Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 10, 2019

Pompeo's Middle East Speech - A Blustering Promise Of Less U.S. Involvement

Today Mike Pompeo, the U.S. Secretary of State, visited Egypt. He held a somewhat delusional speech at the American University in Cairo. It is headlined:

A Force for Good: America Reinvigorated in the Middle East:

There is little in the speech that supports the headline. It starts with blustering:

[B]ecause I’m a military man by training, I’ll be very blunt and direct today: America is a force for good in the Middle East.

We need to acknowledge that truth, because if we don’t, we make bad choices – now and in the future.

Pompeo blames Obama for the trouble the "force of good" caused:

Remember: It was here, here in this city, that another American stood before you.

He told you that radical Islamist terrorism does not stem from an ideology. He told you that 9/11 led my country to abandon its ideals, particularly in the Middle East. He told you that the United States and the Muslim world needed, quote, “a new beginning,” end of quote. The results of these misjudgments have been dire.

In falsely seeing ourselves as a force for what ails the Middle East, we were timid in asserting ourselves when the times – and our partners – demanded it.
...
The good news. The good news is this: The age of self-inflicted American shame is over, and so are the policies that produced so much needless suffering. Now comes the real new beginning.

It follows a list of false claims and fake history:

For those who fret about the use of American power, remember this: America has always been, and always will be, a liberating force, not an occupying power. We’ve never dreamed of domination in the Middle East.

Pompeo ignores the still valid Carter doctrine which demands exclusive U.S. domination of the Middle East: "An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force."

When the mission is over, when the job is complete, America leaves. Today in Iraq, at the government’s invitation, we have approximately 5,000 troops where there were once 166,000. We once had tens of thousands of U.S. military stationed – personnel stationed in Saudi Arabia. Now that number is a tiny fraction.

In 2011 the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki rejected to sign a Status of Force agreement that would have given U.S. troops in Iraq special rights. In consequence the U.S. had to retreat from Iraq. A few troops came back to fight the Islamic State which Obama let grow to eject Maliki. Those troops will too have to leave. After the 1991 war against Iraq, Saudi Arabia came under pressure from radical Islamists to kick the many U.S. troops out of the country. Several thousand sill stayed. After the Kohbar tower bombing in 1996 the rest had to go too. In both cases the retreat was not voluntarily.

The speech goes on with a long passage of bashing Iran and lauding Israel. Pompeo says that the Trump administration wishes to establish the 'Middle East Strategic Alliance', an Arab NATO that allies with Israel. A pipe dream born out of sheer ignorance that is destined to fail.

We’re also seeing remarkable change. New bonds are taking root that were unimaginable until very recently. Who could’ve believed a few years ago that an Israeli prime minister would visit Muscat?

Israel's then Prime Minister Rabin visited Oman in 1994. Two years later then Prime Minister Shimon Peres followed. So yeah, a lot of people could have believed that. None of them though believes that a 'Middle East Strategic Alliance' will ever be more than a talking point.

The speech then comes to the core of Trump's thinking and policy:

Let me be clear: America will not retreat until the terror fight is over. [...] But as President Trump has said, we’re looking to our partners to do more, and in this effort we will do so going forward together.

For our part, airstrikes in the region will continue as targets arise.
...
And as the fighting continues, we will continue to assist our partners in efforts to guard borders, prosecute terrorists, screen travelers, assist refugees, and more. But “assist” is the key phrase.

Those who want to fight Iran down to the last U.S. soldier, i.e. Israel and Saudi Arabia, will not like to hear that. Under Trump the U.S. will not do the bleeding in their fight.

On Syria:

Let me be clear: America will not retreat until the terror fight is over. [...] President Trump has made the decision to bring our troops home from Syria. We always do and now is the time, but this isn’t a change of mission.
...
In Syria, the United States will use diplomacy and work with our partners to expel every last Iranian boot, and work through the UN-led process to bring peace and stability to the long-suffering Syrian people. There will be no U.S. reconstruction assistance for areas of Syria held by Assad until Iran and its proxy forces withdraw and until we see irreversible progress towards a political resolution.

That is a revocation of John Bolton's plan to stay in Syria to defend the Kurds from a Turkish invasion or for whatever other reason. Indeed the Syrian Kurds are not mentioned at all in Pompeo's speech. They will surely take note of that.

There is also no mention of human rights, Khashoggi, freedom, or Palestinian statehood.

The speech ends as it started, with praising "America’s innate goodness".

Daniel Larison calls the speech Pompeo’s Exercise in Arrogant Self-Congratulation. That fits well.

For the people and the rulers in the Middle East the speech offers nothing. They are told that they are on their own. The U.S. will not longer play the "shinning city upon a hill" and it will no longer do the fighting for other interests. It wants purely transactional relations but with as little physical involvement as possible.

There is a lot of support for Israel in the speech and an equal amount of bashing Iran. But there is no promise that the U.S. is willing to do more than verbal grandstanding and to keep up the ineffective 'squeezing' of Iran.

Overall Pompeo's speech was directed more at a U.S. audience that to a Middle Eastern public. Iran hawks, evangelicals and President Trump will love it. Liberal interventionists and neo-conservatives will criticize it. 

While the speech points into a direction that more isolationist forces in the U.S. will support, it does not guarantee that the real policies will follow it. Even if Trump wants to go into a direction of less U.S. involvement, there are other forces in his administration which try to push him into new conflicts.

Under these circumstances it is nothing more that one data point that shows what might be.

Posted by b on January 10, 2019 at 02:50 PM | Permalink

Comments
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Regarding future air strikes, there's a room in Baghdad where generals decide who bombs what. Their decisions are backed up with fighters, missiles, electronic countermeasures and troops. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia%E2%80%93Syria%E2%80%93Iran%E2%80%93Iraq_coalition

Posted by: Fec | Jan 10, 2019 3:17:15 PM | 1

As I noted on the previous thread, Pompeo's arrogance, string of numerous falsehoods and key omissions will only serve to further alienate the global polity and motivate vassal nations to free themselves from the Outlaw US Empire's grip. There really isn't much to add to b's critique.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 10, 2019 3:20:43 PM | 2

i've heard about all the statements i care to hear from this administration. when it looks like US troops are leaving, if they do, that will be a better day.

Posted by: annie | Jan 10, 2019 3:29:37 PM | 3

US always leaves?

What about Afghanistan?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 10, 2019 3:31:51 PM | 4

Obama lied to you. Now trust me.

Soon to be added to the blooper reel.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 10, 2019 3:33:02 PM | 5

annie @3--

Agreed! It does get tiresome parsing BS almost daily. The bigger problem, however, is proper parsing by BigLie Media is no longer done.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 10, 2019 3:36:52 PM | 6

Obama: leading from behind!

Pompeo: leading from behind!

How does Trump's sly nonintervention differ from Obama's?

Welcome to the rabbit hole.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 10, 2019 3:38:07 PM | 7

There's a difference in meaning between 'Force for good' (benefactor), 'Force for good' (forever), and 'Force of good' (benefactor).

Posted by: bjd | Jan 10, 2019 3:43:25 PM | 8

another bullshit artist.... the usa's main export on the foriegn policy front... tired and predictable, and in keeping with what everyone has come to associate with the usa..

Posted by: james | Jan 10, 2019 3:44:37 PM | 9

Perhaps that's what unhinged Netanyahoo in his speech to the Israeli inhabitants, that the U.S. wasn't going to do the fighting re-Iran. along with the possibility of being indited before the early election he called? So much for the future relations.

Posted by: Eugene | Jan 10, 2019 3:46:27 PM | 10

b:

Pompeo: "President Trump has made the decision to bring our troops home from Syria."

That is a revocation of John Bolton's plan to stay in Syria to defend the Kurds from a Turkish invasion or for whatever other reason.

Sorry b, Trump made the decision to bring troops home MORE THAN 3 YEARS AGO, when he said during the campaign: "Let Russia take care of ISIS."

I agree with annie @3: I'll believe it when I see it.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 10, 2019 3:53:03 PM | 11

Although Pompeo works for Trump (ostensibly), the corporate blob media view him as being their guy, so I won't be surprised to see this speech praised in the US. As far as the blob is concerned, being for imperialism is good so long as you don't talk about what the US really wants (power, oil, hegemony) and pretend it's for "democracy".

Posted by: worldblee | Jan 10, 2019 3:53:24 PM | 12

Javad Zarif’s response today was a classic. This administration has taken its delusions and shameless hegemony to another level. And to be in a Muslim country and bash another Muslim country while elevating Israel, and themselves, to the level of angels, does truly take khutzbah. They think just because they have a puppet president agreeing with them, the rest of the country has the same opinion.

This is not going bode well for Al Sisi, plus that bungle of an interview with 60 minutes. He better tighten his military. Egypt is ripe for another uprising.

Posted by: Alpi57 | Jan 10, 2019 3:55:11 PM | 13

"Force for good"

As they support Saudi, UAE genocide and Israeli apartheid.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

This is posturing. And it heralds bad things to come.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 10, 2019 3:56:49 PM | 14

The speech was given at the American University in Cairo, but what was the actual audience in the auditorium where the speech would have been held?
Students at the University? The general public? Or was it restricted to various media and political big-shots?

Antoinetta III

Posted by: Antoinetta III | Jan 10, 2019 4:00:26 PM | 15

@ Jackrabbit | Jan 10, 2019 3:53:03 PM | 11
Sorry b, Trump made the decision to bring troops home MORE THAN 3 YEARS AGO, when he said during the campaign: "Let Russia take care of ISIS."

Sorry Jackrabbit, a candidate for office is not in a position to "made the decision." You were just a hare off.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 10, 2019 4:11:34 PM | 16

Pompeo is no kind of force, and his words signify no kind of real action, as the details of the Korea play clearly showed.

The speech is a nothing-burger, but the the spices and flavorings come straight out of the White House. Boiled down to its essence, it says that the US is withdrawing and taking less involvement, for the same reason it first intruded and took more involvement: because the US is good.

Anyone who wants to take the "US is good" paradigm out of that speech is welcome to do so. All I hear is, "It's good for the US to withdraw."

We have been watching the US in retreat across all theaters for several years, and the more it retreats, the more it blusters. b's headline to this article illustrates the entire syndrome perfectly.

Instead of "Peace with Honor" it's "Bluster with Retreat". Same shining city, same craven defeat.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 10, 2019 4:17:19 PM | 17

@b: Please consider adding the following CSS rule to the www.moonofalabama.org/styles01.css file:

.comments-body { max-width: 600px; }

Or some other value that limits the maximum width of comments.

Posted by: S | Jan 10, 2019 4:21:33 PM | 18

Don Bacon

Sorry Don, he's been in office for more than 2 years.

Why should we trust his recent "decision" - which he has back away from(!) - when he has waited more than 2 years to honor his campaign promise?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 10, 2019 4:22:11 PM | 19

Rabbit--

Trump was inaugurated on 20 January 2017. Today is 10 January 2019. The interim is LESS than 2 years.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 10, 2019 4:27:51 PM | 20

To Greived # 17. I hope that your take is more accurate than mine. To me - the man is absolutely delusional if he believes anything he said. His arrogance is staggering IMHO but maybe that's your point. It's a yada yada event. More of the same. Like O'Bomber's "peace prize" it's just a little dance for the rubes. Thank you. I feel better now.

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Jan 10, 2019 4:28:03 PM | 21

@ don bacon.. i support jackrabbits view... for the usa and all those who operate as reps for it, one has to follow the actions, not the words.. as is so often the case, the words are generally 180 the actions.. this is what i have come to learn about the usa from a long time ago.. whatever they say - look to the opposite of that for the truth.. it would be nice if trump was different, but words are just words and need to be backed up with actions..

Posted by: james | Jan 10, 2019 4:28:13 PM | 22

'A force for good' but unlike the good envisaged in the Manichean model. To add to his pontification and bellowing, Pompeo should have asserted that his country was a force for more than just one type of good, but in fact, two. The first, 'no good' and the second, 'good for nothing'.

Posted by: metni | Jan 10, 2019 4:29:02 PM | 23

NYTimes: Mr. Pompeo spent much of the day in Cairo trying to explain the new strategy, arguing that it does not take troops on the ground to influence events.//

The US "new strategy" has started with this wacky bit of Pompeo propaganda, pompegranda?, and then will venture into other non-military offensives.

It brings back memories of "smart power" dreamed up by Joseph Nye, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs under the Clinton administration. It is defined by the Center for Strategic and International Studies as "an approach that underscores the necessity of a strong military, but also invests heavily in alliances, partnerships, and institutions of all levels to expand one's influence and establish legitimacy of one's action." (wiki here)

Of course there is no evidence that the US is remotely capable of "smart."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 10, 2019 4:31:36 PM | 24

Another infantile intervention of Pompeo..
I am sure Sissi is laughing privately while openly praising Pompeo as long as he can get the money he needs to develop his hyperpopulated country.
Pompeo would be better in a TV series about an italian mafioso turned into the arrogant poodle of a US president, a disposable poodle

Posted by: Virgile | Jan 10, 2019 4:32:52 PM | 25

@ S #18

Or some other value that limits the maximum width of comments.

I've had trouble at some sites with this, so much so that I have to move a bottom slider back and forth to even read an article. But at MOA this has never been an issue. Have you tried other browsers?

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jan 10, 2019 4:37:06 PM | 26

Anti-BDS Bill Defeated

The defeated bill included a provision to allow states and local governments to punish Americans who boycott Israel. This was an astonishing and nearly successful attempt to legislate crude government interference with freedom of speech in its most protected form: political speech. The fact that such a bill made it to the floor of the Senate confirms that the American political establishment is an occupied zone committed to silencing opposition to Israel and its lobby.<

Posted by: Virgile | Jan 10, 2019 4:42:35 PM | 27

@ Jackrabbit | Jan 10, 2019 4:22:11 PM | 19
Thanks for changing campaign decision to campaign promise. No apology necessary.

Regarding Trump behavior, I think by now we have seen and heard enough from him not to be shocked that he didn't do today what he said he'd do yesterday, never mind MORE THAN 3 YEARS AGO. It's already been well established that Trump often doesn't tell the truth, but that's not unusual in Washington. In fact my personal rule of thumb is that whatever the government says is not true. That applies to whatever is said when, including whatever was said MORE THAN 3 YEARS AGO.

The important things for me regarding Trump are (1) He's not Hillary, (2) he is the first president in a long time that puts the US ahead of other countries, and 3) who apparently wishes to end endless foreign wars. In this process we can expect what b said very nicely "it is nothing more that one data point that shows what might be." The important facts concern what is actually happening on the ground, and that is going well, recognizing that accomplishments take time.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 10, 2019 4:48:03 PM | 28

Magnier's latest essay I interpret as a rebuttal to Pompeo's Egyptian Diktat. Assad clearly has a bigger heart for Kurds than Pompeo or any other Outlaw US Empire actor:

"President Bashar al-Assad has said to the Russian negotiators that 'Syria belongs to all Syrians and the Kurds are part of Syria. Therefore they should not enjoy more or fewer rights than any other citizens. They will be given identities but are not entitled to any special concessions.' Moreover, Assad has agreed not to consider the Kurds as traitors despite their protection of the US occupation forces. He has insisted that the only force operating on the national territory be the one belonging to the Syrian army under the control of the central government."

The magnanimity of Assad renders every so-called leader in the West smaller than a pin-head by comparison. And when it comes time to elect their next president, Syrians will overwhelmingly re-elect Assad, and deservedly so.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 10, 2019 4:56:41 PM | 29

According to ABC.au News this morning, Pompeo said that the US also supports "Israeli" attacks on Iranians in Syria. However, there's no reference to such a delightful blunder in the transcript linked in b's article. Having read the whole transcript I can confirm that Pompeo's demented speech is the most pathetic load of asinine drivel I have ever read, watched, or heard. Even the Goons and Monty Python's exaggerated fantasies fell a long way short of Pomeo's brand of inanity and inverted logic.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 10, 2019 4:58:23 PM | 30

Isn't everyone tired of the constant BS from the empire's front men?

Posted by: ben | Jan 10, 2019 5:01:01 PM | 31

Beyond the particular absurdities and delusions in Pompeo's Cairo speech, one might wonder as to what part of this speech Pompeo wrote and believes. In my opinion it get's really strange, well into the twilight zone, if the answer is: all of it. That hardly seems possible perhaps, but what if more, his views are actually widely held by many American notables, and who regard them to be apt and sensible and true, as opposed to being knowing flights of theatrical fancy?

Anyway, here are a few Pompeo reminder/tidbits courtesy of Wikipedia:

" In 1986 Pompeo graduated first in his class from the United States Military Academy at West Point ....

In 1994, Pompeo received a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School where he served as one of 78 editors of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy ....

In September 2017, [then CIA head] Pompeo sought authority for the CIA to make covert drone strikes without the Pentagon's involvement, including inside Afghanistan.

During his confirmation hearing, Pompeo said that Russia "has ... invad[ed] and occup[ied] Ukraine, threatening Europe, and doing nearly nothing to aid in the destruction and defeat of ISIS"

[In 2017] ... Pompeo called WikiLeaks "a non-state hostile intelligence service" and described founder Julian Assange as a narcissist, fraud, and coward.

"... we can no longer allow Assange and his colleagues the latitude to use free speech values against us. To give them the space to crush us with misappropriated secrets is a perversion of what our great Constitution stands for. It ends now ....

In February 2016, Pompeo said Snowden "should be brought back from Russia and given due process, and I think the proper outcome would be that he would be given a death sentence".

In 2014, Pompeo told a church group that Christians needed to "know that Jesus Christ as our savior is truly the only solution for our world". In 2015 ... "politics is a never-ending struggle ... until the Rapture."

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 10, 2019 5:03:47 PM | 32

@Zachary Smith #26: This post looks fine in my browser, although slightly wider than usual due to the long link in the first comment. However, some posts in the past were completely broken by extremely long links in the comments. Adding a CSS rule of the kind I've proposed will fix this problem in all past and future posts. I understand the desire to have a flexible web page layout, but at a certain ratio of line length to font size the text becomes too hard to read anyway, so there has to be some kind of limitation.

Posted by: S | Jan 10, 2019 5:15:39 PM | 33

Wow, can you imagine this blunt thug mentioning "artists, poets, and intellectuals".
Guess whom he's likely to personally exterminate, just before the Rapture.

Posted by: bjd | Jan 10, 2019 5:22:14 PM | 34

@23 m

Touché!

Posted by: xLemming | Jan 10, 2019 5:45:43 PM | 35

This is not going bode well for Al Sisi, plus that bungle of an interview with 60 minutes. He better tighten his military. Egypt is ripe for another uprising.

Posted by: Alpi57 | Jan 10, 2019 3:55:11 PM | 13

Sounds interesting. Do you have a link?

Posted by: ToivoS | Jan 10, 2019 5:46:21 PM | 36

Antoinetta @ 15:

The auditorium where the would-be Pompey the Great (ha!) gave his speech does not look very large in this video that was uploaded to Youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNtiYRYvPWc

Hard to tell if the audience is representative of the student body but everyone all looks fairly mature, as if they might be postgraduate students.

According to Wikipedia, the student body of the American University in Cairo (a private university) numbers 6,453. Cairo University enrols some 155,000 students and Ain-Shams University (also based in Cairo) has 170,000 undergraduates: both are public universities.

So Pompeo's speech didn't reach that many people in Egypt after all. Bernhard is right, the speech is aimed at US audiences.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 10, 2019 5:47:15 PM | 37

Don Bacon @28

When you're not harping on semantics, your saying things like:

The important facts concern what is actually happening on the ground ... recognizing that accomplishments take time.

Nothing has changed on the ground.

Accomplishments take time? LOL.

In the TWO YEARS that he's been in office Trump has:

- attacked Syria TWICE based on false flags;

- occupied a large part of Syria;

- threatened to bomb Syria (a third time) if SAA attempted to reclaim Idlib from the Jihadis that hold it;

- backed away from a "decision" to 'pull out' troops;

- supports Israeli attacks in Syria;

- refuses to provide reconstruction assistance.

So what EXACTLY is he trying to accomplish?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 10, 2019 5:50:16 PM | 38

b mentions the Kohbar towers incident. I know that the Iranians were always accused of this incredibly nasty attack against the benevolent US, but it has never been clear to me who actually did it. Any any one have some relevant links?

Posted by: ToivoS | Jan 10, 2019 5:54:24 PM | 39

What a blowhard. It's like David Duke giving a speech at Howard University about the benevolence of slavery in America.

Posted by: erik | Jan 10, 2019 5:56:43 PM | 40

@xL 35
Thanks!

Posted by: metni | Jan 10, 2019 6:33:06 PM | 41

On DW today, Guido Steinberg said that the Pompeo-Bolton team was a war cabinet. He foresaw an Israeli attack on Iranians in Syria and a potential action by the US against Iran.

ToivoS 39
I'm like you. The story has been back and forth al Qaeda or Iran with nothing definitive.

S 18
Most times, I've had links wrap around to the next line. The few times I got into trouble was when I posted something like an internet archive compound link.

Posted by: Curtis | Jan 10, 2019 6:36:54 PM | 42

@ Hoarsewhisperer #30

Having read the whole transcript I can confirm that Pompeo's demented speech is the most pathetic load of asinine drivel I have ever read, watched, or heard.

It was bad, and that's a fact. Yet this highly educated yahoo is 4th in the presidential line of succession. Every move Pompeo makes is going to be calculated to force God to push the Button on the Second Coming. I glanced down that list at the 'succession' wiki. Not a one of them is fit to be President. Thanks, Trump.

Looking up Pompeo, here something interesting he said:

Pompeo tells Hannity that the border wall is a national security issue.

"It includes the risks that terrorists come across that border," Pompeo adds, not citing any examples.

Will Pompeo urge his boss to declare a National Emergency to block that stream of evildoers at the Rio Grande? Why not? He might be able to do some fast talking and also get the Orange POTUS to bulldoze every abortion clinic in the US of A. And maybe to recognize the apartheid Jewish state as the rightful owner of the Golan Heights, the West Bank, and anything else it happens to want.

By the bye, one group is shivering at the prospect of adding to the already bloated Presidential Powers.

Conservatives Worry 'National Emergency' Precedent Threatens Their Guns

As it happens, their concern is not a silly one. There is no telling at all what some future President Nutcase might do. For that matter, what else some current one might do.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jan 10, 2019 6:38:42 PM | 43

Jackrabbit 38

We could be finding out what he wants to achieve quite soon.

On the one hand, now that HTS (rebranded al-Qaeda) has control of the whole of Idlib plus a bit with all the weapons generously donated to the 'moderate' terrorists we are going to see just how the US reacts to the forthcoming SAA/Russian assault on them. Another gas FF as threatened last time perhaps?

On the other hand, how will the US react to the reality of withdrawing out of Syria under the protection of the Syrians and Russians. Protected from the Kurds of course who lost so much as proxies to the US and who might want to give them some leaving presents.

Posted by: JohninMK | Jan 10, 2019 6:49:00 PM | 44

@ 43

Pompeo is from Wichita, as are the Koch brothers, who are Libertarians and committed foes of Israel.

Rand Paul refers to it as "lunatic Libertartian foreign policy," but to my knowledge, has gone no further.

I've come to the conclusion it's balls to the walls, carte blanche into the sun, giving Israel everything they ever dreamed of.

Then watch them choke on it.

Posted by: Fec | Jan 10, 2019 6:52:58 PM | 45

Pompeo wants low yield nukes launched from Israel, giving everybody the excuse to turn it into an ash tray.

Posted by: Fec | Jan 10, 2019 6:56:33 PM | 46

@Zach Smith 43 and Robert S @32

Thanks to Robert S for this curious arrangement (partially copied) of Pompisms:

" In 1986 Pompeo graduated first in his class from the United States Military Academy at West Point ....
In 1994, Pompeo received a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School where he served as one of 78 editors of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy ....

In 2014, Pompeo told a church group that Christians needed to "know that Jesus Christ as our savior is truly the only solution for our world".

In 2015 ... "politics is a never-ending struggle ... until the Rapture...In February 2016, Pompeo said Snowden "should be brought back from Russia and given due process, and I think the proper outcome would be that he would be given a death sentence".

I also recall without citation that one of the devotees of the apocalyptic cult at Jonestown was a Juris Doctor recipient from Yale. Should Pompeo's braying emanate more from conviction than histrionics, then it just serves as reinforcement of the fact that academic achievement alone, distinguished or otherwise, confers nothing in the way wisdom or insight, ethics or emotional balance. And should his pronouncements be pure theatrics, then such remission places him with the majority of other government officials as a charlatan and a fraud.

Posted by: metni | Jan 10, 2019 7:06:13 PM | 47

Toivo S @ 39:

Wikipedia article on Khobar Towers bomb attack:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khobar_Towers_bombing

Looks like Saudi Arabia shifted the blame for the car bomb attack to Iran rather than admit that anti-government opposition groups carried out the attack and give a reason for US forces to stay in Saudi territory.

Also the Saudi Hezbollah (or Hezbollah al Hejaz) appears unrelated to Hezbollah in Lebanon but I'm sure the Saudis deliberately link the two organisations where they can.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 10, 2019 7:24:50 PM | 48

Based on Pompeo's positions re Christ and Snowden, strict logic would seem to indicate that Pompeo believes that Jesus would support the death penalty for public service 'treason-light' by Americans, unless of course on this particular point of doctrine, Pompeo has gone rogue.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 10, 2019 7:25:06 PM | 49

#Pompeo does foreign policy for the #KochBrothers.
#Bolton does foreign policy for #SheldonAdelson.
#Trump enjoys mocking them.

Posted by: Fec | Jan 10, 2019 8:11:21 PM | 50

All Trump wants is a quiet dinner with Ivanka and the kids.
So, he gives KSA to Kushner.
Next thing he knows, Jared is floating in the Med with MbS, snorting coke, playing Fortnite and screwing lithe Ukrainians.
Pompeo cooks up some Khashoggi sandwiches and suddenly, Jared doesn't have much to say at dinner.

Posted by: Fec | Jan 10, 2019 8:41:20 PM | 51

Trump is the Grand Master of giving you what you think you want and then enjoying your regret.

Posted by: Fec | Jan 10, 2019 8:56:53 PM | 52

Jeepers, it's Grifter 101.
Watch American Hustle, the truth story of AbScam.
It's all right there.
Even the hair.

Posted by: Fec | Jan 10, 2019 9:13:45 PM | 53

Yes the US is such a force for good in the ME/South Asia.
This quote from page 134 of Ghost Wars by Steve Coll jumped out when I reread it a few months ago ( p. 134 of the hardcover edition):

"Increasingly Russian Spetnaz commandos captured mujahedin equipment, such as the ubiquitous Japanese made pickup trucks, which were shipped in by the CIA."
I wonder if GMC has been allowed to bid on RFPs when the CIA is out shopping for jihadis.

Posted by: Schmoe | Jan 10, 2019 9:18:00 PM | 54

Karlof @29
Thanks for the link; excellent analysis.

Posted by: robjira | Jan 10, 2019 9:26:30 PM | 55

@28 Don

I share the sentiment.

My prognosis for Trump is this: if he 1) builds the wall and 2) leaves Syria (+ bonus withdraws support for Saudis in Yemen), then he will get reelected easily.

This is part of the reason why I feel these things will come to pass, irrespective of his on-the-job training days of the last two years where he has not quite delivered the hammer he has promised.

He can not appear weak. The swamp is full of sharks and blood in the water is a seriously bad omen for DJT.

These two decisions in the next month or so will either sink or save him.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jan 10, 2019 9:28:37 PM | 56

@ 56 said;"My prognosis for Trump is this: if he 1) builds the wall and 2) leaves Syria (+ bonus withdraws support for Saudis in Yemen), then he will get reelected easily."

Probably, but don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen..

Autonomy isn't, and hasn't, been the case for any modern day U$A Presidents. The folks behind the curtains make the relevant decisions..

Posted by: ben | Jan 10, 2019 10:25:26 PM | 57

"But there is no promise that the U.S. is willing to do more than verbal grandstanding and to keep up the ineffective 'squeezing' of Iran."

It is not ineffective, Iran entered a recession. Its GDP gowth is projected to be negative for 2019 as well.

Posted by: Passer by | Jan 10, 2019 10:28:25 PM | 58

Antoinetta@15, Jen@37.
I was at a Shimon Peres speech in Turkey ten or so years back. The people attending (instructors, professors, Grad students) were coerced into attending by the pro-Israeli (mostly British in out departments case) administration. The softball questions from the audience were delivered by specially selected "students", though it was made to appear that anyone in the audience could ask a question.
The fact that the University of Cairo is "American" tells you that most of the people attending probably would rather have been somewhere else, but effectively had no choice.

Posted by: Blue | Jan 10, 2019 11:54:53 PM | 59

Hi B :)

I very much enjoy your website, analysis and the chat !

May I contact you briefly ? Please e-mail me.

Thank you,

Marc, from Canada

Posted by: Featherless | Jan 10, 2019 11:57:38 PM | 60

it's bad enough that pompeo is pathologically stupid. like "how does he remember to breathe without writing a note on his hand?" stupid. it's bad enough that he's aggressively arrogant and has the gall to say "i'm a military guy". maybe because he eats as much as an entire platoon before lunch. but does he have to be such a walking, talking cartoon stereotype? all i can hear when he talks is the voice of ray liotta:

"and we had to sit still and take it. It was among the italians. it was real greaseball shit."

seriously - the italian guys in spike lee movies are more subtle than this wide load. he's like if scalia ate gotti and crapped out fredo corleone.

the fact that he - along with "turkish delight" bolton - still has a job shows that trump is either equally stupid, psychotic and unpredictable as those two or they're all taking orders from a fourth party. or some combination of the above.

Posted by: the pair | Jan 10, 2019 11:58:40 PM | 61

the pair | Jan 10, 2019 11:58:40 PM | 61
it's bad enough that pompeo is pathologically stupid. like "how does he remember to breathe without writing a note on his hand?" stupid.

I think you are confusing stupidity with ignorance; Pompeo obviously isn't stupid; just butt ignorant...

Posted by: V | Jan 11, 2019 1:51:38 AM | 62

@ the pair | Jan 10, 2019 11:58:40 PM | 61

I could imagine that Trump experienced his own type of rapture listening to Pompeo's speech. ... His man. Just as he sees it. ;) Should I add irony alert?

@ Passer by | Jan 10, 2019 10:28:25 PM | 58

I agree the weakest passage considering Pompeo's lecture on American virtue, at least with Trump's foreign policy campaign speech in mind.

Posted by: LeaNder | Jan 11, 2019 1:57:06 AM | 63

b "Under these circumstances it is nothing more that one data point that shows what might be."

We live in interesting times. On Trump and Israel though, I think Trump will never pull US military backing for Israel. Not only because that is US law that a president cannot bypass, but also ensuring Israel's enemies are destroyed is the biggest part of Trumps foreign policy. It is only when Israels enemies are destroyed that Trump would pull US forces out of the middle eas, but rather than destroying them, Trump's policies will only increase israel's enemies.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 11, 2019 2:49:14 AM | 64

@30 Hw

And every word of that asinine Pompeo speech was certified by the ass himself, DJT.

The speech which you describe as inanity and inverted logic is being touted as Trump's vision for the Middle East. For once I agree with you on something.

@56NC

I can't believe sometimes what I read around here:

My prognosis for Trump is this: if he 1) builds the wall and 2) leaves Syria (+ bonus withdraws support for Saudis in Yemen), then he will get reelected easily.

1)EFF his effing Wall! 2) I'll hold my breath. NOT! +the bonus: you're dreamin'. Easily elected behind bars? The best outcome for him would be a presidential pardon, but Pence will never be President, and anyway, he's gonna get hammered by the SDNY which will exclude him from any pardon. IOW, karma's gonna bite him good and he's finally gonna get what he's dished out in spades!

-----------
Trump's Arab NATO dream or MESA to counter Iran will result in an exercise at herding cats and could have the unintended consequence of bringing Iran, Syria, Iraq, possibly Lebanon, Qatar and Turkey closer together to form a competing security alliance. The Russians should get involved in encouraging such an outcome, so that MESA that could become a satellite of NATO doesn't gain unfettered power over the region. Israeli officials have been meeting with the Saudis, UAE, Egypt counterparts to encourage them to welcome Assad back into the GCC fold as a way to create distance between Syria and Iran. This is a pipe dream since Assad would be stupid to ever trust the GCC after they unleashed Wahhabi mercenaries in Syria to try to gaddafiAssad. That image should be engraved in Assad's memory forever as a constant reminder of the threat the GCC will always pose to Alawite rule.

The U.S. has bases all over the ME and that's not going to change whether MESA gets off the ground or not. Just look at how Nato expanded U.S. presence in Europe and how it has created a more confrontational, sometimes hair-trigger position vis a vis Russia. This is a stupid idea that Obama kicked around and that Trump thinks he can implement and brag about. Aside from a few sentences on Iran I disagree with the following article really drives home how short-sighted Trump is for pushing MESA forward. What else is new? He's a total idiot. The article is very good and worth the read.

America should say no to Arab Nato

Here's a passage in DefenseNews I thought reinforces my herding stray cats descriptive, in other words MESS not MESA.

On the other hand, there are clear challenges ahead for such an Arab NATO. These include issues of interoperability; the eight nations operated different types of military platforms. For instance, Egypt operates the Russian Mig-25M and the American F-16, while Saudi Arabia operates the American F-15SA and the European Eurofighter Typhoon and the UAE operates the F-16 and the French Mirage.

Replying to a question about data sharing between various platforms, Rick Groesch, Lockheed Martin vice president for the Middle East, said: “When a country buys U.S. equipment, there are certain things signed up in their agreement. In other words, a country can’t put a non- U.S. weapon on a U.S. weapon system without approval from the government.”

Furthering MESA is a bone-headed move that Trump wants to set in motion to the detriment of all concerned. MESA like NATO doesn't further less U.S. involvement, it represents more U.S. military hardware in the hands of tyrants, more potential conflict and confrontation and an even wider footprint for the AZ Empire. BLECH on Trump's vision!

Posted by: Circe | Jan 11, 2019 3:10:10 AM | 65

As a very mediocre public speaker, the pompous one, clearly looks like someone struggling with constipation, whose only relief is that it stutteringly comes out of his month. I would suggest that he is only marginally more successful than his mastered puppet boss at such public activity.

Posted by: Seby | Jan 11, 2019 3:57:31 AM | 66

I just heard an announcement of the news of US troops moving out of Syria, so something is happening after all. Bolton didn't succeed in putting a stop to it.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 11, 2019 5:22:36 AM | 67

How did i miss this joke of the week.

Pompeo in Iraq speech says Erdogan no beef with the Kurds and has made commitment to protect them.

Posted by: AG17 | Jan 11, 2019 5:43:26 AM | 68

b, there is a clear mix of good old "flatus vocis" from Pompeo, lots of exceptionalsim once more, and finally clear messages that less and less US troops will be on the ground, at least official US forces, not necessarily mercenaries such as blackwater.
We are witnessing the US deconstruction of the hegemon since late 80s, slowly but steady, in the middle are hundreds of countries that benefited by being US puppet or momentary allies, those are mostly lost in space at the moment, trying to figure out what to do next, some are moving as fast as they can to either find another "protector" or alliances. There is no doubt we will see a lot of shifts in 2019-2020, and yet the economic collapse that has shown signs of its beginning has not happened yet and the tsunami it will form will seriously change the world as we know it, thus speeding up the changes we see in the ME, south Asia, East Asia Europe and even Latina America.

Posted by: Canthama | Jan 11, 2019 6:09:59 AM | 69

400 years of turkish colonialism has damaged the arabs, they are amenable to a "hadha amerikin" telling em such rubbish inside their own home. Its just incredible,almost like the Queen able to go to India and address the former colonial subjects, only pompeo is doing it instead of a Turkish sultan.

Posted by: Anon | Jan 11, 2019 7:21:36 AM | 70

"The U.S. will not longer play the "shinning city upon a hill" and it will no longer do the fighting for other interests."

You are hallucinating by making this statement. America will be the first to give blood to defend Israel. Don't you know Israel is America 51st state. One thing you all better learn is that you cannot believe people who are proven liars. No one should give T-rump and his cohorts any credibility in any endeavor other the knowing that you cannot trust proven liars. All of them need to be swept from the field as quickly as possible either by lawful means or revolution of pitch forks and heads on lamp post. Conservative who support this form of tyranny by the minority are nothing more than complicit in the process. Just look to the republican senate. All a bunch of cowering lemmings the lot. Stand clear when the rats leave the sinking ship.

Posted by: rattlemullet | Jan 11, 2019 8:21:12 AM | 71

Antoinetta@15, Jen@37, Blue @59

This may be helpful and a good example of the travails of the US Embassy:
https://twitter.com/NewtonMass1/status/1083571439683416064

Posted by: Yul | Jan 11, 2019 8:31:19 AM | 72

@Laguerre #67

BREAKING: A U.S. military official says U.S. troops have begun the process of withdrawing from Syria, declines to discuss details.

https://twitter.com/AP/status/1083656512533422080

Posted by: Yul | Jan 11, 2019 8:37:10 AM | 73

I've been swotting up on SecDef Shanahan at wiki. He's been Deputy SecDef since mid 2017 thus elevation to SecDef is just a promotion so he's not a newbie. Judging from his record of achievements and serial promotions at Boeing, and the nifty way he dealt with McCain's dumbfuckery during the confirmation hearings in 2017, he's a very level-headed pro with one eye on the rule book and the other on keeping everything running like a Swiss Watch. I'd be surprised if he can be bullied or outfoxed. I'm wondering how long it'll be before Trump lets him speak in public. Imo, it'll have to be a few months otherwise his sobriety and calm logic will make Pompeo seem confused, reckless and incompetent...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 11, 2019 8:37:19 AM | 74

As per most of the above posts: this speech can only be meant for domestic audiences, most likely to make it look like things are getting done. The appearance of things on the 2-D representations that get disseminated are almost never what they appear. In a flurry of international travel the USAns make whistle-stop tours of the zones of conflict to do what...? Bolster the confidence of the good people back home? To show the other 94% of the world that they still mean business despite the observable decline in influence.? Given the practice of deception and outright lying, wouldn't it be safe to assume that something like the opposite is true? We have have heard talk of this withdrawal being a reshuffling...to where? Iraq has had enough. They cannot possibly be ignorant of who has done what to them. A recent fairly mainstream poll of Syrians had over 90% of those surveyed blaming the USA for the war. Jordan doesnt want be on the losing side. Turkey clearly gave them the shove, so what....the new US base in isreal?! Sure they can trash everything as they back away, but ever day the Syrian consortium becomes stronger and more unified. They longer US&Co(tm) wait to spring whatever crazy attack they have planned for Iran or whoever, the less likely they will be to have the desired effect. One can only assume that precision weapons are being shuttled around to locations where they can most effective to counter such an attack if it were to occur. Granted Syria, Russia and Iran have played it very cool considering they are war with NATO proxy forces, but if all the stops were pulled would they have no other choice than to hit back with precision and force?

Posted by: Chevrus | Jan 11, 2019 9:11:41 AM | 75

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-01-10/secret-logistics-americas-global-deep-state

What evil is hiding in US Embassy in Iraq? What are they shipping and hiding in Finland?

Posted by: Jerry | Jan 11, 2019 9:50:50 AM | 76

rattle mullet#71
I'll take deplorables with pitchforks any day over a bunch of effete sniveling leftists.

Posted by: morongobill | Jan 11, 2019 10:02:13 AM | 77

How did Pompeo graduate first in his class at West Point without taking military history or learning where US military bases are stationed?
The US attacked Spain in 1898, using the excuse that they were "freeing" the Cubans. The US still has a base in Cuba, 121 years later. While they were at it, they took Guam and the Philippines (which involved killing 3,000,000 resisting Filipinos). Still there.
And in every subsequent attack, of almost every subsequent country, the US has stayed, like roaches in a roach motel, never leaving, not just in the countries they attacked, but also the allied countries.
And they are now in every country in Africa, save one.
But, yeah, "a force for Good".

Posted by: wagelaborer | Jan 11, 2019 10:07:44 AM | 78

The Big U.s. base in the Philippines was shut down. Perhaps there are other us military bases remaining which I don't know about. The current president Duterte has made statements about the relationship with the us, vis a vis, not going to be a puppet state. If he needs to borrow, he will borrow from China, he said.

Posted by: Fastfreddy | Jan 11, 2019 10:23:06 AM | 79

So the ineffective US military contingent is withdrawing from Syria. There's nothing for them to do, so they must leave. Troops sitting around doing nothing can be troublesome. Also the warmonger Mad Dog Mattis has left the Pentagon and more sensible people will take the reins, while others make fools of themselves.
Next will come the necessary US troop departures from Iraq and Afghanistan. Iraq has a new government closer to Iran, the parliament has demanded a schedule US departure, and on the ground the Shiite militias trained and equipped by Iran control western Iraq and have been strong in Syria for five years at least. Afghanistan is a recognized lost cause.
Throughout all this President Trump has promoted causes like America first, has weakened alliances leading to war, and has conducted negotiation with North Korea among other actions. What Trump has not done is also noteworthy, given the last two warmongering presidents we had, Bush starting the Iraq war and Obama sending 70,000 troops to Afghanistan.
That's a lot of fine accomplishments for an outsider who was never expected to win the presidency against the establishment.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 11, 2019 10:53:56 AM | 80

@78wagelaborer

And in every subsequent attack, of almost every subsequent country, the US has stayed, like roaches in a roach motel, never leaving, not just in the countries they attacked, but also the allied countries. A

Best analogy ever! The number of U.S. bases world-wide is staggering, but then we should factor in those the U.S. government keeps in the shadows and off the books.

Similarly, while there are no longer 500-plus US bases in Iraq, in recent years, as American troops returned to that country, some garrisons have either been reconstituted or built from scratch. These include the Besmaya Range Complex, Firebase Sakheem, Firebase Um Jorais, and Al Asad Air Base, as well as Qayyarah Airfield West—a base 40 miles south of Mosul that’s better known as “Q-West.”Again, you won’t find any of them listed in the Pentagon’s official count.

These days, it’s even difficult to obtain accurate manpower numbers for the military personnel in America’s war zones, let alone the number of bases in each of them. As Vine explains, “The military keeps the figures secret to some extent to hide the base presence from its adversaries. Because it is probably not hard to spot these bases in places like Syria and Iraq, however, the secrecy is mostly to prevent domestic debate about the money, danger, and death involved, as well as to avoid diplomatic tensions and international inquiries.”

If stifling domestic debate through information control is the Pentagon’s aim, it’s been doing a fine job for years of deflecting questions about its global posture, or what the late TomDispatch regular Chalmers Johnson called America’s “empire of bases.”

President Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from Syria means that the 2019 Base Structure Report will likely be the most accurate in years. For the first time since 2015, the Pentagon’s inventory of outposts will no longer be missing the al-Tanf garrison (or then again, maybe it will).

But that still potentially leaves hundreds of off-the-books bases absent from the official rolls. Consider it one outpost down and who knows how many to go.

The Pentagon's Shadow Military Bases

Posted by: Circe | Jan 11, 2019 11:00:43 AM | 81

There is zero chance Trump will, or even intended, to get the US out of Syria.

Because

http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=western_support_for_islamic_militancy_2049

Posted by: Florin N | Jan 11, 2019 11:14:16 AM | 82

@80 DB

Throughout all this President Trump has promoted causes like America first, has weakened alliances leading to war, and has conducted negotiation with North Korea among other actions.

Not so fast! Trump has reinforced relationships with the two worst global troublemakers, Israel and KSA, and has been playing the good cop/bad cop routine with NK getting NOWHERE, and is stoking conflict and confrontation with Iran at every turn. In other words, he's more of the same and getting worse.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 11, 2019 11:15:07 AM | 83

@ Circe | Jan 11, 2019 11:15:07 AM | 83
Your minor beefs don't match the major accomplishments. You want perfection? Good luck. It doesn't exist. So you and others are wasting bandwidth complaining while major accomplishments are in fact being made, one of them being the lack of a major war that the last two presidents brought which makes your petty complaints inconsequential.
So whine, whine, whine. . .see where it gets you.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 11, 2019 11:31:06 AM | 84

Pompeo, first in his class at West Point. This is the cream of the crop.

American Military left with a narrow strip of Syria to continue the air strikes.

Air Strikes that seem to hit civilians more than ISIS.

Inevitably, Russia will move a S-400 to Palmyra and cluster half-dozen Pantsir-2s with it, shutting down Pompeo's air strikes.

Then the Syrians will finish off Pompeo's proxies.

The US tenure is up.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jan 11, 2019 11:35:32 AM | 85

b-thank you for this Pompeo tour de farce and thank you
Virgil -27 for the update on the Anti-BDS Bill's Defeat I called Congress and signed a number of petitions opposed to it, glad to hear it tanked.

Posted by: frances | Jan 11, 2019 11:42:00 AM | 86

reply to Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 10, 2019 5:03:47 PM | 32
Those are really insightful comments, thank you. Sounds like nature and nurture produced yet another brilliant sociopath,doing and saying whatever it takes.

Posted by: frances | Jan 11, 2019 11:51:45 AM | 87

So, [Trump] gives KSA to Kushner.
Next thing he knows, Jared is floating in the Med with MbS, snorting coke, playing Fortnite and screwing lithe Ukrainians.

Posted by: Fec | Jan 10, 2019 8:41:20 PM | 51

It must be stressed that details are highly conjectural here. To give an example, I made a web search and got this instant top hit:
Latvian Escorts In Dubai UAE Call Girls Directory
There is no deny [sic] that Latvian girls know how to provide one of the best escorts plus services so that you would want to come back and explore more enjoyment.

In this directory you have photos (properly dressed, bikini at the minimum), names and occasional tags "new" and "verified". Among "verified" there is "Ivanka" and "Melania", apparently some customers have a kick from having an escort with such a "work name". And sorry, no lithe Hillary in sight.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 11, 2019 12:00:46 PM | 88

Saker and Orlov essay to read on top of Escobar's and Magnier's last two, which I linked to earlier.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 11, 2019 12:14:00 PM | 89

repy to Fec 50
"#Pompeo does foreign policy for the #KochBrothers.
#Bolton does foreign policy for #SheldonAdelson.
#Trump enjoys mocking them."
I think that fits, I have an impression of the WH as a series of squirrel cages with a variety of special interests having their cage/squirrel and Trump ignoring all of them.
I don't think he mocks them, to have them furiously going nowhere is sufficient, he saves his mocking efforts for the US press and Ms Nancy and Shumer, he wants them both as mad as wet cats so that they will overreach.

Posted by: frances | Jan 11, 2019 12:19:46 PM | 90

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jan 10, 2019 9:28:37 PM | 56
Yes, I agree; the wall and Syria are key to his reelection. I would add that he must prevent gun seizure legislation as well.
A single gun rule goes through and his base is gone. The ban on gun stocks doesn't count, most view them as cosmetic rather than functional from what I have read.

Posted by: frances | Jan 11, 2019 12:25:12 PM | 91

Wagelaborer-

It’s not that Pompeo doesn’t know US military history. It’s that he sees this history through a sociopathic far right, racist/exceptionalist, evangelical lens. The crime of intervening in the anti-imperialist wars of independence against Spain, for example, only to hold Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines as colonial and semi-colonial possessions (via genocidal slaughter in the Philipinnes), isnt immoral in Pompeo’s eyes. It’s part of a righteous crusade to spread his twisted “manifest destiny” evangelical vision of a “Christian kingdom” all over the globe via US foreign policy. Whatever places global peoples & territories under US influence is a righteous crusade to Pompeo. For such nutjobs, the unholy methods & human cost is irrelevant within the larger vision of a so-called global kingdom of god, harkening toward the “end times.” When you think about it, this type of Christian dominionist/zionist differs little from the Wahhabi/Salafi fanatical militants of ISIS, etc. Pompeo wants a global (faux) Christian caliphate, & the means justify the ends.

Posted by: Sissy | Jan 11, 2019 12:27:51 PM | 92

reply to
the pair | Jan 10, 2019 11:58:40 PM | 61
"it's bad enough that pompeo is pathologically stupid. like "how does he remember to breathe without writing a note on his hand?" stupid."
and,
"I think you are confusing stupidity with ignorance; Pompeo obviously isn't stupid; just butt ignorant..."
Posted by: V | Jan 11, 2019 1:51:38 AM | 62
Not ignorant and not stupid, not at all. He is brilliant, unprincipled and driven to succeed, no matter who he steps over or kills for that matter.
He has considerable gifts and has risen far, that doesn't happen if you are either stupid or ignorant or both.
BTW, I believe he wants to be President, and if that happens and it could. Watch out world.

Posted by: frances | Jan 11, 2019 12:31:34 PM | 93

reply to
Pompeo in Iraq speech says Erdogan no beef with the Kurds and has made commitment to protect them.
Posted by: AG17 | Jan 11, 2019 5:43:26 AM | 68
Respectfully, I think you are wrong, Erdogan doesn't have a beef with the Kurds in general, his beef is with the PKK Kurds in particular.
He has a number of Kurds in Turkey and was happy as a clam to buy stolen Syrian oil from them until Russia called him on it. Remember those endless desert convoys of oil trucks? They were selling to him and his sons.

Posted by: frances | Jan 11, 2019 12:37:32 PM | 94

Pompeo gives a speech for an American audience that pundits pan (at MoA and elsewhere). As if to answer these critics, the very next day there is an announcement that US has begun it's 'pull out' from Syria. No word on how long the 'pull out' will take. It could take days or it could take months.

Turkey says they'll soon be ready to enter northeastern Syria. Is that threat meant to drive the Kurds back into US arms? Unclear at this point.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 11, 2019 12:54:29 PM | 95

False claims? Fake history? Delusional?
A "military education" is a jackpot! Sort of a late-stage implant factory almost as effective as the first 3 years of infancy.

Posted by: chu teh | Jan 11, 2019 1:04:58 PM | 96

Bwahahaha, its just the great satan trying to con the dumb arabs into a joint stance against Iran, akin to a james baker coalition against saddam. Unfortunately the satan is naked now and plain for all to see, but 400 years of turkish rule has damaged the arabs who are still looking to be in awe of a colonial master, and "hadha amerikin" fits the bill.

Posted by: Anon786 | Jan 11, 2019 1:13:33 PM | 97

@91 s

Pompeo's "twisted 'manifest destiny' evangelical vision of a 'Christian kingdom' all over the globe"

Good points! And I will take it a step further...

Human history is littered with what start out as good & noble causes, only to have them co-opted by evil & greed - Christianity being one of them

As a follower of Christ, I can say with confidence that Pompeo is NOT a Christian. And neither are the myriad of faux-Christian politicians and preachers in the US and elsewhere. They are all fakes & worse - they misrepresent the Message & bring reproach upon Christ's name.

How do I know this? Easy. Unlike God, I do not know the hearts of men, but I am a seasoned "fruit inspector", as in "By their fruits you shall know them" (i.e. actions vs. words alone)

Zionism has corrupted the church in the West through the likes of Scofield & others to the point that supposed Christians (Zionist Evangelicals) actually support the deaths of real Christians in Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, USSR, etc

And to those in our studio audience, please don't let the likes of Pompeo & other charlatans dissuade you from exploring "the Truth, the Way & the Life"...

Posted by: xLemming | Jan 11, 2019 1:16:27 PM | 98

Some interesting developments:
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-01-11/we-dont-take-orders-bolton-us-withdrawal-syria-begins
If it is real and if Trump can hold.

Of course the entrenched interests will counter, but maybe progress is being made.

Interesting that Erdo is helping Trump to battle the swamp.

Posted by: jared | Jan 11, 2019 1:20:35 PM | 99

@94 "Turkey says they'll soon be ready to enter northeastern Syria. Is that threat meant to drive the Kurds back into US arms? Unclear at this point."

Most likely that is a gentle hint from Erdogan to the Rojavans (as distinct from 'the Kurds') to make up their minds. Either make a deal with the Syrian government or wait for Bolton and Pompeo to come and save you.

Posted by: dh | Jan 11, 2019 1:41:09 PM | 100

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