MFSO is horrified by President Trump’s comments about “taking the oil” in Iraq.
President Trump, January 2017, at the CIA: “The old expression, to the victor belong the spoils…we should’ve kept the oil…But, okay, maybe we’ll have another chance.”
This careless statement, which has not been retracted, endangers the lives of our troops in Iraq and the region. ISIS has been losing ground in Iraq but this statement greatly assists ISIS’s ability to recruit, directly hurting the progress our troops have made in Iraq.
“There is nothing Trump could have said that would be more corrosive to our interests in the Middle East,” says Ryan Crocker, the distinguished former U.S. ambassador to Baghdad. And nothing that so displays the president’s ignorance of Middle East history and dynamics.
This talk of seizing oil is a clarion call to anti-U.S. forces,” Crocker told me, “because it plays to the myth that we were in Iraq to take their oil. Oil is the sacred touchstone of Iraqi sovereignty and independence. From 2003 all the way to Donald Trump we made clear that we understood that.
“Now Iraqis will believe that seizing oil is U.S. policy. Trump has made the myth come true.”
We strongly object to President Trump’s comments. Taking the oil is against international law and a war crime. These unthinking words also damage our standing in the world. We suggest that MFSO members write a letter to the editor or contact their Congressional members to demand that President Trump retract these comments which endanger our troops in Iraq as well as our troops stationed in the region.