Caitlin Johnstone responds to comments by the U.S. secretary of state that sound like a threat to interfere in the U.K.’s democratic process.
An audio recording from a private meeting that was leaked to The Washington Post reportedly features U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowing to “push back” against surging British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, and many are concerned that what he said sounds an awful lot like a top U.S. official promising to interfere in the UK’s democratic process.
At a closed-door meeting with Jewish leaders earlier this month, one of the attendees asked Pompeo if Corbyn becomes prime minister, “would you be willing to work with us to take on actions if life becomes very difficult for Jews in the U.K.?”
Before I get to Pompeo’s response, I should interrupt myself to note that nobody actually believes that Corbyn would make life difficult for Jews in the U.K. Anyone who claims to believe this is lying. Usually when you hear people regurgitating such establishment lines they’re people who are acting basically in good faith, but have been propagandized.
Not so in this case. The idea that a man with a lifelong history of opposing bigotry is a secret anti-Semite who will facilitate the persecution of Jews if given the opportunity is a completely baseless smear campaign, and everyone knows it, including those who advance it.
The notion that Jeremy Corbyn advances anti-Semitism is literally just some gibberish the smear merchants made up to prevent the rise of a politician who threatens to upset existing power structures. It’s exactly as believable and exactly as legitimate as if British newspapers were constantly running headlines claiming that Corbyn is actually three children standing on each other’s shoulders inside grown-up’s clothes; the one and only difference is that they were able to make the anti-Semitism smear stick. Anyone who pretends to believe that Corbyn is a closet anti-Semite is exactly as honest and credible as someone who solemnly tells you, “I am very concerned about the fact that the Labour Party is led by a man who is secretly a cartoon mascot for a children’s breakfast cereal.”
So anyway, Pompeo is asked what he’s going to do in the event of a Corbyn-led Kristallnacht, and WaPo reports on his response as follows:
Pompeo said: “It could be that Mr. Corbyn manages to run the gauntlet 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.
This revelation, understandably, has kicked up a fair bit of chatter in merry old England.
“President Trump and his officials’ attempts to decide who will be Britain’s next prime minister are an entirely unacceptable interference in the UK’s democracy,” The Guardian quotes a Labour spokesperson as saying in response to the revelation.
“STOP: The Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just promised ‘Jewish leaders’ in the United States that he would stop Jeremy Corbyn coming to power here,” tweeted former British MP George Galloway. “Is this normal now? Is this what we’ve been led to? Is this good for Jews? For Britain? Really?”
“They did it in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Now the US government wants to overthrow democracy in Britain,” tweeted The Guardian‘s George Monbiot. “Still waiting for a UK government spokesperson to express their outrage. Hello???”
“Hmm. Hard to spin this any other way: the US secretary of state secretly promises US Jewish leaders to prevent Corbyn from becoming UK prime minister,” tweeted British journalist Jonathan Cook. “Hard too not to suspect that the US is *already* helping to ensure Corbyn doesn’t become PM. Because the obvious implication of Pompeo’s comment is that the US knows it can damage Corbyn without leaving fingerprints at the crime scene – presumably through black ops, image management etc. The elephant in the room: Why assume the US isn’t already using those techniques?”
It is no secret that the D.C. establishment considers other nations to be its personal property and has no qualms about openly working to topple the governments of nations like Venezuela and Iran, but people aren’t accustomed to hearing this sort of language directed at white, English-speaking liberal democracies. Add in the fact that this is coming from a particularly reviled administration in terms of international optics and the likely public revulsion increases. The thought that this administration may decide the direction of U.K. politics would be all kinds of infuriating to the average pom.
So many questions need to be answered. Was Pompeo in fact saying that the U.S. is intending to prevent Corbyn from becoming prime minister? And if so, how? What exactly does “push back” entail? Are we talking psyops and smear campaigns? Or something more? And whatever they intend to do, have they started doing it already?
These are all questions that we should be intensely curious about. If Corbyn is able to continue to rise, we may begin seeing some increasingly overt manipulations from many places we’re not meant to be seeing them as an ailing empire fights to hold itself together in the face of increasing public discontent. The more overt the guardians of the empire are forced to be, the more they expose themselves, and the greater that public discontent may become. Our rulers are in a very complex balancing act right now, and we’d all do well to pay attention.
Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Follow her work on Facebook, Twitter, or her website. She has a podcast and a new book “Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.” This article was re-published with permission.