Pompeo’s Foreign Policy Fantasy

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo started out the new year—the date was January 10—preaching “the truth” about U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, and for reasons we will get to below, he chose to do so at the American University in Cairo, Egypt (AUC). He implied that he was particularly capable of discerning the truth because he is “an evangelical Christian” who keeps a “Bible open on my desk to remind me of God and His Word, and The Truth.” This confession indicates that Mr. Pompeo is wearing ideological glasses through which he cannot possibly see the world, much less the Middle East, in an objective fashion. We can assume that the decidedly unthinking and amoral president he serves has no problem with this prophet in the State Department because Pompeo is one of the few cabinet ministers whom President Trump has not fired.

So what are Mr. Pompeo’s version of foreign policy truth? In terms of his Cairo pronouncements, they are twofold. First, as is to be expected of a man of Mr. Pompeo’s temperament (he declared: “I am a military man” who learned his basic code of integrity” at West Point), he has identified the true enemy of the civilized world. And, again not unexpectedly given his Christian zealotry, the enemy is of Muslim origins. It is the “tenacious and vicious” cabal of “radical Islamism, a debauched strain of the faith that seeks to upend every other form of worship or governance.”

This…

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