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Pompeo’s Inept Diplomacy

There was a lot wrong with Pompeo’s Cairo speech [1], but this part stood out for being especially absurd:

And our desire for peace at any cost led us to strike a deal with Iran, our common enemy.

Pompeo likes to speak in ideological cliches, and this part of the speech was overflowing with them. The negotiation of the nuclear deal was focused on limiting Iran’s nuclear program, and that is what it did. The costs of implementing the deal were borne entirely by Iran. The only thing that the U.S. had to agree to give up were the sanctions whose ostensible purpose was to get Iran to make concessions on the nuclear issue. According to Pompeo, those are the sanctions that “should never have been lifted,” and so he confirms once again that there is no agreement that Iran could have made or could ever make that he and other Iran hawks would find satisfactory. Pompeo’s remarks make it clear that this administration isn’t going to offer Iran any incentive to negotiate with the U.S. on anything. His reiteration of the 12 preposterous demands that he listed last year proved as much.

The Secretary’s speech in Egypt is the latest example of what happens when the responsibilities of our chief diplomat are given to a man who has no interest in or experience with diplomacy. Instead of pursuing mutually beneficial negotiations with other states, Pompeo looks for excuses to condemn his predecessors and express contempt for their work. Rather than trying to build on the diplomatic successes of the previous administration, he takes to foreign soil to denounce them. He is the most overtly partisan Secretary of State we have had, and so he sees nothing wrong with scoring points publicly against domestic opponents while claiming to represent the country as a whole. The U.S. has had some poor Secretaries of State in our history, but few have been as ill-suited to the job as Pompeo. Each time he delivers a high-profile speech, he embarrasses the country and diminishes his office.

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9 Comments To "Pompeo’s Inept Diplomacy"

#1 Comment By alkali On January 10, 2019 @ 5:07 pm

And our desire for peace at any cost led us to strike a deal with Iran, our common enemy.

Going forward the US should only reach peace accords with friendly countries, e.g., Belgium.

#2 Comment By Manassas Junction On January 10, 2019 @ 7:13 pm

It’s not “inept” diplomacy. It’s not diplomacy at all. With Pompeo it’s mostly lies, and when it isn’t lies, it’s sinister buffoonery of some kind.

#3 Comment By David C On January 10, 2019 @ 8:48 pm

Once again an excellent article about the failures of this administration’s foreign policy. I was not often pleased with Obama’s but the Iran Deal was most certainly a highlight. To destroy for pettiness and stupidity is a shame.

#4 Comment By William R Dalton On January 10, 2019 @ 11:15 pm

Republicans made hay in their criticism of Obama for going around the world apologizing for the things the United States did under his predecessors. “Blame America First”.

I think we can all see the irony here.

#5 Comment By Anne Mendoza On January 11, 2019 @ 4:19 am

Iran got something right – we are led by first class idiots.

#6 Comment By Oleg Gark On January 11, 2019 @ 10:20 am

Pompeo’s speech struck me as Part 1 of Trump’s “Declare victory, then leave” Middle East strategy. It was full of platitudes and political digs, but light on real content. Some of Pompeo’s assertions sounded so at odds with reality that it made me think of him as our own Bagdad Bob. In any case, I’m hopeful that Trump will execute Part 2 of the plan.

#7 Comment By Personanongrata On January 11, 2019 @ 3:16 pm

Pompeo’s Inept Diplomacy

If Mike Pompeo is the best The United States Military Academy at West Point can produce it should have been shut down back in 1986 for gross negligence of duty.


Mike Pompeo is a complete failure as US Secretary of State.

He is however a complete success as a pliably supine jingoistic heel clicking flag saluting yes man.

#8 Comment By JR On January 12, 2019 @ 3:43 pm

Military academies are not about academic performance nor about developing independent conceptual thinking. Foreign policy or contemporary history is a very minor aspect of such venues.

#9 Comment By Paul smith On January 14, 2019 @ 12:12 am

In other words, he’s the perfect sec of state for Trump. The fact that this guy cant see what he’s doing is unreal. Nikke Haley too. She plays to the US and the entire world laughs at her.