Pompeo’s Vow to ‘Push Back’ Against Corbyn

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. 

By Caitlin Johnstone

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.?”

Pompeo: Vowed “pushback” against a foreign politician.  (Flickr Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0)

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.

Smear Gibberish

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 FacebookTwitter, 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.

47 comments for “Pompeo’s Vow to ‘Push Back’ Against Corbyn

  1. Harpo Kondriack
    June 12, 2019 at 22:36

    Seems odd to me that racism against a particular group has become the greatest threat to mankind, and the accusation of such the greatest threat to politicians in the West. Seems kinda stupid actually.

  2. W. R. Knight
    June 12, 2019 at 15:18

    “I doubt that this relevation will have any impact. We knew at the time that the Rockefellers brought the Nazis to power…”
    Don’t discount the help they had from the Rothschilds.

    • SRH
      June 14, 2019 at 05:04

      … and the German voters.

  3. Donald Duck
    June 12, 2019 at 13:54

    Pompeo is the absolute parody of a Mafia capo. If he ever gives up politics – please, please, please! – he could easily be cast as Tony Soprano or the main character in a new Godfather trilogy, except that he is a good deal less intelligent than Corleone. Really, is this is all that ‘the west’ can come up with in terms of leadership? In the United States anyone can become President, and my word, anyone has.

    • OlyaPola
      June 14, 2019 at 13:11

      “Pompeo is the absolute parody of a Mafia capo.”

      Apparently, at least when not in the shower, Mr. Pompeo believes that he is not a parody but authentic, a belief held to some degree by his “target audience”, informed by his and their lack of experience of capos post 1973 or so.

      The illusions of opponents were always useful and continue to be so.

  4. Vera Gottlieb
    June 12, 2019 at 11:26

    He should concern himself with his own backyard…we all know how desperately it needs cleaning up. But typically Yankee…sticking his nose where it don’t belong.

  5. Ikallicrates
    June 12, 2019 at 10:53

    Americans go berserk over the possibility that Russians may have interfered in the 2016 election, and then the US Secretary of State openly threatens to interfere in the British election. This is no longer ironic. It’s just insane.

    • W. R. Knight
      June 12, 2019 at 15:14

      Of course. What do you expect from the best politicians money can buy?

  6. June 12, 2019 at 10:52

    No More War

  7. W. R. Knight
    June 12, 2019 at 10:07

    “…tweeted former British MP George Galloway. ‘Is this normal now?…”

    Come, come, now. We all know that U.S. interfering in other countries’ elections is normal. What makes Britain different? The only country exempt from U.S. interference is Israel which just happens to be the only country exempt from our wrath at the thought of interfering with our own elections.

    • June 12, 2019 at 22:21

      thanks to w.r.knight.

    • Seer
      June 13, 2019 at 05:55

      And Israel is also exempt from attacks from ISIS…

  8. AnneR
    June 12, 2019 at 08:50

    Well, because only the radio bleats what passes for “news” in this household, I have yet to hear the BBC World Service or NPR, those two redoubtable “objective” news outlets of their respective government, ruling elite propaganda even whisper in passing any mention of Pompy’s willingness to work Israel’s ill by meddling in a UK election sufficient to prevent a Corbyn win.

    Not that such silence is unusual when any criticism of UK/US/Israel actions, statements might arise.

    • Lonkal
      June 12, 2019 at 11:14

      “Israel will” has nothing to do with it, althougfh Israel is a fully paid up member of colnialism international you are playing into the myth by thinking Israel will is the motive force here. It’s just the jews being used as a justification to work against slightly leftish Social Democracy. If not anti-semetism, then communism, or terror, or drugs… whatever argument is useful.

    • David Otness
      June 12, 2019 at 13:42

      Nicely stated, AnneR. No TV here for years and no NPR for around 4 years. The Beeb and CBC are only slightly less odious in their sins of omission and commission both, but as I only stream everything I manage to find some radio “free-thought” via KPFA.org in particular, the flagship station of Pacifica.

      I’ll not vouch for the others in the network, other than Randy Credico’s “Live On The Fly” at WBAI in New York. “Democracy Now” has apparently been coopted by its host, Amy Goodman, and my second hand info of her own sins of omission regarding Syrian and Ukrainian reportage seem to parallel BBC, NPR and CBC. This might include Venezuela too. As she has received outside funding that bumps her salary from a reported range of $700,000 to $1 million (even as Pacifica struggles to stay afloat) it becomes a matter of “follow the money” in short order if questing for unvarnished truth.

      It is my understanding that the “Young Turks” on TV similarly self-muzzled after its head honcho Cenk Uygur got a $20 million bailout from Hollywood movie honcho Jeffrey Katzenberg.
      Anyway, sorry for rambling off-topic. Just hoping to further educate those perhaps not aware of these issues.

      • Tim Jones
        June 13, 2019 at 11:13

        Yeah. This is life in the big city. The hush money accompanied by the ‘little talk’ and some ‘advice’.

  9. Kevin Talbot
    June 12, 2019 at 08:26

    The article fails to point to the elephant in the room. Why is the US Secretary of State meeting with Zionists about insulting the US’ stalwart ally? Because he is a zionist Christian, an Evangelical. He wishes to usher the Rapture as soon as possible! The createst threat to Democracy around the world, not just Britain, is the fascism of the Evangelical Right. This is the new scare, not Puttin.

    • Punkyboy
      June 12, 2019 at 10:48

      Exactly. Is it possible that the sudden appearance of the deluge of propagandized “anti-Semitism” is because of the christers pushing their End Times BS which can’t occur until the Jews are converted, blah, blah, blah? I’m assuming Jews must realize how they are being used to facilitate this fantasy. Perhaps they have one of their own? I can’t help but think how peaceful the world could be without religion of any stripe.

    • Fogu
      June 13, 2019 at 15:23

      Add Zionists and Wahhabis to the Evangelical Right and you have your axis of evil. All Devil’s spawn.

  10. jmg
    June 12, 2019 at 07:56

    “The extradition of Julian Assange to the US for exposing evidence of atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan should be opposed by the British government.”

    — Jeremy Corbyn, 2019-04-11


  11. Realist
    June 12, 2019 at 06:08

    If Polonium-210 turns up in Corbyn’s cup of tea, no need to even ask who put it there.

    Why, Putin’s hired assassins of course. Any CIA agent could tell you that. This one’s almost a freebie for Pompeo.

  12. Bill
    June 12, 2019 at 03:39

    Even though Pompeo’s title says Secretary of State, it looks like he’s still running with the Mafia CIA.

  13. June 12, 2019 at 03:31

    How can anyone in the United States ever again speak with a straight face about foreign interference in elections?

    Here is the American Secretary of State openly vowing to work against fair elections for the Mother of Parliaments.

    Truly, America, corruption, hypocrisy, and dishonor are becoming the chief characteristics of your national government.

    Instead of Old Glory, maybe it should be renamed as Old Tawdry.

  14. MichaelWme
    June 12, 2019 at 03:22

    It is the job of the CIA to preserve Democracy*, and they will do whatever is necessary to ensure that Britain remains a Democracy*.

    *Democracy – Defn. A nation whose leaders always do what the US tells them to do.

  15. Robert Mayer
    June 12, 2019 at 02:40

    Tnx CN, Caitlin… This Corbyn antisem stuff is typical rtwing talkin’ · bs… How it still works beyond me but wasn’t it PT Barnum: “1 born each min.”?
    Last weekend I had pleasure of eating at a Palastinian immigrant fam’s restaurant… Good healthy food.

  16. Zhu
    June 11, 2019 at 22:59

    It’s no secret that Britain is a US vassal. Tuey join all our wars of vanity, don’t they?

    • Simeon Hope
      June 14, 2019 at 05:08

      Not all. Thanks to a Labour PM, we failed to add our troops to yours in slaughtering Vietnamese by the thousand. No doubt that is one source of US ongoing distrust of any possible Labour government.

  17. June 11, 2019 at 21:37

    The morning after Corbyn was elected leader of labour party the conservative minister of defense on MSM news said that Corbyn was a danger to national security. When I heard that I thought this is a thinly veiled message to US intelligence that the conservative would be happy for a bit of USA smear tactic assistance. Un frigging believable- well maybe nit

  18. Tom Kath
    June 11, 2019 at 20:14

    As happened with Obama “preventing” brexit, Pompeo may be inadvertently helping Corbyn.

    In regard to media, I heard a very relevant observation today – The difference between the media in communist or dictatorship states and ours, is that they KNOW they are being lied to and we think we are NOT.

    • Kevin Talbot
      June 12, 2019 at 08:19

      When exactly did you get this notion. Better late than never.

      • Punkyboy
        June 12, 2019 at 11:12

        It is terrifying that about 99% of the people I know (and I imagine that goes for the rest of the US) have no clue, and no desire to be informed, about how the MSM has been enlisted by the “security/surveillance state” to unabashedly lie constantly to us. What I hear most often is “I have nothing to hide.” If certain factions come to power (if they are not already), they will make up whatever lies are necessary to “get” you. The next favorite rebuttal is “That’s a conspiracy theory.” So many otherwise intelligent friends, suffering from “Trump Derangement Syndrome,” are absolutely convinced that Russia “meddled” in our 2016 election and is poised to do it again in 2020. They will not even consider reading any information I could supply to the contrary. I have given up.

  19. Jeff Harrison
    June 11, 2019 at 20:12

    The US has become a parody of a democracy. Indeed The Economist of all publications calls the US a flawed democracy. I doubt the US has a prayer of recovering its democracy. And this pompous ass is a prime reason why.

  20. June 11, 2019 at 20:08

    George Monbiot will wait a long time for any “push back” from the messed up Tories, who are currently pretending to be the UK government. In any case, they will be hoping to gain benefit from Pompeo’s clumsiness, while of course they would never dare say anything, that might offend the zios. It does seem possible though, that Pompeo’s valiant efforts to protect world Jewry, from the wrath of Corbyn, will backfire and rather improve Labour’s chances at the next election. Keep up the good work Mike.

  21. June 11, 2019 at 19:24

    Pompeo is such a liar, cheat, as he himself stated. A Christian, too, he claims–as many do. What a joke! Well, he must be too thick in the head to note his ironic attempt to influence a foreign government. He thinks in a fog of hypocrisy. But that doesn’t mean others haven’t noticed, and thank you, Caitlin, for your good essay.

  22. JWalters
    June 11, 2019 at 19:02

    Regarding “the guardians of the empire”, John A. Hobson’s classic analysis of imperialism shows how big investors drive imperialistic policies for their own benefit, and at immense cost to the rest of society, including the cost of war.
    “Imperialism. A Study” see Part I, Chapter IV: Economic Parasites of Imperialism

    The financial center of gravity driving these brutal imperialist policies today is sketched in some detail in 2 articles, on the war on terror and on banking, at http://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com

    • Seer
      June 13, 2019 at 06:02

      ALL wars are about resources. (resources bring/maintain power)

  23. jmg
    June 11, 2019 at 19:00

    As usual, when the US government says “they are doing it” (e.g. meddling in elections, etc.), it really means “we are the ones doing it”.

    • michael
      June 12, 2019 at 07:55

      It does seem very reminiscent of the FBI chatting about stopping Trump and blaming Russians for any interfering with the DNC, their client. Maybe this is the way all Elections are done nowadays? MI-6 probably helped the Obama administration against Trump, and Pompeo wants to return the favor. Since the CIA cannot interfere, legally, with our Elections, and MI-6 probably cannot, legally, interfere with their own, seems a straightforward solution.
      And of course the CIA cannot, legally, censor alternative news sites (or was that changed with the Smith Mundt ‘modernization’ in 2014?) but they can help Facebook, Google and others involved with social media to censor dissent as private citizens.

      • jmg
        June 12, 2019 at 09:26

        Michael wrote: “Since the CIA cannot interfere, legally, with our Elections . . .”

        WikiLeaks Confirms: CIA Is Conducting Operations on U.S. Soil

        See also the book “The Secret Team: The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World”, by L. Fletcher Prouty, Chief of Special Operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President John F. Kennedy.

      • bevin
        June 12, 2019 at 12:57

        ” Since the CIA cannot interfere, legally, with our Elections, and MI-6 probably cannot, legally, interfere with their own, seems a straightforward solution.”
        MI6 has been interfering in British elections since it was founded. The 1924 Labour Government was brought down by the intelligence services, working in cahoots with the Press.
        ‘New Labour’ was a US made project. Neil Kinnock, Blair’s predecessor as Labour leader and a fervent enemy of socialists in the Labour party was sponsored by the US Embassy.
        There is nothing new about Pompeo’s attack on Corbyn except the idiocy and vulgarity of the Secretary of State an ignorant bully, a liar and a thug. It is good to have such people on the the opposing side. Nothing does Corbyn more credit than the number and nature of his enemies.

  24. anon4d2
    June 11, 2019 at 18:42

    Yes, “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.” These are good and proper sentiments, so perhaps my skepticism is out of place.

    Of course tyrants can always count on the social and financial dependency of fools, who well know that they must repeat the TV propaganda line to stay safe. Any new circus seems to disappear the doubts of the fools. They will need foreign defeats, massive embargoes of the US, more frequent economic collapses, 50% poverty, and still three generations of obvious domestic tyranny to wake them up, and still they will gladly take minimum wage to shoot the courageous leaders of their own cause.

    A nation with no social contract, no real morality, no public ideal but utter selfishness, no access to the tools of democracy, must go down before it can go up. And still the rich tyrant will float to the top of the cesspool again, with false promises.

    • certainquirk
      June 11, 2019 at 19:27

      Sounds just about right to me.

      • K Bradley
        June 12, 2019 at 12:36


  25. June 11, 2019 at 18:07

    We aren’t used to hearing about overthrows in white, English-speaking “democracies” because the imperial media politely ignores such things. Gough Whitlam Harold Wilson

    • Zhu
      June 11, 2019 at 23:02

      John F. Kennedy

    • geeyp
      June 12, 2019 at 01:33

      Precisely, and we will now just have to assume that if Jeremy doesn’t win the CIA did it. See how that works? When you have this Pompass again shooting off his mouth, we’ll just have to use it against him. After all, how can you trust him?

      • michael
        June 12, 2019 at 08:10

        And we can be sure that like another Secretary of State who was outraged repeatedly that her actions and comments were leaked to the outside world who could not fathom her genius, Pompeo is much more upset about “an audio recording from a private meeting that was leaked to The Washington Post” than anything he said or does.
        Maybe it’s something in the water in DC?

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