Dysfunctional and Disorderly at Home, the U.S. Must Stop Meddling Abroad
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was supposed to go to Europe last week. His trip is now canceled.
The State Department says that’s because there’s work to be done on the presidential transition—a Taiwan visit by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft was canceled on the same basis. But Reuters, citing multiple diplomatic sources from the U.S. and Europe alike, reports Pompeo’s plans changed “after Luxembourg’s foreign minister and top European Union officials declined to meet with him.”
Their reasoning, Reuters notes, was not that Pompeo is part of a lame duck administration. It was that these longstanding U.S. allies were “embarrassed” to host Pompeo after this administration’s role in the violence in Washington this month—violence Pompeo condemned but for which he assigned President Donald Trump and his enablers no responsibility. Trump is a “political pyromaniac,” said Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s minister for foreign affairs. It is hardly surprising he would not be interested in meeting with Trump’s emissary.
This snub should be a lesson for Pompeo personally but, more importantly, for U.S. foreign policy writ large: Our own house is not in order, and Washington has no business policing the world or forcibly remaking other countries in its own image. That image is a mess.
This is true even if Reuters’ sources are incorrect and American diplomats really did stay home to work on the transition. The transition needs attention because it has not been peaceful. It has not been respectable. It has not been a model for other countries to imitate.
The storming of the Capitol, which left five people dead and dozens more injured, is the direct result of Trump’s self-serving deception about his election loss. “The president of the United States fleeced the American people,” as freshman Rep. Nancy Mace (R–S.C.) told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “People have been lied to for two months now. It’s disturbing. It led to this violence.”
And while it’s true, as Rep. Liz Cheney (R–Wyo.) said, that “none of this would have happened without the president,” Trump is not exclusively to blame. He was necessary but not sufficient to produce the chaos we saw in Washington. Trump’s behavior in this crisis, as has often
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