Pompeo in Cairo: “America is Force for Good in the Middle East”

by Avi Abelow

Following a successful trip to Israel by National Security Advisor John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered an important address in Cairo, Egypt. Pompeo’s speech touched upon the misguided policies and beliefs of the previous US administration under past President Barack Obama.

No Contradiction in Trump Policy

Pompeo began by saying that “there is no contradiction whatsoever” in the Trump Administration’s policy on Syria and its policies against ISIS and Iran.

“This is a story made up by the media. That’s fine.  You all write what you like.  But the President’s been very clear and [National Security Adviser John] Bolton and I have been very clear about this too.  That the threat from radical Islamic terrorism is real. ISIS continues — we fight them in many regions around the country. Our commitment to prevent Daesh’s growth, ISIS’ growth, is real. It’s important. We will continue at that.”

“The United States’ decision, President Trump’s decision, to withdraw our troops has been made. We will do that,” he clarified.  Then he stated that the president would be willing to carry out further military action in Syria even after the withdrawal.

“The Trump Administration didn’t stand idly by when Bashar Assad used chemical weapons against his people. President Trump unleashed the fury of the U.S. military not once, but twice, and with allied support. And he is willing to do it again, although we hope we won’t have to.”

Pompeo Attacks Obama

Pompeo also alluded to the famous Obama speech in Cairo back in 2009.  That was back when Obama tried to start a “new beginning” between the Muslim world and the USA. Obama’s speech was focused on all the similarities between the Muslim world and the USA, and he said that it was time to end the misunderstandings. Pompeo used his speech this week to attack the policies that former President Barack Obama outlined in that 2009 speech.

“Remember: It was here, here in this very city, another American stood before you.  He told you that radical Islamist terrorism does not stem from ideology. He told you 9/11 led my country to abandon its ideals, particularly in the Middle East.  Then he told you that the United States and the Muslim world needed a new beginning. The results of these misjudgments have been dire,” Pompeo said.

“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,” he added.

He continued: “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,” he said. “Now comes the real ‘new beginning.’ In just 24 months, actually less than two years, the United States under President Trump has reasserted its traditional role as a force for good in this region, because we’ve learned from our mistakes. We have rediscovered our voice. We have rebuilt our relationships. We have rejected false overtures from enemies.”

Pompeo also emphasized that the United States would continue to stop Iran from overtaking Syria and that the US would work with its allies to counter Iran’s aggression in the Middle East and around the world.

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