Is Pompeo The Worst Secretary Of State Ever?
“Is Pompeo The Worst Secretary Of State Ever?”, Econospeak, by Barkley Rosser
This is the title of a column in today’s Washington Post by Jackson Diehl. His answer is an unequivocal “yes,” and I must say on thinking about it I know of no others clearly worse than him, maybe not even any as bad as him.
Diehl focuses on some general incompetence but then focuses on two specific issues that I have posted on here previously. The most important one, which is getting more serious by the minute, involves Iran. It is increasingly clear that Pompeo is probably the lead figure in pushing for heightening sanctions on Iran and also increasing the chance of war with them. He was a key player in Trump’s initial exit from the JCPOA nuclear agreement and has argued that making it harder for Iran to get medical equipment even as they face a deepening epidemic with thousands dying will bring them to the negotiating table or even lead to regime change. There is no evidence of any of that, just an immoral making many more people die awful deaths.
He is also apparently a key figure in labeling Covid-19 “the Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus.” Trump has said he won’t call it those things anymore, apparently being told that this has been leading to attacks on Asian Americans. But Pompeo continues to push this line for no obviously good reason.
Indeed this last matter ties to a more general complaint by Diehl, that aside from just being plain outright evil, Pompeo is also incompetent at just very basic stuff. So this week there was a conference call among the foreign ministers of the G7. This should have been a boilerplate affair, with them coming together to combat the pandemic. But in fact the whole thing was a flop with no resolutions. Why? Pompeo apparently kept insisting the disease be called the “Wuhan virus” with no other G7 foreign minister willing to do so. But Pompeo trashed the entire meeting over this idiocy.
He also ran to Afghanistan to supposedly negotiate a deal between the two candidates for president who are in a deadlock. He failed there to get anybody to do anything.
Finally we have another conference call that failed, this one among various figures from the G20, currently being led by Saudi Arabia and its awful Crown Prince MbS. Again, a move to coordinate the fight against the virus should have been the top priority, but Pompeo decided to demand of MbS that he stop pumping so much oil since the crash in oil prices is hurting a lot of US-based oil companies that support Trump. Again, this went nowhere and his move annoyed MbS so much that the meeting ended with nothing done at all.
Maybe there has been a worse US Secretary of State, but if anybody has a candidate, this pile of horrible actions, most of them just in the last week or so, will be hard to match. He needs to go.
“Nothing but the best people.”
The whole sordid administration has to go—I just hope the country can survive until January 20, 2021. It will clearly be a less “ great” country on that date than it was on January 20, 2017 even if it has a few more miles of crappy barriers on the southern border. At least the Harding and Bush Two administration look less corrupt and more competent.
The fact that he graduated #1 in his class at West Point shows they don’t care about character issues any more.
When someone’s words and actions belie their stated intentions, I wonder what their real intentions are. Obviously not getting a coordinated effective response to SARS-CoV-2, or even an economic mitigation for the response. You don’t get to be top of the class without some intellectual and analytic ability, so gross incompetence is unlikely. Are the actual outcomes what was originally desired?
There is an old saying “he couldn’t have done worse if he tried”.
I am pretty sure that The Dumpster® graduated at the top of his class at Wharton. After all, his father hired the best test takers and paper writers.
Davebarnes – well no I’m pretty sure he didn’t.
But yes Pompeo is unbelievably arrogant. I suspect he is a deep psychopath and his aim is to take over the Republican party. Hard to explain him otherwise.