Trump Picks Exxon Mobil’s Tillerson as Secretary of State and Faces Fierce Opposition from Neocons from Left and Right
President-elect Donald Trump announced Tuesday he has picked Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be secretary of state, calling the oil executive with close to ties to Russia one of the most accomplished international dealmakers in the world.
Tillerson’s business relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin are drawing opposition from Democratic and Republican neocons and will likely pose the toughest challenge for Trump. Republican Senator John McCain said, “I have concerns. It’s very well known that he has a very close relationship with Vladimir Putin,” who is “a KGB agent who is bent on restoring the Russian Empire.”
McCain was praised by the Islamic State in 2014 for helping them invade Iraq. Just as Obama, he has supported the Syrian rebels, who has been torturing, raping and slaughtering Christians. The only international leader helping Christians in Syria is Putin. McCain prefers partnership with Islamic terrorists against Russia. This is the neocon pattern.
One of the main concerns among conservative evangelicals, who were the main group supporting Trump, was: After elected, will Trump he fulfil his promise of confronting neocons, who focus on Russia, not Islamic terror, as the biggest threat?
Neocons have been for decades partnering with Islam and Islamic terror against Russia. In contrast, in his campaign Trump promised a breakthrough: partnership with Russia against Islamic terror.
Apparently, Trump is honoring his promise, because he said that Tillerson’s choice would “help reverse years of misguided foreign policies.” This is a powerful blow on neocons.
Trump called Tillerson’s career “the embodiment of the American dream.”
“His tenacity, broad experience and deep understanding of geopolitics make him an excellent choice for Secretary of State. He will promote regional stability and focus on the core national security interests of the United States,” Trump said.
Trump said that he “knows how to manage a global organization and successfully navigate the complex architecture of world affairs and diverse foreign leaders.”
Yet, the senior Democrat on foreign relations, Bob Menendez, said naming Tillerson secretary of state would be “alarming and absurd … guaranteeing Russia has a willing accomplice in the (Trump) Cabinet guiding our nation’s foreign policy.”
Neocon Republican senator Marco Rubio chimed in: “Being a ‘friend of Vladimir’ is not an attribute I am hoping for from a secretary of state.”
Trump was aware that Tillerson’s announcement would face opposition, but he chose to push through it quickly.
Actually, Tillerson has had multiple contacts with Putin as he negotiated energy deals in Russia, got awarded a medal of friendship by the Russian president, and is captured on video toasting champagne glasses with Putin.
In 2011, ExxonMobil under Tillerson signed a deal with Rosneft, Russia’s largest state-owned oil company, for joint oil exploration and production. Since then, the companies have formed 10 joint ventures for projects in Russia.
In 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded Tillerson his nation’s Order of Friendship.
But the energy deal was put on hold when the Obama administration and its European allies imposed sanctions against Russia allegedly for annexing Crimea, a region traditionally Russian for hundreds of years. Relations between Obama and Putin had in fact begun to turn sour after Russia passed a law banning homosexual propaganda for children. The law was antagonized and mocked by Obama and all the U.S. mainstream media.
ExxonMobil reportedly vowed to resume the agreement after the end of the Obama sanctions – and Tillerson has already spoken out against such sanctions and the economic hardships they impose on Russia.
Normalization of relations between the U.S. and Russia was one of the most prominent promises of Trump during his campaign.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was ready to meet with Trump “at any moment.”
In the transcript of his interview with journalists which was released Tuesday in Moscow, Putin said, “it’s widely known that the elected president of the United States has publicly called for the normalization of the Russian-American relationship. We cannot but support this.”
Who is Tillerson? A corporate titan, he has traveled the world and represented Exxon in 60 countries. As Trump, he is also soft on the gay agenda. But he never went to war against Putin over the Russian ban against the homosexual propaganda. Obama wanted a war.
Why as a businessman is he ideal as a secretary of state? Most businessmen are interested in doing deals, making money and, if the terms are not met, walking away, not starting a war.
And here is the heart of the objection to Tillerson. He wants to end the Obama sanctions and partner with Putin’s Russia, as does Trump. But among many in the mainstream media, think tanks, websites and especially Republican and Democratic neocons, this is craven appeasement. For neocons, the Cold War is never over.
The attacks on Tillerson coincide with new attacks on Russia, based on CIA sources, alleging that not only did Moscow hack into the Democratic Party and Hillary campaign, and leak what it found to hurt Hillary Clinton, but Russia was trying to help elect Trump, and succeeded.
Mainstream newspapers, which are rightly seen as left-wing and in such capacity would defend only a socialist Russia, speak of a “darkening cloud” already over the Trump presidency and warn that a failure to investigate and discover the full truth of Russia’s hacking could only “feed suspicion among millions of Americans that the election was indeed rigged.”
Behind the effort to smear Tillerson and delegitimize Trump lies a larger motive. Trump has antagonists in both parties who are alarmed at his triumph because it imperils the foreign-policy agenda that is their raison d’etre, their reason for being.
These people do not want to lift the Obama sanctions on Russia. They do not want an end to the confrontation with Russia. They do not want to force Saudi Arabia from funding ISIS. They want to enlarge NATO to encompass Sweden, Finland, Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.
They have in mind the permanent U.S. encirclement of Russia.
They want to provide offensive weapons to Kiev to reignite the civil war in the Donbass and enable Ukraine to move on Crimea. This would mean a war with Russia that Ukraine would lose and the U.S. and its NATO allies would be called upon to intervene in and fight.
Their goal is to bring down Putin and bring about “regime change” in Moscow.
In the campaign, Trump said he wanted to get along with Russia, to support all the forces inside Syria and Iraq fighting to wipe out ISIS and al-Qaida, and to stay out of any new Middle East wars – like the disaster in Iraq – that have cost the U.S. “6 trillion dollars.”
This is what America voted for when it voted for Trump – to put America First and “make America great again.” But neocon agitators are already beating the drums for military confrontation.
Early in his presidency, if not before, Trump is going to have to impose his foreign policy upon his own party and, indeed, upon his own government. Or his presidency will be broken. Or he will govern for neocons or for his voters, according to his promises that got him elected.
He is having a good beginning. By nominating Rex Tillerson for secretary of state, he is directly confronting neocons.
With information from WorlNetDaily (Pat Buchanan’s article “Will Trump defy McCain & Marco?”), DailyMail and the Associated Press.
Portuguese version of this article: Trump escolhe Tillerson da empresa petrolífera Exxon Mobil como secretário de Estado
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