This week that worthy tome, the Washington Post, concluded that Mike Pompeo, the USA’s foreign minister, was “the worst secretary of state in history”, in an article that claimed Pompeo had defied legal mandates from Congress, ordered staffers to carry out errands for himself and his family, and fired the State Department's inspector general who was investigating Pompeo's violations.
In an opinion piece published on Monday, Jackson Diehl said Pompeo “has failed to fill dozens of senior positions at the State Department, and hundreds of career diplomats have left or been driven out in political purges”.
Diehl wrote that the State Department's morale is at an historic all-time low, citing surveys which showed that people who think senior leaders of the State Department “did not maintain high levels of honesty and integrity” grew by 34 per cent between 2016 and 2019.
Pompeo didn’t have to fall far to fall foul of the bogus moral high-ground of the Washington Post, the American daily owned by the Jeff Bezos, the billionaire founder of Amazon, who is said to be the richest man in the world. Nor was the Post the first to condemn Trump’s top diplomat. A senior American journalist, Thomas L Friedman, said as much in the New York Times in May.
“I don’t know much about Pompeo’s time as head of the CIA, except that he was notorious for spending long hours at the White House sucking up to Trump. But I do know he has been the worst secretary of state in American history, without a single diplomatic achievement,” Friedman said. “I know you thought that Rex Tillerson had retired that title. Tillerson was ineffective, but Tillerson had integrity and ethics. Pompeo has none. American taxpayers deserve a refund from him for his education at West Point.”
Smears and innuendos are par for the course during US presidential campaigns, and the Democrats are naturally out to get Trump and all who serve him. But the attacks on Pompeo, who apparently once harboured ambitions of his own for the Oval Office, reflect a much deeper malaise with America’s ruling circles.
There was a bourgeois consensus around US imperialism’s renewed bid for world domination that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Republicans called it the “new world order” whilst the Democrats’ preferred term was “globalisation”. The break-up of the USSR and the restoration of capitalism in the former people’s democracies in Eastern Europe was soon followed by “regime change” wars in Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya, to sweep away any government that stood in the way of imperialist plunder.
But when there’s oppression, resistance soon follows. American dreams of colonising Iraq were shattered by the partisans in the streets of Baghdad. The NATO drive to overthrow the popular front government in Syria has been beaten back, and the resistance in Ukraine has kept the fascists out of Crimea and the Donbas. In Hong Kong, the people have overcome imperialist attempts to overthrow the legitimate autonomous government. Trump’s Middle East “deal of the century” got no Arab takers apart from the Zionists who drew it up in the first place and the feudal Arab Emirati princes who rely on American guns to prop up their thrones. Meanwhile, the masses are closing ranks around the Lukashenko government in Belarus to stave off a Ukraine-style NATO coup.
Although Mike Pompeo has become a scapegoat for the total failure of US foreign policy he is, after all, only following in the footsteps of his predecessors, which include Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton and the greatest American Machiavelli of them all, Dr Henry Kissinger.