Congress reins in Trump’s peace-making powers

You might think Congress would try to rein in President Trump’s war-making powers, considering his lack of judgment and self-control.

You might think Congress would have second-thoughts about giving Trump authority to engage in acts of war, order assassinations and engage in economic warfare, strictly on his own say-so.

You might thank that, and so might I.

But what Congress has done is to let all of Donald Trump’s war-making powers stand, while limiting his power to make peace.

The new sanctions legislation writes existing sanctions against Russia into law, enacts new sanctions and forbids the President to lift sanctions without consent of Congress.

  • This is a bad idea because it puts the USA in a permanent state of cold war with the world’s second largest nuclear weapons power.
  • This is a bad idea because it sets the United States against its European allies, who see their oil and gas prices go up.
  • This is a bad idea because President Putin is likely to retaliate by ending U.S.-Russian co-operation in the space program.

All this is to punish the Russian government for interfering in the 2017 U.S. election, even though such interference has never been proved.

The charge that Russians hacked the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign computers is treated by Congress and most of the Washington press as a proved fact, but the FBI has never been allowed access to those computers, and has never demanded access to those computers.


The sanctions bill passed the House of Representatives by a 319 to 3 vote and the Senate by a 98 to 2 vote.    The three “nay” votes in the House came from libertarian Republicans—Justin Amash of Michigan, John Duncan of Tennessee and Thomas Massie of Kentucky.

The two “nay” votes in the Senate came from Rand Paul, a libertarian Kentucky Republican, and Bernie Sanders, whose opposed the bill on the grounds that it also contained increased sanctions against Iran, which he thought will threaten the nuclear agreement..

Duncan voted against the original resolution authorizing the invasion of Iraq, and Amash has sought repeal of the USA Patriot Act.  I am not a libertarian myself, but I respect these men for their defense of civil liberties and opposition to unconstitutional wars.

Maybe someday they will be remembered along with Wayne Morse of Oregon and Ernest Gruening of Alaska, the only two Senators to vote against the Gulf of Tonkin resolution in 1964.


Trump signs Russia sanctions bill but blasts Congress by Matthew Nussbaum and Elana Schor for POLITICO.

Relations With Russia Sour Further by Ian Welsh.

Collateral Damage: U.S. Sanctions Aimed at Russia Strike European Allies by Diana Johnstone for Counterpunch.

New Russian Sanctions Show Putin Exactly Where to Retaliate by Jeffrey Carr for Medium.  How the sanctions hurt NASA and U.S. military contractors.

Did Hillary Scapegoat Russia to Save Her Own Campaign? by Mike Whitney for Counterpunch.

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2 Responses to “Congress reins in Trump’s peace-making powers”

  1. Alex Says:

    I think it’s important that the US start repairing relations with Russia.

    I hope it’s the first item on President Pence’s agenda when he takes office in the next year.


  2. Seen2013 Says:

    Election interference is a tactical objective of espionage that while considered an act of war falls under by Diplomatic History as an action everyone does and everyone knows everyone does it. As a general rule of thumb, you don’t call out an act of war if you don’t intend to follow through with a declaration of war.

    Not much point in stymieing the administration’s ability to negotiation agreements to be ratified by the Senate unless the aim is to follow through calling out an act of war with pain of war through a declaration.

    As for ‘President Pence’ pursuing peaceful relations, Pence is a Bush Republicanism, Neocon, Social Conservative proponent Progressive Republican.

    Their foreign policy is expansionist think Star Trek’s Borg.
    “We are US resistance is futile. Prepare to be assimilated’. Their foreign policy in a nutshell.


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