It’s common knowledge that the State Department often disagrees with a sitting president and that when State disagrees, it often somehow manages to dictate policy. That may be reflected in what happened last week with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Wednesday of last week, during a trip to the Middle East, Tillerson said, referring to Hezbollah, “We also have to acknowledge the reality that they also are part of the political process in Lebanon.”
When there was a public outcry against these remarks regarding a group officially pronounced a terrorist entity by the U.S., and whose financial network the Trump Administration has been trying to dismantle, Tillerson appeared to walk back his remarks, “But it’s impossible to talk about stability, sovereignty, and security in Lebanon without addressing Hezbollah. The United States has considered Hezbollah a terrorist organization for more than two decades now. We neither see nor do we accept any distinction between its political and its military arms. It is unacceptable for a militia like Hezbollah to operate outside the authority of the Lebanese Government. The only legitimate defender of the Lebanese state is the Lebanese Armed Forces. Hezbollah is not just a concern for the United States.”
Who will win this battle? Trump or State?