To: The United States Senate
Senators: Don't Promote Escalation with Russia to Hit Rex Tillerson
Don't promote greater confrontation with Russia to attack the nomination of Rex Tillerson to be Secretary of State.
Why is this important?
The Senate is considering the nomination of Rex Tillerson to be Secretary of State. Some are promoting greater confrontation with Russia, hoping this will obstruct Tillerson's confirmation. Some even suggest that efforts to de-escalate with Russia are "un-American." Such claims are likely to exacerbate already dangerous tensions with Russia and obstruct necessary efforts to de-escalate with Russia in the future.
As CEO of ExxonMobil, Tillerson sought to limit U.S. sanctions on Russia.  This was normal political activity for a U.S. corporation with business overseas. Past efforts by diplomacy advocates to limit U.S. sanctions on Cuba and Iran have depended crucially on such advocacy by U.S. corporations.
Whatever our views of Russia's current government, we have to share the world with it. Like the U.S., Russia has a permanent veto on the UN Security Council. Without some cooperation between the U.S. and Russia, the UN Security Council would be paralyzed. Like the U.S., Russia is a nuclear weapons power. Without some cooperation with Russia, we can't make any progress towards ridding the world of nuclear weapons or reducing U.S. nuclear weapons spending. Without some cooperation with Russia, we can't help end the civil war in Syria, or maintain limits on Iran's nuclear program, or de-escalate the conflict in Ukraine, or limit the growth of the Pentagon budget so we'll have more money for domestic infrastructure. It would be silly and counterproductive to pretend that we can sustain a policy of zero cooperation with Russia or that it would be in our interest to try to do so. We can't, and it isn't.
Urge Senators not to play the Russia hysteria card against Rex Tillerson's nomination to be Secretary of State by signing our petition.