Mike Pompeo’s potential appointment as secretary of state is alarming given his history of depicting war on terrorism as a war between radical Islam and Christianity.
UPDATE: Current CIA Director Mike Pompeo has been named by President Donald Trump to succeed outgoing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. But Pompeo’s record should cause some to pause over consideration of his nomination.
Pompeo was elected during the 2010 Tea Party wave, which saw an influx of Republicans take control of Congress. During that campaign, Pompeo ran against Hindu-Indian American Raj Goyle — and shared a link written by a separate user on his Facebook page deriding Goyle as “just another turban topper we don't need in Congress or any political office that deals with the US Constitution, Christianity and the United States of America!”
In 2015, Pompeo went further, trying to tie then-President Barack Obama's level-headed foreign policies to violent actions of jihadists. A radio host that year asked Pompeo whether Obama had "an affinity for, if not the violent beheading and crucifixions and slaying of Christians and all that, but at least for the cause for which these guys are engaged in such activities."
Pompeo's response, rather than decry that host's use of hyperbole, was to encourage it even further. At "every place you stare at the president’s policies and statements, you see what you just described," he said to the host.
Pompeo’s appointment to Secretary of State should be vigorously studied, and perhaps denied, on the basis of his past comments made against Muslims and other Americans. His bigotry is well-documented — but unfortunately, it may well be par for the course in this administration.
Hopefully, members of the U.S. Senate, who must confirm Pompeo’s appointment before he can serve as secretary of state, will take a more balanced and reasoned approach to what could be a potentially bad appointment to the State Department.
President Donald Trump is reportedly going to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, according to senior administration officials.
It’s alarming because, like most of Trump’s cabinet members, Pompeo is openly anti-Muslim and frequently uses his Islamophobia to foment fear of Islam. In fact, his appointment is as troubling as that of former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.
Just like Bannon, Pompeo believes Christianity is at war with radical Islam.
"But I can tell you that this threat to America is from people who deeply believe that Islam is the way and the light and the only answer," Pompeo said while speaking at a church event in Wichita in 2014. “Jesus Christ our savior is truly the only solution for our world.”
Also, in 2013, following the Boston Marathon bombings, Pompeo falsely accused Muslim leaders and members of the religious community of not denouncing the attack.
“Mr. Speaker, it’s been just under two months since the attacks in Boston, and in those intervening weeks, the silence of Muslim leaders has been deafening,” Pompeo said on the House floor.
It was an utterly baseless allegation as, Anai Rhoads noted in The Huffington Post, since not only did the Muslim community put out press releases condemning the attack but already cooperated with law-enforcement in preventing terror attacks.
Despite the Council on American-Islamic Relations pointing out how incorrect and irresponsible Pompeo’s statement was, he refused to issue an apology.
In addition, unlike Tillerson, who has reportedly been at odds with Trump over his less confrontational approach on conflict with North Korea, Pompeo might just feed the president’s worst impulses instead of checking them.
Pompeo, a former Tea Party congressman from Kansas, has been an ardent critic of former President Barack Obama’s negotiations with Iran that eventually led to a nuclear deal.
Last November, he even tweeted: “I look forward to rolling back this disastrous deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.”
In 2015, he even warned the agreement is “empowering an Iranian regime that is intent on destroying America.”
Pompeo’s pro-war rhetoric, together with his blatant Islamophobia, is a recipe for disaster, especially when he would be working with a president who, just recently, retweeted anti-Muslim videos and unapologetically defended his actions.
Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters, Eric Thayer