March 17, 2018

Rex Tillerson Sacking: THE HINDU EDITORIAL

Rex Tillerson sacking: Rexit and beyond: THE HINDU EDITORIAL

Even by his standards for unexpected diktats, U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to fire his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, and replace him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, came out of the blue. Mr. Tillerson, who was the CEO of ExxonMobil Corporation before taking up the role, did not agree with Mr. Trump on fundamental policy matters, the President said. This is widely seen as an allusion to Mr. Tillerson’s preference, contra-Trump, for diplomacy as a means of defusing the North Korean crisis. Also implied was a widening chasm between the two men on the merits of the Iran nuclear deal. 
Rex Tillerson Sacking THE HINDU EDITORIAL

Mr. Tillerson’s departure, the number of senior officials exiting the Trump administration after a little more than a year has reached at least 24. Less than a week before the long-rumoured “Rexit”, White House Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn, formerly a Wall Street banker, quit his post over his opposition to Mr. Trump’s proposal to levy hefty steel and aluminium tariffs. And, less than a week before Mr. Cohn, White House Communications Director Hope Hicks resigned after admitting to a Congressional panel investigating Russian influence on the 2016 election that she had occasionally told “white lies” on Mr. Trump’s behalf. Rumours now swirl that National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster may also soon be ousted. The question at this point is: does the existing coterie of senior White House officials enjoy the confidence of their President to a sufficient magnitude as to ensure that policies can be executed in a meaningful way? In one sense, there does not appear to be cause for alarm over the incessant departures from the White House. It is quite possible that Mr. Trump has used his first year in office to consolidate his vision and attract the right talent to realise his governance paradigm, essentially rooted in a nationalistic, or “America First”, world view. 
Take the case of Mr. Pompeo: he is far more aligned with Mr. Trump’s hawkish approach towards the Kim Jong-un regime than Mr. Tillerson was. There is a case to be made that Mr. Trump’s hardline stance is what is ultimately bringing the North Koreans to the negotiating table. Mr. Tillerson, insistent on talks, was likely to have been an impediment to this strategy. The deeper message is that the liberal order of the Obama years is gone. Propriety, protocol and punditry no longer hold sway — Mr. Trump had no quarrel with Mr. Tillerson over the Secretary leaving numerous senior State Department posts vacant, but only cared about the top diplomat’s concurrence with his strategy. The President will likely apply this principle — and find himself the right people — in other policy areas as well, such as trade and immigration. Nations that engage with America may glean valuable lessons from this churn.

 LEARN VOCABULARY FROM THE HINDU EDITORIAL 

1) Diktats
Meaning: An order or decree imposed by someone in power without popular consent.
Example: “a diktat from the Bundestag”
2) Fire
Meaning: Dismiss (an employee) from a job.
Example: “I had to fire men who’ve been with me for years”
Synonyms: Dismiss, Discharge
3) Out of the blue
Meaning: Without warning; unexpectedly.
Example: “she phoned me out of the blue”
4) Widening
Meaning: Make or become wider.
Example: “we should widen the scope of our investigation”
Synonyms: Broaden, Stretch
Antonyms: Narrow, Restrict
5) Chasm
Meaning: A profound difference between people, viewpoints, feelings, etc.
Example: “the chasm between rich and poor”
Synonyms: Breach, Gulf
6) Hefty
Meaning: Large and heavy.
Example: “a hefty young chap”
Synonyms: Heavy, Sturdy
Antonyms: Slight, Gaunt
7) White lies
Meaning: A harmless or trivial lie, especially one told to avoid hurting someone’s feelings.
Example: “when I was young, I told little white lies”
8) Swirl
Meaning: A quantity of something moving in a twisting or spiralling pattern.
Example: “swirls of dust swept across the floor”
9) Ousted
Meaning: Drive out or expel (someone) from a position or place.
Example: “the reformists were ousted from power”
Synonyms: Expel, Remove
10) Coterie
Meaning: A small group of people with shared interests or tastes, especially one that is exclusive of other people.
Example: “a coterie of friends and advisers”
Synonyms: Clique, Crowd
11) Incessant
Meaning: (of something regarded as unpleasant) continuing without pause or interruption.
Example: “the incessant beat of the music”
Synonyms: Constant, Continual
Antonyms: Intermittent, Occasional
12) Paradigm
Meaning: A typical example or pattern of something; a pattern or model.
Example: “society’s paradigm of the ‘ideal woman’”
13) Rooted
Meaning: Establish deeply and firmly.
Example: “vegetarianism is rooted in Indian culture”
Synonyms: Fixed, Ineradicable
14) Hawkish
Meaning: Advocating an aggressive or warlike policy, especially in foreign affairs.
Example: “the administration’s hawkish stance”
15) Stance
Meaning: The attitude of a person or organization towards something; a standpoint.
Example: “the party is changing its stance on Europe”
Synonyms: Attitude, Stand
16) The negotiating table
Meaning: A situation or place in which people formally discuss something in order to reach an agreement.
Example: We were completely unsuccessful at the negotiating table.
17) Impediment
Meaning: A hindrance or obstruction in doing something.
Example: “a serious impediment to scientific progress”
Synonyms: Hindrance, Obstruction
Antonyms: Benefit
18) Concurrence
Meaning: The fact of two or more events or circumstances happening or existing at the same time.
Example: “the incidental concurrence of two separate tumours”
19) Glean
Meaning: Obtain (information) from various sources, often with difficulty.
Example: “the information is gleaned from press cuttings”
Synonyms: Obtain, Get
20) Churn
Meaning: To move something.
Example: The Sea was churned up by heavy winds.

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