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Pompeo’s Exercise in Arrogant Self-Congratulation

In the end, Pompeo’s Cairo speech [1] was little more than an exercise in arrogant self-congratulation:

“In just 24 months, the United States under President Trump has reasserted its traditional role as a force for good in this region,” Pompeo will say in the speech Thursday at the American University of Cairo, according to a State Department fact sheet circulated beforehand. “We have rediscovered our voice. We have rebuilt our relationships. We have rejected false overtures from enemies.”

American hawks are particularly sensitive to criticism that the U.S. meddling in the world does more harm than good, and so they are constantly asserting without much proof that the opposite is true. The Trump administration has done very little in the Middle East or anywhere else that might be reasonably described as doing good, and so Pompeo’s insistence that it is a “force for good” is even more strained and hard to take seriously. The same people that have helped some of the world’s worst governments blow up civilians and starve millions of people in Yemen want to be applauded for their good work. Our government has been helping to create mass starvation and backs the Saudi and Emirati architects of the famine to the hilt for the last two years and more, but Pompeo doesn’t have anything to say about that. It is a disgusting attempt to whitewash the administration’s real record.

If Obama’s Cairo speech ten years ago was an unsuccessful attempt to acknowledge the failures and mistakes of American policy in the region, Pompeo’s [2] was a lecture directed against all critics of U.S. foreign policy. At one point, he said [3], “In falsely seeing ourselves as a force for what ails the Middle East, we were timid about asserting ourselves when the times — and our partners — demanded it.” There is almost nothing that hawks love more than to pretend that people in a particular region crave and demand U.S. interference in their affairs. Once again, we were treated to the propaganda that we are always liberators, never occupiers (most Iraqis would likely disagree with that), and further that we have never been oppressors at any time. Pompeo declared [4], “We’ve never dreamed of domination. Can you say the same of the Iranian regime?” It takes a remarkable amount of gall to tout the virtue of our hegemony in the region while also denying that it exists. Pompeo’s claims aren’t true, but then the point of a speech like this is to bury the truth under an avalanche of self-serving nonsense.

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6 Comments To "Pompeo’s Exercise in Arrogant Self-Congratulation"

#1 Comment By Clyde Schechter On January 10, 2019 @ 12:39 pm

We heard in recent years of “Bush derangement syndrome,” “Obama derangement syndrome,” and currently “Trump derangement syndrome.” Far more pernicious, and epidemic among our foreign policy corps (all the way to, and especially at, the top) is the undiscussed Iran derangement syndrome.

#2 Comment By Whine Merchant On January 10, 2019 @ 3:07 pm

Trump has his Lucca Brasi…

#3 Comment By Argonne On January 10, 2019 @ 8:04 pm

“Pompeo declared, “We’ve never dreamed of domination. Can you say the same of the Iranian regime?” “

Pompeo either doesn’t know or care how stupid this makes him sound.

“It takes a remarkable amount of gall to tout the virtue of our hegemony in the region while also denying that it exists. “

Especially when it’s said to contrast with the behavior of Iran, which hasn’t taken any foreign territory in over a hundred years. Unlike Israel, for example, which is still occupying land belonging to its neighbors. For decades.

I guess the idea is that the best way to avoid getting called on your crap is to deny doing it in a loud, obnoxious voice, and then accuse the other guy of doing it, even if he obviously isn’t.

This whole Mideast deal is getting really old. I thought Trump and Pompeo were going to get things under control, but now it looks like they don’t.

#4 Comment By Poke Cheops On January 10, 2019 @ 9:20 pm

“If Obama’s Cairo speech ten years ago”

Good catch. I forgot about that. That’s obviously why Pompeo made his speech there. He’s marking his turf, effacing the scent of the dog who preceded him.

#5 Comment By tohid On January 10, 2019 @ 10:30 pm

Delusions of grandeur by a fool.
Wake up!
You’re out!
There is no more money left to spend, empire is death and you are crumbling in its belly.

#6 Comment By Say A -> Say B On January 12, 2019 @ 7:19 am

“There is almost nothing that hawks love more than to pretend that people in a particular region crave and demand U.S. interference in their affairs. “

On the evidence of the past twenty years, one would have to conclude that any foreigner craving US interference in his home country wants to wreck it and turn large numbers of his countrymen into corpses or refugees.

That is invariably what US intervention has meant.