In Cairo, Pompeo delivers Trump's vision: Confrontation with Iran

Cheryl Sanders
January 10, 2019

A police band serenaded Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, who presided over the celebration before meeting Pompeo in private.

America will "expel every last Iranian boot from Syria", the USA secretary of state said today in a bullish speech asserting President Trump's right to an aggressive political strategy for the Middle East.

The two men in the Trump administration in charge of setting America's global priorities have been crisscrossing the Middle East this week, dividing up an already deeply divided region, trying desperately to separate fact from fiction and establish some sense of just where their nation's priorities are going, how the United States might get there, and whose help they might need along the way.

During a visit to the Middle East earlier this week, National Security Advisor John Bolton appeared to walk back Trump's assertions.

"We learned that when America retreats, chaos often follows".

"Whenever/wherever U.S. interferes, chaos, repression and resentment follow", Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on Twitter.

Pompeo is meeting with USA allies in the region, including stops in Jordan, Egypt and several Gulf nations, to coordinate an anti-Iran campaign.

The absence of top diplomats in some of the Middle Eastern countries he's visiting makes clear his plans have fallen short, say officials who spoke to Foreign Policy.

On Monday, Erdogan published an opinion article in the New York Times saying the Turkish government has "no argument with the Syrian Kurds."He called for a "stabilization force" in Syria that would be created by Turkey".

The Trump administration in November restored USA sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Western powers.

The trip comes amid confusion over conflicting Trump administration statements about a planned USA troop withdrawal from Syria.

Still, the United States desperately needs massive military bases it maintains in Qatar, the largest in the region with 10,000 USA servicemen, and in Saudi allies Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait, also on Pompeo's itinerary.

Most American forces were withdrawn from Iraq in 2011, after years of political squabbling following the US invasion in 2003.

"The good news is this: The age of self-inflicted American shame is over, and so are the policies that produced so much needless suffering. And he is willing to do it again, although we hope we won't have to", Pompeo said.

In his June 2009 speech at Cairo University, Obama called for better mutual understanding between the Islamic world and the West and said both should do more to confront violent extremism. The US president was criticized for not meeting with any Iraqi officials and accused of flouting the nation's sovereignty. "You could read this as obscuring a continued USA retrenchment from Middle Eastern commitments", Alterman added.

"It's a bipartisan failure", said Mark Dubowitz, the chief executive of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a hawkish Washington-based think tank.

"Remember, it was here in this city that another American stood before you". He told you that radical Islamist terrorism does not stem from an ideology.

"It's also very important that as we discuss with members of the coalition, [and] other countries that have an interest, like Israel and Turkey, that we expect that those who have fought with us in Syria. particularly the Kurds", not be put in "jeopardy" by the withdrawal, said Bolton, who plans to travel Tuesday to Ankara.

Other reports by iNewsToday