Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Rex Tillerson - Stranger In A Strange Land

The World Through the 
Eyes of Rex Tillerson
Darn. I was supposed to only
 have to be a "one trick pony."
I just go where I'm told. That's right,
 isn't it, Mr. Trump?

Prior to his nomination to become Secretary of State for the Trump Administration, Donald Trump had never met Rex Tillerson. The unusual selection of this particular candidate seems to have had a great deal in common with the equally unusual selection of Paul Manafort to serve as Trump's campaign chairman.

Viewed -- as objectively as possible, of course -- from a comfortable distance both Manafort and Tillerson appear to the casual observer as individuals chosen by some unseen actor and "sent" to Trump with their respective job descriptions spelled out by a tag on their jackets. Attorney General Beauregard Sessions' ascent to power from his old job in the Senate seems to be another "unusual" nomination.

By this point most MeanMesa visitors have already become painfully aware of whom this "unseen actor" probably was. While the precise location of Vlad's palace is held in a shrouded, understandable secrecy, the modest Black Sea retreat [worth possibly as much as $1 Bn US] is tucked away somewhere in the vicinity of Gelendzik in the Krasnodar Krai [South Caucuses] region of Russia.

We can assume that the "unseen actor" who provided all these great "staffing ideas" to Donald Trump may have assembled his list while seated in a very comfortable Russian arm chair carefully positioned by a cozy fire place right in this very palace. MeanMesa is absolutely certain that these "interesting coincidences" can almost certainly be tracked back to this place. Further, although there are plenty more "interesting coincidences" wedged into the Trump Presidency, we'll need to address only one more for this post.

Immediately upon arriving in Washington, Trump ordered the hired hands in his Administrative staff to commence plans and preparations for the lifting of sanctions placed on Russian oligarchs by the Obama Administration as punishment for invading Crimea. Happily, the Republicans and Democrats in Congress quickly penned a new bill prohibiting the new President from "betting the farm" by arbitrarily lifting these sanctions. And, in a rare bi-partisan moment the Congress passed it with a 98%, VETO-proof majority.

Naturally, Trump had to sign the bill into law to save face politically. To date he has defiantly failed to implement any of the legislative requirements of the new law, but -- at least -- we can take "theoretical" comfort with the fact that it's all jotted down on Congressional paper over his signature. [Maybe some future President will enforce it -- if we ever have another President.]

The Strange Case of the Mysterious Secretary of State
Are you telling me that there's something else to this job
 besides landing the GASPROM Arctic Oil deal?
Gutting the State Department should speed things up a bit.

"Russian Federation
 Medal of Friendship"
Expert on Diplomacy
 and International
[...just kidding...]
and Mysteriously
 Secretary of State
Rex Tillerson

Rex, in his role as EXXON CEO, had already made some impressive progress in the promotion of the $500 Bn Arctic oil exploration plan the Russians had been toiling on for a decade. Of course all the players were "terribly discouraged" when the US deployed an aggressive sanctions package after the Russians "annexed" Crimea.

The sanctions directly blocked the Russians' planned "Arctic oil adventure" in a number of ways. They also targeted the oligarchic billionaires in Putin's "inner circle" -- especially targeting Russian access to international banking.

So, why did Trump mysteriously choose a man he had never met to be his Secretary of State? 

The answer might involve another heavily soiled, "fleeting denizen" of the Trump transition team, Carter Page. Carter had been sorely "tempted" with the possibility of "managing" the half trillion dollar load of Arctic oil on commission. Needless to say, even a "commission percentage" of a half trillion dollars is, well, some serious money.

This would have been an entirely expected chapter in Putin's Mafia style, Russian "play book," and, as such, would have fit very nicely into Trump's big picture plan to accomplish something similar in the United States. [Putin had already "sold" the old Soviet Union's industrial and resource assets to his crime family for a dime on the dollar. This is why Trump has consistently idolized Vlad from even before the election.]

Nonetheless, there were sanctions, and Rex Tillerson did become Trump's Secretary of State. Although the Russian oil deal was more or less permanently stuck in the ice, Rex suddenly found himself mired in all manner of other, "Secretary of State" business almost immediately.

Best friends. Putin and Tillerson
after GASPROM deal.
Come  on.
It's just an innocent medal.
Rex is working hard to
 Make America Great Again.
Further complicating this sudden "shift in his career" was the "destruction of the administrative state" idea that Trump's real friend, Steve Bannon had begun while he was still prowling, unguarded, in the West Wing. Part of the "administrative state" which had suffered Bannon's anarchistic, alt-right "death touch" was the US State Department. It had been hollowed out to the degree which left it essentially unable to function. The Department had been castrated. It had become a collection of empty desks with, of course, the totally inexperienced Rex Tillerson "in command."

Worse, all manner of "non-oil" matters rose up to crowd into the soup -- Iran, North Korea, Venezuela and Ukraine had "exploded diplomatically." For "frosting on the cake," there were hurricanes and a mass killing. In more normal times the State Department would have been tasked with responding to such things. The vacuum was becoming nerve wracking. Even worse, Tillerson -- never famous for being particularly "chatty" -- became an isolated pariah at the hands of the media. His public image fell to tatters.

Happily, Rex's future was well established. He would not be reliant upon a successful Cabinet performance to secure his retirement. A corporate oil executive, Tillerson's education amounted to merely an Associate's degree from the University of Texas. Compared to the far more impressive educational backgrounds of previous Secretaries of State, it is no surprise that Rex found many of these current issues quite alien to his experience. MeanMesa suggests that impetuous foreign interests intend to exploit this lack of back ground understanding at every opportunity.

[Think about it. Recent Secretaries: Madeline Albright, Colin Powell, Condaleeza Rice, Hillary Rodham Clinton. We're not talking Associate degrees.]

The selection of Tillerson is consistent with Trump's "trademark" obsession of packing amateurs and otherwise poorly suited choices into powerful Cabinet positions -- usually with the incentive of increasing his personal wealth at some point in the future.

Notably, Senator Bob Corker [R, TN], during his slapping match with the President, said that Chief of Staff Kelly, Secretary of Defense Mattis and Secretary of State Tillerson were the three men who were separating the United States from chaos. 

MeanMesa can only hope that Mattis and Kelly are better motivated, better prepared and more competent than Rex Tillerson in this desperate, baby sitting Triumvirate. 

This is humorous, right? [image source - YOUTUBE]

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