I don't believe there ever has been a speech quite like the keynote speech delivered on Tuesday by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Houston, Texas at CERAWeek, the major annual energy conference put together by Cambridge Energy Research Associates.
The conference is a big deal for the energy sector. Sponsoring partners include: Credit Suisse, BP, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Morgan Stanley, The Carlyle Group, Chevron, Baker Hughes, TOTAL, Occidental Petroleum, MIT Energy Initiative, Petrobras, Schlumberger, Stanford Energy, Shell, The World Energy Council and Google Cloud.
So what did Pompeo talk about to this high-level energy sector crowd?
He used the opportunity to attack, Syria, Iran, Venezuela and Russia. He further pretty much called on the energy sector to enter the neocon battle to change the world.
It isn't enough for the energy sector to be a decent trading partner. According to Pompeo, "We’re not just exporting American energy, we’re exporting our commercial value system to our friends and to our partners. The more we can spread the United States model of free enterprise, of the rule of law, of diversity and stability, of transparency and transactions, the more successful the United States will be and the more successful and secure the American people will be."
This is neocon babble 101.
And, of course, there are also enemies in this world that Pompeo wants to destroy for the benefit of the people who were in the room.
Most troubling was Pompeo's directly naming and putting Russia in the camp with smaller "enemies." It is bizarre to taunt any of these countries but Russia is a serious nuclear player that the Trump administration seems to desperately be driving into the arms of China.
These global Kissingeresque chess matches are bad enough but Trump and his neconettes are playing poorly at the game and it is very scary.
Below are key snippets from the speech (my bold).
I had the chance to meet with Secretary Kissinger about two months ago, and I was asking about a handful of things, and he, 45 years ago, brought foreign ministers to his office to figure out how the world was going to deal with energy scarcity. A couple weeks back, I brought Dan into my office to talk about how the heck we were going to make sure we could get it from the American interior to the coast so that we could deliver this to foreign partners who are demanding this.
And there, I want to turn to the real focus, the main topic, what our newfound energy abundance means for American foreign policy, what you all can help me and President Trump deliver to the world...
Our plentiful oil supplies allow us to help our friends secure diversity for their energy resources. We don’t want our European allies hooked on Russian gas through the NordStream II project any more than we ourselves want to depend on Venezuela for our oil supplies...
But truth is, here’s my point: We’re not just exporting American energy, we’re exporting our commercial value system to our friends and to our partners. The more we can spread the United States model of free enterprise, of the rule of law, of diversity and stability, of transparency and transactions, the more successful the United States will be and the more successful and secure the American people will be...
The Trump administration is working strongly, based on its firmly held conviction that we must further America’s interests by widening the tools we have available to our diplomats, especially the tool of American energy abundance.
We’re reminding them that we’re simply better to do business with than Russia, China, or Iran...
And although it’s certainly the case that our firms will benefit financially, this isn’t just about dollars and cents for American companies. It’s about America’s national security. It’s about Russian influence peddling and the need to stop it. We must bring this to an end, and you all can be an important part of that.
The final way that the State Department can help achieve this national security through energy abundance. We’re pushing bad actors – those who use their energy towards malign ends – off the target.
Assad covets the oil fields to the east of the Euphrates River in the eastern part of the country. He wants those resources, he wants those wealth to continue to impoverish the people of Syria, and use those resources for himself and the cronies who are around him...
I talked about Iran. You know its role in global energy markets. We know that role is diminishing. Its exports have tanked due to our pressure campaign, and we have every intention of driving Iranian oil exports to zero just as quickly as we can.
We’ll continue with sanctions until Iran behaves in the way normal nations do, without threatening assassination campaigns in Europe, conducting terror campaigns throughout Syria and Iraq, without underwriting Hezbollah. These are the ways that energy can keep Americans, Europeans, and Western countries all more secure.
The State Department wants to work with each and every one in this room tonight, American companies and foreign companies alike. We want to achieve these goals because we think we have the model that will make not only America but the world more secure.
And that folks, is about as off-the-wall of a speech you are ever going to hear at an energy conference. "We have the model that will make...the world more secure." Oh yeah, by neconizing the energy sector.