Written by Tom Luongo,
"What are you reading my lord?" – Polonius
"Words." – Hamlet
Something has changed in American politics. And this can finally indicate that something is changing for the better. Since the announcement (with no real follow-up) to end our military engagement in Syria, what's happening for our statemen – John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – have been ignored , ridiculed or both.
Bolton tried to prevent Trump from not leaving Syria while Israel was wondering how they would not give an inch to Iran. Turkish President Erdogan publicly blasted him without any response from President Trump.
Or someone else from somewhere else.
When did you last hear about a prominent American political figure who went abroad and was denied a meeting with a foreign head of state, was publicly reprimanded and sent home as an irrelevant flunkie?
I can not think of one.
Bolton arrived in the Middle East and made demands similar to those of the president, which, according to Bolton, was clearly a red line for Erdogan – guaranteeing the security of Syrian Kurds.
And he did that from Jerusalem.
The insult can not be clearer. Bolton's lack of self-awareness and understanding of the situation was embarrassing. And this left Erdogan the perfect opportunity to announce the Trump administration's policy as beholden to a foreign power, Israel.
We then have his roundness, Mike Pompeo. He goes to Cairo and delivers a speech that again shows a glaring lack of specific knowledge in history. Pompeo has spent most of his speech doing what he does best.
Misrepresentation of the history of US engagement in the Middle East with such ardor that it was truly thought that he should have done so at home.
The other thing that he did however, is what caught my eye. And I have Moon of Alabamaagain to thank for that. Pompeo outlined Trump's vision of the future of US intervention in the Middle East.
And this intervention implies something good to Trump and not to Pompeo.
Excerpt from Pompeo's speech (H / T MoA):
In Syria, the United States will use diplomacy and work with its partners to expel every last Iranian boot, and will follow the UN-led process to bring peace and stability to the long-suffering Syrian people. The United States will not benefit from any reconstruction assistance in the areas of Syria until Iran and its mandating forces withdrew and until we found irreversible progress towards a political resolution.
– MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE
To be honest, the Trump administration really engaging in diplomacy would be a good start. Because, until now, the administration has behaved in an un-diplomatic way.
Whether by intent or consequence of the paralysis imposed by a deep rebel state and a rebellious political opposition, frankly, is as useless as most of the words that come out of Pompeo's mouth most days.
But, reluctantly, I concede that this is a good sign. As always with Trump, monitoring is important. He should know it since his golf game.
Back to Iraq-RSS
In this regard, Asia Times has just published an article in which he wondered What is Trump doing in Iraq? Removing the troops from Syria only to transfer them to Iraq in order to retreat after another embarrassment – the recent electoral loss of our Abadi type – seems to run counter to Pompeo's remarks.
Baghdad was the host of a launch conference of the new NATO mission in Iraq or (NMI).
According to the press release issued by the command of the NATO Allied Joint Force in Naples, "prominent leaders from the Iraqi defense and security sector attended the conference. Among them were the Iraqi Chief of Staff, General Othman Al-Ghanimi "and representatives of various missions, organizations and international partner entities such as the Joint Task Force, Inherent Resolve, the Union Advisory Mission. Iraq, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq and the Office for Security Cooperation with Iraq and Diplomatic Missions.
The NMI Commander, Canadian General Dany Fortin, presented the mandate, vision and purpose of the mission as a "new version of a long-standing relationship" between NATO and NATO. Iraq, a relationship that will bring together "expertise and best practices in security / defense sector reform". , institution building, training and education for the entire Alliance and its partners. "
We are getting closer to the Iraqi army, the NMI enjoying the support of prominent Iraqi generals, while the Iraqi political leaders, who were no longer "our guys", have refused to meet Trump when he landed in what he called "our base". we do not have bases in Iraq. We are there at the discretion of the Iraqi government, a government that does not necessarily want us there.
Once again, an American official, this time, Trump himself, using the wrong words and bad diplomatic protocol, now wants to engage with people we have invaded, abused, spit and murdered.
So, is this a change in direction of US foreign policy or a reaction to the political arrival of "bad people" in power and the willingness of the United States to strengthen their support for the United States? army?
In other words, has something really changed?
For another example, I turn to the US ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, who has just sent a letter to Uniper and BASF to stop work on the Nordstream 2 pipeline or face additional sanctions in the United States.
The Bild report has angered some German politicians in Berlin. Fabio De Masi, a member of the leftist party, asked the government to reprimand Grenell, stating: "The ambassador of the United States seems to have the impression of being a viceroy of the Emperor of Washington.
This is the true face of Trumpian diplomacy. Stop acting in your interest, otherwise we will bankrupt you.
The situation at this stage is quite clear. Although our military strength is great, it is not a blank check to enforce political edicts.
In a world where American prosperity depends on the prosperity of the entire world, threatening financial ruin is as much a bluff as threatening physical ruin.
And we see that bluff a lot. Country after country, we only show American men such as Pompeo, Bolton, Mattis and even Trump himself, the door and there is virtually no real answer from them.
Trump tried to scare Erdogan during his submission with sanctions and a collapse of the lira last year. When that did not work, Erdogan knew where his allies were. He acted accordingly, supporting Putin's energy security for Turkey rather than a US mercurial deal.
India did the same for the purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems. They said good things, they invited us to interviews, then they had us packing without compromise.
Germany refuses to yield on Nordstream 2.
Qatar was the first to withdraw from the Syrian conflict and then negotiated a major exploration and development agreement with Iran in the North Pars gas field.
Even Japan is in constant talks with Russia to settle their disputes officially (again against the wishes of the United States) and sign a peace treaty. Japan badly needs Russian energy and Putin is patient enough to wait for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his speech of hypocrisy.
War of words
All these words and these ineffective bloviations go in the same direction, despite Trump's blump. The United States is no longer respected as before. And the countries caught between the growing stature of China and Russia and the increasingly older glory of the United States are feeling this change and place their bets accordingly.
Trump feels this and, in many ways, does not care. He focuses on what he considers to be old debts, not future debts. He is worried about everyone paying and paying back rather than excusing the sunk costs and keeping the finances at home.
He comes to think that these commitments – Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc. – can never compensate for losses. So, while Putin, Xi, Erdogan and Modi will be waiting for him when we leave Asia, he will try to wait for the Deep State and his staff obsessed with the desire to stay here.
In the meantime, we have one more many words, full of noise and fury, signifying the end of geopolitics as we know it.