In Speech, Pompeo Makes Case for Continued US Intervention in Middle East

Vows to expel Iran from Syria, expel Hezbollah from Lebanon

Some ten years after President Obama’s Cairo speech, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in the city at American University presenting his own speech trying to contrast President Obama’s policies to the Trump Administration’s more heavily interventionist intentions in the Middle East.

Pompeo argued that every instance in which President Obama ended a US intervention, or didn’t intervene at all, things turned out badly. He argued that the US government is necessarily a “force for good in the world” and that would benefit everyone.

Pompeo bragged of the US having intervened against Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, insisting the Middle East could never have gotten China or Russia to do that. He contrasted this to President Obama not attacking Syria outright during the war.

And even as the US is in the process of withdrawing troops from Syria, Pompeo made clear US intervention there would continue. He vowed to see every last Iranian soldier expelled from Syria, saying the US would withhold aid from Syria until Iran complied.

With respect to Iran, Pompeo bragged about the US withdrawing from the P5+1 nuclear deal, and claimed unity from Korea to Poland on complying with US sanctions against Iran. He further set the stage for more moves against Iran.

In particular, Pompeo talked up a US intervention in Lebanon. He said the US will never accept Hezbollah retaining a “major presence” in Lebanon. Hezbollah, of course, is a Lebanon-based faction, including a substantial political party within the Lebanese government. Pompeo provided no indication how he thought he’d get a large Lebanese group out of Lebanon.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.