Never Give an Inch cover

Never Give an Inch - Book Summary

Fighting for the America I Love

Duration: 20:38
Release Date: November 13, 2023
Book Author: Mike Pompeo
Categories: Religion & Spirituality, Politics
Duration: 20:38
Release Date: November 13, 2023
Book Author: Mike Pompeo
Categories: Religion & Spirituality, Politics

In this episode of 20 Minute Books, we delve into the insightful account of "Never Give an Inch" authored by Mike Pompeo. Published in 2022, this intriguing book throws light on the intricate workings of the US foreign policy during the Trump administration. From the author's personal beliefs, his unique perspective on international politics, to introspective reflections on the numerous challenges and triumphs faced during his tenure in the State Department, "Never Give an Inch" gives us a glimpse into the political landscape of that era.

The author, Mike Pompeo, is a Republican politician and diplomat who has played significant roles in shaping US policies. His illustrious career includes his service under President Trump as the Director of the CIA and later as the Secretary of State from 2018 to 2021.

"Never Give an Inch" appeals to a broad spectrum of readers, including Republicans, individuals keen to learn more about the Trump administration, and anyone with an interest in US and international politics. Dive into this episode for an engaging summary of a compelling political memoir.

Embark on a journey: Exploring the thoughts and actions of a former Secretary of State

During Trump's era, one couldn't help but notice Mike Pompeo popping up on media outlets almost as frequently as the President himself.

As the Secretary of State, Pompeo was a part of the central whirlwind of American politics. His views became well-known, whether they were endorsements of Trump, his personal or political perspectives, or disapproval of nations he viewed as adversaries of the United States.

Pompeo continues to be an integral member of the Republican Party and rumors of a presidential run swirl around him. It seems like the perfect time for him to pause, reflect, and provide insights about his political journey.

This period presents a chance for him to clarify his stance on certain contentious decisions. You might want to ponder his perspective before aligning your thoughts with left-wing pundits.

In this narrative, we'll delve into critical events from Pompeo's career — with a keen eye on America's relations with overseas governments, focusing on Saudi Arabia, Russia, and China.

Before we dive deep into his diplomatic dealings, let's get an understanding of the man behind the role — Mike Pompeo. What are the driving forces behind his actions? What truly makes him tick?

Meet Mike Pompeo: A patriot, a risk-taker, and a "pipehitter".

Throughout his tenure as Secretary of State, Pompeo had a clear mission — to ensure the safety of his country. To him, that meant prioritizing America above all else.

This mantra of "America First" became synonymous with President Trump's campaign, and it's a sentiment that resonated deeply with Pompeo.

He firmly believes that America is the best country in the world — a place where anyone can ascend to the top through sheer hard work and determination, regardless of where they come from.

Pompeo himself exemplifies this ethos. A standout graduate of the West Point Military Academy and Harvard Law School, he eventually became the Director of the CIA, and later, Secretary of State under President Trump in 2018.

He admired Trump's patriotic fervor and the strong assertion of American sovereignty on the international stage.

Finally, a president who made America the priority.

This stance sometimes required stern action on issues such as illegal immigration or withdrawing from detrimental international agreements. One example was the Paris Agreement, which was deemed harmful to the US economy, prompting Trump to put his country's interests first.

Likewise, Pompeo's decision-making reflected a similar approach. However, prioritizing America sometimes meant taking chances in a world fraught with danger.

In his diplomatic tenure, Pompeo has navigated uniquely challenging situations — such as striving for North Korea's total denuclearization.

He's even jeopardized his personal safety, creating adversaries in Russia, China, and Iran. A simple visit to a supermarket involves being shadowed by a security team.

Despite this, Pompeo harbors no regrets. Facing hazards is a part of the job, and he's a natural risk-taker.

When building his teams at both the CIA and the State Department, he sought people who, like him, were unafraid of taking risks.

He also wanted "pipehitters" in his ranks — individuals dedicated to pursuing victory and excellence and who wouldn't shy away from the necessary fights. Protecting over 330 million Americans, you have to be a pipehitter.

When it comes to the matters of utmost importance, such as standing up for the country he adores, Pompeo never backs down an inch.

The profound impact of Pompeo's Christian beliefs on his career

Pompeo's religious convictions are an integral part of his persona. As an evangelical Christian, he ardently advocates for religious freedom, both within the US and beyond its borders.

This commitment has not been without its critics. Some believe that it's not fitting for a public figure to be so open about his religious beliefs.

A newspaper headline once described him as "Mike Pompeo, God's Diplomat". Although it was not meant as a compliment, Pompeo would gladly have it as his epitaph.

His faith is a core part of his outlook and career trajectory. He is unabashedly Christian — and sees no reason to conceal it.

As Secretary of State, he often drew upon his faith, publicly emphasizing the importance of safeguarding life and preserving family values. These were not just his personal priorities — they were pillars for the prosperity and security of America.

Pompeo didn't hesitate to bring up his faith even when it was deemed risky.

For instance, during a visit to Cairo, he had planned a speech referencing his Christian faith. Given the predominantly Muslim audience, his team warned him of potential misinterpretations.

Despite the caution, he went ahead with his speech and shared with the Cairo audience that he keeps an open Bible on his desk as a reminder of God.

The response was overwhelmingly positive, with appreciative comments and letters pouring in — mostly from Muslims — expressing their admiration for his honesty.

For Pompeo, candor is paramount, especially when it comes to championing religious freedom — and not just within America.

Pompeo believes that every human, created in the image of God, deserves dignity and protection.

As the world's leading nation, it's incumbent upon America to leverage its power to uphold people's dignity and safeguard the vulnerable in other countries.

An example of this is Pompeo's response to the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in China. He was horrified by the Chinese Communist Party's destruction of mosques, forced abortions, and confinement of Uyghurs in what were essentially concentration camps.

It represented a major crisis of religious freedom — the most severe of the 21st century.

Pompeo, as Secretary of State, made every effort to highlight China's transgressions. We'll delve deeper into this later.

But first, let's turn to another aspect of Pompeo's worldview and a diplomatic incident that sparked global outrage.

Pompeo stands firm on the Trump administration's handling of the Khashoggi case

“Mike,” Trump stated, “It’s a savage, merciless world out there.”

Pompeo shared this worldview, a lesson he had learned from his military service. The world was filled with potential threats and, often, America found itself in the crosshairs.

To keep the nation secure, Pompeo and Trump sometimes had to make decisions that were not widely applauded. One such decision was the maintenance of the US friendship with Saudi Arabia despite the Khashoggi incident.

If you kept abreast with the news in 2018, the incident might ring a bell. The horrific incident was a media sensation for weeks. But just in case, here's a recap.

Jamal Khashoggi was an outspoken critic of the Saudi Arabian government. In October 2018, he was lured into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and assassinated, literally dismembered.

The world watched in horror, Pompeo included.

However, he contends that the public outrage, predominantly fueled by the media, was blown out of proportion.

Despite being represented as a journalist and a martyr in media reports, Pompeo believes Khashoggi's role needs to be clarified.

Khashoggi was primarily an activist, not a journalist, and was notably affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization known to support terrorism.

While Khashoggi's murder was in no way condonable, Pompeo asserts that the situation was more complex than the media portrayed it to be.

In the wake of the incident, the ire of the public extended from the Saudi government to the Trump administration.

The administration, particularly Trump and Pompeo, sought to maintain a cordial relationship with Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. Against the backdrop of a state-sanctioned murder, this decision was widely criticized by the media. The backlash was relentless.

In response, Trump and Pompeo were compelled to issue a statement, clarifying their stance.

They made it clear that they were not condoning the murder. However, in the grand scheme of things, their priority was to preserve their relationship with Saudi Arabia.

America needed allies in the Middle East, countries willing to combat Islamic terrorism and challenge Iran, which posed a significant threat. Saudi Arabia, in this respect, was an indispensable ally.

For Trump and Pompeo, nurturing this alliance was in the best interests of their country. The administration was prioritizing America’s safety in a perilous world.

However, at a dinner party a few months later, Pompeo found himself being grilled about the incident. The attendees wanted to know: “How could you possibly justify Khashoggi's killer?”

Despite his attempt to explain, the repetition of the question eventually got to him.

“You’re crazy!” Pompeo exclaimed, “You should be expressing gratitude for our efforts to protect your gatherings from radical Islamists.”

To this day, Pompeo harbors no regrets about the way he and Trump managed the Khashoggi incident. They refused to back down. In their view, it was the right decision.

The United States' handling of Russia showcases the principle of "strength breeds peace."

When considering the harsh realities of the global landscape, Pompeo recalls a particularly contentious character — Putin.

Vladimir Putin, the formidable Russian leader, perceives the Western world as a barrier to his aspirations of restoring the Russian Empire. As long as Putin and his coterie retain power, Russia poses a significant threat.

So, the question arises — what is the appropriate course of action? How should nations approach this daunting challenge?

In response, Pompeo cites an unexpected source of wisdom:

“When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse.”

These words, surprisingly, belong to Osama Bin Laden. While Pompeo is far from endorsing Bin Laden, he agrees with his assessment of strength's significance.

In international politics, especially when engaging with terrorist networks or authoritarian governments, America needs to position itself as the global strong horse.

Perceived weakness fuels an adversary's audacity to strike.

Thus, America must exhibit its strength and establish clear lines of deterrence to maintain peace. It is crucial to convey to the enemy that any act of aggression will be met with severe consequences.

The notion of “peace through strength” became a guiding principle for the Trump administration, instrumental in keeping Putin's ambitions in check.

Pompeo is confident that the US's military intervention in Syria did not escape Russia's attention. The US made a definitive statement — they would not hesitate to resort to force if necessary. This assertive stance likely stoked Putin's apprehension about the potential repercussions of a showdown with the US.

As Secretary of State, Pompeo spent a considerable amount of time addressing issues related to Russia's southwestern neighbor, Ukraine. It was evident that Putin had set his sights on Ukraine. To dissuade a Russian invasion, it was paramount to delineate unambiguous lines of deterrence.

For instance, under Pompeo's directives, the State Department released a statement asserting, “Crimea is Ukraine.” This was an unequivocal warning to Russia – further encroachments into Ukraine would invite repercussions.

Furthermore, the US armed Ukraine with millions of dollars’ worth of weaponry and ammunition and offered training to the Ukrainian special forces.

Throughout Trump's four-year term, Putin was effectively dissuaded from invading. He simply didn't dare.

However, in 2022, Putin launched an attack on Ukraine during Joe Biden's tenure. Pompeo contends that the comparative weakness of the Biden administration provoked Putin's bold move.

The Kremlin is no longer apprehensive about potential American retaliation. Regrettably, this state of affairs is unlikely to alter as long as the US government appears to be unwilling to engage in confrontations.

But Russia is not the only source of concern for Pompeo. There's another country that is even more troubling...

China's ruling regime poses one of the most significant threats to the United States today.

...That's China.

In Pompeo's perspective, the Chinese Communist Party, or CCP, is the most formidable external menace to the United States. And the world's most dangerous person is none other than Xi Jinping.

This harsh reality may be hard to swallow and one many prefer to ignore. Yet, Pompeo holds that speaking out is crucial.

Pompeo's critical sentiments toward the CCP and Xi Jinping are well-known. This was evident when a unique incident unfolded in response to one of Pompeo's social media posts. He posted a picture of his golden retriever enjoying her favorite toys — one of them was a Winnie the Pooh teddy bear.

A well-known perception suggests a resemblance between the Chinese leader and the lovable children's character. Hence, when Pompeo posted a picture of the canine's toy, Twitter was abuzz with speculative delight. Was the image a veiled dig at Xi Jinping?

Pompeo clarified that it wasn't. There was no necessity for cloaked messages. He was more than willing to express his views candidly.

Here's Pompeo's assessment: Xi Jinping is malevolent, and his party, the CCP, is an authoritarian regime convinced of China's centrality to civilization. The CCP is vigorously attempting to establish a new world order, occupying Hong Kong, and gearing up for an incursion into Taiwan.

As previously mentioned, China has persecuted the Uyghur Muslims — a clear act of religious oppression.

But it doesn't stop there. There's a term for the brutal attempt to exterminate an entire race — "genocide."

In his final days in office, Pompeo decided to issue an official statement. It was now a formal declaration — the United States characterized the CCP's actions in western China as "genocide."

However, the CCP's threat extends well beyond Asia. Through their aggressive conduct in commerce, China wages an economic war against the globe.

Additionally, the CCP infiltrates American enterprises and universities and accesses individuals' private data via platforms like TikTok.

Then there's the devastating Covid-19.

The pandemic emerged from China. Pompeo believes it was likely a lab leak. If the CCP is not held accountable for carelessly disseminating a deadly virus, he warns that history might repeat itself.

In early 2020, Pompeo's forthright remarks about China landed him in a tricky situation. During a press briefing, he stated, “China was the first country to know about the virus and the risk to the world. And they delayed sharing the information.”

Although Trump and Pompeo generally shared a constructive rapport, this statement — and an ensuing heated call with Xi Jinping — led to a moment when Pompeo feared losing his position.

“Xi hates you,” Trump told Pompeo. “And you're jeopardizing our trade deal. You need to keep quiet.”

For a while, Pompeo complied. But he knew he would continue to voice his concerns. The Chinese government needed to be held accountable.

Pompeo emphasizes a crucial distinction — the Chinese government and the Chinese people are not the same.

In fact, many Chinese people appreciate Pompeo's stance.

During his tenure as Secretary of State, he received a letter from a Chinese couple who had moved to the US. They thanked him for speaking out against the CCP.

And with the letter, they enclosed a copy of their newborn's Social Security card. The infant's name was Tristan Pompeo Chu.

Wrapping It Up

Despite the criticism Pompeo faces, especially from liberal media sectors, he's unfazed. The letter from Tristan Pompeo Chu's parents illustrates that there are people who resonate with his views and applaud his audacity and steadfastness.

Reflecting on his tenure as Secretary of State, Pompeo feels a sense of pride. He stood firm by his deeply ingrained Christian and patriotic principles, placing America's interests above everything else.

Looking ahead, the United States must remain vigilant about its potential threats — the CCP being of primary concern.

Yet, Pompeo holds onto hope. If the individuals at the helm stay true to their ideals and stay unwavering — never giving an inch — he believes a promising future lies ahead for America.

Never Give an Inch Quotes by Mike Pompeo

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