I was beginning to wonder if our Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was simply a phantom, spoken of in hushed tones, occasionally spotted, but rarely heard from.
Then he pops up on NBC’s “Face the Nation” and talks about the recent U.S. tomahawk missile strike on Syria, and all the events surrounding that particular bit of international turmoil.
Of course, he had all the animation of a cardboard cutout being posed for the cameras, as a recorded monologue played in the background, but he was there.
It’s actually really easy to understand why the man keeps such a low profile. He apparently just doesn’t like to talk to people. He did little to elaborate in his responses and his answers were short and concise.
And there’s nothing wrong with that, actually. It’s apparently just who he is.
One issue he did expand on was a suggestion by Senator Marco Rubio from last week, where Rubio seemed to draw a correlation between Syria’s gas attack on his own people and Tillerson’s comments that suggested that whether Bashar al-Assad stayed or was removed from power was up to the Syrian people.
At the time, Rubio said:
“In this case now, we have very limited options, and look, it’s concerning that the secretary of State … said that the future’s up to the people in Syria on what happens with Assad,” Rubio said on the radio show “AM Tampa Bay.”
“In essence, [Tillerson was] almost nodding to the idea that Assad was gonna get to stay in some capacity.”
“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that a few days later we see this,” Rubio added during the interview.
That was on Wednesday of last week. By Thursday evening, 59 tomahawk missiles had hit the Shayrat Airbase in Syria, in a targeted attack meant as a deterrent to the Assad regime.
Answering to Rubio’s comments today, Tillerson said:
“I think that’s a regrettable comment on the part of Senator Rubio,” Tillerson said on CBS’s “Face The Nation.”
He further elaborated:
“This was a continuation of a series of chemical weapons attack by Bashar al-Assad,” Tillerson told CBS on Sunday. “This was not the first. As you well know, there were two similar attacks in March. March the 25th, March the 30th in Hama. So this was yet another instance of Bashar al-Assad’s continued violation of the chemical weapons agreements.”
The aftermath of the U.S. strike against Syria has been a lot of saber-rattling from Russia and mixed reactions from the American public.
Many diehard Trump supporters have abandoned him, citing this as “nation building” and others question his authority to make such a move without the approval of Congress.
Others have praised the humanitarian turn of the strike, feeling it long overdue, even though it is unclear just what effect this may have had on Assad’s ability to carry out further attacks on his people.
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) April 9, 2017