Public Theft in High Places

Secretary of State Pompeo, a “Law and Order” supporter, publicly endorses property theft.

In a July 15th press conference Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in an attempt to project to the world the noble intentions of American foreign policy, stated:

“There’s nothing more fundamental to who we are than our irreverence for unalienable rights. The basic God-given rights that every human being possesses. Whether defending the American people from threats, supporting international religious freedom, or encouraging countries to secure property rights by upholding the rule of law, America defends rights and does good in the world.”

Those who have studied American foreign policy will note how ridiculous such a statement is since the record of how the United States has violated property rights and the rule of law on every continent is well known (ask Native American tribes about this). Such is the propaganda that our country parses out on the world stage today.

Fast forward to a November 19th speech in the Golan Heights, an occupied territory which used to belong to Syria and whose annexation by Israel has not been recognized internationally, where the Secretary said: “This is a part of Israel, a central part of Israel.” Pompeo also became the first U.S. Secretary of State to visit an Israeli West Bank settlement. The Trump Administration’s goal is to establish a new reality that Israel has free reign to confiscate territory and ignore international law. Israel is in violation of Article 49 of the U.N. Charter which makes it illegal for an occupying power to transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies as well as U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242, 338, and 497. In an act of political irony, Secretary of State Pompeo spoke at the Republican National Convention on “law and order” night, in full violation of the Hatch Act. For Pompeo, “law and order” means that the United States “orders” global citizens to follow the “laws” that our country’s leaders deem important while the US government ignores those that it doesn’t.

That same day at a joint conference with Israeli Prime Minster Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Pompous Maximus decreed:

“The United States will label the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which seeks to isolate Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians, as “anti-Semitic”, adding that the movement is “a cancer”.

Pompeo’s words help to advance the “cancel culture” of the Christian right by delivering another blow to Palestinian resistance abroad and a constitutional right for free speech at home.

The Trump Administration’s efforts to legitimize Israel’s theft of land comes when Americans are increasingly disagreeing with Israeli government actions. A recent Gallop poll found that support for Israel has reached a ten year low. These changing views help to understand the urgency for pushing pro-Israeli polices. Younger voices in the House such as Representatives Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will continue to criticize Israeli policies and bring more Americans to support Palestinian rights and the BDS movement.

Sadly for Americans, there is very little room to exert political pressure on foreign policy issues. Decisions on foreign policy are made behind the scenes in war sponsoring think tanks and oligarchy approved media outlets. The prospects for improving the lives of Palestinian lives is bleak at best.

With his speech, the war mongering Secretary of State declared the Pompeo Doctrine. This doctrine’s basic principle is that is that the United States will take a “reality-based” approach which recognizes existing conditions on the ground. This means that if Israel has occupied Palestinian lands for decades, even in violation of international law, then the United States will recognize the status quo as a “fate accompli”. The Pompeo Doctrine is really nothing more than further institutionalizing “might makes right” into American foreign policy and international law.

Secretary of State Pompeo’s actions should be seen in context of laying the groundwork for a presidential run in 2024. For those seeking justice in the Middle East, especially Palestinians, the only hope is that the Trump brand becomes a millstone around the neck of Republicans seeking elected office, which would slow the process of ceding more land to Israel.

Retired social science teacher and avid reader. Trying to find a place for justice and compassion in society. Twitter: @GHoffarth

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