Why The Neutralist? The term Isolationist implies a narrow Fortress America outlook and is used as an epithet. The term Neutralist does not indicate someone hiding out from the world. No one calls the Swiss isolationists. The Wilsonian world view is old, tired and wrong. Our interventions have been less and less successful and now the failure can no longer be covered up.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

I know I'll never find another Yoo, fortunately

John Yoo has an op-ed piece in the New York Times, you know the scandal sheet that features the merger of neoliberals and neoconservatives to bomb countries and then bring their suffering populations here.

Mr. Yoo, in the Bush administration, claimed the president could legally engage in torture. One would think the great and good might move away from the man who. according to Jon Schwarz of the intercept,

Yoo’s legal reasoning, as he (together with his superior Jay Bybee, who’s now a federal judge) advised the Bush White House, is that “the Department of Justice could not enforce Section 2340A [the federal probation against torture] against federal officials acting pursuant to the President’s constitutional authority to wage a military campaign.” In other words, the president can’t crush a 6-year-old boy’s testicles for fun, but if he thinks some child-testicle-crushing is needed to win the war, it’s totally constitutional.
You too might have thought that the world would have distanced itself from John Yoo, but no, he found a nice spot as a professor at Berkeley.  Wonder what he feels about his place of employment as that Madrassa has no problem with masked thugs suppressing speech.

The good professor's piece at the Times notes his misgivings about our new president.

Yoo has a problem with Mr. Trump on a few constitutional points.

Immigration has driven Mr. Trump even deeper into the constitutional thickets. Even though his executive order halting immigration from seven Muslim nations makes for bad policy, I believe it falls within the law. But after the order was issued, his adviser Rudolph Giuliani disclosed that Mr. Trump had initially asked for “a Muslim ban,” which would most likely violate the Constitution’s protection for freedom of religion or its prohibition on the state establishment of religion, or both — no mean feat. Had Mr. Trump taken advantage of the resources of the executive branch as a whole, not just a few White House advisers, he would not have rushed out an ill-conceived policy made vulnerable to judicial challenge.
So we bomb and torture people in MENA and Yoo is okay with that. Those folks may not harbor affection for us and understandably may want to harm us. The new president may believe that Muslims from disaffected regions may want to do that. Is that in the "constitutional thickets?"
If he were to proscribe the Muslim faith for all who are here legally and are citizens, no one would contest that that was unconstitutional.  People who are not here, well that is another story, and a full complement of the Supreme Court should be the final arbiter, but the idea itself is not at all outside the bounds of reason.

On December 1, The then president-elect outlined his foreign policy,
"We will destroy ISIS. At the same time, we will pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past. We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments, folks," Trump told attendees at the U.S. Bank Arena. "Our goal is stability, not chaos because we wanna rebuild our country. It's time."
"In our dealings with other countries, we will seek shared interests wherever possible and pursue a new era of peace, understanding, and good will."
I am not sure if Trump completely means this.  Rumors of nominating Elliott Abrams as Deputy Secretary of State are not reassuring.  Nevertheless, the quote, while not neutralist, is a better sentiment than anything Mr. Yoo or any neocon has ever come up with.

I hope Trump means it and that we never hear from Mr. Yoo again.

No comments: