Tillerson's ouster no surprise — Editorial

Glen Norman
April 10, 2018

President Trump has endorsed Mike Pompeo to become the 70 Secretary of State if and when confirmed by the Senate. But Pompeo remains a major opponent of the atomic accord, while Tillerson had been pursuing a delicate strategy with European allies and others to try to improve or augment the Obama-era deal. "That fact is, he lacks the basic management skills required to allow good people be their best".

Underscoring Trump's crass cowardice, he didn't have the guts to fire Tillerson in person or even by phone. "European powers will play a role in balancing his desire".

Washington Post reporter Robert Costa said on MSNBC that the president is seeking to return to his freewheeling campaign days without "constraints". The record of the State Department under the sacked secretary of state did not reflect the spirit of the White House and its policies on many crucial matters, most importantly that of Iran. Its what he's done in his professional life, his personal life and clearly what he's doing in his political life. Saudi Arabia's English-language Arab News had the same headline.

The UAE, along with Bahrain, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, cut off land, sea and air routes to Qatar in June 2017.

Late-night hosts used the news as an excuse to poke fun at Trump. Abbas wrote in a front-page editorial.

The State Department is as the primary purveyor of the diplomatic instrument of national power. Tillerson, an Eagle Scout and man of principle, absolutely refused the kind of right-or-wrong, blind alignment with the president that Trump demanded.

Kuwait, which has sought to broker an end to the Qatar crisis, offered no immediate comment, though a local newspaper described Tillerson's departure as striking "like an earthquake" in a headline.

Paul also announced to try to block the nomination of Pompeo to succeed Tillerson.

"I oppose her because she believes that waterboarding should be something that we use", Paul said.

The surprising thing about the removal of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is not that Donald Trump fired him, but that he waited a year and a half to do so - given that the president is well known for his outspoken outbursts.Everyone knows that Trump and Tillerson disagreed on many key issues, including the nuclear deal with Iran, North Korea, dealing with Russia, and of course Qatar.His differences with the president aside, the Secretary of State also had disagreements with the government's most prominent leaders, including the head of the CIA, Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner, the Homeland Security Advisor, and Trump's ambassador to the UN.Does the secretary of state have an important and effective role in a system headed by a strong president like Trump and his assistants?

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