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Donald Trump sacks Rex Tillerson

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Readers' comments

The Economist welcomes your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful of other readers. Review our comments policy.

jvictor1789

Congratulations to TE for bringing back the comments section. It was the fair thing to do. Besides that, comments enhance the value of the main article by adding background, giving a voice to dissent, filling in voids...Well done, I didn't expect any less from this newspaper I've read since I still used shorts...

eny

US is the dictator that breaks international laws, violate sovereignty of others to use brute force to attack illegally (Iraq, Libya, etc.) which are war crimes that US must be held accountable.
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Russians don’t like seeing US aircraft carriers/spy planes off their coast any more than US would like to see Russian aircraft carriers/spy planes in the Gulf of Mexico.
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Russians don’t like seeing US meddling in the affairs of neighbouring countries (like Ukraine, etc.) any more than US would like to see Russia meddling of Canada's or Mexico's affairs to surround US with hostile neighbours.
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US is pointlessly asking for trouble by meddling in the affairs of countries at Russia's doorstep (Ukraine, etc) to threaten Russia's basic security.
Do unto others—but do it first. It’s a very dangerous situation instigated by US.
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The US is definitely the aggressor here—although Americans robotically believe US is always the good guys.
Everybody always see themselves as the good guys, including the Nazis—nothing new here.
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It is clear for all to see that US is resented around the world, seen as bully.
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The US military—contrary to popular myth—doesn’t defend the country, so much as act as an instrument for the US government to enforce its will abroad.
It could get out of control as Russia doesn’t like being bullied.
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But these things can take on a life of their own, let us all hope we don’t have World War 3 as a result of US's aggression and mafia US's actions/behaviour.
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As US reeled from 911 terrorist attacks, to help to fight terrorists, Russia supported Bush in ways that would have been inconceivable during the Cold War, allowing US planes flying through Russian air space, allowing the use of airbases in former Soviet republics in Central Asia.
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Then suddenly Bush announced that US was withdrawing unilaterally from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty which Russia warned it would undermine arms control and non-proliferation efforts.

eny

continue:
With sinister intention, US broke agreements/ guarantees with Russia, expanding to Russia's doorstep with increasingly frequent and provocative military drills targeting Russia and deployments of more and more advanced weapons/troops in surrounding countries closer and closer to Russia.
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US is always on the lookout for opportunities to undermine, harm and destroy Russia.
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So, it’s not surprising that Russia is incensed when Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, the Baltic states and others were ushered into NATO membership starting in the mid-1990s… now selling lethal weapons to Ukraine to agitate/escalate the conflict/violence with sinister intention of coaching /shepherding Ukraine to join NATO.
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Yeltsin, Medvedev and Gorbachev himself protested through both public and private channels that U.S. had violated the non-expansion agreement.
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Russia wants to build trust but US continues to betray and destroy trust with evil and sinister motives.
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US/NATO have shocked the world by breaking laws to attack/invade (Iraq,Libya,etc) illegally (which are war crimes), destabilizing the countries leading to more failed states convulsing in violence and killing fields with millions of innocents (including children, women) being murdered/raped/injured/traumatized/enslaved and/or displaced, setting fires to many countries... all unfolding daily and endlessly, unprecedented atrocities committed by Bush,Blair, Cameron, Sarkozy.
Are Bush,Blair, Cameron, Sarkozy above the law?
Are all these illegal attacks the principles and instincts deeply rooted in the American spirit?
Is this how America stands by their principles and values, national prestige, international legitimacy?
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These illegal attacks/invasions require global response and actions to charge/jail these leaders responsible.
Justice must be served.
Justice must be seen to be served.
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US is now the biggest threat to world peace.
US must be kicked out of Europe, Asia and elsewhere and the prospects of world peace will improve dramatically.
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When you're dealing with US, always remember they'll lie, they'll cheat, they'll break laws, they'll murder/rape/torture//traumatize/displace millions of innocent people.
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No one believes US anymore, no one trusts US anymore, no one feels safe anymore, no one can be sure current or any future US presidents will not attack/invade another nation(s) illegally. Everyone is forced to get nuke to defend oneself.
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Everyone knows the US is the guilty party that provokes & creates the Korea crisis with frequent drills, war games targeting NKorea.
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As usual, US has no intention to solve the Korea crisis, in fact Uncle Sam has every intention to provoke/prolong the Korea crisis to serve their own self interests, flying US Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers escorted by fighters near to NKorea to further provoke/escalate the crisis...tensions are running higher & higher because of US.
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The frequent, bellicose drills targeting NKorea, the deployments of US troops / THAAD in Korea, the hostile US policies and mafia actions are the real root causes of Korea conflict.
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One thing is certain, the more US meddles, the worse the Korea crisis becomes.
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The utmost urgency is to de-escalate to stop the Korean crisis spinning out of control that will lead to utter disasters.
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US must stop all military drills in and around Korea.
US must remove all THAAD in Korea.
N.Korea must stop all nuke/missile development.
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US may shrug but there're heavy costs and severe dangers, the reckless US's actions/behaviour will destroy the global system or even lead to WW3, the world should raise its voice to stop US's reckless actions/behaviour.
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Behaving like hookers, SKorea's leaders are prostituting themselves to the Yanks.
If SKorea's leaders have any common sense and worth their weight of credibility, value Korea as a nation, value Koreans as a people, SKorea must stop being a pawn used (and abused) by the U.S., SKorea must unilaterally stop all drills, remove all THAAD in SKorea.
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The Korea crisis is for the 2 Koreas to resolve.
Leave the 2 Koreas alone to build the bridge of communication, build rapport, create conducive environment to meet/discuss/ reconcile
Just let the 2 Koreas to work together in a conducive/friendly environment which will expedite reunification more readily.
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All the above are not fake news.
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The mainstream media, why are you self-censoring all these undeniable, indisputable, and in-your-face ugly truths?
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The poisonous hypocrisy is too toxic.
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Until all this poisonous hypocrisy is stopped, these ugly truths must be told and retold.
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Until all this poisonous hypocrisy is stopped, the world continues to face endless conflicts and bloodshed.

venze

Could new State Sec really succeed where his predecessor failed? One would hesitate to draw any conclusion at this moment. Pompeo should try hard convince the Chief that he is not the only one that matters in international affairs. But would the leader listen or even care? One has to wait to see if the top diplomat is a performer in foreign policies.

CPPA-ARF

There's an error in the statement: "Mr Tillerson, when asked if he shared that viewed, said: the president “speaks for himself”.

The correct word should be "view", not " viewed".

George from Bilbao

This morning that colleague asks me: "What have we done to deserve this ...ah...so-called President?" I responded that I don't know, but we may find out soon about our sins...with DT and Mike Pompeo teaming up to safe the world.

Jonel31

Donald Trump managed to confuse most world leaders - which is quite positive all around. Coming November "by-election" we will find out how the Nation truly reacts to his unusual postures.

guest-wsnnjmo

Agreed with a post below (replies are not working this evening).
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This publication does itself no favors by removing comments. Are some comments controversial? yes. Are there disagreements here? Yes. Do we get a small minority of readers making the comments again and again? Perhaps. I can tell you this: my engagement with publications that have curtailed or ended comments goes down after such a change was made. In two cases, for newspapers back in my home state, I've stopped reading the publications entirely after the seemingly found comments an inconvenience.
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Publications may find comments sections a nuisance. But I'll bet it's where they get their most passionate and engaged followers. Of the publications I get or use, only the Washington Post and Yahoo! have kept their comments section. I find the mixture of political views in the Washington Post informative, particularly since the volume of comments, while high, is manageable enough to navigate.
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As for Yahoo!, I think they've found their fortunes with their comments section. It's probably one of the mainstays of their existence now. Sure, it's unfettered trolling day-in-day-out, but it's hilarious and often gives a laugh to a tough day.
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Keep comments in "this newspaper." We'll all try to be nicer, but no less incisive with our questions and commentary.

guest-wsnnjmo

I had high hopes for Mr. Tillerson in this post. I am disappointed that things did not work out. This is not the first, nor the last, cabinet-level or White House departure in Washington. If I recall correctly, ex chief of staff Donald Regan declared "I'm out of here" after a similar series of clashes with the Reagan White House. There's even footage of him getting into his car and driving off the day he handed in his resignation and left in disgust. So none of this is new.
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Mr. Tillerson's replacement has a no less daunting task. He might be on the "same wavelength." We'll see if that includes having an individual, whose security was downgraded recently, keeping key foreign policy portfolios. The "same wavelength," unless these details were agreed upon in advance, may not last too long.
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The other missteps of trying a corporate-style reorganization of the state department was a dud. This saves our country how many hours, minutes, of federal government expenditures, even if it was Mr. Tillerson's doing, now falls to his successor to fix.
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I think that Mr. Tillerson, as an oil man, had much to bring to the job. It's unfortunate that his skills in dealing with tough regimes, in improvised or challenging conditions, never came to fruition.
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Cabinet secretaries serve at the pleasure of the president. And we don't know the whole story. Still, this whole affair is very disappointing. Having "the top businesspeople" was a key talking point of our leader during the debates. It seems that Mr. Tillerson, as Mr. Cohn, epitomized all of this.
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We have had businesspeople to go in this cabinet, but we've lost perhaps the two most promising of them in the last week. I'd have thought that the "boardroom manner" of business would have demonstrated less acrimony than we had here. American workers often have to put up with what seemed to permeate this relationship, and they do it everyday, for years on end, and for a lot less pay. It's a sad display of "business leadership" that came out of this affair; it's not one for the business school text case studies.
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Again, I'll give our leader a chance to rally from this setback. His talks with North Korea are not ill-conceived entirely; decades of establishment thinking got us to where we are. However, we have a lot of other issues in which Mr. Tillerson's successor will have to show a steady hand--a steady hand that Mr. Tillerson either was unable or prevented from demonstrating in his unfortunate reign.
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This change gives the president "his team." It also leaves him with less time, less margin for error, and bigger consequences if things get worse on the foreign policy front. "Getting your team" does not make your problems go away, your adversaries more pliable.
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Russia, again, is the key piece in all of this. Russia was not accorded its full measure of respect after the Cold War, though it had goodwill, and potentially a leading spot at the table in the Atlantic-West-Pacific regions. Now, Russia has burned up this goodwill, and is a clearly posturing itself as our adversary once again. Our former leader "stood down," as reported last week. The ball is now in the Donald's court on this one.
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Meanwhile, another adversary-in-waiting grows less bashful about flexing its muscle. The diplomatic shots in the arm (the Wall, a Jerusalem embassy, getting tougher with Iran, cozying up to Saudi Arabia with little to show for it in return) are wearing off.
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Mr. Tillerson may not have been the right man for the job. This makes his impromptu succession a bigger challenge for this administration, not a smoother transition to a "new team." "New teams" make your approaches to problems seem easier; they don't make the problems go away as the clock ticks.
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Happy retirement at the ranch to Mr. Tillerson. He gave it a shot (only he knows if it was his best one).

kiratwan

If Messrs Trump and Pompeo are on the same wavelength, it
must be a short one. Diplomacy has not been a priority for
Mr. Trump. Bluster and bombast substitute for a well through
policy. Expect the policy pronouncements that will annoy the
allies and delight the adversaries.

Mirador

A mass resignation would be in order. Leave Trump to run the administration on his own. He can recruit a stormy woman who would be delighted to help.