You can read the full text of the remarks at the link, but the gist of Pompeo's remarks was that:
1. The U.S. is, and always has been, a "force for good" in the Middle East,
2. That Iran, OTOH, is massively evil and stinky and bad.
3. That Obama was almost as bad and stinky as Iran because he tippy-toed around in the Middle East while "apologizing" for bad U.S. behavior,
4. Unlike Trump, who is a real Man and loves him some muscular Christian war against eeeeevil Islamist terrorism and Iran,
5. That Real Muslims like y'all love, too!
Fred Kaplan sums up the problems with this nonsense better than I can, so I can't do better than quote him:
“America is a force for good in the Middle East,” Pompeo said at the start of his speech. But to the extent he defined good, it was solely in terms of helping certain allies (mainly Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia) while hurting certain enemies (ISIS, terrorists, and especially Iran). There was no recognition of complexity: Nothing was said about the Saudi bombing of Yemen (only Iran was painted as a force for bad, contrary to human-rights organizations); nothing was said about Trump’s divisions with Europe over Iran; nothing was said (one way or the other) about the role of Russia or Turkey in the Syrian conflict, or the Saudi murder of a U.S.-based journalist.My question, though, is this - is this really "indulging in partisan mythologies"?
Obama may have been naïve in hoping that the pursuit of common ground and mutual interests might soothe the ancient tensions between Shiite and Sunni Muslims or upend the chessboard of Great Game geopolitics that have played on those tensions for centuries. But Pompeo’s speech makes clearer than ever that Trump has no interest in trying to soothe anything: He wants to take sides in the conflict, join the war—but even here, he has no idea how to do so with authority or effectiveness. He is indulging in partisan mythologies that bear little relation to the actual past and shed little insight on a fruitful way forward."
Or does this joker - and, by inference, his Orange Master - truly believe this nonsense?
I think the difference makes a difference, and that, in turn, goes back to the issue Andy raised in the comments several posts back about the difference between Trump and the Trumpkins words, and deeds.
If this Pompeo word salad is simply an attempt to blow more smoke up the Arab world's backside, that's one thing. Propaganda and blather can be simply the bodyguard of lies that can be re-arranged, or abandoned, as needed. A realistic Middle Eastern policy can be crafted with one hand whilst the other performs silly magic tricks to distract the
But the precedent here is the Bushies. I truly believe that the bulk of the Bush cabal really, truly believed their neo-conservative nonsense about smoking guns and mushroom clouds and letting freedom reign. The cynics, the Cheneys, were the minority. I think the bulk of the Bush coterie were captured by their own rhetorical disinformation and air-castle fantasies.
The trouble with sussing out the difference is the long history of piss-poor U.S. geopolitical strategic thinking. It's damn deadly difficult to determine whether the mistakes are deliberate and caused by a boneheaded idee fixee' driven into the policymakers heads by some political philosophy (whether Ayn Randian free market fantasies or "liberal interventionist" fantasies really makes no nevermind...), or whether they were simply mistakes driven by poor intelligence analyses and craptacular institutional structures of the U.S. geopolitical decisionmaking apparatus.
I think it makes a big difference whether these people are the fools, or the fooled.
But I'm damned if I can figure out which.