Patterico's Pontifications

5/25/2019

REUTERS: Defying Congress, Trump sets $8 billion-plus in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, UAE

Filed under: Government,International — DRJ @ 2:10 pm



[Headline from DRJ]

Reuters – Defying Congress, Trump sets $8 billion-plus in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, UAE:

U.S. President Donald Trump, declaring a national emergency because of tensions with Iran, swept aside objections from Congress on Friday to complete the sale of over $8 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan.

Another national emergency.

— DRJ

34 Responses to “REUTERS: Defying Congress, Trump sets $8 billion-plus in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, UAE”

  1. Taste the Walrus in the Gumbo.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  2. Another national emergency.

    Reminds me of the Lyndon Larouche campaign posters I saw as a kid:

    “A president for a time of crisis”

    Dave (1bb933)

  3. Yes, truly, the middle east needs more weapons. I’m sure that Israel, for example, is thrilled that so many of it’s “friends” will be better armed.

    How is it, again, that the middle east not having more weapons is a national emergency? And which country sent the most 9/11 terrorists?

    Nic (896fdf)

  4. and who is executing the likes of hawala, qarni, odah, the ones whose fatwas encouraged attacks on coalition forces,

    https://twitter.com/Nervana_1/status/1132186490837098497

    narciso (d1f714)

  5. This is all about the Benjamins. The coffers of the military industrial complex and of the oil companies. Saudi Arabia is no friend and no ally. It is an enemy who is not trying to kill us at the moment.

    Who gets the commission? Jared Kushner, Erik Prince, or both?

    nk (dbc370)

  6. Here again we have Congress complaining that a POTUS — including not just this one, but from time to time this one’s predecessors — go about actually using discretionary authority which Congress itself has handed over to the POTUS. This tempers my sympathy for congressional complaints about this.

    We’ve made ugly deals with ugly regimes when it’s been perceived to be in American interests before. It’s always a judgment call: How ugly does the regime have to be in order to become untouchable? Hard to say in general, but we certainly have a long history of dealing with these same regimes even in times of less regional tension than there is now. I suppose Congress is performing the ever-useful function of reminding foreign governments that what’s bedrock American foreign policy today might be anathema tomorrow (a point made by the Congresses that pointedly refused to approve the Treaty of Versailles despite the fact that the American president, Wilson, had himself had an extraordinary effect upon its creation and terms). The Administration is promoting this as a one-time-only deal; meh, we’ll see.

    This is an obvious tightening of the thumbs pressing on Iran’s throat. That it sells more American war toys is an economic side benefit, but in overall international strategic terms a minor consideration. There are precious few alternatives to employing (ugly, not-really-loyal) proxies if you want to increase that pressure without something like a naval embargo or something even more “kinetic.”

    It has risks; it has undeniable downsides even in a best-case scenario. Is it a miscalculation? I’m unpersuaded so far that it is, and at first blush I’m inclined to give it my grudging approval. (Grudging here not because of Trump, but because of our proxies’ ugliness.)

    Beldar (fa637a)

  7. @ nk: Your #5 was posted while I was writing my #6. I think you’re right about how Trump probably sees this. I think it’s more strategic as Pompeo sees it. I can imagine either Bush White House making this same call.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  8. this chris murphy:

    https://twitchy.com/samj-3930/2019/05/07/im-not-kissing-irans-a-because-i-dislike-trump-chris-murphy-even-ticked-dems-off-with-thread-defending-terrorist-group/

    the group that trains Houthi, in yemen, Hezbollah in Syria and Lebanon, (which have a Russian connection through operation Cassandra) and those in Iraq,

    narciso (d1f714)

  9. speaking of Russian connections,

    https://twitchy.com/gregp-3534/2019/02/05/sen-chris-murphys-sotu-prebuttal-criticizes-trump-for-not-fixing-venezuela-in-the-past-two-weeks/

    what’s in the water in the nutmeg state, first danang Blumenthal, then this yutz, of course there was previous Lowell weicker, credentialed idiot, and chris dodd, commie tool and friend of angelo,

    narciso (d1f714)

  10. You really need to get your own blog, narciso.

    DRJ (15874d)

  11. The oil industry will do business in Saudi Arabia but I don’t see this Administration or the last one expending political capital to make it happen. To me, this is about Iran, the Middle East, and military sales — not oil.

    DRJ (15874d)

  12. Do the Federal judges, appointed by obama, approve? Because they’re running the Government now.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  13. I would prefer that Congress not write these blank checks.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  14. But it is kind of weak to write a blank check then try to stop payment.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  15. Pretty good analogy, Kevin M.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  16. The recent order by Judge Gilliam (granting a partial preliminary injunction in the border funding case) addresses the national emergency law history. It is very interesting.

    DRJ (15874d)

  17. That is a fascinating opinion, DRJ (#17), especially the historical background you referenced. It is capably organized and written. Just from a first pass-through and without doing a lick of research, I found the court’s treatment of the standing issue unpersuasive — it’s the Sierra Club suing over Trump shuffling money from other departments (like DoD) for border funding? How is that a case or controversy touching them, except in the sense that every other taxpayer is? On some of the claims there are clear ripeness issues, which the court deftly dodges by saying, in effect, “Oh, for preliminary injunctions all we have show is that there’s a probability of that the funding switch we fear (but that hasn’t been implemented or finalized) might happen.” Again, case or controversy. I haven’t read the DoJ’s briefs, but I hope they’ve preserved error on all their potential justiciability points.

    But superficially it hangs together, probably well enough to carry the ruling through the Ninth Circuit, unless the government draws a very lucky panel. Appellate review might end up angling off on a tangent that’s not obvious from a read-through of the opinion.

    One is constantly struck in reading this opinion — regardless of whether one does or doesn’t follow the legal principles being discussed — how Trump’s utter inability to maintain anything remotely relating to message discipline, and his insistence instead in running his mouth when he shouldn’t, makes it very, very hard for the government lawyers to defend his actions. He is always, always his own worst enemy, and hands his other enemies their best ammo, hand over fist.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  18. That is a fascinating opinion, DRJ (#17), especially the historical background you referenced. It is capably organized and written. Just from a first pass-through and without doing a lick of research, I found the court’s treatment of the standing issue unpersuasive — it’s the Sierra Club suing over Trump shuffling money from other departments (like DoD) for border funding? How is that a case or controversy touching them, except in the sense that every other taxpayer is? On some of the claims there are clear ripeness issues, which the court deftly dodges by saying, in effect, “Oh, for preliminary injunctions all we have show is that there’s a probability of that the funding switch we fear (but that hasn’t been implemented or finalized) might happen.” Again, case or controversy. I haven’t read the DoJ’s briefs, but I hope they’ve preserved error on all their potential justiciability points.

    But superficially it hangs together, probably well enough to carry the ruling through the Ninth Circuit, unless the government draws a very lucky panel. Appellate review might end up angling off on a tangent that’s not obvious from a read-through of the opinion.

    One is constantly struck in reading this opinion — regardless of whether one does or doesn’t follow the legal principles being discussed — how Trump’s utter inability to maintain anything remotely relating to message discipline, and his insistence instead in running his mouth when he shouldn’t, makes it very, very hard for the government lawyers to defend his actions. He is always, always his own worst enemy, and hands his other enemies their best ammo, hand over fist.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  19. (Sierra Club’s co-plaintiff is Southern Border Communities Coalition — which is to say, a bunch of Democratic activists. Okay, they live on or near the southern border. So do millions of other taxpayers. Is there anyone who wouldn’t have standing to bring this lawsuit under the district court’s “come one, come all” approach?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  20. I cannot imagine how that resulted in a double-post (#18 & #19), but apologies to all readers for the duplication.)

    Beldar (fa637a)

  21. He is always, always his own worst enemy, and hands his other enemies their best ammo, hand over fist.

    President Opportunity-Cost. It’s like a football team, after years and years of building a terrifying offense finds out that the owner’s son is going to be quarterback.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  22. If I were President, this so-called judge, the hippies, and their lawyers, would be on their way to Gitmo to be interrogated, enhancedly, until they revealed all their connections to foreign terrorists plotting to enter the United States through our southern border.

    What? It’s a stronger case than they presented in court to second-guess the President on what constitutes a national emergency and his judgment on how to allocate military and law enforcement sources.

    nk (dbc370)

  23. sources resources money

    It’s my fault for trying to speak bureaucratese.

    nk (dbc370)

  24. Trump is out of the country, isn’t he?

    nk (dbc370)

  25. nk, why not just make lese majeste a crime by executive order, and establish a star chamber to try offenses outside the regular courts?

    Dave (1bb933)

  26. Just wait until the Sierra Club and an Obama-appointed political hack in a black robe enjoin NORAD from shooting down North Korean missiles headed towards the United States for failure to file an environmental impact statement.

    nk (dbc370)

  27. You would do well not to gainsay our Dear Leader.

    Dave (1bb933)

  28. He won’t always be President. And the federal judiciary has gotten way too big for its britches. For a long time now. Too long a time. Doesn’t it tell us something vital to our democracy when our biggest consideration in electing a President is the kind of judges he will appoint?

    nk (dbc370)

  29. “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.”

    What bothers me is that THIS gets so very little push back.

    North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me. I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, & also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?

    Yeah, it’s a signal that he considers you an easily manipulated fool. Please God let someone primary him, if only to hold his feet to the fire of reality.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  30. Doesn’t it tell us something vital to our democracy when our biggest consideration in electing a President is the kind of judges he will appoint?

    Well, it’s our biggest consideration because appointing judges is much easier than passing laws, and judges serve for life. It would be important during divided government even if they had less power. Perhaps the reason that they’ve been allowed so much power is that it serves the politicians, as they can implement policy more easily though the courts than they can through Congress. Similarly for the regulatory agencies.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  31. Bart Starr – RIP

    harkin (ca2d1a)

  32. Dang, both the rivals took a hit this weekend. RIP to Starr and to the radio voice of War Eagle.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)


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