I haven’t commented on Mike Pompeo’s speech in Cairo last week, which provided an ironic contrast with President Obama’s speech in Cairo a decade earlier. I may consider it in detail later but I want to focus on one statement. From the transcript provided by Haaretz:
I’ll be very blunt and direct today: America is a force for good in the Middle East.
I’m skeptical. Considering only our actions rather than our intentions has America been a “force for good in the Middle East”? Please show your work.
Consider just Libya and Iraq. Since we connived at the Qaddaffi’s overthrow, there has been a return to open air slave markets in Libya. Is that what happens when America is a force for good? Is the decimation of the Yezidis in Iraq by DAESH (that also included slavery) an artifact of America’s leaving Iraq or a consequence of our ouster of Saddam Hussein? I think the latter. The moral is that there are worse things than dictators and we unleashed those things by removing dictators. Good intentions are not enough.