“What are you reading my lord?” — Polonius
“Words.” — Hamlet
Something has changed in U.S. politics. And it may finally signal something changing for the better. Since the announcement (but no real follow through) to end our military involvement in Syria what passes for our statesmen – John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – have been ignored, mocked or both.
Bolton attempted to box Trump in on not leaving Syria while Israel chest-thumped about how they will not yield an inch to Iran. Turkish President Erdogan publicly lambasted him with no response from President Trump.
Or anyone else for that matter.
When was the last time you heard of a major U.S. political figure go overseas and be refused a meeting with a foreign head of state, publicly upbraided and sent home like an irrelevant flunkie?
I can’t think of one.
Bolton came into the Middle East and made demands like he was the President which Bolton knew were clearly red lines for Erdogan — guaranteeing the safety of the Syrian Kurds.
And he did this from Jerusalem.
The insult couldn’t be plainer. The lack of Bolton’s self-awareness and understanding of the situation was embarrassing. And it left Erdogan the perfect opportunity to call out the Trump Administration’s policies as beholden to a foreign power, Israel.
Next up we have His Rotundity, Mike Pompeo. He goes into Cairo and gives a speech which again shows a stunning lack of specific knowledge of history. Pompeo spent most of the speech doing what he does best.
Misrepresenting history of U.S. involvement in the Middle East so ardently one really thought he should have done it in his private man place.
The other thing he did however, is what got my attention. And I have Moon of Alabamaagain to thank for this. Pompeo outlined Trump’s vision for the future of U.S. intervention in the Middle East.
And that intervention involves something Trump is good at and Pompeo isn’t.
From Pompeo’s speech (H/T MoA):