by Thomas Sowell in a Washington Times commentary article Playing With Fire on 05 APR 2007. And since they refuse to TELL the American People what it is, that means we must look at their actions. What is the outlook of that? Well, lets take a gander at this:
We should seek by all means in our power to avoid war, by analysing possible causes, by trying to remove them, by discussion in a spirit of collaboration and good will. I cannot believe that such a programme would be rejected by the people of this country, even if it does mean the establishment of personal contact with the dictators.Oh, wait a second, that was Neville Chamberlain giving a speech in the House of Commons on 06 OCT 1938. Sorry, wrong time period! Here is what was said about THIS trip:
NANCY PELOSI, HOUSE SPEAKER: We expressed our concerns about Syria's connection to Hezbollah and Hamas. We were very pleased with the reassurances we received from the president that he was ready to resume the peace process. He was ready to engage in negotiations with peace with Israel.Fox News via Realclear Politics. And she did get 'face time' with Bashar Assad... and with the Syrian people as that is about all she showed to them. Of course a minor crisis would come about first and then you deal with dictators:
Now we know that Neville Chamberlain, who is a Realist and masterful man, has made up his mind that the time has come to give up attempts at ideal solutions to the European problems, such as through the League of Nations. To deal with facts, as he found them, and the two outstanding facts were the two dictators, Hitler and Moussolini. Both had grievances that had to be recognized and it's possible were right. Before Europe would turn over in bed and most dream comfortably. And Chamberlain told his Cabinet that he was going to settle this and on a Realist basis.Again, sorry, just not the *right* period, is it? From an American Radio Account just after the Anschluss started. Amazing how Americans tried to gloss over things and point out that changes at the top of the military structure in a dictatorship is just the same as in a democracy... and that the majority in Austria always wanted to be in Germany after WWI, and that no one cared about them, really.
Luckily this was a "bi-partisan" trip so we get to hear what a Republican has to say on this:
Pitts said Assad delivered to the Republicans a message of his own.From Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) from Lancaster online 05 APR 2007. Perhaps we don't treat them 'as an equal' because Syria is ruled by a vicious, Ba'athist dictatorship that feels no sorrow over killing thousands of its own people, developing WMDs and long range missiles, and has been a backer, funder and supplier of terrorism for decades? Perhaps they don't *deserve* to be treated as equals? But I am so glad that he is willing to listen to the grievances of a dictatorship... maybe some of them are 'right'. Just like the Anschluss.
"He denied that there were terrorists that they knew about going through their country," Pitts said. "(The Syrians) said if you have evidence, give it to us, and we'll act on it.
"They were interested in diplomacy. They want respect. Basically, they feel we have talked down to them, and we don't treat them with civility and as an equal."
There are always those that will find good in dictators, though, and their personal outlooks and habits! Yes, they may have quite bad outlooks on government, but they are good men, really:
Rhapsodized Hearstian British Press Tycoon Viscount Rothermere: "The most prominent figure in the world today is Adolf Hitler. His mastermind magnetizes the whole field of foreign politics. ... He eats no meat, and has followed Mussolini in giving up both alcohol and tobacco—a practice to whose benefits I myself can testify. Hitler takes practically no exercise. . . . Music is, indeed, the only influence which can relax the Chancellor's stern self-control. . . . His love for children and for dogs. . . .Hitler is in the direct tradition of the great leaders of mankind who appear rarely more often than once in two or three centuries. He is the incarnation of the spirit of the German race. ... I am profoundly convinced that the better he is known to the mass of the British nation the higher its appreciation of him will be. . . . The future of this country, as the greatest world Power, is bound up with the actions of this man who is the uncontested ruler of the strongest Continental nation."Why so very good of him to keep to a truly leftists conception and have a 'low impact' lifestyle that is mindful of the Earth. A veritable paragon, this man as reported by Time magazine on 24 JUN 1935. Vegetarian, teetotaler, non-smoker, loves children and dogs, such a good man, all told! Can we find anyone like that today? I think Rep. David L. Hobson (R-OH) can point us to one, as seen by the Columbus Dispatch on 05 APR 2007:
Hobson described Assad as "a very educated person who lived in Great Britain for a number of years. We had a long meeting with him in which we reinforced the policies of the administration that he needed to not let himself get isolated and he needed to join the other people in the region in opposition to the Iranians."Such a paragon of Western Virtue is this Assad! I am sure that he will come around just as Herr Hitler did so long ago... he did, didn't he? Well, at least Assad hasn't tried to Annex the Sudetenland, yet. Just trying to get back the Golan Heights after his Papa lost them in a war with his neighbor, Israel. Far more modest goals, I am sure.
Of course you dare not isolate a tyrant and dictator... why, that is just something that is far too civilized to even consider, as Arthur Henderson points out:
But to cut off relations with an aggressor may often invite retaliation by armed action, and this would, in its turn, make necessary some form of collective self-defence by the loyal members of the League.Yes, if you don't talk to dictators they just might get a bit irate and do something to you! Can't have that now, can we? Arthur Henderson died in 1935 before the outcomes of what that sort of mental attitude did to the world by the policies it created. Policies that sound something like this:
Given the ability of Iran and Syria to influence events within Iraq and their interest in avoiding chaos in Iraq, the United States should try to engage them constructively. In seeking to influence the behavior of both countries, the United States has disincentives and incentives available. Iran should stem the flow of arms and training to Iraq, respect Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and use its influence over Iraqi Shia groups to encourage national reconciliation. The issue of Iran’s nuclear programs should continue to be dealt with by the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany. Syria should control its border with Iraq to stem the flow of funding, insurgents, and terrorists in and out of Iraq.Why, are you sure that Iran and Syria just haven't resorted to 'collective self-defense'? That is, of course, from the Iraq Study Group report, page 7. Which was so enlightened and 'bi-partisan' that it recommends seeking to ask States that are exporting terrorism to destabilize a neighbor if they might, pretty please, think about not doing that? Unfortunately for the very high minded 'Realists' they cannot seem to deal with irrational leaders of Nations, which puts them in a bind when they run across same.
But what is most interesting is to hear, today, those saying that a Congress has a role to play in Foreign Policy *beyond* declaring war, ratifying treaties and approving Ambassadors! Yes, a veritable 'anyone can do this' sort of deal that reminds me of the bankrupt 'People's Diplomacy' of the 1970s that put forward that if the people of the US and USSR just all got along together things would go so very smoothly. Save for the fact that those in the USSR might get 'disappeared' if they didn't toe the party line.
But there is a problem with that, a veritable dragonfly in the ointment sort of deal. I had read a bit here and there and came across a very interesting post by Jeffrey Hadden at the DETNEWS site from 02 APR 2007. He points to a Supreme Court decision: United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp. So I checked on the Cornell Law School site and found it. The Supreme Court of the United States of America upholds a goodly list of things in the Held section, of which some are very, very interesting:
(2) The powers of the Federal Government over foreign or external affairs differ in nature and origin from those over domestic or internal affairs. P. 315.Yes you are reading that correctly. Notice that the sole organ of the Federal Government in international relations is the President in (9) above. The Executive is granted that as Head of State and by the Sovereignty passage from the Crown to the collective States that were formerly Colonies. As a whole the United States is Sovereign, then, and has only ONE individual that can perform international relations.
(3) The broad statement that the Federal Government can exercise no powers except those specifically enumerated in the Constitution, and such implied powers as are necessary and proper to carry into effect the enumerated powers, is categorically true only in respect of our internal affairs. In that field, the primary purpose of the Constitution was to carve from the general mass of legislative powers then possessed by the States such portions as it was thought desirable to vest in the Federal Government, leaving those not included in the enumeration still in the States. Id.
(4) The States severally never possessed international powers. P. 316.
(5) As a result of the separation from Great Britain by the Colonies, acting as a unit, the powers of external sovereignty passed from the Crown not to the Colonies severally, but to the Colonies in their collective and corporate capacity as the United States of America. Id.
(6) The Constitution was ordained and established, among other things, to form "a more perfect Union." Prior to that event, the Union, declared by the Articles of Confederation to be "perpetual," was the sole possessor of external sovereignty, and in the Union it remained without change save insofar as the Constitution, in express terms, qualified its exercise. Though the States were several, their people, in respect of foreign affairs, were one. P. 317.
(7) The investment of the Federal Government with the powers of external sovereignty did not depend upon the affirmative grants of the Constitution. P. 318.
(8) In the international field, the sovereignty of the United States is complete. Id.
(9) In international relations, the President is the sole organ of the Federal Government. P. 319.
(10) In view of the delicacy of foreign relations and of the power peculiar to the President in this regard, Congressional legislation which is to be made effective in the international field must [p306] often accord to him a degree of discretion and freedom which would not be admissible were domestic affairs alone involved. P. 319.
(11) The marked difference between foreign and domestic affairs in this respect is recognized in the dealings of the houses of Congress with executive departments. P. 321.
That is Constitutional Law as I read it.
Pretty damned clear, too. No pithy and long-winded arguments about having to cite this or that treaty about anything or looking to 'other precedents' anywhere in it.
So, those that are pushing for appeasement oriented, Democratic Foreign Policy would you please come home and talk it over with the People, first? Because you need a President to do anything in this field. You are currently lacking that. Which means you don't go trying to assert your good offices as a Congresscritter to 'help' Foreign Powers. And being in the 'majority' in Congress does not mean a single thing in this realm.
That is, blatantly, unconstitutional by original outlay in the document itself AND as ruled by the Supreme Court of the United States.
You remember that?
The document you swore to uphold and defend?