- Welcome to The 700 Club.
The US military is startingits pullout from Syria,
and roughly 2,000 troops are now
in the process of coming home.
The news arrived just one day
after a major speech on Middle East policy
by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
- Secretary Pompeo delivered his speech
in Cairo during a nine-daytour of the Middle East.
Afterwards, he gave CBNNews an exclusive interview,
telling our Middle Eastbureau chief Chris Mitchell
why he believes America is aforce for good in the region.
- Secretary of State Pompeo came to Cairo
knowing many allies are concerned
about President Trump's decision
to pull US troops out of Syria.
Pompeo told CBN News the regionwill see a strong America
pick up the foreign policy mantle
it's historically held in the Mid East.
We interviewed Pompeo ata newly dedicated church
built by Egypt for Coptic Christians.
You just had a major speechabout the Middle East,
and 10 years ago, anothermajor speech was given
here in Cairo.
Would it be fair to saythat your speech was
America is back and it's a force for good?
I want people throughout theMiddle East and the world
to know that America'sinvolvement in the Middle East
is absolutely a force for good.
We come here with no intentionto oppress or to dominate,
but rather to free, tocreate opportunities
for every individualthroughout the Middle East
to live their life andto have the freedoms
that we are all so blessedto have in the United States.
- [Chris] Pompeo's speechcame 10 years after
then-President Obamadelivered his blueprint
for the Middle East in Cairo.
- He told you that the United States
and the Muslim world needed quote,
"a new beginning," end of quote.
The results of thesemisjudgments have been dire.
- [Chris] The Secretary of State
said that PresidentObama's timid, hesitant,
and apologetic policy allowed ISIS, Iran,
and other terrorists to thrive.
- We learned that when America retreats,
chaos often follows.
When we neglect ourfriends, resentment builds.
And when we partner withour enemies, they advance.
- [Chris] Pompeo said that all changed
as the Trump administrationpushed to decimate ISIS,
confront Iran, and stand upto Syria's President Assad.
- The good news is this:
the age of self-inflictedAmerican shame is over
and so are the policies that produced
so much needless suffering.
Now comes the real new beginning.
- Part of that new beginning
is forging a global alliance against Iran.
One of your themes ofthe trip is about Iran
and the danger to the Middle East.
Do you see nations aligningup with the United States
against he influence of Iran?
- So our team has done good work.
We built an enormous coalition
that ranges from Asia to North Africa,
certainly to the Middle East,
countries from all across the world
understanding that the threat
from the Islamic Republic of Iran is real
and continuing and not to be tolerated.
- Another issue is in Syria,
as Turkey's President Erdoğanis threatening US allies.
A few hours ago, you metwith leaders in Erbil
about the Kurds, and yetthere's dangerous talk
coming out of Turkey.
What's your message toErdoğan if he goes ahead
and invades the Kurds?
- Well, our message is straightforward.
The work that the Kurdishforces did with us
alongside Syria has been important.
It took down a caliphate,99% of the real estate
that was held by ISIS.
We remember people sittingin cages being burned.
Seems like a long time ago,
but frankly it's the good work
that the United Statesdid with a big coalition.
And we'll work with the Turks to make sure
that there's security for them as well
and that the Kurdish people in Syria
are indeed protected.
- What about the Christians in the region?
They have an appeal thatthey won't be eradicated,
that Christianity won't be eradicated.
What's your message to those Christians?
- That America is with them.
Christianity is at theheart of the history
of this place here in the Middle East.
All you gotta do is grab a Bible
and read the places and the names.
The Christians have beencentral to Middle East,
we wanna make sure that they continue
to have opportunities and freedom,
and for Christian churches to grow
alongside churches of other faith as well.
Our message is simple, it is that we stand
for religious freedom every place
American diplomacy is at work.
- Secretary Pompeo toldus he wanted to pass along
a simple but powerful message,
that the United Statesstands for religious freedom
every place American diplomacy is at work.
There could not have been abetter place to deliver it.
Chris Mitchell, CBN News, Cairo.
- And what a contrastbetween the two speeches.
You go back 10 years, andwithin the Muslim world,
Obama's speech isreferred to as the sermon,
and they actually countthe number of shoulds
and musts that he expressed,
and that what for his administrationwas a landmark speech.
The hope was, 10 yearsago, to pull together
all the different players
and recognize them and let them know
that they had a seat at the table
and then encourage them that in the West,
to use a geographic term, in the West,
that they would be honoredand women would be able
to wear whatever dress theywanted to wear in public.
But at the same time, in the Muslim world,
there needed to be changes.
Well, the problem with all of that
was it gave legitimacy to groups
that had already beenlabeled as terrorist groups
by their own government.
And specifically inEgypt, it gave legitimacy
to the Muslim Brotherhood.
They now had a seat at the table
at a presidential address, and that seat
was actually mandated bythe Obama administration.
They insisted that the MuslimBrotherhood be invited.
At the same time that's going on,
the Director of National Security
under the Obama administration
tried to claim that the Muslim Brotherhood
was some kind of socialwelfare organization,
and completely ignoring its history.
So in the aftermath of the Arab Spring,
was it any surprisethat this now legitimate
Muslim Brotherhood takescontrol over Egypt?
That was a tragic day.
So when we look at themistakes, if you will,
from 10 years ago, the highaspirations of that speech,
but then not recognizingwhat it took on the ground
to make things work, are werepeating it 10 years later?
I'm all for bringing troops home,
but are we going to seeanother vacuum of power
in a very volatile region?
The pullout of the troopsin Iraq 10 years ago
was the trigger and thesignal for ISIS to arise.
The Obama speech wasa trigger and a signal
for the Muslim Brotherhood to rise.
So we shouldn't do that anymore.
That's something we need to be there
and say to our allies there we're here,
we're here to maintain peaceand we're here to make sure
that ISIS never rises again,
that these terror groupsdo not have authority here.
It's my hope, my prayer,that this administration
gets that message, and we're there to stay
and stay there for our allies.
Well in other news, it'spayday for government workers,
but many won't be getting a check.
Efrem Graham has more of our top stories
from the CNB newsroom.
- Gordon, as the governmentshutdown nears its third week,
the impact is starting tohit federal employees hard.
Still, President Trumpand Democratic leadership
show now signs of giving in.
Dale Hurd has the story.
- In day 21 of thepresident's shutdown showdown
with the Democrats, thestakes keep getting higher
as this looks to become thelongest government shutdown
in US history.
President Trump and his supporters
want a wall on the southernborder with Mexico,
and he told Fox's Sean Hannity
that he's getting closer todeclaring a national emergency
in order to get it done.
- If we don't make a deal with Congress,
most likely I will do that.
I would actually say I would.
- [Dale] Republican senator Lindsey Graham
told the president on Twitter,
"Mr. President, theDemocrats are not working
"in good faith with you.
"Declare emergency, build the wall now."
Inside the Senate, DemocratChuck Schumer demanded
that Senate MajorityLeader Mitch McConnell
allow members to vote on legislation
to reopen the government.
- So why aren't we voting on them?
Because Leader McConnell ishiding behind President Trump.
- [Dale] But Republicansenator James Lankford believes
Democrats want the crisis to escalate.
- Lately what I'm hearingfrom Democrat colleagues
is they quietly hope thepresident will declare
a national emergencyand will build the wall
out of something else and sothey can go back to their base
and to say I stood strongagainst the president,
but he did it anyway.
- [Dale] Pressure is mountingto find an escape hatch
from the three-weekimpasse that has closed
parts of the government.
Some 800,000 workers,more than half of them
still on the job, will misstheir first paycheck today
under the stoppage.
They came out in protest incities across the country.
Some fear losing their homes.
- I mean, we're notdriving the bus on this.
We're under the bus on this.
- [Dale] The president also has to fight
the media's message,
which Scott Whitlock of NewsBusters says
is firmly on the side of the Democrats.
- They're very much takingthe Democratic talking points
as to who is to blame for the shutdown,
and they're blaming the president.
- And it looks like theshutdown will go on.
The president hascanceled an upcoming trip
to Davos, Switzerland later this month.
Meanwhile, he's consulting with attorneys
on the use of his emergency powers
and with the Army Corps of Engineers
on finding money for the wall.
Dale Hurd, CBN News.
- A Democratic congresswomanis calling out her party
for religious bias against Catholics.
In an op-ed for The Hill,Hawaii representative
Tulsi Gabbard criticizesDemocratic leaders,
targeting judicialnominees for their beliefs.
One example, Brian Buescher, a nominee
for the US District Court,who is a practicing Catholic
and a member of the Knights of Columbus.
Democrat senators KamalaHarris and Mazie Hirono
raised the issue of Buescher's faith
during his nomination hearings last fall,
questioning whether hecould separate his beliefs
from his rulings.
And in 2017, Senator Diane Feinstein
targeted judicial nomineeAmy Coney Barrett's
Catholic beliefs, saying,
"The dogma lives loudly within you."
On a Fox News specialreport with Bret Baier,
CBN's David Brody says it is a big problem
for the Democratic Party.
- I truly believe that theHillary Clinton language,
when she talks about howthese shared religious
or these religious viewsneed to be done away with
is what she's talked about,
Barack Obama talking aboutclinging to your guns
and religion, we've heard that before.
You can go down the line.
There has been a systematicremoval, if you will,
of faith from the Democrat Party.
Ask the pro-life Democrats,where are they in this party?
- In her op-ed, Gabbard wrote,
"The party that worked sohard to convince people
"that Catholics and Knightsof Columbus like Al Smith
"and John F. Kennedy couldbe both good Catholics
"and good public servantsshows an alarming disregard
"of its own history inmaking such attacks today."
Florida Republicansenator Marco Rubio says
a significant number of Democrats support
the BDS movement against Israel.
Rubio made that statement in a tweet
after some Democrats opposed his measure
to allow state and local governments
to boycott businesses thattake part in the BDS movement.
Now, BDS stands for Boycott,Divestment, and Sanctions.
It's led to increased boycotts of Israel
in support of the Palestinians.
Oklahoma senator JamesLankford tells CBN News
many Democrats do support BDS,
but says Palestinians are doing well
under Israeli businesses.
So hurting Israeli businessesalso hurts Palestinians.
- There are some Democratic colleagues
that do support the BDS movement,
and that's a concern for me.
The vast majority of Americansare supportive of Israel.
They're also supportiveof economic development
for the Palestinian people,and I think we can do both.
- And Israel has been pushingback against the BDS movement.
- Well, it's time for Democratsto stand up for Israel.
Bernie Sanders has alreadyweighed in on this,
and essentially said well,it's against American values
that if state governments,local governments
pass boycott bills that any industry,
any company that boycotts Israel
will then be boycottedin contracts in the state
or in that locality,
he's saying well that'sagainst free speech.
Senator Rubio rightly pointed out
well, is it okay to boycott Israel?
But it's not okay to boycott the companies
that are boycotting Israel?
You get into this absurdity
that just doesn't make any sense
unless you say well, somehow or other
Senator Sanders is notstanding up for Israel.
He's standing up for the boycott movement.
So are we going to push forward to a vote
and actually find out whoin the Senate is for BDS?
I'm not sure that's gonna happen,
but it might be good forthe Democrats to stand up,
to say we support Israel,we're behind Israel,
the American people are behind Israel.
At the same time that Democrats
are standing up for Catholics
and the right of Catholics tohold judgeships in America,
let's say there is noreligious test for office,
for sitting for a judge.
We can't have that.
That's not part of who we are as a people.
The divide is startingto get a little starker,
and when you look right nowat some of the radical parts
of the Democratic Partypushing for socialism,
which is also pushing for atheism,
well, where are we going as a country?
So Christian Democrats,please, it's time to stand up.