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The Trump administration is the destabilising force in this region

Apr 03,2019 - Last updated at Apr 03,2019

The Trump White House hosts an Evangelical Christian cabal which is contributing to the destabilisation of this region. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence are the two highest ranking cabal members in the administration. During his recent tour of Kuwait, Israel and Lebanon, Pompeo observed that God might have made Donald Trump the US president in order to protect Israel from Iran.

This comment came in an interview in Jerusalem with the Christian Broadcasting Network. When Pompeo was asked, “Could it be that President Trump right now has been sort of raised for such a time as this... to help save the Jewish people from the Iranian menace?” he replied, “As a Christian, I certainly believe that’s possible.” This response is in line with images of Donald Trump signing copies of the Bible, as though he was the author, presented to him by fans during a recent campaign rally.

Commenting on Pompeo’s remark, Arab News columnist, Iranian-American Camelia Entekhabifard wrote that Iranian opposition groups from “monarchists, secularists and the supporters of reform, all the people inside and outside Iran, united against the US official’s provocative remark”. She noted that Pompeo’s comment came ahead of the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House and his address to the powerful pro-Israel lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). She warned that Pompeo’s words could backfire on Trump and the Republicans come the 2020 elections because Iranian-Americans find them offensive.

Pompeo’s attitude is typical of pro-Israel and Islamophobic Evangelical Christians, who form Trump’s support base. Eli Clifton wrote about the White House cabal in an article, entitled “Is Mike Pompeo as Islamophobic as His Spiritual Adviser?” published on Lobe Log on March 21, 2018. Clifton, who specialises in investigations of the high and mighty in Washington, pointed out that Pompeo’s spiritual mentor, Ralph Drollinger, exhibits a “deeply ingrained anti-Muslim theology, coupled with a conviction that US military engagement overseas is justified by nothing less than the Bible itself”.

Before joining the Trump administration first as CIA director and then chief diplomat, Pompeo had shown himself to be a both hawkish and anti-Muslim. This should be surprising because Pompeo is a graduate of Harvard Law as well as the West Point US military academy. This should put Pompeo among the educated elite rather than the opportunistic rabble around Trump. While his predecessor, Rex Tillerson attempted to restrain Trump’s worst instincts and behaviour, Pompeo appears to encourage his foreign adventures.

Elected in 2010 to the lower house of Congress from the midwestern state of Kansas, Pompeo represented the conservative Tea Party faction that has largely taken over the Republican Party. He holds that the 2015 deal providing for dismantling Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions is seriously flawed. Soon after Trump won the 2016 election, Pompeo wrote, “I look forward to rolling back this disastrous deal.”

Having served as chief spy from Trump’s inauguration in January 2017 until April 2018 when appointed chief diplomat, Pompeo has been a key adviser for all of Trump’s disastrous decisions affecting this region, from his extension of recognition to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital to his recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan. In addition to taking aggressive positions on Iran before and after Trump withdrew the US from the Iran nuclear deal, Pompeo has opted for ramping up sanctions on Iran, depriving Iranian civilians of essential food and medical supplies. Last November, the Trump administration also tightened sanctions on Syria, wreaking havoc with the country’s economy just as it was regaining most of its territory from radical fundamentalist foes, including Daesh and Al Qaeda’s Hayat Tahrir Al Sham.

In his March 25th address to AIPAC’s annual policy conference, Pompeo contended that “anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism”, buying the line pedalled by right-wing Zionists and Israelis to confront and smear critics of Israel and its policies. He praised Trump’s recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights and welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the US. While referring to anti-Semitism, Pompeo also castigated Democrats who support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) campaign designed to put pressure on Israel to end its hostile policies toward Palestinians. He did not mention the two Muslim congresswomen, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, who back BDS.

During his halt in Lebanon during his visit to the region, Pompeo attempted to stir up trouble by calling on the government to take a tough stand against Iran and Hizbollah, which the US brands as a “terrorist” although Hizbollah has members in the Lebanese cabinet and parliament as well as a military wing. Hizbollah’s ally, Lebanese President Michel Aoun, told Pompeo: “Hizbollah is a Lebanese party emanating from a popular base that represents one of the country’s main sects.”

Pompeo was not to be deterred. Standing next to Aoun’s son-in-law Gebran Bassil during a press conference, Pompeo stated, “Frankly, Lebanon and the Lebanese people face a choice: bravely move forward as an independent and proud nation, or allow the dark ambitions of Iran and Hizbollah to dictate your future.” Lebanese presumably risk the wrath of the Trump administration for refusing to accept its diktats.

No friend of Hizbollah, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri told Pompeo that he hopes the administration will not take measures against Hizbollah that harm the Lebanese economy and create instability in that already fractured country. The Lebanese united to face Pompeo’s destructive words, although Pompeo threatened to impose fresh sanctions on Hizbollah at a time the Lebanese government is unsteady and the economy is in trouble. Pompeo has left no doubt that the main destabilising force in this region is the Trump administration.

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