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Kim respects a man he can look right in the jowls


Thursday was a big day for Mike Pompeo, who was confirmed by the Senate as the 70th Secretary of State, then sworn in, then bundled onto a jet and sent off to Brussels for a summit of NATO leaders. Seems like only yesterday Pompeo was some asshole congressman from Kansas, asking Hillary Clinton why she never invited ambassador Chris Stevens to her home for sleepovers instead of personally murdering him in Benghazi.

As Pompeo boarded his plane, former Fox & Friend Heather Nauert, the State Department's spokesperson and acting Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, was on the tarmac to underscore what a very historic moment it was, telling reporters, "No other secretary in recent history has gone on a trip as quickly as he has." Then she had to hurry back to Foggy Bottom, since nobody else was left at State to answer the phones.

Almost as soon as Pompeo was off the plane, he wasted no time reassuring NATO allies that the days when Donald Trump regularly insulted the alliance are over, at least until the next time Trump remembers he has little use for our allies, who are ripping us off:

“I was sworn in yesterday afternoon, I hopped straight on a plane and came straight here,” Mr. Pompeo said. “There’s good reason for that. The work that’s being done here today is invaluable and our objectives are important, and this mission means a lot to the United States of America.”

Then everyone agreed he certainly had gotten on that plane really quick, that's for sure. While in Brussels, Pompeo is expected to nag NATO countries over Trump's favorite hobbyhorse, the notion that not all NATO members are spending exactly 2 percent of their GDP on defense, which Trump probably still thinks means they need to cut America a check. He'll also spend some time coordinating at least nominal tough talk on Russia, unless Trump told him not to. Then Pompeo will explain to the allies why the Iran nuclear deal is terrible and America wants out, because instead of an international agreement restricting Iran's nuclear program, it would be much better to go back to just yelling at Iran while it enriches all the uranium it can.

Pompeo will also meet with Turkey's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mevlüt Çavusoglu, which should be interesting, since Turkey has taken to attacking the very Kurdish militias that were key to fighting against ISIS in Syria, and has also bought missile defense systems from Russia, an odd choice for a member of NATO. Turkey has also been terrible on human rights, although that quaint old-fashioned notion seems largely irrelevant to Donald Trump, who loves him some dictatorial strongmen like Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Our money is on a friendly admonition to buy stuff from the US, and as for the Kurds, well, Trump doesn't know any Kurds personally, you see. While their help with ISIS sure was nice, and very much appreciated, it would be uncomfortable to say anything too harsh to Trump's pal Erdoğan, so tough luck. Perhaps it will be some comfort that in 10 or 40 years, we can at least look forward to a top-notch PBS documentary about our shameful abandonment of people who trusted us, because damned if we ever learn from history.

On Saturday, Pompeo will head to Saudi Arabia to tell the reigning theocrats they're still our very best friends in the Middle East; at some point during that layover, we expect a bedraggled, half-frozen Jared Kushner to drop out of the plane's wheel well to try to get Saudi funding for 666 5th Avenue. After that, Pompeo is bound for Israel on Sunday, where he'll tell Benjamin Netanyahu that he's still our very best friend in the Middle East, too. He'll make a stop in Jordan to tell King Abdullah II that he's definitely among our very best friends in the Middle East.

By Monday, Pompeo will be back in Washington to fire anyone still left in the State Department, and to hold a press conference announcing that it is absolutely true that no other secretary of State has ever gone on an international trip so soon after being sworn in, and no, he will not take questions. He needs to get ready for another meeting with Kim Jong Un, and Ivanka needs to brief him. Here's Heather Nauert, acting Deputy Undersecretary of State for Everything.

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[ABC News / NYT / Last Days In Vietnam]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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