J Street is alarmed that another step in the assembly of a “war cabinet” around President Trump was accomplished today with the Senate confirmation of Mike Pompeo to become our nation’s Secretary of State.
We are deeply worried that Pompeo, who has staked out extreme positions calling for the use of military force to solve tough international issues, will join with recently-appointed National Security Adviser John Bolton in encouraging President Trump to take decisions with grave consequences for our nation.
The timing of this appointment, shortly before President Trump is due to decide whether to carry through his threat to tear up the Iran nuclear deal, is very troubling. Pompeo called for the use of military force against Iran even in the midst of productive negotiations and has promoted the doctrine of ‘regime change’ — a recipe for another destructive war in the Middle East.
If that were not enough, Pompeo also has a long and shameful record of expressing hateful, bigoted views. The Anti-Defamation League was one of many organizations noting his stridently anti-Muslim views and “close ties to groups that have trafficked in anti-Muslim conspiracy theories.” That kind of ideology and rhetoric should have no place anywhere in our government — let alone in the office of America’s top diplomat. Even when confronted about his past comments in his nomination hearing, Pompeo chose not to correct course or apologize for them.
This is a sad and dangerous day for US security and standing in the world.