aside Rex Tillerson States: US State Department Needs To Focus Less On Human Rights’ Issues

Tillerson/ Lavrov

Today 5/3/17, the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson took 40 minutes to lay out to the state department’s employees, his plan to support the republican President Donald Trump’s strategy to “make American great/ first again.”

What was most alarming about his monologue is this commentary “In some circumstances, if you condition our national security efforts on someone adopting our values, we probably can’t achieve our national security goals.” This is code for the state department’s intent to place less emphases on its encouragement for the improving of “human rights” conditions around the world.
It is important to note that he personally, and his former employer, ExxonMobil where he was its CEO, HAS SEVERAL LAWSUITS FILED AGAINST IT, WHICH ARE STILL IN PROCESS, FROM PEOPLES AROUND THE WORLD FOR SERIOUS HUMAN RIGHTS’ INFRACTIONS.
He despises the US State Department. (See the 1/17/17, Lee Fang and Steve Horn of Intercept report: “Rex Tillerson’s Exxon Mobil Frequently Sought State Department Assistance, New Documents Show)
Tillerson/ Trump/ Haley
HE SHOULDN’T BE THE HEAD OF THE US STATE DEPARTMENT…
On 5/3/17, Yeganeh Torbati of Reuters penned the following report, “Tillerson lays out Trump’s ‘America First’ foreign policy to skeptical officials.
“U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday (5/3/17) outlined for Department employees how an “America First” agenda translates into foreign policy, but did not address the Trump administration’s proposed budget cuts, which worry many diplomats.”

It was the first time Tillerson had addressed all employees since his first day on the job on Feb. 2, when he spoke to hundreds of State Department officials.” Image result for PHOTOS OF TILLERSON ADDRESSING HIS EMPLOYEES

“Some allies and even some U.S. officials have interpreted Republican President Donald Trump’s “America First” agenda, which puts Americans’ interests at home ahead of those of its partners overseas, as a threat to retreat from the world.”

“In the most thorough explanation yet of the Trump administration’s foreign policy views, Tillerson said U.S. foreign policy priorities had gotten “a little bit out of balance” in the previous decades.”

“”These are really important relationships to us, they’re really important alliances, but we’ve got to bring them back into balance,” he said, speaking without notes and walking around the stage in the State Department auditorium.”

Image result for PHOTOS OF TILLERSON ADDRESSING HIS EMPLOYEES“For instance, he said, the Trump administration is putting more pressure on NATO members to spend more on defense and trying to cut better deals with U.S. trading partners.”

He also signaled that the United States would de-emphasize human rights concerns in some of its interactions with other countries.

“In some circumstances, if you condition our national security efforts on someone adopting our values, we probably can’t achieve our national security goals,” Tillerson said.”

“That remark drew criticism from some diplomats. One longtime department official, who requested anonymity to speak frankly, said that any move to demote human rights and democracy would risk the foundation of U.S. leadership in the world.”

Image result for PHOTOS OF TILLERSON ADDRESSING HIS EMPLOYEESTILLERSON’S WORLD TOUR

Tillerson took a tour of U.S. priorities around the world, including in East Asia, Russia, Africa, and the Western Hemisphere, omitting Europe. He spoke for nearly 40 minutes.

With regard to North Korea, Tillerson said the administration would be willing to use so-called secondary sanctions to target foreign companies that continue to do business with Pyongyang in contravention of United Nations sanctions.”

“On China, Tillerson said the United States has a “tremendous opportunity” to define its relationship with the superpower for the next several decades, and that he sensed great interest by the Chinese leadership to do that as well.”

“In addition to North Korea, China and the United States have differing approaches or even conflicting interests in the South China Sea, over trade issues, cyber security and others.”

“Tillerson said he had told Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Moscow last month that U.S.-Russia relations were at their lowest point since the Cold War.”

“He did not disagree,” Tillerson said. “He shrugged his shoulders and nodded in agreement.”

“A working group led by Acting Deputy Secretary of State Tom Shannon is attempting to address issues “irritating” the U.S.-Russia relationship, said Tillerson, who is set to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov this month in Alaska. Trump and Putin spoke by phone on Tuesday.”

Image result for PHOTOS OF TILLERSON ADDRESSING HIS EMPLOYEES“We’ve got a long list of things to work on, from our arms agreements … to obviously getting to Ukraine, Crimea, and other places where Russia’s not being particularly helpful today,” Tillerson said.”

“But in remarks stretching to nearly 40 minutes, he did not address the administration’s proposed 28 percent budget cut for U.S. diplomacy and foreign aid, which would reduce funding for the United Nations, climate change and cultural exchange programs.”

“The Trump administration also has not named candidates for the vast majority of State Department positions requiring Senate confirmation, and many are being filled by career diplomats in “acting” positions. Tillerson began his remarks by thanking those officials, to applause from the crowd. Current and former diplomats say the acting officials do not feel empowered to make crucial choices or enact major changes in policy.”

“One veteran official in the audience criticized Tillerson’s use of the “America First” slogan. The phrase was used in the 1930s by isolationists who sought to keep the United States out of World War Two.”

“The fact that they still use ‘America First’ shows they know nothing about history, and what’s worse is they don’t care.”

“Tillerson’s remarks followed an invitation to State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development employees this week to participate in a survey to help identify “efficiency improvements,” in line with a March directive from Trump to “reorganize governmental functions and eliminate unnecessary agencies.”

“Tillerson said the State Department, like many institutions, was built in a Cold War era when global dynamics were far less complicated, and said a new “listening exercise” would aim to gather employees’ input on how to reform the State Department.”

“Said another veteran diplomat, who also requested anonymity, “It appeared that his intention was to inform us that our mission has changed from what it has been since 1945. It was clear that he came to talk, and not to listen.”

Tillerson/ Sechin/ Putin

On 1/13/17 Lee Wasserman of the LATimes penned the following op-ed piece, “What Rex Tillerson’s Exxon Mobil track record tells us.”

(Lee Wasserman is director of the Rockefeller Family Fund. The Fund has made grants to the Columbia Journalism School’s Energy and Environment Reporting Project and InsideClimate News, but has no involvement in articles they produce.)

Excerpts:

“President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to lead the State Department, has spent 41 years at the oil and gas company Exxon Mobil.  He rose through its ranks to CEO, but he was so cloistered in its corporate culture that he could not appreciate the decline of an outdated business model. As a case study for MBA students, that’s perhaps instructive; as a biography of the nominee to be secretary of State, that’s frightening.”

“Tillerson’s essential failure as chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil has been that he viewed climate change as a threat to the company’s bottom line rather than a signal to change course. When business environments and markets shift, companies must adapt or die. Tillerson must have understood the scientific consensus about climate change for decades; after all, Exxon Mobil is one of the most science-based corporations in the world. As revealed in the Los Angeles Times and InsideClimate News in 2015, internal Exxon documents dating back to the late 1970s confirmed that the burning of fossil fuels was destabilizing Earth’s climate and would likely cause catastrophic damage to the world’s ecosystems as well as immense human suffering.”

“When Tillerson ascended to CEO in 2006, he changed the company’s rhetoric, but not its actions. Exxon Mobil finally acknowledged that climate change is real. Still, Tillerson frequently equivocated and sometimes misstated the facts about climate change. In 2015 he said global temperatures had been “flat” for a decade (but they weren’t). He said climate models were too inconsistent to justify policy prescriptions (although climate models have been remarkably consistent for decades). Exxon under his leadership claimed it would stop funding groups such as the American Legislative Exchange Council that deny and obfuscate climate science (but it still hasn’t).”

“Most profoundly, Tillerson has never backed down from Exxon Mobil’s position that it can pump and burn all its known fossil fuel reserves. The scientific consensus, affirmed by the Paris agreement on climate change, is that only one-third of the world’s known reserves can be used at all if we hope to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.”

“Exxon Mobil’s disregard for the health of the planet isn’t the only thing that is disturbing about the prospect of a State Department led by Tillerson. The company and its CEO have shown shaky regard for the traditions of free speech and transparency and have attacked the credibility of professional journalists. After nongovernmental organizations, including the one I work for, criticized Exxon’s decades of climate deception, the company used legal processes to bully us and repeatedly accused us of “conspiracy,” a criminal act. When investigated for possible fraudulent statements to its shareholders on its understanding of climate science and how it accounts for its oil reserves, Exxon Mobil sued the Massachusetts and New York attorneys general rather than root out any internal corporate wrongdoing.”

“Given this record, is there reason to believe that Tillerson understands the U.S. tradition of defending human rights and a free press abroad? Will he demand transparency of his own State Department? Exxon Mobil’s lobbying and political muscle helped stymie climate legislation that would have hurt the company’s antiquated business model. Will Tillerson’s first instinct be to protect those same interests from international threats? If so, it seems certain that the $500-billion joint Russia-Exxon Mobil project to develop oil and gas in Siberia and the Russian Arctic — which was halted by U.S. sanctions after Russia invaded Ukraine — will resume.”

“For the next four years a fossil-fuel-friendly Trump administration and Vladimir Putin’s Russia could be aligned around one goal: sell as much oil and gas as possible, climate change be damned. ”

SEE: Class-Action Lawsuit Adds to ExxonMobil’s Climate Change Woes ...https://insideclimatenews.org/…/exxon-climate-change-research-oil-reserves-stranded-…Nov 21, 2016 –

14 comments

  1. Donnie and Rex, two diplomatic novices. Don’t they wonder why SecDef Mattis, when he learned the State Budget would be cut by 30%, said: “It looks like I;m, going to need more bullets!” And the letter, asking Trump to re-consider, signed by 150 retired generals and admirals. Surely. every dollar in the State Budget is more valuable than every one in Defense!

    And, when you think about it, State, Defense and the National Security Council Staff have no key lieutenants. When Trump is in a diplomatic pickle, who does he call? Jared?

    • Dear Cheekos,

      Welcome!!

      DDT and TRex are clueless as to the importance of the State Department. It has become painfully obvious that human rights is not something that’s high on their agenda.

      Thanks for stopping by and Ciao, Gronda

  2. Excellent post, Gronda! Tomorrow (well, later today actually) I shall reblog it. We have definitely stepped wither down the rabbit hole or through the looking glass. For some reason, Tillerson rather reminds me of Jack Nicholson’s character, Jack Torrance, in The Shining! This, as you said to me earlier, is NOT normal! If we must sacrifice our humanitarian values, then what is the purpose? Nothing that has transpired in the past 3 months has contributed toward ‘making America great’, but rather is taking us down a path of destruction. 😥

    Hugs, my friend.

    • Dear Jill,

      I had actually thought that TRex was one of DDT’s better choices but now I am convinced that he is one of the worst. The characterization of him as Jack Torrence is a perfect fit.

      DDT is not making America great; instead he is trying to turn the USA into a third world country.

      Thanks a million for all of your support and for this reblog.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • I always had concerns because of his connections to the fossil fuel industry (and make no mistake … he still has those connections!), but did not realize what a jerk he was until I read your post! Where did Trump find all these totally reprehensible people???

        • Dear Jill,

          This is why I gave him a pass at first. It was the former Defense Secretary Bob Gates and the former US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice who recommended him for the post.

          Both knew of him because their consulting company works with Exxon. Obviously, they didn’t know him as well as they thought.

          Hugs, Gronda

        • Yes, I remember that, and now, in light of the info you dug up earlier, I must question why Gates & Rice felt he was fit for the job. :/

          Hugs!!!

  3. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    Rex Tillerson, former CEO of Exxon-Mobil, was confirmed by the Senate in February as Secretary of State. A less qualified, less appropriate choice has, perhaps, never been appointed to this office. Fellow-blogger and friend, Gronda Morin, has done a great deal of research on Mr. Tillerson, and as always, her facts and assessment are spot on. Tillerson is on track to destroy America’s standing as one of the most respected nations in the world. As evidence, one comment noted in Gronda’s post stuck out: “He also signaled that the United States would de-emphasize human rights concerns in some of its interactions with other countries.” Please take a few moments to read Gronda’s post, for it is by far the best assessment of Tillerson that I have seen. Thank you, Gronda, for your excellent research and for permission to share.

  4. I would have thought that the voice of authority through the State Department would be a strong way of ‘Making America Great Again’…… though speaking from a UK perspective over the past years I have not actually notice America being ‘un-great’.
    Or do we go back to the criminally simplistic version that greatness is measured by the number of other people’s sons, daughters, husbands, wives, brothers and sisters killed on active service in the Armed Forces?

    • Dear Roger,

      DDT’s concept of making America great or first is his idea of moving the USA towards a third world country where everybody hops to according to his whims. Human rights? What human rights? TREX is the wolf in sheeps’ clothing who is of like mind.

      I and many others want no part of their world.It is a world of going backwards.

      Ciao, Gronda

      • I keep muttering to myself ‘C’mon you guys….learn..will you!’
        It’s a bit like that on the Far Left (my sort of political home) of the Labour Party, only without the Being In Power thing

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