On February 15th, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo proclaimed that “the West is winning” in his address at the Munich Conference.
His remarks were accepted by the auditorium with an awkward silence.
Mike Pompeo was attending the conference in the place of US President Donald Trump. In his speech he boasted of new jobs in the US, and various other feats entirely separate from US relations with Europe, Canada and its other allies.
“Today, throughout the Western Hemisphere, we have only Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela as redoubts of authoritarianism. Meanwhile, the United States is thriving. Our political system is free and enormously resilient. Our economy, too, is strong,” Pompeo stated. “The overall unemployment rate is the lowest in more than half a century, economic growth tripping right along. The unemployment rate for women is at the lowest level in almost 70 years. Wages are rising for all income levels in the United States, including our blue-collar workers. This is the power of the Western idea.”
At that point he was expecting an applause, it didn’t happen.
He paused, smiled and continued:
“The West is winning. Freedom and democracy are winning. And by that, I don’t mean just geographical nations. The West doesn’t define a space or a piece of real state. It’s any nation – any nation that adopts a model of respect for individual freedom, free enterprise, national sovereignty. They’re part of this idea of the West.”
There was no applause once again.
In his speech Pompeo made a few other absurd claims, such as describing respect of others’ sovereignty as the pillar of western freedom and democracy.
Examples that debunk this specific claim are numerous, most recently the US has been attempting to strong arm Iraq into not forcing it to withdraw troops from its soil, even going so far as to threaten its entire economy, by keeping its official bank accounts “hostage.”
Or such as proclaiming an individual as the legitimate president, disregarding entirely the democratically elected president, such is the case in Venezuela.
Sovereignty is important, but some countries simply need some assistance with it.
He portrayed Russian, Chinese and Iranian foreign policy as a “desire for an empire” and pointed out that these countries do not respect other countries’ sovereignty.
“Russia annexed Crimea, Iran has troops in many countries across the Middle East, China has maritime dispute with every bordering nation,” said Pompeo.
He said that the apparent rift in policy towards Iran, Russia and China that the US and Europe have are “tactical” and, essentially, mean nothing in the big picture.
“There is a common understanding, but we have tactical difference with Europe. Chinese Communist Party is a threat to the idea of the West, we won’t let information travel through networks that could be hijacked by the Chinese Communist Party”, said Pompeo.
Just a day earlier, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier criticized Trump’s “America First” foreign policy, saying that it came at the expense of European allies.
This could be very apparently be deemed as a bit more than a “tactical difference” as the German president disagreed with the entire strategy of the US, however, Pompeo and Co. have never been hindered by common sense.
“Our closest ally, the United States of America, under the current administration, rejects the very concept of the international community,” Steinmeier said.
“‘Great again’ but at the expense of neighbors and partners,” Steinmeier added. “Thinking and acting this way hurts us all.”
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas echoed the sentiment, warning that China and Russia were ascendant in a new world order where the United States is taking a more confrontational role.
“Decisions about the future of the Middle East are made in Astana or Sochi instead of in Geneva or New York,” he said, referring to the capital of Kazakhstan, now known as Nur-Sultan, and the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
French President Emmanuel Macron “agreed” with Pompeo on some of its claims, but likely not in the way the US administration wished for it to be.
According to him, an effort by Europe to invest in its own defense and autonomy “is a logical consequence of what has happened in recent years. We have an American partner saying you need to invest more in your own security and that is true,” Macron said.
“The Americans say, ‘We are not the sheriff to provide security in your neighborhood.’”
US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper also spoke at the conference. He said that top priorities of US defense policy were China, and then rogue states and extremism.
“Chinese Communist Party and Chinese military are active outside its borders. China is using artificial intelligence in order to strengthen its authoritarian rule, to supress protests and monitor its national minorities and it is engaged in technological theft. We insist that China must respect freedom, sovereignty and principle of transparency”, said Esper.
He also said that 5G leaves West vulnerable to espionage and that USA wants alternative solutions for the 5G network.
Esper said that the admission of the China to World Trade Organization under the assumption that it will become a market economy and eventually democracy, have proved wrong.
“China used benefits of free trade to build its authoritarian power”, Esper explained.
Thus, it is becoming clearer that sovereignty is a pillar of US policy, but that it is specifically sovereignty under US hegemony. The respect for sovereignty is also proven by the fact that the US has troops deployed in approximately 180 countries around the globe. Out of 195 countries in total.
Furthermore, respect for sovereignty is so significant in the US, that the Senate had to pass the “War Powers” resolution to stop US President Donald Trump from potentially starting war with Iran and other countries.
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