Today is the last day of the Trump administration. And so it is fitting that we launch the Defending Dictators Award of Shame in recognition of outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a man who repeatedly promoted arms sales to some of the most brutal kings, dictators, and governments across the Middle East.
It is worth noting that long before Trump came to power, our U.S. government invested in monarchies and dictatorships across the Middle East and beyond. Dictators that are U.S. allies are showered with U.S. arms sales and diplomatic support. Brutal governments that are U.S. adversaries, like Iran’s leadership, face sanctions, condemnation, and threats of war. If we want to live in a world in which more societies have the freedom to solve their own problems, we need to end our own hypocrisy regarding the dictators that our U.S. government counts as friends.
Mike Pompeo did not invent the problems of U.S. foreign policy. But he certainly made them worse:
- Pompeo increased arms sales for Saudi Arabia’s dictatorship, even as the Saudi monarchy continues to starve, bomb, and kill thousands of Yemeni civilians.
- Pompeo drove vast new arms sales to Saudi Arabia’s junior partner, the monarchy that rules the United Arab Emirates.
- Pompeo continued military funding for Egypt’s military dictatorship.
- Pompeo provided diplomatic support and continued military funding for Israel’s government, which forces millions of Palestinians to live under a non-democratic military occupation and apartheid.
Whatever Pompeo’s future plans, it is important to remember that he took the problems of U.S. foreign policy and made them much worse.
Please join Freedom Forward in presenting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with our first ever Defending Dictators Award Of Shame.