Pompeo, the U.S. and Iran

The United States’ international windbag, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been acting the imperial blowhard throughout the Middle East. With his boss busy denying that he’s a Russian agent, watching advisors and cabinet members come and go with dizzying alacrity, and dodging porn-star accusations, Pompeo is trotting through the Middle East, sounding war drums.

It seems that Iran, which has long been in the crosshairs of U.S. gunboat ‘diplomacy’, remains firmly targeted. In Cairo, Pompeo promised a “…campaign to stop Iran’s malevolent influence and actions against this region and the world”.

It is with a firm shake of the head that this writer reads such statements, wondering how anyone with even a modicum of intelligence can take such pronouncements seriously. If one is to discuss ‘malevolent influence and actions against this region and the world’, shouldn’t one look, first and foremost, at the United States?

The U.S. currently gives unqualified support to Saudi Arabia, which is decimating the nation of Yemen. Currently, at least 10,000,000 Yemenis, most of them children, are at risk of death by starvation due to the U.S.-supported Saudi onslaught. Several weeks ago, the Saudis dropped a U.S.-made bomb on what they must have thought was a horrifying terrorist group: a school bus full of 10-year-old children. U.S. spokespeople had hardly a word to say about this. Not surprising: if 10,000,000 people at risk of starvation brings no halt to U.S. support of Saudi Arabia, what is one school bus full of little boys? Does none of this qualify as ‘malevolent influence and actions’?

When discussing the U.S.’s ‘malevolent influence and actions’, it is impossible not to mention  its support of apartheid Israel’s brutal, inhumane and totally illegal (under international law: remember that old thing?) treatment of the Palestinians. Home demolitions to make room for Israeli-only housing; road construction on which only Israelis can drive (and if such a road intersects an existing Palestinian road, Palestinians cannot cross the intersection); the murders of innocent men, women and children by IDF soldiers and illegal settlers; the complete occupation of the Gaza Strip, with Israel forbidding the import of many basic needs, and the export of almost anything, crippling the economy; the periodic carpet-bombing of the Gaza Strip, with homes, mosques, United Nations refugee centers, hospitals and schools all targeted, all in violation of international law; the brutal harassment of Palestinians who only want to worship at Al Aqsa mosque, to name just a few of Israel’s constant atrocities. The U.S. responds to all this by giving Israel $4 billion in aid every year, more than all other nations receive from the U.S. combined. Is there nothing here that can be considered ‘malevolent influence and actions’?

For years, the United States supported rebel groups that fought for the overthrow of the Syrian government. It provided training and weapons to known terrorist groups, resulting in the death of at least half a million Syrians. With assistance from its allies Russia and Iran, Syria has been able to rid itself of most of these terrorists. Is U.S. financing and training of terrorist organizations not ‘malevolent influence and actions’?

For eighteen years, up to and including today, the U.S. has decimated and occupied Afghanistan, resulting in the deaths of thousands of Afghanis, and the destruction of the country. There is no end of this carnage in site. The reason for the invasion, ostensibly, was to capture Osama bin Laden, the alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks on the U.S. Yet bin Laden has been dead for years, but the war rages on. The U.S. is determined to install a puppet government there, but the Taliban only came to power with U.S. support, when Russia was at war with Afghanistan. So the U.S. created the monster it is now fighting. Additionally, the Taliban was willing to surrender bin Laden to any nation other than the United States; he would easily and quickly have been extradited from that nation to the U.S. for trial. But an endless war seemed more appealing to the U.S. government. This all certainly sounds like ‘malevolent influence and actions’ to this writer.

The United States overthrew the functioning government of Libya, leaving that nation as a ‘failed state’. Today, there is no peace in Libya, poverty is rampant, and the country is divided by differing factions that are at constant war with each other. ‘Malevolent influence and actions’, anyone?

And despite all this, pompous Pompeo parades through the Middle East, condemning a nation that hasn’t invaded another country in over 200 years. Compare this to the more than 30 nations the United States has invaded and/or destabilized in just the last 50 years. Those imperial U.S. intrusions have killed an estimated 20,000,000 people, and the slaughter continues today, with no end in sight.

This is not a phenomena of the current incompetent, bombastic buffoon residing in the White House, or the result of the (until recently) Republican-controlled Congress. For generations, there have been few elected U.S. officials who ever met a war they didn’t love; rarely has there been a covert operation to overthrow a democratically-elected government that both Republicans and Democrats didn’t fully support. No, all this is business as usual for the globe’s most dangerous thug, which, were it an individual, would have long ago been found guilty of mass murder.

What is to be done? What can or will a mainly-ignorant public do, when most of its members prefer to wave a flag than look at reality? Like other imperial nations throughout history, the U.S. will eventually implode under the weight of its own ‘malevolent influence and actions’. It is hard to imagine any other nation emerging as the world’s superpower that will cause as much death, destruction and suffering as the U.S. has during its long and bloody history. The end of its reign of terror cannot come soon enough.

Originally published by Counterpunch.

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