Trump presidency

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elasto
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Mon May 14, 2018 2:19 pm UTC

(Ninja'd but posting anyway)

Meanwhile, Trump presses on with his efforts to bring peace to the Middle East:

At least 41 Palestinians have been killed and 1,800 wounded by Israeli troops in clashes on the Gaza border, Palestinian officials say.

The violence came as the US opened its embassy in Jerusalem, a controversial move that has infuriated Palestinians. They see it as clear US backing for Israeli rule over the whole city, whose eastern part Palestinians lay claim to. President Donald Trump told the opening ceremony via videolink the Jerusalem move had been a "long time coming".

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, however, has described Mr Trump's decision as the "slap of the century". He says the US can no longer be considered a neutral broker in on-off Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and cannot have any future role.

Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem is not recognised internationally and, according to the 1993 Israel-Palestinian peace accords, the final status of Jerusalem is meant to be discussed in the latter stages of peace talks.

Israel has occupied East Jerusalem since the 1967 Middle East war. It effectively annexed the sector, though this was not recognised by any countries until Mr Trump's declaration in December 2017.

The embassy move is the culmination of one of the best weeks in the political life of Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

First President Trump kept his promise to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal. Now the US embassy is moving.

Placards in Jerusalem praise Mr Trump. The local football club, Beitar, infamous for fans who chant "death to Arabs", has included "Trump" in its name.

Mr Trump's daughter, Ivanka, her husband Jared Kushner, who are both senior White House advisers, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan are at the ceremony.

After Ivanka Trump had unveiled the seal of the embassy, Mr Kushner said in his address: "When President Trump makes a promise he keeps it... We have shown the world that the US can be trusted*."


*until the next president comes along who tears up all the promises made by the previous...

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CorruptUser
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Mon May 14, 2018 2:21 pm UTC

Is the embassy in West or East Jerusalem?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zohar » Mon May 14, 2018 2:31 pm UTC

To my understanding most of the embassy's functions will continue to happen in Tel Aviv, and the Jerusalem "embassy" is more of an office for the American ambassador when he needs to work there (Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are about an hour apart, if there isn't significant traffic). In fact, nothing new has been built (well, maybe some security facilities?) - the US existing consulate building in Jerusalem has simply been renamed as the embassy. It's not located in East Jerusalem.
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elasto
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Mon May 14, 2018 4:01 pm UTC

If all three parties - the US, Israel and Palestine - call it an embassy then it is an embassy no matter how small it might be right now.

All three want to play up the significance of this - each playing to their home crowd - and it's a step backwards for peace no matter how you slice it.

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Plasma_Wolf
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Plasma_Wolf » Mon May 14, 2018 4:08 pm UTC

Oh that's absolutely pathetic. If you're going to fulfill your promises, at least do it properly (yes I know that this is a very bad idea, but my point is on fulfilling promises rather than if the promise is good or not).

This is the equivalent of building this:

Image

And then saying that you've built the wall.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zohar » Mon May 14, 2018 4:19 pm UTC

elasto wrote:If all three parties - the US, Israel and Palestine - call it an embassy then it is an embassy no matter how small it might be right now.

My point was that Israel and the US are getting no practical benefit from this except increased popularity, and are willing to sacrifice dozens of lives for this.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ObsessoMom » Mon May 14, 2018 4:31 pm UTC

Plasma_Wolf wrote:Oh that's absolutely pathetic. If you're going to fulfill your promises, at least do it properly (yes I know that this is a very bad idea, but my point is on fulfilling promises rather than if the promise is good or not).

This is the equivalent of building this:

[image]

And then saying that you've built the wall.


More like these two actual articles (warning--autoloading video/audio on the first link):

In Calexico, Border Patrol starts constructing a border wall. No, not that border wall.

Pence visits new border fence, blames open border advocates for caravan

Yep, it's the same "new" wall in Calexico in both stories.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Mon May 14, 2018 4:51 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:My point was that Israel and the US are getting no practical benefit from this except increased popularity, and are willing to sacrifice dozens of lives for this.

I agree. But, to be balanced, it doesn't really impact Palestine one jot for just the same reasons, yet they can get a great deal of political mileage out of it also.

It's actually quite a political feat that Trump can manage to do something which the leaders on all sides of the peace process love because they can rally the base - yet sets back the peace process itself years.

(Mind you, I suppose Trump has made an art form out of being divisive for political gain.)

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zohar » Mon May 14, 2018 5:15 pm UTC

What do you mean "Trump can manage it"? Any president could have done it, they all chose not to because they're smarter than that.

I don't think you understand - it's a not a practical change, but it's a symbolic one, and it symbolizes complete abandonment of the Palestinian side and encouragement of an occupying force. This will be translated into actions, it just hasn't yet. It's a signal to Israel that it can continue building illegal settlements without fearing the US's reaction. It can keep treading on Palestinian's human rights. It can keep enraging them so they're a useful enemy for Israel to rally against. There's every reason for Palestinians to be angry at this.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Mon May 14, 2018 5:35 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:What do you mean "Trump can manage it"? Any president could have done it, they all chose not to because they're smarter than that.

I'm not sure. I think it takes a real talent to be as abhorrent and polarising as Trump and still be a political success in a modern democracy.

I don't think you understand - it's a not a practical change, but it's a symbolic one, and it symbolizes complete abandonment of the Palestinian side and encouragement of an occupying force. This will be translated into actions, it just hasn't yet. It's a signal to Israel that it can continue building illegal settlements without fearing the US's reaction.

Israel never had to fear the US's reaction. They've build settlements under R and D presidents alike in recent times, especially since 9-11.

It can keep treading on Palestinian's human rights. It can keep enraging them so they're a useful enemy for Israel to rally against. There's every reason for Palestinians to be angry at this.

The Palestinians have far more reasons to be angry than this, so it's a talent that Trump has whipped up the anger so high that dozens are dead and thousands injured - a toll not seen for... decades..? over something totally token.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon May 14, 2018 5:46 pm UTC

Plasma_Wolf wrote:Oh that's absolutely pathetic. If you're going to fulfill your promises, at least do it properly (yes I know that this is a very bad idea, but my point is on fulfilling promises rather than if the promise is good or not).


The embassy conflict isn't over construction. It's over symbolism.

Nobody wants or particularly needs to build a whole lot of anything to achieve their goals here. It's basically a statement of support.

And in the end, there was never much of any support coming for Palestinian goals, so I don't suppose it matters much. The clashes in Gaza are not particularly focused on embassy matters. The thousands of injuries is a total from an ongoing scenario, during which the embassy opening happens to fall. A couple of dozen injuries on that day is not unexpected, given the rate at which they are happening. Yes, of course they're not pleased about the embassy thing, but it largely is only a symbolic thing amidst an ongoing struggle that would happen either way. The "location" of the embassy isn't killing anyone.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zamfir » Mon May 14, 2018 5:51 pm UTC

Israel never had to fear the US's reaction. They've build settlements under R and D presidents alike in recent times, especially since 9-11.

It's a unambiguous statement that the current US government intends to follow a harder anti-palestinian policy than earlier governments.

Now you can say, past US government were already plenty anti-palestinian. Fine, but the Trump government clearly sees potential for further movement in that direction. And so does the Israeli government, and most Palestinians. Hence the cheers, and the protests.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zohar » Mon May 14, 2018 6:59 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:A couple of dozen injuries on that day is not unexpected, given the rate at which they are happening.

Dozens of people have died today. Thousands injured today. This is a direct result of Trump's decision. This amount of deaths and shots fired is not par for the course.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby LaserGuy » Mon May 14, 2018 8:09 pm UTC

SDK wrote:
Mutex wrote:"North Korea can take away from this one very important fact - don't enter into any negotiations or any deal with the intent on not complying with your end of the bargain."

Or, at least, don't enter into any negotiations or any deal where Trump might maybe think that you might not be complying with your end of the bargain. Facts need not apply.


Well, no, I think the point here is that the Trump administration is in active non-compliance with the Iran deal even though Iran is (the deal has no withdrawal clause, so despite the administration saying so, they aren't actually pulling out because they can't).

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Dauric » Mon May 14, 2018 8:29 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
SDK wrote:
Mutex wrote:"North Korea can take away from this one very important fact - don't enter into any negotiations or any deal with the intent on not complying with your end of the bargain."

Or, at least, don't enter into any negotiations or any deal where Trump might maybe think that you might not be complying with your end of the bargain. Facts need not apply.


Well, no, I think the point here is that the Trump administration is in active non-compliance with the Iran deal even though Iran is (the deal has no withdrawal clause, so despite the administration saying so, they aren't actually pulling out because they can't).


Maybe not officially "withdraw" from the agreement, but they can (and have/continue-to) "violate" it simply by putting the sanctions back in place.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cphite » Mon May 14, 2018 9:11 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
SDK wrote:
Mutex wrote:"North Korea can take away from this one very important fact - don't enter into any negotiations or any deal with the intent on not complying with your end of the bargain."

Or, at least, don't enter into any negotiations or any deal where Trump might maybe think that you might not be complying with your end of the bargain. Facts need not apply.


Well, no, I think the point here is that the Trump administration is in active non-compliance with the Iran deal even though Iran is (the deal has no withdrawal clause, so despite the administration saying so, they aren't actually pulling out because they can't).


But see, here's the problem... and please understand from the start, this is not an endorsement of Trump pulling the plug on this thing, but rather an observation of why he can pull the plug.

The Iran deal isn't an actual treaty, and it technically isn't even a formal agreement; it's basically nothing more than a political commitment by the Obama administration to adhere to the guidelines set forth. The other nations involved might have differing opinions in regards to their own (and even our) legal obligations; but as far as US law is concerned, the deal doesn't even carry the weight of an executive order; and there is no international law that exists that obligates the US (or any other country) to adhere to a political commitment, especially one made by a previous administration. You can argue that it's politically a bad idea to leave the agreement, that it's unjustified, and even that it's utterly stupid; but it's not illegal.

Heck, if you missed it, even John Kerry himself - the key force behind the deal for the US - stated before Congress that it would not be a legally binding deal, as part of his argument for why they didn't need Congressional approval.

The Obama administration knew that they would never get the two-thirds consent that it would need from the Senate to sign an actual treaty, so they maintained that it was not a treaty and that it was instead a political commitment. The Senate responded by passing the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act which gave them the right to review and reject the final agreement. The Senate reviewed the bill and could not get enough votes to kill it... but here is the thing: Both sides knew that killing the bill in this manner was both pointless and unnecessary. The GOP knew that if they won the White House, they'd have the option of killing the agreement; and the dems knew that if they took the White House, they would simply opt to keep it. The whole thing was political theater; the true result was always going to be decided on election day.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Mon May 14, 2018 9:29 pm UTC

cphite wrote:But see, here's the problem... and please understand from the start, this is not an endorsement of Trump pulling the plug on this thing, but rather an observation of why he can pull the plug.

The Iran deal isn't an actual treaty, and it technically isn't even a formal agreement; it's basically nothing more than a political commitment by the Obama administration to adhere to the guidelines set forth. The other nations involved might have differing opinions in regards to their own (and even our) legal obligations; but as far as US law is concerned, the deal doesn't even carry the weight of an executive order; and there is no international law that exists that obligates the US (or any other country) to adhere to a political commitment, especially one made by a previous administration.

But there's no 'international law' that obligates anyone to do anything in the international sphere. It's all a matter of trust and honour, and the US has demonstrated that it doesn't honour its promises.

Now, noone said it had to. But, just as there's no law broken if you promise your mate that if he helps you paint your house you'll help him paint his, and he follows through and you don't, you are seen as a promise-breaker by not just him but all your joint mates, so the US's reputation falls when it fails to follow through on a promise.

And, no, it doesn't matter that the promise was made by a different administration. We are democracies, and that means that our administrations change all the time. Only dictators can make long term promises and expect to be around indefinitely to personally see them through.

Obama made a promise not as a private citizen but as supreme representative of the United States. A word should still mean something even in a democracy, and Trump has (once again) shown no respect to the office and position to which he has been elected.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Mon May 14, 2018 9:36 pm UTC

...which is why Obama screwed the pooch by circumventing the constitution in having a "treaty" not ratified by congress.

Ok, Trump screwed that pooch too. More so. They double-teamed that pooch, while congress held the camera.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Mon May 14, 2018 9:51 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:...which is why Obama screwed the pooch by circumventing the constitution in having a "treaty" not ratified by congress.

Do you 'screw the pooch' when you promise your mate you'll paint his house if he paints yours without the matter being signed and witnessed by a lawyer?

Yes, your word carries more weight if signed in triplicate in blood, but your word is your word regardless. At least that's how the rest of the world apparently sees it.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Mon May 14, 2018 9:52 pm UTC

But you didnt say you would paint your mate's house, you said the guy you sold your house to will paint your mate's house. The house was sold at auction, and you thought your girlfriend would win, but a different jackass won even though she did offer the most money but due to auction rules she didnt get it, and the deed didnt come with any house-painting contract.

This is the shit that happens when the constitution is ignored.

Either you have the country making promises it wont keep and ruining international credibility which the US didnt have much of even before this, or the way things are done slowly shift so far away from the constitution that it might as well be overpriced toilet paper.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Mon May 14, 2018 10:43 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:But you didnt say you would paint your mate's house, you said the guy you sold your house to will paint your mate's house.

But if the leader of a nation is just speaking personally that makes the word of a democracy worthless. When the leader of a nation makes a promise he is speaking as the representative of that nation, else his word is meaningless, and everything Trump says is meaningless too. Is that really what he (and, by extension America) wants?

This is the shit that happens when the constitution is ignored.

Are you saying that if congress ratifies a treat they can't turn around and unratify it? Congress can do anything it wishes, including rewriting the constitution. There is no such thing as 'international law', only what can be enforced by the barrel of a gun.

...the constitution that it might as well be overpriced toilet paper.

The constitution is overpriced toilet paper. The only thing that makes it not so is that people believe it's not so.

The only thing that makes America's public promises not overpriced toilet paper is that people believe they're not so too.

Trust is gained slowly and lost so very quickly.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Mon May 14, 2018 11:04 pm UTC

But it is not his job to give his word in lieu of a treaty in the first place. Therein lies the problem.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby freezeblade » Mon May 14, 2018 11:21 pm UTC

The world: "We are pissed that we the US isn't honoring their agreements"
Conservatives: "Well you shouldn't have trusted that agreement, anyway"
The world: "You can't just do that!"
Conservatives: "Don't worry, there will be another agreement later [that will be more beneficial to the USA], trust us."
*The world looks flabbergasted*
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Yablo » Mon May 14, 2018 11:44 pm UTC

elasto wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:...which is why Obama screwed the pooch by circumventing the constitution in having a "treaty" not ratified by congress.

Do you 'screw the pooch' when you promise your mate you'll paint his house if he paints yours without the matter being signed and witnessed by a lawyer?

Yes, your word carries more weight if signed in triplicate in blood, but your word is your word regardless. At least that's how the rest of the world apparently sees it.

But if your father and his friend agree to paint each other's houses, and his friend upholds his end before your father is somehow incapacitated, incarcerated, or otherwise prevented from holding up his end, are you obligated to do it instead? What if your father's house was a 1-bedroom apartment that only needed a touch-up, and his friend's house was a mansion?

Sure, it would be a nice gesture for you to take up every agreement your father ever had in the spirit he made it, but you're not obligated to, and if you don't agree with it ... well, hell. You're the man of the house now. Make your own decisions.

Even when an outgoing 2-term president is followed by the election of his own vice president, you can't expect the new guy to be the same.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Diemo » Tue May 15, 2018 12:05 am UTC

Barack Obama signed the deal as the president of the US, not a private citizan. And Trump is breaking it as the president, not as a private citizen.

If I negotiate a deal with someone about contract work, and then they leave their post and the new person in the job terminates the contract, I am not going to trust the next person in the job to uphold any deals, after all, the company has a history of hiring shitty people.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ucim » Tue May 15, 2018 12:06 am UTC

Yablo wrote:But if your father and his friend agree to paint each other's houses...
that's an agreement between your father (a person) and his friend (another person). You are not involved.

But if your father, the CEO of Acme Engineering, makes an agreement with you (say, to pay you for design work, and you complete your end of the bargain, and then your father dies, does Acme Engineering remain obligated to pay you?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cphite » Tue May 15, 2018 3:28 pm UTC

elasto wrote:
cphite wrote:But see, here's the problem... and please understand from the start, this is not an endorsement of Trump pulling the plug on this thing, but rather an observation of why he can pull the plug.

The Iran deal isn't an actual treaty, and it technically isn't even a formal agreement; it's basically nothing more than a political commitment by the Obama administration to adhere to the guidelines set forth. The other nations involved might have differing opinions in regards to their own (and even our) legal obligations; but as far as US law is concerned, the deal doesn't even carry the weight of an executive order; and there is no international law that exists that obligates the US (or any other country) to adhere to a political commitment, especially one made by a previous administration.


But there's no 'international law' that obligates anyone to do anything in the international sphere. It's all a matter of trust and honour, and the US has demonstrated that it doesn't honour its promises.


Well, technically the US didn't make the promise; the Obama administration made the promise in a manner that deliberately circumvented the manner by which the United States makes commitments. And it's not like they can plead ignorance on that point; we had their key negotiator John Kerry saying on record that the deal was not legally binding; we had members of the Senate saying on record that the deal would not be legally binding; and we had the President himself saying that the deal was absolutely in no way a treaty or even a formal executive order - because either of those things would have given the Senate an opportunity to nix the whole deal.

Now, noone said it had to. But, just as there's no law broken if you promise your mate that if he helps you paint your house you'll help him paint his, and he follows through and you don't, you are seen as a promise-breaker by not just him but all your joint mates, so the US's reputation falls when it fails to follow through on a promise.


Well, again, I'm not saying I agree with Trump leaving the agreement - as much as I believed the deal to be a bad one, I agree with you and others here that pulling out in this manner is a huge mistake, and for the same reasons. I was responding to the claim that he cannot pull out of the agreement.

And, no, it doesn't matter that the promise was made by a different administration. We are democracies, and that means that our administrations change all the time. Only dictators can make long term promises and expect to be around indefinitely to personally see them through.

Obama made a promise not as a private citizen but as supreme representative of the United States. A word should still mean something even in a democracy, and Trump has (once again) shown no respect to the office and position to which he has been elected.


Well, again, that is the problem... by deliberately circumventing the process by which international agreements are made, Obama effectively did make the promise on behalf of his own administration - not the United States - and neither he nor his appointed negotiators made any attempt to hide that fact. Indeed, they went out of their way to make it clear that they were not creating a legally binding agreement with Iran or the other parties. Kerry himself acknowledged that there was nothing stopping the next administration from nullifying the whole deal.

From a diplomatic perspective, we agree completely; it's utterly stupid and pointless to pull out in this manner, and it does serious damage to our credibility as a nation. But from a legal perspective, he can do it.

Part of being a democracy is that we don't allow one man (or administration) to make long term promises on their own; which is why the Senate has the power to advise and consent treaties. When you bypass that process, and make promises based on nothing more than the assumption that your party will remain in power long enough to keep them, you risk exactly this situation.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Tue May 15, 2018 3:34 pm UTC

cphite wrote:Well, again, I'm not saying I agree with Trump leaving the agreement - as much as I believed the deal to be a bad one, I agree with you and others here that pulling out in this manner is a huge mistake, and for the same reasons. I was responding to the claim that he cannot pull out of the agreement.

You mean this bit:
LaserGuy wrote:Well, no, I think the point here is that the Trump administration is in active non-compliance with the Iran deal even though Iran is (the deal has no withdrawal clause, so despite the administration saying so, they aren't actually pulling out because they can't).

Laserguy wasn't saying it's not legal to pull out of the agreement, just that the agreement has no formal withdrawal clause so the US can only effectively withdraw by not complying.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Yablo » Tue May 15, 2018 4:39 pm UTC

Diemo wrote:Barack Obama signed the deal as the president of the US, not a private citizan. And Trump is breaking it as the president, not as a private citizen.

If I negotiate a deal with someone about contract work, and then they leave their post and the new person in the job terminates the contract, I am not going to trust the next person in the job to uphold any deals, after all, the company has a history of hiring shitty people.

True, and no one would blame you for that. In fact, if you did trust that company again, other shitty companies would spot your weakness and take a shot at a contract, too.

The difference between a treaty and an agreement is how strongly one can be reasonably held to it. Everyone involved on all sides knew the U.S. didn't give it enough support to make it a treaty, and they all knew there would be a new administration coming. They may have assumed it would be a Hillary administration that would keep the agreement in place despite its flaws, but they had to have acknowledged the possibility it would be an Other-Than-Hillary administration that would feel differently.

ucim wrote:
Yablo wrote:But if your father and his friend agree to paint each other's houses...
that's an agreement between your father (a person) and his friend (another person). You are not involved.

But if your father, the CEO of Acme Engineering, makes an agreement with you (say, to pay you for design work, and you complete your end of the bargain, and then your father dies, does Acme Engineering remain obligated to pay you?

Jose

Fair enough, point made. Still, The Acme deal is a contract which is protected under law, and the house painting is a verbal agreement which isn't. The Iran nuclear deal isn't a treaty, and so it's not protected.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Tue May 15, 2018 4:48 pm UTC

Not to mention that Iran already received the $120B in frozen assets, so they ended up benefitting immensely from the deal even if Trump pulled out.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Tue May 15, 2018 6:09 pm UTC

The Great Dealmaker seems to not be very good at making deals.

Good at breaking them.

Not good at replacing so-so deals with the best alternative. Not even good at replacing bad deals with better ones. Just stopping a deal and not even making any decent promise to put anything in place. Knowing how long these things take to develop, he'd be hard-pressed to do a replacement deal before his tenure runs out (by any expected measure) if he tried, and there's no sign he's even trying. Maybe it's behind the scenes, but given his apparent lack of Indoor Voice and subtelty, it doesn't seem likely. Future history may prove me wrong.


(I was idly pondering about him and Assad, in my half-dozing stupor this morning before I roused myself to take on the world afresh (not the most reliable time to try political philosophy, but that's when it happened). Both know that, out of power, they'd be subject to the local form of public retribution for all they've done to get/maintain their power. They've both been propped up by Russia. But only Assad has the reassurance that if he can just keep things rolling along he can happily and peacefully die in office, whereas Trump would have to do something about term-limits.)

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue May 15, 2018 6:22 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:A couple of dozen injuries on that day is not unexpected, given the rate at which they are happening.

Dozens of people have died today. Thousands injured today. This is a direct result of Trump's decision. This amount of deaths and shots fired is not par for the course.


Ah, understood. It was indeed deadlier than usual at the Gaza border. That said, the situation there is an ongoing situation. Washington Post and other news organizations have been running stories about mass shooting at the Gaza border for a while now. Here's one from before the whole embassy thing. https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/israel-palestine-gaza-march-of-return-protest-deaths-a8292601.html Over a thousand injuries(and a bunch of deaths) in a single day. And that's in early april. Looks like it started March 30th.

Is that because they were pre-emptively reacting to the embassy opening? Or was it a delayed reaction to the Dec announcement of said opening?

There's some connection, in that the announcement is definitely symbolic support for the Israeli side, but calling it a direct result of Trump's decision is a reach. I mean...Trump didn't even make the original change. He simply stopped delaying it. I think it's highly likely that the Palestinian/Israeli conflict was going to light up anyways, regardless of Trump. Ultimately, the goals of the two groups just are at odds, and they're willing to use violence. So, the conflict is sort of inevitable. Israel having way, way more capacity to inflict violence, the results are obvious.

cphite wrote:But see, here's the problem... and please understand from the start, this is not an endorsement of Trump pulling the plug on this thing, but rather an observation of why he can pull the plug.

The Iran deal isn't an actual treaty, and it technically isn't even a formal agreement; it's basically nothing more than a political commitment by the Obama administration to adhere to the guidelines set forth. The other nations involved might have differing opinions in regards to their own (and even our) legal obligations; but as far as US law is concerned, the deal doesn't even carry the weight of an executive order; and there is no international law that exists that obligates the US (or any other country) to adhere to a political commitment, especially one made by a previous administration. You can argue that it's politically a bad idea to leave the agreement, that it's unjustified, and even that it's utterly stupid; but it's not illegal.


Absolutely. Obama never got the Senate to sign off on it. Without that, it's nothing more than an administration priority, not actual law. And I'm not overly surprised that Trump doesn't share the Obama administrations priorities.

Obama was very optimistic concerning his legacy, and didn't really believe that his legacy would be Trump. Not a lot of other people thought it would be either, so his mis-estimation wasn't very unusual. But hey, that's politics.

elasto wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:But you didnt say you would paint your mate's house, you said the guy you sold your house to will paint your mate's house.

But if the leader of a nation is just speaking personally that makes the word of a democracy worthless. When the leader of a nation makes a promise he is speaking as the representative of that nation, else his word is meaningless, and everything Trump says is meaningless too. Is that really what he (and, by extension America) wants?


*looks at election results* Yeah. Yeah it is. Folks voted in Trump. Clearly, they're not super worried about the next leader upholding Obama's priorities or promises. I don't think one could get a more clear message of not giving a crap about this promise business than by electing Trump. That was the "burn it all down" option, not the "consistent continuation of affairs as they are at present" choice.

freezeblade wrote:The world: "We are pissed that we the US isn't honoring their agreements"
Conservatives: "Well you shouldn't have trusted that agreement, anyway"
The world: "You can't just do that!"
Conservatives: "Don't worry, there will be another agreement later [that will be more beneficial to the USA], trust us."
*The world looks flabbergasted*


If Obama wanted it to be "the US's agreement", there was a way to get that. He didn't do that. So, no, it's just his administration's promise. Legally, it's super clear, and no, you shouldn't be at all surprised that Republicans do not feel bound by Obama's word without legal support. Clinton might have, but it was always blatantly obvious that the Republicans were not in lockstep behind Obama.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zohar » Tue May 15, 2018 6:41 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:That said, the situation there is an ongoing situation. Washington Post and other news organizations have been running stories about mass shooting at the Gaza border for a while now.

I really don't need you to educate me on what is or isn't ongoing in Gaza.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Wed May 16, 2018 9:05 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:If Obama wanted it to be "the US's agreement", there was a way to get that. He didn't do that. So, no, it's just his administration's promise. Legally, it's super clear, and no, you shouldn't be at all surprised that Republicans do not feel bound by Obama's word without legal support. Clinton might have, but it was always blatantly obvious that the Republicans were not in lockstep behind Obama.

There wasn't a way to do that though, was there? The GOP had already decided they were going to vote down anything Obama put before them. So Obama had three choices:
1. Let Iran develop a nuclear weapon
2. Enter a disastrous war with Iran that would result in the deaths of thousands of US soldiers
3. Make the best deal possible with Iran that results in them not developing a weapon, and hope that if the Republicans take the presidency after him, they vote in someone sane enough to not immediately rip up the deal and throw it in the air like confetti

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Dauric » Wed May 16, 2018 11:32 am UTC

Mutex wrote:1. Let Iran develop a nuclear weapon


The other point about this is that by all estimates at the time of the deal Iran was 2-3 months from "breakout" or having enough enriched uranium to build a nuclear weapon. With the deal in place that was three years ago.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby emceng » Wed May 16, 2018 1:30 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:If Obama wanted it to be "the US's agreement", there was a way to get that. He didn't do that. So, no, it's just his administration's promise. Legally, it's super clear, and no, you shouldn't be at all surprised that Republicans do not feel bound by Obama's word without legal support. Clinton might have, but it was always blatantly obvious that the Republicans were not in lockstep behind Obama.

There wasn't a way to do that though, was there? The GOP had already decided they were going to vote down anything Obama put before them. So


Yeah, there really was absolutely no way for Obama to create an agreement for the USA through normal channels. The GOP had already decided power was more important than anything that might be good for the country.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Wed May 16, 2018 1:54 pm UTC

Im curious. What have the Dems done that strengthened the country at the expense of their own power?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Wed May 16, 2018 2:29 pm UTC

I suppose you could argue any kind of "progressive" policy, like the ACA, can "strengthen" the country (or at least, make things generally better for people) while angering conservatives and energising them to vote the Dems out come the next election.

But then you could say the same for the Reps if you think their policies are better for the country.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed May 16, 2018 2:36 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:If Obama wanted it to be "the US's agreement", there was a way to get that. He didn't do that. So, no, it's just his administration's promise. Legally, it's super clear, and no, you shouldn't be at all surprised that Republicans do not feel bound by Obama's word without legal support. Clinton might have, but it was always blatantly obvious that the Republicans were not in lockstep behind Obama.

There wasn't a way to do that though, was there? The GOP had already decided they were going to vote down anything Obama put before them. So Obama had three choices:
1. Let Iran develop a nuclear weapon
2. Enter a disastrous war with Iran that would result in the deaths of thousands of US soldiers
3. Make the best deal possible with Iran that results in them not developing a weapon, and hope that if the Republicans take the presidency after him, they vote in someone sane enough to not immediately rip up the deal and throw it in the air like confetti


Obama did have to deal with a lot of opposition from the Republicans, true.

Sometimes you can't legally get the thing that you want. Taking option number three isn't inherently wrong or illegal or anything, but as a result of choosing option number three, neither is the Republicans ignoring it.

CorruptUser wrote:Im curious. What have the Dems done that strengthened the country at the expense of their own power?


Excellent question. In practice, both parties seem to care a great deal about their power, and are not overly inclined to sacrifice when it would empower the other party. I don't really see a difference between them here. I don't expect to see a lot of Democrats saying, about anything, "This hurts democrats a lot, but President Trump is right here, and we ought to sacrifice our power to get this done".

Simply won't happen.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Wed May 16, 2018 7:49 pm UTC

It is part of why I am still registered as a republican even though they betrayed my values and I generally vote for third parties these days.

I firmly believe that my ideal US, one with high social mobility and predominantly small businesses, one with yes, less income inequality and especially one where racial and gender issues were solved (preferably in a good way, not "minorities outlawed"), would be one that the Rockefeller Republicans would dominate. But nooo, they had to pander to the religious nuts, and I firmly believe that their current plan is to create the ideal conditions for religion to expand, whether that's by religious doctrine metasticizing into schools, by having religious instutions displace the welfare system, or worse. But I also have the same thinking about what the ideal US would look like for the Democrats, and frankly I find that world to be downright terrifying...


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