In the minds of the American public, politicians are usually labeled. If the former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger represents diplomatic wisdom, then the incumbent Mike Pompeo could be seen as the King of Lies.
As Simon Tisdall, a columnist for The Guardian newspaper and an assistant editor of the publication, indicated in an opinion piece published recently, Pompeo was literally a “stooge” when he said at last weekend’s Munich security conference that “The death of the transatlantic alliance is grossly over-exaggerated.
The west is winning. We are collectively winning. We’re doing it together.” Tisdall noted that such a remark is clearly hogwash given that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson decided to cancel a White House summit with US President Donald Trump, originally scheduled for next month, after the latter slammed the phone down on him in a row over Britain’s decision to adopt the 5G technology of China’s tech giant Huawei.
In the commentary Tisdall said the special relationship between Britain and the United States had ended in tears for Britain and other allies have no reason to trust America. Imperious, bullying American behaviour, political arm-twisting and shameless economic blackmail over a post-Brexit trade deal pose big problems for Britain in a time of deep uncertainty. Other US partners are in the same boat.
On the same day the Munich security conference opened, the US trade representative announced that it would increase duty it had imposed on large European aircraft to 15 percent from 10 percent, effective from March 18.
This came after Washington imposed up to 25 Percent tariffs on European agricultural imports in October.
On the political front, the US House of Representatives passed the European Energy Security and Diversification Act in December to support energy projects in Eastern Europe and Eurasia aimed at cutting off the region from Russian oil and gas.
In the same month, President Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act for the Fiscal Year 2020, which includes sanctions targeting German and Russian companies engaged in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines. The aim was to weaken EU authority over the formulation of energy import rules.
On the security issue, Washington’s withdrawal from the decades-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty cast the cloud of nuclear threat back over Europe.
Washington’s hegemonic thinking of pursuing dominance in the world and its willful withdrawals from a slew of treaties not only destroyed the shield preventing a nuclear arms race, it is also nerve-wracking to European powers.
That’s why Tisdall said in his opinion piece that “In many respects, the US and Europe are further apart than at any time since 1941.” To the Trump administration, the whole world is taking advantage of the United States.
It is hoping to rely on the law of the jungle in an attempt to reshape the international political and economic order through unilateral measures.
Pompeo has played a pivotal role in forming and implementing such policies of the administration. He’s regularly in the spotlight with speeches propagating a cold war mentality.
As China fights the coronavirus epidemic, he’s shown no sympathy or humanity for the battle. Instead, the US secretary of state defended the racism displayed by articles carried by the Wall Street Journal, and has tried to stigmatize China's legitimate countermeasures against the newspaper. But his own words “We lie, we cheat, we steal” do show some honesty rarely seen in him.
The unruly behavior of the world’s only superpower, the United States, has not only increased the systematic cost of the international community, but has also led to serious damage to its credibility. As Tisdall’s article pointed out, “America First” may work for some in the United States.
But the West is not winning. “If this were a movie, it would be called How The West Was Lost – with Trump as outlaw-in-chief.” And the “self-deceiving” US politicians, indulging themselves in complacency, arrogance and vanity, are leading the country further down the road to nowhere.