Hey John Kerry...you’re no longer with the State Department

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Snoopy4, May 4, 2018.

  1. Snoopy4 macrumors 6502a

    Snoopy4

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    #1
  2. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #2
    He's exercising his 1A right to say what he wants to say, without retribution from the government or any of those offended by his comments. If you or any Trump supporters have a problem with that, not only do you not have the protected right to be offended by what he has said via his 1A right, but a place like here with protected free speech may not be the place for you.

    Perhaps the DPRK may be a better option? that way no-one has the right to speak out against you because you don't happen to agree with them.

    BL.
     
  3. Snoopy4 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Snoopy4

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    #3
    He has no authority to negotiate with another country on policy.
     
  4. TonyC28 macrumors 65816

    TonyC28

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    #4
    Wasn’t there some talk on these forums a while back about the Logan Act?
     
  5. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #5
    Didn't Israel just extract hundreds of thousands of documents proving Obama/Kerry were full of complete utter **** on stating the Iranians were complying? They basically flew billions of dollars in to fund terrorism.
     
  6. LizKat macrumors 601

    LizKat

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    #6
    The great thing about the Logan act is how beautiful it is in the eye of any beholder... since it has only been used as a political cudgel so far and not been brought as a charge.

    That's a situation likely to continue since both "sides" often seek either to alter or to continue foreign policy already in place upon change of an administration.

    The reason Kushner may have got in trouble there was that he was trying to get policy changed before Trump's inauguration, while the call was still Obama's.

    A relevant bit in that Boston Globe piece as far as I'm concerned is this:

    Kerry supporters see in this campaign some of his trademark traits, especially his unflagging energy even in the face of potential failure.
    Critics see something else, a former office holder working with foreign officials to potentially undermine the policy aims of a current administration.
    Until the policy aim is formally made different by our jettisoning the agreement, Kerry isn't undermining anything. He's advocating for retention of an agreement that exists under current US policy.

    Oh and by the way, what are the "policy aims" of the current administration? Trump runs his executive branch by the seat of his pants and a finger in the wind to pick up where his core supporters are coming from this week.

    He and his current Secretary of State aren't even on the same page about Russia, even though they haven't come to pubic jousting over that yet.

    His prior Secretary of State was routinely undercut even while working on missions that Trump himself had sent him on. Tillerson was sent to try to smooth things out after Trump declared Qatar harbors terrorists (ah, well and some private real estate gig belonging to Kushner Sr. didn't get funded by a Qatari royal....) and the Sunni emirates promptly put up a blockade of Qatar, but Trump belatedly remembered we have US military assets in Qatar... meanwhile we're making Iran look good offering to give Qatar a hand managing to import what it needs to live on. But the emirates wouldn't budge... and Saudi Arabia picks up the phone to make that clear enough and Trump's suddenly undercutting Tillerson in public by suggesting he was on a fool's errand trying to chill the emirates... hah, too right but Tilllerson had not invented his mission. But hey, the President can set foreign policy even if it looks like some kinda jam on personal business might have launched that whole dust-up. But hey again: the President, as he occasionally reminds us, is free of most conflict of interest regulations.

    So I ask you, whose policy are we following now in the Middle East? Trump? The faltering Kushner real estate dynasty? Or did The Don stare too long at that orb in Saudi Arabia? Has Bolton weighed in yet on the Kingdom or is he still just messing around with the idea of fixing Iran's wagon... will Trump listen to the world or John Bolton and Bibi Netanyahu? [What do the oracles at Fox News recommend?]​

    A lot of people from a lot of nations worked for a long time to get that Iran agreement. It has value to the signatories and the rest of the planet. The breakout time for Iran to get to nuclear weapons is ten or so years while the agreement holds. Before the agreement it was possibly a few months. If Iran walks away now, it's maybe around a year.

    Ten years,,,, even five years without Iran as nuclear weapon owner in that region of the world is as close to priceless as anything in that region is gonna get in those ten or even five years. And in that time there is the opportunity to move for further understandings and further economic advancements and enticements to leave Iran's nuclear involvement at what she has said was the desired state: power generation.

    Maybe Iran is lying. Even so with the agreement in place and verification ongoing, five or ten years without a nuclear weapon in Iran's hands is five or ten years more than a year max if Iran takes a hike.

    And then there is the spectre of what will Israel do if Iran does take a hike now because the US pulls out. There was some risk Israel would do something stupid in the course of the next ten years anyway but the chance increases if the agreement the US and Iran have now is abruptly terminated. Maybe it's still remote. And, maybe it's not. All these extra maybes. Why are we going there? Why wouldn't Kerry and others work to advocate retention of the current agreement while it's still official US policy?!

    There are other aspects to the agreement that help constrain Iran to it, like international scientists working with Iran in the enrichment labs, and the inspections.

    Why does Trump want to burn this thing? Because Obama had a hand in it?

    Is there nothing this idiot won't do out of personal revenge and powerplay inclinations? Who in America thinks it's great for him to cause Iran to walk out of the agreement over forced "renegotiation" and so arrive at a nuclear armed Iran inside a year instead of ten... eight... even five years. Not me!

    As for Kerry, again, he knows the law. While the agreement stands there's no reason for him not to continue to advocate its retention. If Trump decides to withdraw then that's different. I would expect Congress to get involved at that point though, or before it. Not the Democrats. The Republicans.
     
  7. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #7
    And Trump Jr., Ivanka, and Kushner do? they are not part of government.

    BL.
     
  8. ChrisWB macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Those documents were from 2003. Netanyahu trots them out every few years to try to provoke a war with Iran.
     
  9. TonyC28 macrumors 65816

    TonyC28

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    #9
    So is the timeline the main issue? Kick the can down the road as far as we can? Did we really just BUY time with this deal?
     
  10. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #10
    That’s still worthwhile IMO. Lots of international stuff just does that.

    Besides Iran is a young country. 10 years makes a big difference.
     
  11. LizKat macrumors 601

    LizKat

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    #11
    Think you have emphasized a different word than I do in summarizing the situation.

    The signatories and Iran have together set aside more time for Iran to consider advantages of rejoining the larger community and remaining free of nuclear weapons. ​

    The more time there is for Iran's leadership to decide that economic partnerships and investment from abroad bring it more advantages than would membership in "the club" of nuclear weapons ownership, the better for everyone in the region starting with Iran itself. The ayatolllahs grow old. Sometimes they back the wrong horse... they came to regret having backed Ahmadinejad. So far they seem to appreciate the benefits of having backed the nuclear agreement. So do the Europeans. Donald Trump? He's special, and he says the agreement is a catastrophe. He's wrong. A catastrophe is inviting Iran to decide that a nuclear weapon is exactly what they need to deter the combined threats of an antagonistic combo of Netanyahu and Trump.

    In the real world, honey still does draw more flies than vinegar. Translated to international relationships, it's better to break bread than break heads. Diplomacy, the actual art of negotiation, strives to keep focus on the fact that it's cheaper for a country to trade with an adversary than fight with it.

    Fighting external adversaries entails costs that may overburden the domestic side of exercising power. Iran is not unfamiliar with this down home truth, having exhausted itself fighting to a draw with an Iraq that could ill afford its own participation in that ten year horror. And that war was with conventional weapons (so long as one omits consideration of the expenditure of children used as weapons of offense and defense).

    Maybe Iran still dreams of sweeping Israel into the sea. Maybe. It also has uneasy dreams of being glassed over by Israel and/or the USA... or maybe someday Saudi Arabia.

    But maybe it's only stateless Palestinians who still seriously entertain that dream of erasing Israel from a map. From having nothing comes rage enough to imagine anything.

    Iran needs to keep its citizens from sinking to having nothing. The sanctions bite hard enough to imperil even the well being of the Revolutionary Guard, which still does have way more than nothing, and which in turn could threaten the very powers of the ayatollahs. That leaves aside growing levels of discontent among ordinary Iranians.

    In 2013 when negotiations for the agreement ratified in 2015 were first begun, it was already past time for Iran to make change from the top while the top still retains that option. The country has an educated, talented, ambitious populace. What's been missing during the long period of Iran's isolation from full community with other nations is the opportunity for their citizens to make use of and profit from those strengths, and so lessen dangers of populist discontent over material want.

    All that and more doubtless went through the heads of Iran's leaders as they considered what their foreign minister Zarif and the negotiators from the US, EU, UK, Germany, China, France and Russia finally came up with as an agreement with enough perceived benefits to all parties. After all, in the same timeframe when Zarif had reportedly snapped "Never threaten an Iranian" to the EU's negotiator Mogherini, it was also reported that Iran's head of state Khamenei had cautioned his foreign minister Zarif to "smile and speak" and to negotiate from reason.

    So now consider all that international effort from 2013 forward, with the two years' worth of five discrete sets of negotiations plus bilateral and trilateral talks that finally resulted in that 2015 agreement. What can Donald Trump possibly say to us, to our Congress, to the rest of the world and to Iran to justify his triggering a rupture of that agreement now by refusing to recertify it? That he knows better? Why should we or anyone in any other country accept that assertion?

    We know this guy Trump in action now for 15 months. He doesn't care if anyone accepts his assertions. He literally does not care about anyone but himself: How will he look? Powerful? Go for it!

    Do we have to go through this every 90 days with this President? That's the recertification timetable.

    There are times when Trump's penchant for flipping a bird at the planet to thrill his little core of supporters and stoke his horribly distorted sense of limitless power just don't cut it. This upcoming moment when the Iran deal needs recertification by May 12 is one of those times.

    There is still a week for Trump to take better counsel than heed his desire to fry an international agreement that happens to have a few fingerprints of Barack Obama's administration on it. There's far more value to the USA and the world in the agreement than can be negated by such a personal annoyance. France's Macron tried to communicate to Trump the merits of recertifying the agreement while he was here recently, but Macron has said publicly that he believes he may have failed.

    It's disappointing that Trump's ears so far seem closed even to advice from his own inner circle: His own national security director has said the agreement has increased Iran’s transparency on nuclear work; his own defense chief testified to Congress recently that the verification is “actually pretty robust”.

    Yet Donald Trump persists in calling the agreement a catastrophe. There comes a time when one must ask again, who is this guy to think he even has the chops to make such an assessment? And again we must conclude from a look at his track record that having expertise is not on his list of requirements to cut deals however he sees fit. He does what he wants and lets chips fall where they may and when the Courts or Congress exercise their own powers to keep him in bounds of our Constitution, he hauls out his smartphone and tweets his rage into the early morning hours.

    As Macron noted, Trump's strategy is about increasing tension between Iran and the US in expectation of somehow getting "a better deal" the way he thinks he has got a better deal out of North Korea by stirring that set of pots -- until both China and South Korea had to step in and take some separate actions in order to chill out Kim, meanwhile allowing Trump to brag on how he brought about peace talks.

    Meanwhile Iran has already telegraphed it will just exit the existing deal if the US attempts to dictate changes in an internationally ratified agreement. One could also note that getting Russia to agree to a revised deal on anything with the USA right now could be an interesting challenge. If Hillary Clinton was Putin's nightmare then what is John Bolton? Europe tries to keep calm and carry on. No one is sure how Bolton and Trump will play when their different ideas about Russia collide. Rex Tillerson is probably enjoying his absence from the Trump administration more every day as time goes on.

    Trump seems to imagines he plays chess as a grandmaster taking on one inferior opponent at a time, always and only at times and places of his own choosing.

    Why does Congress continue to permit Trump such recklessness? When do they think he finally abuses the limits of his power to make policy? When he says grandly to Iran sometime next week that they can kiss his absent signature on that recertification of Iran's compliance? Or will a GOP-led Congress just gawk anew and so come to own still another debacle of the Trump administration?
     
  12. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #12
    Congress doesn’t do anything because the republicans are too tied to Trump.

    He’s clearly far more unsuitable than he was at this time last year and yet his popularity is level.
     
  13. Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #13
    As a former Secretary of State he may have influence, but you actually think he is negotiating with another country for what, for who? He’s a private citizen who represents no one in positions of power, expressing his opinion. And as far as the Logan Act, when Trump violated it, he was soon to be in a position of power so he was negotiating as his future position as President. There is a difference.
     
  14. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68040

    Mac'nCheese

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    #14
  15. appleisking macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    I’m sorry would you rather they have a bomb now because that’s the alternative.
     
  16. Snoopy4 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Snoopy4

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    #16
    Link is not blocked, not from where I sit anyway.
     
  17. TonyC28 macrumors 65816

    TonyC28

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    #17
    I mean what are we talking about here? Iran starting a nuclear war in 2019 vs. 2025? News flash: both are kinda bad.
     
  18. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68040

    Mac'nCheese

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    #18
    Ok well you could have snipped some anyway for those who it is blocked for but whatever.
     
  19. LizKat macrumors 601

    LizKat

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    #19
    1. Why assume they're going to build a bomb? They have said that's not their goal.

    2. Why assume they'd launch a nuclear weapon? The USA is the only country has ever done that. Israel has said Iran won't ever get the chance (which statement might provoke Iran to resume work ASAP if she exits the agreement prematurely, so I don't regard Israel as helpful in this situation).

    3, 2025 rather than 2019? Well 2025 gives the rest of the signatories to the agreement six more years to try to make alternatives more attractive to Iran than turning to nuclear weapons development immediately. Since it took seven nations two years of hammering away at an agreement, it might take less than that for seven nations to invest in Iran and share in in biz ventures that convince Iran leaving nukes in the rear view is the best way forward. Iran is a very patient country. It has always been willing to work at something for a long time to see how it works out. Why not work on economic development for a long time... for a change.
     
  20. LizKat macrumors 601

    LizKat

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    #20
    https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/na...elped-craft/2fTkGON7xvaNbO0YbHECUL/story.html

    Excerpt:

    Kerry is coordinating his push with a group of officials who were his top advisers at the State Department, and who helped craft and negotiate the Iran deal in the first place. The group, called Diplomacy Works, has an advisory council that includes lead Iran-deal negotiator Wendy Sherman, former State Department chief of staff Jon Finer, and former spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

    The group claims to be responsible for 100 news articles, 34 television and radio hits, and 37 opinion pieces on the Iran question. They do fact checks of criticisms of the agreement and blast them out to an e-mail list of nearly 4,000 policy makers and foreign policy experts.

    But the group determined that the most influential voices would not be Democrats, and instead would focus on Europeans, Israelis, and nonpartisan experts to try and salvage the deal, according to a person involved in the effort. As a sign of the their success, Kerry has pointed to an April 25 letter signed by 26 former top-ranking Israeli military and security officials urging the United States to stay in the agreement.

    “Our effort is self-aware,” said David Wade, a longtime Kerry adviser who was chief of staff at the State Department and is helping advise Diplomacy Works. “We are in uncharted waters. The bipartisan, traditional foreign policy community remains on the president’s enemies list from 2016. The president delights in dismissing anything accomplished under his predecessor, so we know traditional validators wouldn’t be compelling to him.”

    “This isn’t President Obama’s agreement. It’s the world’s agreement,” he added. “Maybe Macron, Merkel, and Great Britain can persuade the administration, but if they can’t they’ll be even more essential to protecting the deal absent the United States. We know these voices are powerful. They have an audience with the president and our allies are popular at home.”

    They are not ignoring the domestic audience.

    Kerry and Moniz met in February with Ryan, who has been outspoken in his opposition to the Iran deal. Kerry also held a breakfast briefing last week with members of the House and Senate, which was designed to answer questions as well as underscore how, if Trump pulls out, Europe could hold the deal together.​
     

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