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Peters, Pence, Pompeo and the Rapture

Written By: - Date published: 2:57 am, July 21st, 2019 - 25 comments
Categories: China, defence, International, Iran, israel, Palestine, Russia, us politics, winston peters - Tags:

Hamish Rutherfurd writes that Winston Peters’ trip to the US to secure a trade deal is far-fetched and a waste of time. I agree. But if Peters has his agenda, so will Pompeo, Pence, John Bolton and Dan Coats have theirs. He was scheduled to meet them all. No wonder the 9th floor are worried.

While Peters set out his stall for a free trade agreement with New Zealand in his keynote speech to the Council of Foreign Relations, the US’s top trade negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, does not appear on the list of those he is scheduled to meet.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been most recently preoccupied with Iran and the Middle East, aiming to establish a naval coalition of the willing in the Gulf of Oman. National Security Adviser John Bolton has been the lead in the US campaign for regime change in Venezuela, through recognition of pretender Juan Guiado as President. New Zealand did not follow Australia on this,  calling instead for the matter to be resolved through elections. Vice-President Mike Pence has recently been sent to the Mexican border to observe the caged refugee detainees.

The US approach to diplomacy has changed for the worst since Peters was last Foreign Minister and established a good relationship with Condoleeza Rice. Now it is all one way, to make America great by population-squeezing sanctions and bullying sabre-rattling. Rather than the rule-based order New Zealand seeks, the US view is that the rules are Donald Trump’s orders. (Or John Bolton’s, or Mike Pompeo’s, or Mike Pence’s).

Hopefully Winston Peters’ eagerness to secure the remote prize of a free trade agreement with the US does not lure him into complying with the US’ more immediate “diplomatic” demands – further demonising China and Russia, regime change in Venezuela, legitimising Israel’s takeover of the Golan Heights, or joining the latest “coalition of the willing” in the Persian G and sanctioning Iran.

As for Pence, Pompeo and the Rapture, read this. Scary stuff.

 

 

25 comments on “Peters, Pence, Pompeo and the Rapture”

  1. mac1 1

    Mike, you cleverly titled your piece here. Peter's Pence, the old donation to the Pope in Rome, a sign of fealty and support to a foreign leader in the old days, now a source of money for the Pope's philanthropy throughout the world.

    Somehow, I don't believe that Messrs Pence, Pompeo and Trump are great philanthropists in their distribution of the largesse at their disposal. They do expect fealty though, coerced or willing.

    As for the Rapture. Wasn't there a Secretary for the Environment under Reagan who believed in the imminent Rapture and therefore was not concerned with conservation as it was always going to end soon anyway?

    The Rapture for me is a sign of hubris and a deep lack of meaning in life- to believe and hope  in the Rapture that it might come in one's own lifetime thereby exalting one's own existence. "I am going to be raised on high by God Himself!"

    History is littered with such failed beliefs and believers. They deserve scorn and derision. tempered with a little knowing smirk……..

    And to be kept far away from the levers of power and war.

  2. joe90 2

    In his own words –

    • Dukeofurl 2.1

      That video is from the Summit Church rally  in 2015

      At that time Pompeo was merely just another right wing congressman and is just the sort of thing they would say at a religious gathering.  First century Christians had the same beliefs, its not something any one could take seriously 

      • joe90 2.1.1

        Dude who has his hand on the wheel of an Armageddon machine says it's possible tRump was sent by god to save the Jewish people.

        But we shouldn't take him seriously?

        • Dukeofurl 2.1.1.1

          "US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said it is "possible" that President Donald Trump was sent by God to save Israel from Iran.

          Yes it is nutty but remember to include all the quote.

  3. Dukeofurl 3

    What do you mean by '9th floor [of Beehive] are worried.?

    Its just ridiculous to suggest the '9th floor'  arent fully aware of Peters meetings  and the outcomes , most will be of the 'grip and  grin for the cameras' variety- or in the modern terminology 'selfies'.

    Any Rutherford writes , is like his colleague Stacey Kirk, by and for the National party in the long tradition of The Dominion

  4. Ad 4

    I find it refreshing that a U.S. leader is speaking in religious terms to issues in the middle East. Every other Middle Eastern leader understands the Middle East in this framework. 

    But Pompeo is just a temporary historical blip before Trump goes and is prosecuted. 

    To get to the content of Pompeo's Cairo speech:

    "There will be no U.S. reconstruction assistance for areas of Syria held by Assad until Iran and its proxy forces withdraw, and until we see irreversible progress toward a political solution."

    Well, on that Pompeo is just reverse-justifying U.S. troop withdrawal. They have no capacity to do anything in Syria at all. 

    Next paragraph: 

    "In Lebanon, the US will work to reduce the threat of Hezbollah’s missile arsenal, which is aimed at Israel, and can reach all points in Israel. Many of these rockets are equipped with advancede guidance systems, courtesy of Iran, and that is unacceptable. Iran may think it owns Lebanon. Iran is wrong."

    Sure he's right about the  missiles, but again the US has near-zero influence in Lebanon since it's a sad mix of religious constitutional balancing, and cruel syria-Saudi Arabia tug-of-war which Saudi Arabia is winning and which the US has no influence over.

    "The nations of the Middle East will never enjoy security, achieve economic stability, or advance the dreams of its peoples if Iran’s revolutionary regime persists on its current course."

    The most destructive country in the Middle East for the last 30 years has been the United States. 

    You can get some of the blow-by-blow of it here:

    https://www.thenational.ae/world/mena/mike-pompeo-cairo-speech-on-the-us-in-the-middle-east-as-it-happened-1.811725

  5. esoteric pineapples 5

    So we are all going to die because of some book based on zero historical truth 

  6. aj 6

    Christian fundamentalism is every bit as dangerous as any other religious fundamentalism you want to name. 

    • In Vino 6.1

      I would suggest that atheist fundamentalism is less dangerous because atheists have no silly dogmas to be fundamentalist about. This puts them one-up in terms of evolution.

      • aj 6.1.1

        Is atheism a religion?

        • In Vino 6.1.1.1

          Why do we anti-religionists not merit fair consideration?  

          • aj 6.1.1.1.1

            We do, but by definition all atheists are fundamentalists. 

            Let’s spell this out, atheists have no beliefs in common, no gods of any kind, nothing they worship, no scripture, no shared values, and no dogma. They have no clergy, no schools, and no sacred buildings. The only thing all atheists share is a lack of belief in gods.

  7. Stuart Munro. 7

    Actually I think the fear is overstated. The evangelicals are a serious threat to civil liberties in the US and to migrants of one kind or another, but they've been remarkably reluctant to pursue military options abroad in the way W would have.

    Resiling from the conflict in Syria, which cost Trump Mattis's support, is not consistent with an evangelical hawk group exercising disproportionate influence. There will likely be ongoing skirmishing around Hormuz, but the US does not seem to have the stomach for a full scale invasion at present.

    Since Trump's election US influence in the region has apparently significantly declined; Turkey pivoted away, and the US has abandoned its ambitions in Syria. That being so, the instigator of friction in the Gulf would logically not be the US looking for a casus belli, but some other party. There are plenty to choose from.

    • SPC 7.1

      Hardly.

      First the American mission in Syria, which was to defeat Islamic State while simultaneously backing opposition to Assad, has been successful on one hand and a failure on the other (because of Russian and Iranian support for Syria). And while Trump appreciates that reality saying the USA has abandoned its ambitions in Syria is not true 

      1. it is maintaining sanctions on Syria (effectively permanently – until there is a democratic process including opposition groups). And there is still an American military presence in the north east in protection of Kurds (and as leverage over the future of Syria). 

      2. citing Iranian activism and continued presence in Syria as a reason to end the nuclear agreement with Iran and impose sanctions on Iran. That is it is transfering its efforts of regime change in Syria, to Iran.

      3. the evanglicals are in lockstep with Israel on its security, thus the hyper activism on the Iran threat is the major foreign/security policy of the administration. 

      4. sure they do not plan to put boots on the ground in Iran, but air and naval strikes on Iran are quite possible, either against nuclear sites or to secure freedom of the sea …  

      • Stuart Munro. 7.1.1

        Mission accomplished? Then why did Mattis quit? The US lost influence and credibility pulling out of Syria, and doing so is not consistent with evangelical or any other kind of hawks.

        "In lockstep with Israel" the relationship is not quite so unanimous. Israel exercise improper and disproportionate influence, but they cheerfully cross lines the US is not always happy to follow. This is sometimes useful to the administration, and sometimes an irritation. Israel is one of the regional players that might choose to stir the pot around Hormuz. If the US had a concrete plan there we'd likely have seen it by now.

        • SPC 7.1.1.1

          The USA has not pulled out of Syria, it has merely claimed victory over Islamic State – it is maintaining sanctions against Syria.  

          The transfer to a regime of sanctions on Iran until it withdraws from Syria and ends support to Hizbollah and Hamas is entirely consistent with evanglical/hawk ambitions (after all Syria was destabilised to reduce Iranian pressure on Israel).

          The GOP opposition to the nuclear deal with Iran was to appease its proIsrael/evangelical base support and the current policy  – to apply economic pressure on Iran to coerce a response it can used to justify a military strike is reminiscient of those applied against Japan by FDR. 

          https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-military-now-preparing-to-leave-as-many-as-1-000-troops-in-syria-11552853378

          • Stuart Munro. 7.1.1.1.1

            Spite is a quite sufficient reason for US sanctions, and, were they disposed to invade, the tanker arrests would have sufficed as cause. US inaction is the surest sign that they are not the instigator. They had no response ready and approved, as they would have had if they meant to indulge themselves. Trump's overconfidence seems to fall short of military adventurism – maybe it's the bone spurs.

            • SPC 7.1.1.1.1.1

              The issue for Trump is whether he can restrain the Sec of State (more a Secretary for War) Pompeo and the NSA Bolton who appeal to the evangelical/pro Israel base (he is most assisted by the Pentagon's reluctance to get embroiled). All while also posturing as strong with a hardline sanctions regime in place of the nuclear agreement  – given his sensitivity to those who dare stand up to him and the called off strikes that nearly happened earlier, I would bet on there being naval and air strikes against an Iranian nuclear facitlity and or an Iranian port before the next election.  

  8. FYI… the conflict thesis is mostly made up by virulent atheists like Dawkins who seem to have a poor grasp of basic philosophy and history of science, preferring their emotional screeds

    • Why post a slideshow describing how lots of scientists in the most religious country in the developed world are religious believers of some description?  It's like posting a link showing that lots of scientists in the USSR were socialists of some description, ie doesn't say anything beyond what kind of society they live in.  

      • roblogic 8.1.1

        Just wanted to point out that, while the OP makes many valid criticisms of religion in US politics, there are plenty of Christ-followers who are not apocalyptic fantasists, jet setting televangelists, or MAGA conspiracy theorists. Holding religious faith does not disqualify a person from scientific expertise, as some claim in their comments above.

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change
    A new Ministry of Education resource available for schools in 2020 will increase awareness and understanding of climate change, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The resource, Climate Change – prepare today, live well tomorrow, will help students understand the effects of climate change at a local, national and global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting more out of our most productive firms
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has approved the terms of reference for an Inquiry into the economic contribution of New Zealand's frontier firms. Frontier firms are the most productive firms in the domestic economy within their own industry. “These firms are important as they diffuse new technologies and business practices into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZDF sends more support to Australia
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is sending an Environmental Health Team, a Primary Health Care Team and a Chaplain to Australia, boosting New Zealand support for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles bush fires in Victoria and New South Wales, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand joins partners in calling for full investigation into air crash in Iran
    Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters says that developments suggesting a surface-to-air missile is responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight in Iran is disastrous news. “New Zealand offers its deepest sympathies to the families of the 176 victims. It is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Staying connected to Australian agriculture
    Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, says the Ministry for Primary Industries is continuing to stay connected to federal authorities in Australia as devastating fires affect the country.  “The Ministry is using an existing trans-Tasman forum for discussions on the agricultural impact of the fires and the future recovery phase,” says Damien ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in schools – a commitment to communities
    Thousands of school-age children, their teachers and wider communities are benefiting from the Government’s multi-million dollar investment upgrading and renewing schools, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “We want New Zealand to be the best place to be a child and that means learning in warm, comfortable and modern classrooms,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago