‘Special’ in what sense? Called out on hypocrisy, Pompeo hails US moral SUPERIORITY, calls it ‘greatest in civilization’s HISTORY’
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave an absurdly poetic defense of the brutal crackdowns on peaceful American protests, denying “the greatest nation in the history of civilization” could be morally equivalent to, say, China.
Challenged by a journalist on his criticism of China and Iran’s response to the ongoing US protests against police violence during a Wednesday briefing on religious freedom, Pompeo launched into a flowery speech about freedom and democracy, handily dancing around the question.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: "Our nation is so special." pic.twitter.com/iITT7F73im— The Hill (@thehill) June 10, 2020
“Our nation is so special! It’s the greatest nation in the history of civilization,” he declared, waxing rhapsodic about how only in America could one see a civilized debate unfold over the future of law enforcement without complainers being ‘disappeared’.
Our core principles – the fact that we respect every human being because they are made in the image of God – will be reflected in the way that the United States responds to these challenges.
Pompeo repeatedly refused to recognize any similarities between China or Iran – “where they repress their people and they bludgeon their people and they burn down their religious facilities” – and the US, where thousands of demonstrators have been brutalized and teargassed by authorities during largely peaceful protests triggered by the police killing of unarmed black security guard George Floyd on Memorial Day. The Trump administration has hailed violent demonstrators in Hong Kong as standard-bearers of democracy even as they set people on fire, attacked police, and left a massive trail of property destruction in their wake, criticizing any efforts to rein in the violence as draconian repression.Also on rt.com ‘Irony is dead’: Pompeo accuses China of trying to ‘deny Hong Kongers a voice’ as cops in US plow into protesters
Indeed, Pompeo proclaimed that the very idea of a journalist questioning the integrity of government policy could never have happened in China or Iran.
“They deny journalists – you all – the chance to ask a question of a secretary of state – just like the question you had, the opportunity to ask me and demand that we provide responses to you and hold us accountable.”
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The American diplomat couldn’t resist invoking the specter of Tiananmen Square, insisting China was “fundamentally different” than the US because “they repressed journalists, they disappeared people.” The Committee to Protect Journalists has recorded more than 125 violations – including 20 arrests – against journalists covering the George Floyd protests, a figure that has no doubt increased since last week. Nor does that figure even include the many reporters from outlets including Reuters, Sputnik, Vice, and Australia’s 7News who have been hit with tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, and other ‘crowd control’ weaponry – despite clearly identifying themselves as journalists.Also on rt.com ‘We’re horrified’: Intl media rights group cites 125 VIOLATIONS of press freedom by US police during George Floyd protests
The US official even claimed his fellow American diplomats should be proud of the government response to the George Floyd protests, suggesting they hold it up in their travels around the world as proof the American system works. “Our diplomats around the world can be incredibly proud of the fact that they represent a nation that has God-given rights ensconced in our fundamental founding documents that ensure that when we get something wrong here…the government responds.”
A second journalist refused to drop the matter, insisting that “not killing journalists or imprisoning dissidents surely cannot be the bar for American exceptionalism” and demanding to know why the Trump administration supported demonstrations in Hong Kong but not at home. However, Pompeo shut her down, tersely stating that the Trump administration “continues to support peaceful protesters wherever we find them.”
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