The New York Times published an editorial entitled “Secretary of State Pompeo Leaves Countless Messes” on January 14.
U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo has been busy making a mess as boss Trump is about to step down in a notorious image.
Apart from the symbolic condemnation of last week’s Capitol Hill violence, he showed little regret or unease, and certainly did not recognize President Trump as the central figure in inciting the riots.
But Pompeo is not idle. Over the past week, he has taken a series of actions, the only real purpose of which seems to make his successor at the State Department have as difficult as possible.
He re-listed Cuba to the list of so-called “supporting terrorism”, he planned to characterize Houthis in Yemen as “foreign terrorist organizations”, he eased restrictions on American diplomats’ “contact” with Taiwan authorities officials, and he also claimed that Iran was the “base” of al-Qaeda.
Throughout, Pompeo has been very active on social media. He has tweeted dozens of times since the beginning of this year, boasting the government’s “achievements” overseas.
U.S. allies and many State Department professionals believe that most of these “achievements” are terrible, such as withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Missile Treaty, the Paris Climate Agreement and the Iran Nuclear Agreement.
If viewed from the perspective of foreign policy coherence, some of Pompeo’s actions may be reasonable.
But the only interpretation of doing so a few days before the government change is to maliciously set up obstacles before the new government comes to power, which some commentators also call a time bomb or trap.
Re-listing Cuba in the so-called list of “terrorism support” countries will only make it more difficult for Biden to resume the Obama-era reconciliation route.
Sanctions against the Houthi organization in Yemen are obviously helping Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has been seeking to defeat the Houthis through systematic bombing with the support of the United States.
But the Houthis are essential to the peaceful resolution of this cruel war that has lasted for six years.
More directly, they are crucial to guarantee the delivery of food and medical supplies in Yemen. The United Nations pointed out that Yemen is experiencing the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.
Pompeo claimed on Tuesday that Al-Qaeda and Iran were terrorist accomplices without any evidence.
He is just using this as an excuse to further demonize Iran and make it more difficult for Biden to return to the Iran nuclear agreement.
If Pompeo seeks to take the next level in the next few years, as is widely expected, he may create a mess in his candidacy.
However, selfishness at the expense of the national interest is not what a respected diplomat or patriot should look like.
The same seems to be felt within the State Council led by Pompeo. State Council officials are said to be carefully counting down the countdown, hoping that Secretary of State Pompeo will become an ordinary citizen again.