The motto of the West Point Military Academy in the United States is "Duty, Honor, Country."
By committing to lying, cheating and stealing, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has betrayed the character his alma mater advocates and grown into a modern-day pirate in Washington.
Traditional pirates grab their fame and fortune by robbing ships and seeking domination at sea. Pompeo is pursuing his self-interests and ambitions by abusing the office of America's top diplomat.
Lying has now become one of the most commonly used tactics for Pompeo to manipulate the power of his office.
In order to cater to the domestic alt-right conservatives and portray himself as an anti-communism fighter, he has been bounding ahead in the current U.S. administration's campaign to smear China based on an obsolete Cold War mentality and ideological bias.
In his recent speech at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library he tried to misinterpret the productive China-U.S. relationship over the past four decades, discredit the Communist Party of China, and foster an ideological struggle against Beijing. It was a speech riddled with lies.
Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, a think-tank, criticized Pompeo's "misrepresentation of history and his failure to suggest a coherent or viable path forward for managing a relationship that more than any other will define this era."
On the world stage, Pompeo has acted as the hatchet man of the increasingly hawkish White House, bullying countries around the world.
He has travelled around the world coercing governments to ban Chinese telecom company Huawei and threatened them with consequences if they fail to cooperate; he has advocated for unilateral sanctions against European companies for joining Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline project; he, together with other hawks in the White House, risked bringing the United States and Iran close to the brink of war; and his provocative all-or-nothing approach in handling denuclearization talks with Pyongyang has so far yielded zero progress.
Pompeo has also been politicizing the State Department, and is seeking to turn it into a stepping-stone to realizing his political ambitions.
He has barely concealed his overweening political goals. He once openly replied yes to a question asking him whether he had considered running for president.
Last month, Pompeo, using State Department resources, attended the Family Leadership Summit in the U.S. state of Iowa, which is a traditional event for putative Republican presidential candidates.
"In only two short years, Mike Pompeo -- with an eye on the possibility of the presidential sweepstakes in 2024 and the base of support he presumably hopes to inherit from President Donald Trump -- has become not only the worst secretary of state in U.S. history but also the most partisan," a CNN editorial commented recently.
Thanks to Pompeo's barbaric and self-enriching diplomatic undertakings over the past two years, his credibility as America's diplomatic face in the world has been tarnished, and so has the credibility of the United States.
The only upside is that the international community now has a clearer and deeper understanding of Washington's hegemonic nature and its untethered aspiration to dominate the world.
By any measure, Pompeo, together with his toxic legacy at the State Department, has upended the view of the American public and those around the world about the role of a top U.S. diplomat.
If this modern-day pirate in Washington can still have his way in America's political arena, that would be disastrous not only for the United States, but also for the rest of the international community. The world had better hope it doesn't happen.
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