If you have the impression that all sensible people of the ruling elite came to a consensus on any issue — as is the case with the recent law on the introduction of new sanctions against Russia — this may indicate that instead of discussions, it’s herd mentality.
The sanctions were well-worn measure of foreign policy long before 1 Aug trump the President reluctantly put his signature under the bill to impose new sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea. The house of representatives of the United States Congress voted in favour of the new law 419 votes to three; the Senate 98 to two. This was an example of “mass crush” in Congress, whose members, among other things, restricted the right of the President on the lifting of sanctions, in particular Russia, without their prior approval.
By signing the document, trump said he believes the law is “very flawed” because it “encroaches on the Executive powers”. To speak such heresy, but maybe he’s right. This law limits the flexibility of the President, which may prove to be vital for carrying out difficult negotiations with the above countries.
Whether on the ground trump any other President, and the place of Russia — any other antagonist, I suspect that his arguments would receive a lot of support. He didn’t lie, noting in a statement at the signing that the authors of the U.S. Constitution does not accidentally gave the President extensive powers in foreign policy. It has always been the traditional point of view.
George W. Bush regularly issued statements when signing bills, when it seemed to him that Congress had encroached on Executive power. So did Barack Obama, for example, in July 2009, he protested the attempts of Congress to dictate the political course against the world Bank and the International monetary Fund.
This time the leader of the democratic minority in the House of representatives Nancy Pelosi (Nancy Pelosi), representing California, just dumped the President’s statement in a cart driven by some secret collusion behavior trump. “The Republican Congress should not allow the White house to shirk your duty, which consists in imposing penalties for shameless Russian attack on our democracy,” she said. Trump has earned such mistrust, but the fiery rhetoric of Pelosi may have a negative impact, pushing those who are yet to convince.
It should be noted that trump was equally obsessed with sanctions as Congress. Last week, his administration imposed new restrictive measures with respect to current and former Venezuelan officials, and this week against President Nicolas Maduro. Meanwhile, trump is threatening to cancel the Iranian nuclear deal and impose additional sanctions, although the CIA Director is confident that the need for this yet. This is where the pure hypocrisy!
The best argument on the abuse of sanctions were announced in March 2016, the then US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew (Jacob Lew) — first in an interview with me and then in a speech before the Carnegie endowment for international peace. At first the plan he put forward the efforts of Congress to deprive Obama of the ability to soften sanctions against Iran for the fulfillment of all conditions of the nuclear deal.
Lew gave the following explanations: “Because the purpose of sanctions is to exert pressure so that countries have changed their policies, we must be ready to provide an exemption from sanctions when you succeed. If we are not able to follow this, you will lose credibility and damage our ability to use sanctions to change the policies.”
Lew said another problem in the context of increasing attempts by the US to use sanctions as a panacea in foreign policy. By limiting criminal access to the financial markets of the United States by those countries whose behavior does not suit us, such a tool as the sanctions which may ultimately undermine the supremacy of the dollar and US financial institutions.
The other day I asked Lew, will he give the same argument today. “My views have not changed, he said. — I continue to believe that the Executive authorities of the necessary tools to enhance and ease the pressure at the right time. And it is very difficult if I have to again go through the approval procedure in Congress.”
Don’t get me wrong. Questioning the revision of sanctions by Congress, I do not condone the actions of trump. The lack of any documented response to Russia’s intervention in the presidential election of 2016 is simply outrageous. Worse can only be removal from office of the special adviser Robert Mueller III — neither give nor take the assassination of a certain Constitution, the rule of law.
But even if you think that impeachment is in the offing, the United States will conduct foreign policy in this dangerous world for many months, if not years. We hear about the many analogies of Watergate, but let’s not forget that while foreign policy was in the hands of weak and inconsistent of the President, faced with regional wars and global crises in 1973 and 74. Like Richard Nixon, President Trump need good advisers on foreign policy (which he sort of is) and the room for maneuver.
The situation with trump and Russia smacks. But this does not mean that every biting remark from the Congress to address Russia’s reasonable, or that every attempt by trump to hold in their hands the Executive power suggests a potential conspiracy. When the legislature of Washington begin to argue, which would be rejected under other circumstances, you know that something is wrong.