Killing Islamic terrorist leaders can be celebrated, but don’t talk about taking the oil in regions they controlled or you’ll be accused of a “war crime.”
President Donald Trump is drawing criticism over his announcement of the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, specifically for speaking about the oil in northern Syria.
“Where Lindsey and I totally agree is the oil,” Trump said. “The oil is so valuable. For many reasons. It fueled ISIS: number one. Number two: it helps the Kurds. Because it’s basically been taken away from the Kurds. They were able to live with that oil. And number three: it can help us because we should be able to take some also.”
“And what I intend to do, perhaps, is make a deal with an Exxon or Mobil, or one of our great companies, to go in there and do it properly,” he continued. “Right now it’s not big – it’s big oil underground. But it’s not big oil up-top. Much of the machinery’s been shot and dead. It’s been through wars.”
President Trump tells the truth for once–it's all to "Protect the Oil" pic.twitter.com/mvTRHXpbr0
— Jordan (@JordanChariton) October 27, 2019
He made it a point to say the purpose of protecting and securing the oil is to “spread out the wealth.”
The president also reminded reporters of his stance on oil in regard to the Iraqi War.
“If you read about the history of Donald Trump, I was a civilian,” he said. “I had absolutely nothing to do with going into Iraq and I was totally against it. But I always used to say, If they’re going to go in – nobody cared that much but it got written about – if they’re going to go in, I’m sure you’ve heard the statement because I’ve made it more than any human being alive. If they’re going into Iraq, ‘Keep the oil.’ They never did.”
Trump said in the third reason cited that the oil “can help us,” and that sent the anti-Trump cabal into a conniption, accusing the president of not being in compliance with the Geneva Convention and of committing a “war crime” in wanting to take the oil.
University College London Professor and political scientist Brian Klaas was among the first to call Trump a war criminal for “plundering oil.”
“Just to be clear: despite Trump’s statements, oil in Syria does not belong to the United States or to Donald Trump. Plundering oil, as Trump seems to be suggesting, would be a violation of international law and could amount to a war crime,” Klaas tweeted.
Just to be clear: despite Trump’s statements, oil in Syria does not belong to the United States or to Donald Trump. Plundering oil, as Trump seems to be suggesting, would be a violation of international law and could amount to a war crime.
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) October 27, 2019
Trump’s remarks had critics in a mad dash to quote international law and cite the Geneva Convention.
Here’s a sampling of a few of those responses.
.@realDonaldTrump is stepping on his own message by talking about letting US companies extract Syria’s oil.
Looting another country’s natural resources would be a war crime.
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) October 27, 2019
Now President Trump is rambling on about US stealing oil.
— David Rothschild (@DavMicRot) October 27, 2019
Trump’s “keep the oil” position is not about the Kurds or establishing some sort of international trust to fund post-conflict reconstruction efforts. He’s talking about the US and US companies profiting, which would violate Geneva Conventions and US law: https://t.co/8XiKJeSbb0 https://t.co/TsmpaGngmm
— Kimberly Atkins (@KimberlyEAtkins) October 27, 2019
It’s also worth noting that Trump’s obsession with taking Syria’s oil—not just to protect it from ISIS but, as he said this morning, to have US oil companies come in to exploit it, is probably a war crime.
— Colin Kahl (@ColinKahl) October 27, 2019
Trump is already talking about getting into another war in the Middle East over oil. On live television.
— Caroline Orr (@RVAwonk) October 27, 2019
Of course, there is another possibility that could be at play here, as an astute social media user noted in response to a tweet from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
“Trump has seized the oil so he could use it as a bargaining chip to get something the West wants from Assad and make peace with him and turn off the sanctions on Syria and let the peaceful people rebuild,” read the tweet.
Yes Trump has seized the oil so he could use it as a bargaining chip to get something the West wants from Assad and make peace with him and turn off the sanctions on Syria and let the peaceful people rebuild.
— Sparrow Eyes (@catihoolie) October 27, 2019
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