Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Career Stupid

This morning the Senate has voted to override Mr. Obama's veto of the bill that would allow Americans to sue Saudi Arabia for 9/11. Specifically, the people in question are the families of 9/11 victims. The House is set to override in a few hours. I have called Senator Michael Bennett and Congressman Ed Perlmutter to express my disgust with this naked act of vote whoring.
Let me say, without equivocation and in the strongest possible terms, that our Congress has made a career out of doing stupid things over the years; but this is beyond stupid. In an election year, in an effort to appease a group of people who will never be appeased and who have an incredible amount of political clout, we have set a precedent that can come back on us in myriad ways. Supposing while we are suing the Saudis, Iraq sues us for war crimes? If the Saudis' national sovereignty is meaningless in the current geopolitical Gestalt, so is ours. Supposing Saudi Arabia calls in or sells off $117 billion of U.S. debt which makes them the 13th largest holder of our debt (CNN Money, May 16, 2016)? Who will they sell too, and what effect will this have on our bond market?
Finally, who can really enforce jurisdiction to hear these lawsuits - our courts or the World Court? If the latter, will that court even recognize these legal maneuvers? How are these settlements, if any, to be enforced and collected? What effect does this have on our interests overseas - economic, diplomatic and military? This is an ill thought out act of political grandstanding which, I believe, we will come to regret.

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