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Rex Tillerson can turn oil into a commodity of peace, not war

The low art that is liberal journalistic analysis has become surreal. The perennially anti-Russian Guardian have run a hit piece on Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. The premise of the piece is that Tillerson was the director of a join US-Russian owned company based in the Bahamas.

The fact that many companies form all around the world base themselves in the Bahamas is brushed over. The more important fact for the Guardian is that the company was part Russian owned. The article scandalises this fact, paints it in a deeply pejorative light and continues to weave the narrative that the fact Mr. Tillerson has had positive business dealing in Russia, is somehow a bad thing.

The absurdity of this assertion goes beyond the ‘everything Russian is evil’ line. It forgets that for better and more often than not for worse, oil makes the world go round. Even Tillerson’s more worldly detractors have conceded that as head of Exxon, he has probably met with more important geo-political players than most heads of state or US Congressmen.

The whole saga is reminiscent of the 2003 Iraq War protests when the expression ‘No blood for oil’ was a common refrain. The political establishment in America and Britain ignored the millions who marched against the Iraq war, but in 2016 Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of State offers the real possibility of oil being used as a bargaining chip in the name of peace. Are the people in The Guardian really doing nothing more than chanting ‘no peace for oil’?

When it comes to Russia in particular, Tillerson offers the chance for the US and Russia to cooperate in energy, which would almost certainly lead to cooperation in areas that matter less to the political elite, areas like world peace. A more optimistic interpretation is that Donald Trump actually means what he says when he speaks in favour of cooperation and partnership with Russia over the key issues facing the world.

There are good reasons to remain steadfast in the inclination to take Trump’s comments on Russia at face value. They have remained consistent throughout the campaign, and remain so today.

People who are helping each other to become rich, realise that war can upset the paradigm. In general, one ought to trust successful businessmen to be rational, far more than the ideologues, flunkies, and arm chair generals Obama surrounded himself with for eight years.

If oil is good enough to go to war over, surely it is good enough to try and make peace over. For all of the scandals over Obama’s turbulent and failed China policies and for all the worry over how Trump’s China policy will pan out, war between America and China remains highly unlikely.

Under Obama however, the likelihood of war between the US and Russia reached a zenith hitherto unknown since the darkest hours of the Cuban Missile Crisis. By pursing a pro-terror/anti-government policy in Syria and engineering a coup in Kiev, the Obama administration provoked Moscow in two areas which are of historic, strategic and moral importance to Russia.

The fact that an actual hot war didn’t break out is thanks primarily to the cool heads in Moscow, not the lies of John Kerry, the blood lust of Ash Carter, the idiocy of Samantha Power or the madness of John Kirby.

Because of this, world peace if far more contingent on US-Russian reconciliation than on US-China relations. By putting a patriotic American, who has friendly relations with key figures in Moscow, in charge of the State Department, Donald Trump has managed to turn oil, a commodity used by Bush and Obama as the proximate cause of war, into something far better for the world, a probable, unifying material desire for peace.

What a pity the writers at The Guardian do not share this joy.

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