… Then what are we in Iraq for?
James Mattis, the new Secretary of Defense, recently decided to reassure both the American and Iraqi public of our intentions in that country: it isn’t for that one resource that makes Iraq valuable.
CNN reports: “All of us in America have generally paid for our gas and oil all along, and I’m sure that we will continue to do so in the future. We’re not in Iraq to seize anyone’s oil,” said Mattis, a retired four-star general.
This statement was made on Monday, as Secretary of Defense Mattis was about to leave for a trip to Baghdad, to get caught up on the situation in the Middle East (short version: it sucks.) Of course, this statement also seems to contradict some of the things said by President Trump, Mattis’s boss.
The president is reported saying during his election campaign, “A day after his inauguration, Trump said about Iraq: “We should have kept the oil. Maybe we’ll have another chance.” He repeated the comments a few days later in an interview with ABC’s David Muir: “We should have taken the oil. You wouldn’t have ISIS if we took the oil.”
Trump has said the US has spent trillions of dollars fighting ISIS but that the effort could have been avoided if Americans had just co-opted the terrorists’ oil supply after the US invasion. Critics have said taking Iraq’s oil would have amounted to stealing from civilians and thus been a war crime and a violation of international law.
So nobody has answered my question yet: Why are we in Iraq? It wasn’t for any weapons of mass destruction, as we found out. According to the SECDEF it isn’t for any oil, either. I guess it’s to fight ISIS? … But according to the president the fact that we didn’t take the oil is what caused ISIS. Well, we all know our president is a pinnacle of wisdom and foresight, so I think Mr. Mattis is wrong. We should take the oil! All of it, every last drop! Sure, it will completely destroy Iraq’s economy and leave untold numbers of people jobless, probably increase the instability of the region which will allow for the creation of even more terrorist organizations, but at least we’ll have dealt with ISIS! Gotta fight fire with fire, after all!