Ever since taking office, President Trump’s approach to foreign policy has been as incoherently contradictory as it has been morally repugnant and cynical. Burning bridges on a whim while showering the world’s worst leaders with praise and apologia, Trump has turned U.S. foreign policy on its head and somehow made it even more destructive and counterproductive than it was before.
After President Trump set off alarm bells throughout our client states and strategic partners in the Middle East when he casually declared that “Iran could do whatever it wants” in the Middle East, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is being dispatched on a multi-nation tour to reassure the startled despots and their lackeys that America is not going to be reversing course on Iran, kicking off with a major speech in Cairo, Egypt.
In drafts of the speech obtained by POLITICO, Pompeo plans to smear President Obama and accuse him of lying to the world about the major sponsors of terrorism, blaming Shiite Muslim Iran for the financing of Sunni terror groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS (Daesh/ISIL).
“Original drafts of the speech were heavily focused on trashing elements of Obama’s 2009 speech, in which the former president sought a “new beginning” with Muslim-majority countries amid the fallout of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Pompeo is slated to tell his audience that Obama — although he may not name the former president — misled the people of the Middle East about the true source of terrorism, including what contributed to the rise of the Islamic State, according to the people briefed.”
On top of that, he is planning to applaud the Saudi Arabian regime for “bringing to justice” the killers of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered and dismembered by Saudi assassins at their embassy in Istanbul late last year.
Both of those assertions are as cynically misleading as they are morally bankrupt. While the Saudis have charged 11 people in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the trail of responsibility does not extend to the true mastermind behind the killing — Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who CIA intercepts indicate ordered the heinous deed in the first place.
To applaud bin Salman for throwing a few lackeys under the bus and absolving him of responsibility for the gruesome killing of a prominent journalist critical of his regime is the kind of spiteful cruelty we have come to expect from the Trump administration, but the message it sends to the rest of the world — especially to the immediate audience of this planned speech, Egyptian dictator Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who reportedly holds nearly 60,000 political prisoners, including at least 100 journalists— is a terrifying one indeed.
The accusation that the Islamic Republic of Iran, a majority Shiite nation, is responsible for financing and arming Sunni militant extremist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS, is absolutely ludicrous and yet another appalling attempt to whitewash the crimes of Saudi Arabia, who is in reality the large sponsor of terrorism in the world and is known to have funded al-Qaeda’s September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Leaked emails and State Department cables also indicate that Saudi Arabia was (and in all likelihood still is) financing ISIS (Daesh/ISIL), al-Qaeda and Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba:
“Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide. While the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) takes seriously the threat of terrorism within Saudi Arabia, it has been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority …
“More needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaeda, the Taliban, LeT, and other terrorist groups…which probably raise millions of dollars annually from Saudi sources.”
President Obama’s efforts to build a new relationship with Iran and the nuclear peace treaty he forged was one of his greatest achievements, and it is disgusting to see both his efforts to find a diplomatic solution to international conflicts and the truth itself be so thoroughly abused for the sake of placating spoiled, murderous despots.