It’s been two hours, so of course Trump has brought up another meaningless and intellectually uninspired point that no politician with half a brain cell and an adviser would pick up.
If you missed the headlines on this recently, Trump was talking during the NBC Commander-In-Chief Forum on September 7th about his idea that the US should have taken Iraq’s oil when we left, and was promptly but awkwardly supported by Trump’s surrogates. Sometimes, you gotta feel bad for these guys. How do you, as a normal person, explain away his bizarre reasoning and bad logic? It’s the kind of thing that only seems to work in Trump’s head.
- We have no magical ‘pump it all at once!’ device. So in other words, we would have to station troops at every oil well around Iraq, and just leave them there until we’ve taken all the oil. How long would that take? Probably quite a while. So we’d have to violate all our treaties with the nation of Iraq (which we had just set up, so it wouldn’t be the best idea to immediately throw it into chaos by making it unable to protect itself and the oil), station troops there, and wait until the wells are dry. And what happens when speculators find more drilling spots? Do we start drilling there too? Are American troops going to be stuck in Iraq until the end of time?
- It violates international law, according to most experts. According to Anthony Clark Arend, a Georgetown University professor who was interviewed by Politifact, it specifically violates the 1907 Annex to the Hague Convention of 1907, which prohibits pillaging and calls for private property to be respected. So sorry Rudy Giuliani, it would not be legal just because it was ‘war’.
- How would we excuse this away? Flash back to 2007, when George Bush signed a treaty with Iraq promising to pull out all troops by December 2011. The decision to invade Iraq was already unpopular enough with most people, but what if Bush had announced that we were legitimately going to be stealing oil from the Iraqi people just in case terrorists try to take it and sell it in the future? Iraq would dislike us even more, we’d look like a country that still practices colonialism to basically the whole world, and the American people would be rightly horrified. Thankfully, George Bush, whatever you think of him, did have at least half a brain cell, whereas Donald J. Trump does not.
- ISIS is not solely funded by oil. Even if we had taken all the oil from the region, causing uprisings all over Iraq and probably causing us to be blacklisted from the G7 and be sanctioned by our closest allies, ISIS would still be able to function quite well, thank you. Although selling their oil does bring them a lot of money, ISIS makes a lot of their money through taxation and other means. It’s highly probable that they still could function, even if ISIS didn’t have a drop of oil to sell to other countries. As ISIS does consider itself a sovereign nation by this point, they could also just raise taxes if they weren’t making enough money.
- The ethical question. I bring this up last, because on many issues ranging from waterboarding to deportation of 11 million illegal immigrants, it seems to be the last thing on the mind of Trump. Think of it this way. You are a time traveler psychic, and you know that if you steal your neighbor’s diamond encrusted gun, you will save the lives of many people, because a robber is going to come by and steal it. (This is a false analogy, because all the innocent people will still all be killed, just with less money in the bank, but let’s stick with it anyways). No, you don’t, because there are many other ways to save those people’s lives, such as warning the neighbor to put it in a safe, or standing guard at your neighbor’s house when the thief breaks in. It’s the same way with this. If we’re going to leave troops behind anyways to pump oil, why not just leave them there but not pump oil, so we don’t have to steal the Iraqi people’s property? The US military is not a mercenary group that needs money to keep protecting its and other countries’ citizens.
Anyways, at least Trump’s analysis of past world events proves that even though hindsight is 20/20 for most people, it still isn’t if you’re a fast-talking politician who only reads the first sentence of the Wikipedia page on the subject for your political analysis.
OK, hopefully that will be all the Trump-bashing that is needed for at least a little while on this blog, because as you can see, I can just go on about it for quite a long time.