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Old 01-11-2017, 09:36 AM  
oaklandhater oaklandhater is offline
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TWP The man to watch in Rex Tillerson’s confirmation hearing? Marco Rubio.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/power...=.19e7aead09e7

Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), left, and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) are generally aligned on national security issues. McCain would like the GOP to maintain a more traditional stance on foreign policy. (Alex Brandon/AP)
By Paul Kane January 10 at 6:58 PM
The most interesting person to watch in ExxonMobil chief executive Rex Tillerson’s confirmation hearing for secretary of state Wednesday — after Tillerson himself — is without question Sen. Marco Rubio.

The Florida Republican is likely to reveal what kind of future he wants in President-elect Donald Trump’s Washington, and there are two broad possibilities. He could play a lead role in trying to torpedo Trump’s pick for the nation’s top diplomat, by turning his question-and-answer sessions with Tillerson into an aggressive attack on the nominee’s economic ties to Russia and the honors bestowed upon him by President Vladimir Putin.

Or Rubio could be, well, more diplomatic, tempering his questions about Tillerson’s global philosophy and Trump’s views toward Putin and paving the way for an easy confirmation.

Rubio’s fellow hawks on national security issues will be watching closely to see which path he takes. Several of them have joined Rubio in criticizing Tillerson’s credentials, but Rubio is the most prominent among them on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which is tasked with vetting the oil titan’s qualifications. That puts equal pressure on Rubio to voice that perspective — and to be careful about his relationship with the incoming administration.

“I will most certainly watch for Senator Rubio’s questions and want to hear how that interchange goes,” Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), who is not on the committee but has concerns about Tillerson, said Tuesday.

[How Exxon, under Rex Tillerson, won Iraqi oil fields and nearly lost Iraq]

Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), who are allied with Rubio on defense issues, have already staked out positions as antagonists toward the incoming president and his pick for secretary of state, seeking to keep the Republican Party’s more traditional stance on foreign policy.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the committee chairman, meanwhile, is playing the opposite role: serving as an adviser to the incoming president and to Tillerson and trying to shape their views through positive persuasion.

Rubio has yet to signal which direction he’ll take Wednesday, despite early claims of “serious concerns” about Tillerson’s nomination.

A forceful attack on Trump’s seemingly friendly stance toward Russia would win credit with many traditional GOP foreign policy experts, but it could renew the personal battles with the president-elect that played out during the Republican nominating contest. Once considered a rising star within the GOP, Rubio saw his presidential ambitions end last year amid an acrimonious trade of personal insults with Trump.

As word spread last month that Tillerson was the likely nominee, Rubio took to Trump’s most preferred means of communication, Twitter, to criticize the CEO for being awarded the Order of Friendship by Putin a few years ago because of ExxonMobil’s energy contracts in Russia.

“Being a ‘friend of Vladimir’ is not an attribute I am hoping for from a #SecretaryOfState,” Rubio tweeted.

Rubio issued a more detailed statement suggesting that the next secretary of state must have “moral clarity” and be free of “conflicts of interest.”

Several elder statesmen in the Republican foreign policy establishment quickly mounted a private campaign to quell Rubio’s concerns about Tillerson, and Rubio has been circumspect ever since. He said little of substance Monday evening on his way to meet Tillerson in his Senate office. A statement released later merely thanked the nominee for coming by; on Tuesday, Rubio told reporters only that he was going through “the process” of assessing the nominee.

[At the center of the pitch for Tillerson: Richard Cheney and Marco Rubio]

The most critical line of questioning will probably come on Tillerson’s views on sanctions against Russia, including new economic measures recently imposed by President Obama in the wake of election-meddling last year that the U.S. intelligence community has concluded was overseen by Moscow.

Tillerson has previously opposed sanctions that would have hurt ExxonMobil’s economic interests in Russia, and Trump has expressed his intent to have a better relationship with Putin than Obama did. He has only begrudgingly accepted the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russian operatives tried to influence the presidential election.

McCain and Graham, neither of whom are on the committee, have already signaled that their votes will probably depend on how Tillerson handles the Russia questions.

Some Democrats hope to shape those questions to divide the GOP’s Trump and McCain wings on foreign policy and imperil the nomination.

“I think we’d be fools not to think about the issues that may end up weighing on Republicans on the committee,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the committee, said in an interview. “I cannot imagine how John McCain or Lindsey Graham or Marco Rubio could vote for Tillerson if he does not make a firm commitment to continue and expand U.S. sanctions against Russia. And yet I don’t know how he makes that commitment, given Trump’s positioning.”

After his final meeting Tuesday with the nominee to prep him for the hearings, Corker said the business executive is ready, adding that as chairman he followed up with most members of the committee after they met with Tillerson.

“It’s up to Tillerson to win over people, and my observation is he likely will,” Corker told reporters. “There’s nothing in our conversations with Tillerson that would point out to me he is outside the mainstream of Republican thinking on Russia.”

Corker acknowledged that Rubio’s exchanges will have an extra layer of significance, particularly on Russia, but he expects Tillerson to more than meet the moment.

“My guess is you’re going to have people on both sides of the aisle, over and over again, pounding on issues like that, and my sense is that he will do a good job in responding. He certainly did in my office,” Corker said.
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:32 PM   #46
Fairplay Fairplay is offline
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Originally Posted by NinerDoug View Post
Are you talking about Little Marco?
That was funny during the debates. I'm telling you this last election season will probably never be topped on how interesting and exciting it was. The ratings for debates usually are poor. Most people get bored with them.

With Trump the ratings went wild, everyone wanted to hear what he would say next. And people were wondering if HilLiaRy was going to fall down on stage before millions of people.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:07 PM   #47
Just Passin' By Just Passin' By is offline
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Originally Posted by Silock View Post
This is not how one conducts a reasonable and honest dialogue.
Actually, it is. It's a perfectly reasonable and honest response to you essentially ignoring my earlier question:

Quote:
You do realize that the answer to that question is not a definitive yes or no, but actually depends upon circumstances, right?
and them simply re-asserting the same incorrect claim.

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Originally Posted by Silock View Post
You are wrong. The evidence is clear.
No, I'm not wrong:

Quote:
Hospitals, both fixed and mobile, ambulances, hospital ships, medical aircraft, and medical personnel—whether civilian or military—are also entitled to protection from hostile fire under the Geneva Conventions, provided that structures are marked with a red cross or red crescent and not used improperly or near military objectives, and staff are properly protected. Staff include not only doctors, nurses, and orderlies, but the drivers, cleaners, cooks, crews of hospital ships—in short, all those who help a medical unit to function. Some aid workers—for example, Red Cross volunteers treating the sick and wounded on the battlefield—are also covered, as are military chaplains. Other than hospitals, certain other buildings cannot be attacked. Places of worship and historic monuments are protected, as are civilian structures like schools and other objects that are not being used to support military activities. Under the 1954 Convention on Cultural Property important places of worship, historic sites, works of art, and other cultural treasures are likewise protected from attack.

There are exceptions. A school, for example, becomes a legitimate military target if soldiers are based there. With hospitals, the situation is more complicated since they are permitted to keep armed guards on their grounds. But immunity from attack can be lost if the people or objects are used to commit acts that are harmful to one side in a conflict. If the Bosnian Serbs besieging Sarajevo had concluded that government forces were firing weapons from within the Kosevo hospital complex, they would have had the right to fire back—but only if they had first asked the Bosnian government to stop using the hospital as a shield and had given them a reasonable period to comply.
http://www.crimesofwar.org/a-z-guide...y-from-attack/

Quote:
The US military has said that a deadly air strike on a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital in Afghanistan last year was a mistake and therefore not a war crime.
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/0...182003792.html

So, there are multiple exceptions to the rule, thus showing that the rule is not, as you claimed, absolute. If you'd actually been interested in reasonable and honest dialogue, you'd either have done a few seconds worth of research and found this out, or you'd have at least asked me to provide examples.

You did neither. So, the next time you complain about the low level of discourse here, remember that you're a contributor to that low level.

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Old 01-11-2017, 09:13 PM   #48
Just Passin' By Just Passin' By is offline
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Originally Posted by Fairplay View Post
I agree with this take, those 'What would you do if this happened' questions are worthless as the person can respond with that they would have to know all the facts of the case.
Yeah....

That's why most of these confirmation hearings are a waste of time. Both sides basically do some combination of grandstanding and asking leading/misleading questions, in the hopes of either tripping up or bolstering the candidate. As we hear, time and again, the candidates have often already met with the inquisitors, so it's just a question of whether the opposing inquisition can find a "gotcha!", rather than a real question of whether or not the candidate can demonstrate some minimum level of competence such as to warrant the consent portion of advice and consent.
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Old 01-11-2017, 11:53 PM   #49
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Old 01-11-2017, 11:57 PM   #50
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These gals have their Marco Rubio costumes on and ready to show their support.

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Old 01-12-2017, 01:27 AM   #51
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Rubio has every right to vote no. His questions were all fair, and Tillerson did a better job than I had expected.

Hardly ever does something come out of these hearings, and since Harry Reid turned the Senate into the House with his rule changes I doubt any of Trump's nominees get tripped up (though I could see McCain, Lindsey, and Rubio teaming up to flex their muscles.
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Old 01-12-2017, 01:30 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Passin' By View Post
Actually, it is. It's a perfectly reasonable and honest response to you essentially ignoring my earlier question:
I didn't ignore you. I gave you an answer. You just didn't like it.

Quote:
and them simply re-asserting the same incorrect claim.
Just taking your lead there.

Quote:
So, there are multiple exceptions to the rule, thus showing that the rule is not, as you claimed, absolute. If you'd actually been interested in reasonable and honest dialogue, you'd either have done a few seconds worth of research and found this out, or you'd have at least asked me to provide examples.
Actually, I HAVE done the research. There isn't just ONE example of Russia targeting hospitals. It is a repeated pattern of activity, which I pointed out, and you never responded to. It has happened multiple times. A mere Google search will tell you as much. Yes, there are exceptions to hospital attacks always being war crimes, but only if the cost to civilians doesn't outweigh the military gain. However, repeatedly bombing hospitals would fit the definition of a war crime, considering it left civilians without access to desperately needed medical care.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...out-airstrikes

"Médecins Sans Frontières said east Aleppo’s hospitals had been hit by bombs in more than 30 separate attacks since the siege began in July and there was no possibility of sending help or more supplies.

Schools, roads and homes have also been bombed repeatedly as the Syrian leader’s allies attempt to drive opposition communities out of the city and, by doing so, change the face of the nearly six-year war. Doctors and residents inside Aleppo said there was no more than two weeks’ supplies of food and medicines left inside the city."

https://www.amnesty.org/en/press-rel...rategy-of-war/

"Russian and Syrian government forces appear to have deliberately and systematically targeted hospitals and other medical facilities over the last three months to pave the way for ground forces to advance on northern Aleppo, an examination of airstrikes by Amnesty International has found.

Even as Syria’s fragile ceasefire deal was being hammered out, Syrian government forces and their allies intensified their attacks on medical facilities.

“Syrian and Russian forces have been deliberately attacking health facilities in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law. But what is truly egregious is that wiping out hospitals appears to have become part of their military strategy,” said Tirana Hassan, Crisis Response Director at Amnesty International."

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mi...-idUSKCN11Y0QG

"Russian or Syrian warplanes knocked two hospitals out of service in the besieged rebel sector of Aleppo on Wednesday and ground forces intensified an assault in a battle which the United Nations said had made the city worse than a slaughterhouse.

Two patients died in one of the hospitals and other shelling killed six residents queuing for bread under a siege that has trapped 250,000 people with food running out.

The week-old assault, which could herald a turning point in the war, has already killed hundreds of people, with bunker-busting bombs bringing down buildings on residents huddled inside. Only about 30 doctors are believed to be left inside the besieged zone, coping with hundreds of wounded a day."

__________

So, you explain to me how this ISN'T a war crime. Even if there were enemies hiding in the hospital, how can the deprivation of food and medical care to human beings, regardless of which side they are on in the conflict, be fair game?
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Old 01-12-2017, 01:42 AM   #53
Just Passin' By Just Passin' By is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silock View Post
I didn't ignore you. I gave you an answer. You just didn't like it.
You ignored the answer I gave, and repeated what you'd already said.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Silock View Post
Just taking your lead there.
Clearly not, as my links demonstrating my having been correct point out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silock View Post
Actually, I HAVE done the research. There isn't just ONE example of Russia targeting hospitals. It is a repeated pattern of activity, which I pointed out, and you never responded to. It has happened multiple times. A mere Google search will tell you as much. Yes, there are exceptions to hospital attacks always being war crimes, but only if the cost to civilians doesn't outweigh the military gain. However, repeatedly bombing hospitals would fit the definition of a war crime, considering it left civilians without access to desperately needed medical care.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...out-airstrikes

"Médecins Sans Frontières said east Aleppo’s hospitals had been hit by bombs in more than 30 separate attacks since the siege began in July and there was no possibility of sending help or more supplies.

Schools, roads and homes have also been bombed repeatedly as the Syrian leader’s allies attempt to drive opposition communities out of the city and, by doing so, change the face of the nearly six-year war. Doctors and residents inside Aleppo said there was no more than two weeks’ supplies of food and medicines left inside the city."

https://www.amnesty.org/en/press-rel...rategy-of-war/

"Russian and Syrian government forces appear to have deliberately and systematically targeted hospitals and other medical facilities over the last three months to pave the way for ground forces to advance on northern Aleppo, an examination of airstrikes by Amnesty International has found.

Even as Syria’s fragile ceasefire deal was being hammered out, Syrian government forces and their allies intensified their attacks on medical facilities.

“Syrian and Russian forces have been deliberately attacking health facilities in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law. But what is truly egregious is that wiping out hospitals appears to have become part of their military strategy,” said Tirana Hassan, Crisis Response Director at Amnesty International."

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mi...-idUSKCN11Y0QG

"Russian or Syrian warplanes knocked two hospitals out of service in the besieged rebel sector of Aleppo on Wednesday and ground forces intensified an assault in a battle which the United Nations said had made the city worse than a slaughterhouse.

Two patients died in one of the hospitals and other shelling killed six residents queuing for bread under a siege that has trapped 250,000 people with food running out.

The week-old assault, which could herald a turning point in the war, has already killed hundreds of people, with bunker-busting bombs bringing down buildings on residents huddled inside. Only about 30 doctors are believed to be left inside the besieged zone, coping with hundreds of wounded a day."

__________

So, you explain to me how this ISN'T a war crime. Even if there were enemies hiding in the hospital, how can the deprivation of food and medical care to human beings, regardless of which side they are on in the conflict, be fair game?
None of that is the slightest bit relevant to the Q&A we were having, which was about whether targeting hospitals was absolutely a war crime, or whether circumstances would dictate whether it was considered one or not.

You obviously hadn't done any research, or you'd have known that your position was incorrect. What you did subsequent to the postings doesn't change that.
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Old 01-12-2017, 02:01 AM   #54
Silock Silock is offline
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Originally Posted by Just Passin' By View Post
None of that is the slightest bit relevant to the Q&A we were having, which was about whether targeting hospitals was absolutely a war crime, or whether circumstances would dictate whether it was considered one or not.
Then perhaps we had some kind of initial miscommunication. To my mind, the question was never about whether targeting hospitals, in general, was always a war crime. I was specifically referencing Rubio's line of questioning to Tillerson about Russia's targeting of hospitals. I thought that was clear, but apparently, it was not. Perhaps you haven't even seen the questioning, so I'll go ahead and link it.

https://youtu.be/6X38k0cND64?t=6m6s

So, this is what I was referencing (because it had basically just happened and I was watching all day), and I apologize for not making that more clear.
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Old 01-12-2017, 05:14 AM
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Old 01-12-2017, 04:51 PM   #55
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Infinitely better senator than Rubio gets his chance to question Tillerson:

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Old 01-12-2017, 04:54 PM   #56
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Looks like Tillerson is gonna get voted in but jeff sessions is most likely out
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Old 01-12-2017, 04:55 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Taco John View Post
Infinitely better senator than Rubio gets his chance to question Tillerson:

I give props for Tillerson for at least admitting Climate change is real.
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Old 01-12-2017, 05:21 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Just Passin' By View Post
None of that is the slightest bit relevant to the Q&A we were having, which was about whether targeting hospitals was absolutely a war crime, or whether circumstances would dictate whether it was considered one or not.
Is every time a hospital gets hit in a war, a war crime. Of course not.

Has Russia/Syria engaged in repeated behavior of targeting hospitals that were not legitimate targets. Yes, they have. Yes, it was a war crime. Yes, he could have absolutely given a simple yes answer in this case.

Should he have done so? I'm not so sure about that one. Denying the obvious in the name of cold hearted pragmatism is something that routinely happens in geopolitics. On the other hand, it isn't always a good thing either.
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Old 01-12-2017, 05:34 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Chief Pagan View Post
Is every time a hospital gets hit in a war, a war crime. Of course not.
End of issue
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Old 01-12-2017, 07:28 PM   #60
Silock Silock is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Pagan View Post
Is every time a hospital gets hit in a war, a war crime. Of course not.

Has Russia/Syria engaged in repeated behavior of targeting hospitals that were not legitimate targets. Yes, they have. Yes, it was a war crime. Yes, he could have absolutely given a simple yes answer in this case.

Should he have done so? I'm not so sure about that one. Denying the obvious in the name of cold hearted pragmatism is something that routinely happens in geopolitics. On the other hand, it isn't always a good thing either.
In all fairness, the current administration has been reluctant to label them war crimes, also, although they did eventually do so.
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