The alt media-verse is currently on fire with the news that the US State Dept’s answer to Al Capone, Mike Pompeo, has been caught promising “Jewish leaders” to send the boys round to Jeremy Corbyn if he should get elected and subsequently prove to be uppity and out of line. According to the WaPo, who broke the story:
The remarks, which are contained in audio of a private meeting leaked to The Washington Post, make Pompeo the second senior U.S. official to comment on Britain’s turbulent leadership succession in the past week.
During his meeting with Jewish leaders in New York, Pompeo was asked if Corbyn “is elected, would you be willing to work with us to take on actions if life becomes very difficult for Jews in the U.K.?”
In response, Pompeo said, “It could be that Mr. Corbyn manages to run the gantlet and get elected. It’s possible. You should know, we won’t wait for him to do those things to begin to push back. We will do our level best,” he said to fervent applause from attendees.
“It’s too risky and too important and too hard once it’s already happened,” he said.
Of course the idea the “Jewish leaders” harbor any real fear that Jeremy Corbyn (Jeremy Corbyn!) is going to make life “difficult” for British Jews if elected is simply risible. They know, just as every moderately informed person knows, that that’s absurd. They know Corbyn has no wish to make life difficult for anybody – except possibly the uber wealthy and the profiteer class.
They know the “antisemitism” fear is just a cover for the very very real fear that a Corbyn government will break the unwritten rules of modern western governance and reject the agenda of austerity, exploitation and perpetual war that has been creating huge profits and ideological thrills for the blessed few over the last twenty years.
They know that what Pompeo is promising is action to prevent this possibility coming about.
People are up in arms about this, and some seem quite shocked. Apparently the idea the neoliberal elites would try regime change or regime-control on a relatively prosperous western country was something they didn’t previously think possible.
Unfortunately it’s more than possible. The state apparatus of the different western nations are a tight bond of mutual regard and interest, just as likely to foment regime change on their own or their allies’ elected representatives as on those of impoverished or “developing” countries, if they believe those representatives threaten the perceived interests of the state. Of course it isn’t too often necessary, since the same western state apparatus also works to ensure that only governments that don’t threaten perceived state interests manage to get elected. But, when the unthinkable happens, MI5 and the CIA are quite happy to step up to the plate and throw their own or their allies’ democratic governments out the window.It’s happened – or nearly happened – at least twice in the last fifty years.
In the 1960s the UK security agencies, senior military and members of the royal family were apparently contemplating a fullblown coup against Labour prime minister Harold Wilson.
In 1975 it was Australia’s turn, when democratically elected reforming prime minister Gough Whitlam was overthrown in a bloodless constitutional coup organised jointly by the US and UK.
The old empire and the new have form in this regard, and this means no one should take Pompeo’s words (spoken in private let’s not forget) lightly.
It’s also interesting to look at how the WaPo frames the revelation. There’s no sense of outrage or surprise there. In fact it’s an almost matter-of-fact piece, written with no awareness of its potential impact. Even those in the comments who object in some form are mostly doing it within the permissible current language of dissent – blaming Trump, because in these identity politics-saturated times, your morality resides in who or what you are NOT in what you do.
To the WaPo – and many of its readers – there’s nothing intrinsically either wrong or surprising in the idea a US secretary of state should be overtly promising to interfere in the democratic governance of another country.
It’s just what they do when they need to.