Last week the American people watched Donald Trump’s choice for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson allowing a Senate panel to ask him questions. The former CEO of ExxonMobil was supposed to be grilled by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Instead the granite hard businessman appeared to be conducting a board meeting and paying lip service to populist Washington dogma. Here’s a look at the real Rex Tillerson for those confused by mainstream media.
First things first, America did not just elect a politician to the White House, we elected a businessman. However, people who are “all business” know how to play politics too, and the best business people play politics easily. When Donald Trump announced his selection of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State I knew instantly the United States would reset the catastrophe Barack Obama orchestrated. Tillerson being “approved” by the Senate? Give me a break, he either owns half of them or scares the hell out of all of them. Reading the liberal news following his confirmation chat and watching the live testimony, I cannot help but wonder if anybody else saw the ExxonMobil boss the way I did – commanding, impatient, ready to “get on with it”. If you did not see this, allow me to illuminate for you who Rex Tillerson is and what is about to happen.
A career executive of ExxonMobile, Rex Tillerson is the most experienced foreign relations oriented businessman in the world, and the toughest. He began his career back in 1975 and quickly distinguished himself and by 1989 he had become general manager of the Exxon USA central production division. Then in 1995 he underwent the test of Middle Eastern fire, becoming the President of Exxon Yemen Inc. and Esso Exploration/Production Khorat Inc. Tillerson’s job, outside of marshalling tens of thousands of employees and hundreds of major projects, has largely been about squeezing the last drop or BTU of energy out of this planet. As cynical or bombastic as this sounds, this is where energy titans put their toughest executives. Looking at Khorat in Thailand, Tillerson was sent in to ramp up massive production in the country’s first commercial natural gas field at Nam Phong. Today the field is all but pumped dry, which is what energy companies do, after all. In Yemen, the story was the same.
Not many will have heard of the so-called “Yemengate” in which family owned Hunt Oil out of Texas was accused of stealing the wealth of Yemen via the company’s alleged unscrupulous winning rights to fields in the deserts around Ma’rib. The company made famous by Texas oil tycoon H.L. Hunt was in a fix back in 1995, as the Yemenis began to bristle at how fast, furious, and ferociously the company exploited this oil wealth. Then when large natural gas deposits were discovered, Hunt Oil’s lack of experience in this field propelled France’s TOTAL into the forefront as bidder. Exxon had bought into the Hunt oil fields, and it was Rex Tillerson who was sent there to clean up an international oil and natural gas mess. Tillerson’s role, in short, was to pump as much of the remaining oil out of Ma’rib as possible before the lid blew off Yemen. Gods of damage control, this is the moniker of the best of the best chief executives, and Tillerson is up there on Olympus. Negotiations become edicts from people like this Texan, take my word.
By 1998 Tillerson was Vice-President of “Exxon ventures (CIS) Inc.” and President of the company “ekson Neftegaz limited”. This time he was responsible for projects in Russia and the Caspian region, as well as for the activities of the Consortium “Sakhalin-1” on the shelf of Sakhalin island in Russia. Fast forward to Mr. Tillerson’s association with Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The New York Times brought to light Exxon’s billions wrapped up in Russia back in December, 2016, in an effort to cast doubt on Donald Trump’s selection. While Exxon billions trapped in Russia by sanctions are a fact, the Times is shortsighted like all mainstream media. Russian, CIS, and Middle Eastern resources are the crux of today’s failed détente, to be sure. Tillerson is a huge neon flashing sign for anyone with brains enough to discern, a sign for a paradigm. Let me explain.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton (or Obama) are not exactly on opposing teams. For the same reason Rex Tillerson’s confirmation is nothing more than a formality, the Trump shift is only a pragmatic American move. What do you think the America-Russia divide was all along? No, the Cold War was never about ideologies, it was about wealth, control, and about impeding the inevitable. Put simply, if you control the largest country in the world, you are destined to control the world market. Where energy and strategic minerals is concerned, Russia is a crippling reality and the Holy Grail of conquest. Simplistically, the mission of the Clinton, Bush and the Obama administrations was like an American land grab in the Wild West. Throw some familiar names in the pot like Rockefeller and Rothschild if you need to, Ukraine and other conflicts, the media war on Putin’s administration has been about one thing – the fragmentation and dividing up of Russia for those resources. Gas pipelines, the progress Russian gas promotes, Europe in the balance and flailing, all the political chaos you see comes down to this. If you are wondering if Tillerson and Putin are pals, the answer is, “not exactly”. Respectful and understanding business colleagues is more like it. Putin’s job is to power up Russia, Tillerson’s will be to help Donald Trump recharge America.
The mission has failed again. Napoleon could not do it. Hitler and the Nazi war machine could not do it. The Berlin Wall falling did not, the constitutional crisis of 1993, Chechnya, massive sanctions, an attack on the ruble, Syria and a dozen other orchestrated moments failed to bring Russia under western control or to even register a loss on the Russian side of this land grab. Donald Trump and his Secretary of State are quite simply the damage control party for America and the west. As crazy as this sounds, I assure you my assertions are as sure as Tillerson’s confirmation.
Make no mistake here please, Donald Trump and Rex Tillerson are patriotic Americans. Rex was an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America for crying out loud. I was a scout too, and people his age bleed red-white-and-blue I can tell you. Not that scouting is the end all, but my point is made because these energy and business titans are like the rest of us, only tainted a bit by unbelievable wealth. Trump’s and Tillerson’s job is to ensure America still wins, that the American people stay on top of the socioeconomic heap – and this is the FACT of American world leadership. Russia cannot be subdued, Russia will never be chopped up and sold off as the Cold Warriors prayed it would, the European and New York bankers cannot have it all. So we are back to business, negotiating for shares in the world’s remaining wealth and for our futures.
Rex Tillerson is not some whiney blowhard liberal crony, his wife does not wear the pants of his family, nor does she own a Ketchup company, Tillerson is a Texas oil man ready to deal for America’s future – period. Do not be deluded otherwise.
Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.