Monday, April 30, 2012

Obama Sidesteps Congress—Again

Islamist-friendly Barack Obama has once again used his executive power to undo the work of Congress. Using his broad power to advance national security, Obama has restored a $192 million aid package to the Palestinian Authority. In one stroke of the pen he has further emboldened the Islamists and put an exclamation point on his hostility to Israel. Congress had frozen the funds in light of the PA’s attempt to gain official statehood at the United Nations.

The funds were also frozen because of internal actions within the Palestinian Authority. The PA authority president Mahmoud Abbas represents the Fatah faction, and was the almost automatic successor to Yasser Arafat. Given the hostility to the United States and Israel evidenced by both Arafat and Abbas, it would be expected that any American funds given to the PA would be done more as a bribe than anything else. And until the move for statehood at the UN, that was pretty much the pattern of both the Bush and Obama administrations.

But there is more involved than just the failed UN action. Like so many Middle East “governments,” the Palestinian Authority plays fast and loose with its foundational documents and veneer of democracy. When the Palestine Liberation Organization nominated its chairman Abbas to be president of the Palestinian National Authority, he ran as the Fatah candidate and won. The officially-recognized governmental organization is the Palestinian Authority, and as head of the Palestinian National Authority, Abbas became the official spokesman and negotiator for Palestine and the Palestinian Authority. Confusing enough?

In 2011, Abbas’s term as head of the government expired, but there was extreme unrest and dissension throughout the area, so he extended his authority for a year with very little political or legal authority to do so. In order to preserve his position, Abbas made a move which changed the entire formula. Abbas didn’t want to risk a civil war involving his main opposition, so he simply held out an olive branch and got the cooperation (and participation) of Hamas. And that’s where the trouble really begins.

Hamas is an official terrorist organization as defined by the United States Department of State. Combined with the move for statehood at the UN, this political arrangement was simply too much for Congress to accept, and the $192 million package was frozen. The language of the Congressional resolution (the Palestinian Accountability Act) states that “No funds available to any United States Government department or agency may be obligated or expended with respect to providing funds to the Palestinian Authority.”

Fatah was naturally opposed to Israel, wants it own nationhood to include significant land within Israel, and demands the right to share Jerusalem. But Hamas goes much farther than that. Hamas’s core political stance is that Israel must cease to exist entirely and become part of the Islamic nation of Palestine. Any supporter of Israel’s existence is an enemy of Hamas and therefore subject to attack by Hamas (and by implication now, by the Palestinian Authority). Even with the weak-spined Obama in office, the official position of America is that Israel is a legitimate nation and an ally of the United States. Both logically and rhetorically, that makes America and Americans subject to Hamas/PA attack.

Obama did another one of his “get it lost in the weekend news slump” maneuvers. He announced the waiver for the PA on Friday night at the end of the news cycle and just as Vice President Joe Biden was announcing that if Mitt Romney had been president, he wouldn’t have ordered the capture and/or death of Osama bin Laden. Put a big lie on top of another executive order, and the public will be too busy noticing the lie to notice the order.

Obama gave no details or explanation of his dismissal of Congress’s clear will except to invoke “national security.” And sadly, he is on fairly solid constitutional grounds. He, not Congress, is charged with conducting foreign policy. Most presidents will show due respect for the wishes of Congress, particularly the funding provided by the House of Representatives. But Obama is not “most presidents.” He enjoys ruling by fiat and using the Constitution against itself. He may not owe Congress an explanation, but he does owe an explanation to the American people and our ally Israel.

28 comments:

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk,

I still believe that Obama is a Muslim. Every time when it is a question of Muslim or non-Muslim action, even when it helps the US for a non-Muslim action, he picks Muslim.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Why am I not surprised? Obama has bent over backwards to help the Muslim Brotherhood, another terrorist group who will most likely keep sending Egypt further into the dark ages of jihadist barbarism.

Egypt is already far worse than it was under their deposed dictator and the entire Arab Spring debacle has created more instability in the region as both Egypt and Libya move to institute Sharia law and embrace Islamic fundamentalism.

Add to that the attacks on Christians with impunity in Egypt, saber rattling at Israel that will likely escalate beyond moving arms to the Palestinians and destruction of the oil pipeline to Israel, and states that are sympathetic to terrorists (indeed, they have elected many terrorists to lead them).

Why is Obama giving money to them? Seems he does have a soft spot for these democratic (mob rule) terrorist organizations.

It's no secret where Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood stand.
They hate Israel and the US. They will do anything they can to hurt us both but Israel is closer.

Does Obama really think that giving billions to these terrorists will somehow make them peaceful? Or does he hope for the destruction of Israel like they do?

Obama's actions thus far indicate that he too hates Israel and his loyalty to the US and our Constitution is no longer suspect. He has none.

I don't know if he's a muslim but he certainly prefers muslim terrorists over Jews and Christians and barbarism over civilization.

Good post, LawHawk!
I can't wait for America to send Obama a one way ticket out of office.
Obama is a dirtbag. BTW has he ever said he quit eating dogs?

Tennessee Jed said...

Forgetting for a second the issue of the right or wrong of a specific executive branch action, the concept of executive branch over reach is troubling in and of itself. let's face it, partisans will tend to defend (or at least overlook) the power grab depending on who the occupant is.

I honestly don't know what congress does about it, particularly when the make-up of the legislative branch is so evenly split the way it is right now. That is the nature of the two branches. One executive (POTUS) but two houses with one requiring a 60 % super majority to do anything. I suppose the house could try and hold hearings.

One other thing that seems to work against conservatives. It seems like their are tons of "protected" positions stocked with liberals just looking to leak anything and everything. I'm particularly thinking state department which has been that way ever since FDR stocked it with communists back in the 30's. My own belief it everyone in the executive branch should serve at the president's pleasure, but I know that is probably not feasible.

tryanmax said...

I still won't go all-in saying Obama is a Muslim. Communists and socialists have never been too picky about who they share a bed with and they've spooned with radical Islam many times before.

T-Rav said...

Is it any wonder that Israel is no longer sharing its secret military contingency plans with us? (That's rhetorical. Of course it isn't.)

By the way, I don't think Obama is a Muslim either, any more than I think he's a Christian. He's an atheist who believes in oppression theory and considers Israel an enemy to the innocent little Arabs.

Tehachapi Tom said...

HAWK
Your post this AM is great. I for one had not heard yet of bo's latest slam against political correctness.
Any attempt to attach him to doing of good or right creates an oxy-moron.
I would like to hear about his main interests.
Has his golf handicap been made public?
What is his favorite vacation venue?
Does he keep any records of his basketball shooting percentages and what is it?

StanH said...

Nothing surprises me with Barry the Benevolent Boy King. His duplicitous actions betray the trust of our allies, belie decades and in some cases centuries of good faith. We must fix the mistake of ’08.

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: We may never be entirely sure what Obama's religion is. If he's a Christian, I'm a Zoroastrian. But we can be certain that he was very heavily influenced by Islam as a child and has great respect and empathy for it now. That is based both on his own words and deeds. I wouldn't be too upset if he were a Muslim if he had just be honest about it, but it's radical Islam we have to worry about and that doesn't seem to worry him very much.

LawHawkRFD said...

Ben: Obama has never met a fundamentalist Muslim Arab regime he didn't like. And even with the non-Arab Muslims in Iran his words and actions have been far too mild. End-running Congress on funding for Palestine is just the most recent example of the lengths he will go to to buoy up Islamist terrorist regimes. It would be bad enough if he just sat back and let his diplomatic paralysis do the damage, but he actively assists in creating the damage.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: Obama's use of the executive order to thwart the will of Congress is becoming legendary. Every president in the modern era has used it to a greater or lesser extent, but Obama has gone beyond them all by turning it into a tool for personal rule. Usually, the use of the executive order has been to implement an action that Congress has gotten stalled on or differs somewhat from the president's position. This particular action on Palestine is nothing short of outright defiance of Congress on an issue of national security.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: That is pretty much the way I look at it. I think Obama's religion is Obama. If Islam ever got seriously in the way of his agenda, he'd attack it too. We'd be hearing about people clinging to their guns and Korans.

Communists and socialists are not Islam's only strange bedfellows. The Nazis shared a bed with them historically as well. Obama seems to have missed that juicy little tidbit.

AndrewPrice said...

Actually, I have to say that I think Obama is preparing to attack Iran with Israel, so a lot of what we are hearing is fake. That's why they repositioned a lot of stealth fighters to UAE in the past few weeks. October surprise.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: I knew your question was rhetorical. It will be interesting to see what Obama will have to say if (when?) Israel feels forced to attack the Iranian nuclear facilities. Will he cluck-cluck or give the action lukewarm support? I'm sure he won't praise it.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tehachapi Tom: He would like us to concentrate on that list you gave rather than notice he has just taken another dangerous step which supports Islamist terrorism.

LawHawkRFD said...

Stan: Kicking him out of the White House is vital. It will take years to undo the damage he has done, both domestically and in the area of foreign relations.

T-Rav said...

Hmmm. That would require more guts than I give Obama credit for, but it would be an interesting election tactic. Problem is, I don't think that would give him much of a bounce, if voters are as focused on the economy in six months as they are now.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: He's just cynical enough to do that very thing, isn't he? At least it would prove he learned something from Bill Clinton.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: Andrew has a very good point. A wave of patriotism can be a heady brew, and a successful raid on Iran's nuclear facilities in October would likely have that narcotic effect through the November elections. If it does happen, we can only hope that those on the political fence will see through the cynicism of it. When thinking logically, those voters will concentrate on the miserable state of the economy. But nothing distracts from longterm disgust with a poor economy as well as a big military victory against a hated enemy.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, even as a long-shot, that makes a helluva lot more sense of Obama's seemingly schizophrenic Mid-East policy than anything else I've heard.

tryanmax said...

BTW, how did you learn that about the stealth fighters?

tryanmax said...

Sorry for the multi-post, but Andrew's prediction is hitting me like a load of bricks, but one that came undone in the fall. *plunk, plunk, plunk*

That also would explain why the Obama campaign is attacking Romney as weak on defense, a seeming non-issue given our relatively peaceful state at present.

tryanmax said...

Last one, I swear. Andrew, please tell me you have an an article in the works.

LawHawkRFD said...

I have to leave for an appointment, but I'll get back as quickly as I can. Meanwhile, I look forward to everyone's comments on the thought Andrew let us in on this morning. Very thought-provoking, and a little worrying.

AndrewPrice said...

Here's the thing....

Too often, conservatives dismiss Obama because they don't like him. Their ability to see what is really going on is clouded by VAST overstatements of ideas like him being in love with Muslims or being a secret Muslim or having a plan to destroy the US. None of that is true. It’s all derangement.

And for all the rhetorical bluster of people (both sides) on these issues, his foreign policy is REMARKABLY similar to Bush's when implemented. Indeed, he's been remarkably "masculine" in how he's fighting terrorism -- almost trigger happy. He's authorized thousands of drone strikes into countries like Pakistan, Yemen and throughout Africa (things Bush was afraid to do), he's authorized the bombing of Libya, and he's sent US troops into a half dozen conflicts. He's even tried to erase the existence of the people they are holding at Gitmo. So he's more than willing to fight.

He's also authorized (apparently) assassinations of scientists in Iran and the use of computer attacks against their infrastructure. Add in the fact that they've been laying the groundwork for bombing for a year now -- everything from spreading the word of Iran working with Mexican narco-gangs to the whole "we tried all the sanctions we could" to leaking details about Iran's bomb program. Also add in the movement of a second aircraft carrier to the region a few months ago, the sale of radar avoiding planes to Saudi, the withdrawal of US troops from harms way in Iraq, and now the positioning of the AF's latest generation stealth fighters in the UAE (the AF says, "oh, this is just a natural deployment." Bull!), and it all adds up.

The fact Obama hasn't said anything is more proof. When countries aren't ready to act, they pound the table. When they are ready, they go silent. Obama has gone silent. It all adds up that they are planning an attack soon.

Now the political question is different. Will it help him? No, it will hurt him, because people will see this as a desperate attempt to make himself look stronger before the election. But I don't think this is about politics, I think this is a genuine need.

P.S. tryanmax, the article about the stealth fighters was one of these “page 17” stories on one of the news sites. Since its meaning isn’t obvious, i.e. it requires some thought as to the implications, it seems to have been ignored by the press.

rlaWTX said...

Does the money for the PA come from the Executive Branch's budget? Is that why he can get away with this? Because otherwise, can't the House just refuse to give him the money? Or is all so enmeshed that it doesn't really matter where the money is from?

As for his "faith", it is in the most expedient idea possible that will not interfere in his underlying belief in the socialistic, race-based theories.

Iran: even with the thought of a "bump", him actually participating in a useful endeavor with Israel is great!

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: I think a great deal of what you say is true. I also think events are driving Obama more than he is driving himself. On foreign policy, I worry more about him being a drifter that about him being in some conspiratorial league with Jihadistan. I do think he's going to do something about Iran, and you may have the early evidence. As for the other countries, I'm not so sure. I'd rather see him act than react, but I'll settle for what we can get. His biggest disaster is still the economy and the home front, so a successful attack on the Iranian nuclear facilities could go either way politically, and may just end up as a wash.

And just as a thought on his leadership, such as it is. Some madmen won't be deterred by anything. But many can be deterred by Teddy Roosevelt's "walk softly, but carry a big stick." Whatever happens, I will always wonder if it would have made a difference if Obama had exuded strength without bluster (like Reagan). If the foreign opponent thinks you're weak, he will take advantage of it.

LawHawkRFD said...

And I guess I should add a couple of other thoughts. Could this end up being another Carter hostage rescue fiasco? And will military action become a necessity which might have been avoided if both Bush and Obama had made it clear what they meant if Iran went forward with its nuclear program?

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: The president always has contingency funds available to him, and much of our defense budget is such a patchwork of conflicting agendas that this expenditure is rather insignificant dollar-wise. It's the defiance of Congress's clear will that irks.

The classical example of this kind of showdown was when Congress refused to send Teddy Roosevelt's all-new and improved Great White Fleet around the world to demonstrate American naval might. Roosevelt simply sent them anyway, saying "I have enough money in my contingency fund to send the Fleet halfway around the world. It's up to Congress to get it back home."

I think Obama's faith is strictly in himself.

And I will be one of those who give Obama full credit if he is indeed planning on supporting our most important ally in the Middle East. I don't hate Obama enough to take a genuine and necessary American victory away from him. We'll see what happens.

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