"In fact, the only thing which was missing was Rubio saying 'Et tu Brute' as he let the dagger slip one more time into Tillerson's back."
Some wounds take time to heal. Others never heal. Yesterday, some of the baggage from the campaign trail surfaced in a most unfortunate way. Marco Rubio, the one time darling of the "new" Republicans, turned into a Brutus during the Rex Tillerson confirmation hearing. In fact, the only thing which was missing was Rubio saying "Et tu Brute" as he let the dagger slip one more time into Tillerson's back. Since Marco could not "stab" Donald Trump, he took it out on Trump's pick to be his Secretary of State.
Some questions asked never have any answers which are suitable. Other questions have no answers at all. The question Rubio asked about Putin falls somewhere in between those two. "Do you think Putin is a war criminal?", Rubio asked like a prosecuting attorney. Tillerson did his best to dodge and answer at the same time. "Do you believe that Putin targeted civilians in Syria?" Again no direct answer. Finally the question came, "Do you believe that Putin has had some of his political enemies killed?" And one more time, a non-answer.
There were other questions concerning world matters different than Russia and Putin. But the Putin questions had some rich irony to them. Now I will be the first to admit that Vlad is no choir boy. A former KGB officer, he was been around the block a few times. But his record is nothing, na-da, compared to Joseph Stalin's record. And what does that have to do with the price of tea? We got in bed with a ruthless mass murderer like Stalin at the start of World War II. Why? Because back then, just like today, sometimes the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
Love him or hate him, we need Putin to be our ally in this seemingly endless War on Terror. Russia also has an Islamic State problem to deal with. In particular, ISIS. Just like we worked together with Stalin in World War II to rid the world of the Nazis, we can do the same today with the Islamic State. And (this is a big one), it is much better to be on some kind of speaking terms with the world's second biggest nuclear power, than to be at DEFCON 3 night and day.
I am going to give both President Elect Trump and Rex Tillerson the benefit of the doubt when it comes to dealing with Russia. What we have done during the past eight years has not worked well. Truthfully, even the eight years prior did not work that good either after President Bush stared into Putin's eyes to "see his soul". No, we need to try something radically different. And this incoming team might just have what it takes to make our relations with the Bear better.
That being said, I will also quote another President from years past. Ronald Reagan did a great job in not only dealing with the Soviets, but also dismantling them. And his battle cry was "trust but verify". And that is what we are going to do with the Trump/Tillerson team once sworn in. If they are successful, maybe we can all take a step back from the precipice and Russia can once again enjoy Perestroika.