JOHN KIRIAKOU: About Trump Wanting Iraq’s Oil Fields

What the president advocated was one of the most telling statements of his presidency. It amounted to an admission that he is perfectly willing to commit a war crime.

By John Kiriakou
Special to Consortium News

President Donald Trump on Sunday held a highly unusual press conference to announce the successful special forces operation the night before that resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.  When Trump read his prepared statement and did not walk away from the podium, my first thought was, “Oh, boy.  How much classified information is he going to release now?”  My own informed opinion is that he released a lot, talking about who did the raid, how they did it, where they launched from, what other countries were involved, and the fact that special forces elements remained on-scene for two hours to collect documentary intelligence.  Often, those kinds of details leak out in the days and weeks after a raid like this.  But they never, ever come from the president himself.

Trump also gloated inappropriately that Baghdadi “ran whimpering, crying, and screaming all the way” before detonating a suicide vest, killing himself and three of his children.  The whimpering, crying, and screaming part probably wasn’t true.  After all, the raid was in the middle of the night and Baghdadi had fled into a tunnel to try to escape the onslaught.  It would have been impossible to know if he was crying down there.  Trump added about Baghdadi, “He died like a dog.  He died like a coward.  The world is now a much safer place.”  

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Very few people in the Middle East keep dogs as pets.  This was an insult just for the sake of insult.  Don’t get me wrong — I’m glad Baghdadi is dead.  He was a coldblooded murderer, child killer, and terrorist, and the world is a better place without him in it.  But the insults were unnecessary.

President Donald Trump announcing the U.S. killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. (Twitter)

All of that is irrelevant to the story, though. The most interesting part of the president’s press conference was his segue into a non sequitur about Iraq.  Mid way through the press conference a reporter asked Trump about what “brilliant” people helped in his decision-making process for the operation. Trump’s response was one of the most telling statements of his presidency.  Indeed, it was an admission that he is perfectly willing to commit a war crime, an impeachable offense, as part of his personal ideology.  Here’s the exchange:

Reporter:  “You—you mentioned that you had met some—gotten to know some brilliant people along this process who—who had helped provide information and—and—and advice along the way.  Is there anyone in particular or would you like to give anyone credit for getting to this point today?”

Trump:  “Well, I—I would but if I mention one, I have to mention so many.  I spoke to Senator Richard Burr this morning and as you know, he’s very involved with intelligence and the committee.  [Note:  Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) is the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.]  And he’s a great gentleman.  I spoke with Lindsey Graham just a little while—in fact, Lindsey Graham is right over here, and he’s been very much involved in this subject and he’s—he’s a very strong hawk, but I think Lindsey agrees with what we’re doing now.  And again, there are plenty of other countries that can help them patrol.  I don’t want to leave 1,000 or 2,000 or 3,000 soldiers on the border.  But where Lindsey and I totally agree is the oil.

“The oil is, you know, 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 ExxonMobil or one of our great companies to go in there and do it properly. Right now it’s not big.  It’s big oil underground but it’s not big oil up top. Much of the machinery has been shot and dead.  It’s been through wars.  But—and—and spread out the wealth.  But no, we’re protecting the oil, we’re securing the oil.  Now that doesn’t mean we don’t make a deal at some point.

“But I don’t want to be — they’re — they’re fighting for 1,000 years, they’re fighting for centuries.  I want to bring our soldiers back home, but I do want to secure the oil.  If you read about the history of Donald Trump, I was a civilian.  I had absolutely nothing to do with going into Iraq and I was totally against it.  But I always used to say that 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 made it more than any human being alive.  If they’re going into Iraq, keep the oil. They never did.  They never did.  I know Lindsey Graham had a bill where basically we would have been paid back for all of the billions of dollars we’ve spent.” 


What Donald Trump is advocating here, in his very Donald Trump kind of way, is “pillaging.”  He is advocating taking Iraq’s oil by force, ostensibly as payment for our “liberation” of that country.  This is clearly and definitively a war crime.

International law has long protected property against pillage during armed conflict.  The Lieber Code, a military law from the U.S. civil war, said, “All pillage or sacking, even after taking place by force, are prohibited under penalty of death, or such other severe punishment as may seem adequate for the gravity of the offense.” In The Hague Regulations of 1907, two provisions stipulate clearly that “the pillage of a town or place, even when taken by assault, is prohibited,” and that “pillage is formally forbidden.” The Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court have both formally reaffirmed that pillaging a country of its natural resources is illegal and is considered to be a war crime.  It’s as simple as that.

It matters not one whit if Lindsey Graham has a bill to take Iraq’s oil.  It doesn’t matter if Trump thinks we should take the oil as reimbursement for U.S. aggression against that country.  What matters here is the rule of law, and the law is clear.  It’s bad enough that the U.S. military is in Syria illegally.  (There are only three ways to send troops to a foreign country legally:  If the troops are invited by the country; if the country attacks the United States; or with the permission of the United Nations Security Council.)  Let’s not add more international crimes to the ones we’ve already committed.

John Kiriakou is a former CIA counterterrorism officer and a former senior investigator with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. John became the sixth whistleblower indicted by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act—a law designed to punish spies. He served 23 months in prison as a result of his attempts to oppose the Bush administration’s torture program.

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48 comments for “JOHN KIRIAKOU: About Trump Wanting Iraq’s Oil Fields

  1. wardropper
    November 3, 2019 at 10:54

    The U.S. does not recognize its own guilt in war crime.
    Washington’s ears only prick up if “war crime” and “Russia” are mentioned in the same sentence.
    It can’t go on forever.
    Hardly anybody seriously believes what the Pentagon says about U.S. foreign policy any more, although getting the media to admit that remains an obstinate hurdle…

  2. Marrakech
    November 3, 2019 at 01:27

    Since US troops we have been in eastern Syria, we have been extracting and smuggling the oil and selling it in partnership with the SDF and American military contractors in that field through a company that has been set up for that purpose. Despite the way it is being portrayed, the latest announcements reflect no new thinking. In reality, we are simply expanding both the project and the purposes for which we hope to use the profits. It will be interesting to see if and how long it will take for voices in Congress, the media or elsewhere to raise the illegal nature of the project in any serious manner.

  3. Yvonne
    November 1, 2019 at 12:16

    I could be wrong, but I don’t believe we ever signed on to the Rome Statute, or the International Criminal Court . On purpose. There have never been any consequences to any president, which is why it keeps happening.

  4. Brad Smith
    November 1, 2019 at 10:54

    I don’t have a problem with insulting a terrorist and I think it was done with the advice of experts. Yes it was incredibly insulting, yet I don’t see how that’s a bad thing. He just told everyone listening that if they join ISIS they will end their lives as a coward who gets run down by dogs. I can’t think of anything worse for their recruitment. W did much the same when Saddam’s Son’s were captured, with the pictures being put out. Then there was the story of Saddam hiding in a hole, etc. It wasn’t inappropriate in the least and it might very well help.

    As for the Oil, Trump will make a deal, as he said. Keep in mind this oil field that he is protecting was discovered and developed by Conoco Phillips. They spent billions developing it and it’s now going to cost billions more to get it up to speed. As they do in fact own this field they could completely trash it on their way out or they can make a deal with Assad. Right now Trump want’s the Kurds to get some of the profit as well and that could be done as part of the deal the Kurds are working on right now.

    Right now someone has to protect these fields and Assad is busy with the war, he will however eventually take this area back as well and when he does it will be up to him to decide if he want’s Conoco to stay. Maybe he will go the Chavez rout and kick them out without paying them a dime. Then it will end up in international court and if Syria doesn’t pay then they will stay isolated from investment and probably stay under sanction. On the other hand it’s likely they will prefer that Conoco stay and invest and pay taxes, etc. etc. They need the investment money and they don’t need to stay isolated from the rest of the world, which they will be if they don’t make a deal with Conoco.

    It’s likely that in a few months Trump will announce that a deal for the oil fields had been made. He will act as if he won and “took” the oil. Liberals will call it plunder, right wingers will call it a brilliant new move and in reality it’s simply imperialism as usual.

    Keep in mind we already killed a bunch of people including Russians to protect this field. That was after we took it back from ISIS after Obama had allowed them to run it and truck the oil through to Turkey where Erdogon’s son was smuggling it onto ships for transport. When the Russians came in they bombed the Trucks and bombed enough of the fields to shut them down. After that we took the feilds with help from the Kurds and left behind the SF guys who were attacked by the “Wagner Group” of Russian Mercenaries. In the mean time, Conoco Phillips has invested enough to keep them running and the security provided by the US is allowing this to happen. The Kurds are the current beneficiaries of this as well as Conoco of course.

    No this does not mean that I believe we should be using US soldiers to guard Conoco Phillips profits but a little bit of context goes a long way when helping people understand what Trump’s actually doing. He has two excuses, the first one is that this was taken over by ISIS and the Russian Mercs did attempt to take it under a deal they had made with Assad where they would get concessions. The second is that he would like to give the Kurds a chance to make a deal with Assad that includes allowing Conoco to run the fields but to keep the tax money with the Kurds. People who interpret Trump to mean we are going to pump the oil and put it into the national reserve or something like that are just assuming that’s what he means and he let’s them assume that too. When in reality Trump doesn’t see our Oil companies or our “Defense” companies as separate entities from “America”. To Trump America is one huge business and the oil and defense corps are our Crown Jewels and the backbone of our economy. He doesn’t exclude these companies when he says “America first”, in fact that’s exactly who he is talking about.

    If you haven’t already, please find the petition to pardon John, it only takes a second to sign.

  5. Mike
    November 1, 2019 at 00:09

    After listening to the phony baloney of the Obama administration, Trump is a breath of fresh air. Making a deal makes sense.

  6. Vincent Castigliola
    October 30, 2019 at 14:03

    We have no right undertaking any military action in Syria or taking or deciding how Syria’s oil should be used. I also respect John K; however, I question his characterization of taking control of Syrian territory or resources as “pillage”.
    I would distinguish the literal definition and also ask him to cite a single instance in which the victor in a war didn’t take property fro the loser.
    Consider Israel’s 1967 war for the Golan Heights, WWI partitions of Germany, Spanish American war, …
    What am I missing?

    • October 30, 2019 at 18:59

      @ “What am I missing?”

      You’re missing that the law changed over time and that Israel’s pillage of Palestine is an ongoing legal issue.

      1949 4th Geneva Convention, Article 33: “Pillage is prohibited.”

      Article 53:

      “Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or to social or cooperative organizations, is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.”

    • GMCasey
      October 31, 2019 at 11:37

      Vincent, I think you missed the pillage of America when the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are people too.

    • October 31, 2019 at 11:53

      This has been a “pillage” act from day one… The US Congress, never declared a war on Syria.

    • GMCasey
      October 31, 2019 at 11:57

      Vincent, you forgot how America took down the free nation of Hawaii and its queen. Then there’s the Whiskey Rebellion when America was forming that was pretty depressing too as it let the citizens know that freedom was missing from certain classes. The sadness of America’s continual influence in South America was begun so long ago, and remember, the land on which Guantanamo is situated does belong to Cuba—-and then of course, Taft and the Philippines——– actually, it seems since the beginning of America’s time this nation has not seriously committed to making ,”a more perfect union,” for its citizens and the world——–maybe the Climate Crisis will rein us in.

    • November 1, 2019 at 10:13


  7. robert e williamson jr
    October 30, 2019 at 13:00

    RE: my earlier comment!

    The US Government has been a thief ever since those who created it started stealing the North American Continent from the indigenous people who lived here. Never mind the genocide the white man prosecuted against those people.

    We been stealing oil from the middle east ever since the 1950’s. Now that the problems created world wide by the super wealthy elitists, SWETS, greed are coming back to haunt us has the deep state decided we need to be governed by a dictator or is the dictator the excuse for the security state to take over the government because a dictator got elected potus?

  8. Vera Gottlieb
    October 30, 2019 at 12:56

    All one needs to do is study up close a world map, locate all the countries rich in natural resources and bingo…know where the US will meddle next, bring “democracy and human rights”, instigate civil unrest and then intervene. All in a nutshell: stealing.

  9. robert e williamson jr
    October 30, 2019 at 12:43

    Anyone, the only republicans talking for the last two years, who supports the proposition that the “Orange Apocalypse ” could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it needs to be in the dock also. . The one thing the security state, deep state, intelligence community and congress have all trumpeted, pardon the pun, is the U.S. does not support dictators. Right.

    Er, that is dictators anywhere the U.S. security state, deep state, intelligence community and congress doesn’t want them.

    The CIA history does support that last statement BTW.

    CIA has stellar record of interfering in elections and overthrowing legitimately elected rulers the globe over. Successful endeavors CIA calls them I believe.

    The CIA went against the conventions of democracy by supporting dictators as soon as the agency was created. See the Dulles Bros. and the United Fruit Company saga. The U.S. foreign policy has been schizophrenic ever since.

    • Minnesota Mary
      November 1, 2019 at 20:32

      I highly recommend the book, “The Brothers” by Stephen Kinzer. It gives the complete story of the Dulles brothers– John Foster who was Eisenhower’s Secretary of State, and Alan, who was the first head of the CIA. Anyone who reads this book will feel shame for America’s foreign policy starting with the Dulles brothers right up until today.

  10. Rob
    October 30, 2019 at 12:36

    Hey, maybe the pillaging of natural resources acquired by military conquest can be added to the list of impeachment charges against Trump. That list could stretch across an ocean, if the Dems include all of Trump’s impeachable offenses. Ukrainegate is possibly the least serious of all.

    • Skip Scott
      November 1, 2019 at 10:12

      The problem with all the genuine impeachable offenses is that we would have to impeach every living president in my lifetime, from both sides of the aisle. The rules only apply to “lessers”, and when we find it convenient. One of the first actions for a president is for the deep state to make him commit a war crime, thus precluding any possibility for prosecuting the previous president.

  11. Michael McNulty
    October 30, 2019 at 11:53

    If Al Capone was alive today he wouldn’t go into organised crime and bribe officials, he’d go into Wall Street and own them.

  12. Dale
    October 30, 2019 at 10:18

    Excellent article, John. I will never forget the oil guys gathering in my Bahrain office with their maps of Iraq’s oil fields. I don’t think they have yet made their millions, but I have no doubt they expect they will.

  13. October 30, 2019 at 09:55

    “International law has long protected property against pillage during armed conflict. The Lieber Code, a military law from the U.S. civil war, said, “All pillage or sacking, even after taking place by force, are prohibited under penalty of death, or such other severe punishment as may seem adequate for the gravity of the offense.” ”

    As if that was anything new. The USA| pilfered tens of thousands of patents after WW2 fom Germany – from private companies. The confiscation of German foreign accounts, like in WW1 the removing of machinery and the dismantling of Factories etc. etc. The USA is no diffrnet in this aspect than what the Nazis did in the areas they occupied. See:

    • Michael McNulty
      October 30, 2019 at 12:04

      Regarding patent theft, I read the two places the Nazis headed for when invading a country were the Central Bank and the Patent Office. It turns out the pulse engine they used on the V1 Doodlebug was a design stolen from the Patent Office in Paris. The design was granted a patent around the end of WWI but it had not been in production because nobody had a practical use for it. Until the Germans did.

  14. Keith
    October 30, 2019 at 09:40

    When it is said that “we take the oil,” what is meant is that our oligarchs are taking the oil. “We” are not taking the oil, they are. I wonder if, when the time comes that the means of production are seized in an uprising in this country if those leading such uprising will be considered war criminals.

  15. Nathan Mulcahy
    October 30, 2019 at 08:02

    There is nothing surprising or unusual about Trump saying that he is willing to commit war crimes. His immediate predecessors (Obama, Bush and Clinton) have all committed war crimes and all are celebrated widely as great statesmen (one of them recently even as a “peace expert”). It is just that, unlike his predecessors, Trump does not care about the false facade.

    What is stunning is not Trump’s bluntness, but the utter disregard for (international) law by both political “parties” (I’d rather call them two brands of the same Mafia organization), our so called “media” (I’d rather call them propaganda arms of the said Mafia organization), but also of the “intellectuals” of the land, and of course the vast, vast majority of its citizens. (Of course I exclude the readers of this website, and of similar news media from my condemnation).

  16. john wilson
    October 30, 2019 at 07:02

    If plundering the oil was America’s only war crime we would think that wasn’t so bad. The war crimes committed by the West are so huge that much of them are never reported. Clearly, the UN is the arbiter of war crimes but they only ever find small, weak offenders guilty. The powerful countries like the US, Britain and Europe are not even investigated for war crimes let alone prosecuted. War crimes are only war crimes if there is someone there to police, prosecute and punish the offenders. There is no such authority, so reference to war crimes is just self gratification and meaningless. The US doesn’t even pretend to adhere to international law.

    • October 30, 2019 at 19:35

      @ “The war crimes committed by the West are so huge that much of them are never reported.”

      I disagree. I think generally they are reported but are not identified as the war crimes that they are. E.g., the wars of aggression against Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan, etc.

  17. Dao Gen
    October 30, 2019 at 02:53

    It’s unlikely that Trump is sending US troops back into Syria for economic or for long-term reasons. Oil is just a smokescreen. Probably there are several real reasons:
    1. Lindsey Graham is chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, so Graham would oversee a possible Senate trial if the foolish Dems choose to impeach. Right after Trump’s recent pullout, the neocon Graham was furious and said he would support impeachment. Trump needs to mollify Graham and other neocon Repubs for a while for the sake of his own survival.
    2. The DINO lib-neocon Dem leadership, attacked Trump ferociously from the right. And the Repub leadership in the House all voted with the Dems to censure Trump for his very helpful pullout. With impeachment likely, Trump can’t ignore this situation.
    3. The MSM are overwhelmingly neocon about foreign affairs, and they have put out many stories romanticizing the Kurds, who have actually done a fair amount of ethnic cleansing against Christians, Sunnis, and various tribal groups, so millions of Americans have been brainwashed into thinking Trump actually “betrayed” the poor Kurds, whereas it was the pro-PKK leadership of the Kurds who betrayed ordinary Kurds by not reconciling with Syria long ago. After all, Trump announced last December that he was soon going to withdraw from Syria. If the PKK-affiliated leaders had been realistic, there would have been no Turkish invasion. But the MSM hide this situation, thus putting great pressure on Trump.
    4. France and Israel and much of the US security state want to continue to use the Kurds as tools to balkanize Syria, attack the Syrian government, and block Iran. They are fighting back hard against Trump.

    Ultimately Trump’s reasons for staying in Syria are basically kabuki to pacify the neocons and strengthen his domestic political position. Of course this does not justify his war crimes. However, US forces are unlikely to stay for a long time in Syria for several reasons, and when Trump sees a good opening, surely he will try to make another realistic withdrawal after the impeachment farce has passed. Probably Putin will come up with some kind of diplomatic solution that will allow the US to save face while withdrawing. The conditions which will limit US oil banditry in Syria are:
    1. After impeachment has passed and after the Syrian government liberates Idlib province, it will send its military to eastern Syria, and the small US force will be obliged to leave. Neither Trump nor the Syrians want a war to break out over second-rate oil fields, so diplomacy will win out.
    2. The Kurds normally look down on Arabs and discriminate against them, so there is no way the Arab tribes now running the Deir Ezzour oil field will allow the Kurds to come in and take it away from them. Likewise, further to the northeast the Kurds have been pushed out of several oil fields which they grabbed after Isis forced the Syrian government to leave the area.
    3. Trump’s base doesn’t at all like this plan to send US troops back into Syria. If Trump wants to be reelected, he’ll be forced to withdraw by late spring of 2020. By then Trump’s base will be more important to him than the DC neocons.

    This Great Oil Rustling Expedition is actually the last hurrah for the US in Syria. The US has definitely lost in Syria, but the neocons are just too stupid, stubborn, narcissistic, and immature to be able to come out and directly say, “We lost. Let’s move on.” Instead they have to grandstand and pretend they are winning until the very last moment. How many more people will have to die because of the vanity of the neocons and the weakness of Trump? Let us pray there will not be many.

    • Dale
      October 30, 2019 at 10:15

      Can you supply corroboration for your allegations against the Kurds? I went looking and found an old Telegraph article, which identified a small part of Syria where Kurdish operations had driven Syrians toward ISIL.

      But I also found this:
      See: :

      “YPG has had its share of faults. Crimes have been committed in regions under their control. Some members of Syrian Democratic Force (SDF) — a multi-national force made up of Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen and other minorities — have committed violations against civilians. And those few perpetrators were reprimanded by SDF and YPG. However, by no means have the Kurds committed ethnic cleansing and forced displacement against any ethnic or religious group. Despite their faults, the Kurds have considerably done a phenomenon job in protecting the civilians of all backgrounds.”

      Have you got more?


  18. October 29, 2019 at 22:35

    Trump’s no more guilty of war crimes than every President since I’ve been alive, for 69 years. And even Presidents before then. You can’t be President of the US without engaging in war crimes. They all serve the military industrial complex. At least Trump does some things right instead of 100% for the elite and their NWO.

    • dfnslblty
      October 30, 2019 at 09:45

      potus does few things correctly, and economically those things benefit the elite.

  19. Peter
    October 29, 2019 at 21:09

    Historically, who benefits by emboldening the the fly overs? In show business, entertainers always starts out by telling their audience how great they are. Essentially, lodging their tongues up the audience’s bum. Trump’s got his tongue so far up the fly over’s bums, well, it’s just embarrassing really. This is the recipe for popularity. Trump tells American’s just what they want to hear. Exceptionalism on steroids.

  20. angry spittle
    October 29, 2019 at 20:46

    The stupid idiot announces to the world he is about to commit a war crime. That on top of his bone headed admissions of several other crimes. The guy is so stupid he probably thinks Cheerios are donut seeds.

    • Cambo mambo
      October 30, 2019 at 01:14

      I agree he’s stupid, generally. But it seems pretty rational for any US President to expect he (or she) will never face any consequences for the horrific crimes they commit.

      Are you actually suggesting Trump would ever face justice if he sent ExxonMobil to take over Syria or Iraqi oil wells, by force? Bush did much, much worse. Obama committed horrible war crimes. Why would Trump face consequence when they didn’t? Believing he would is what’s “stupid”, imo.

    • AnneR
      October 30, 2019 at 08:34

      The trouble is, angry spittle, that the US will get away with this pillage, as it has done in the past. The only difference between this “prez” and the ones before him is his *boasting* openly, publicly about America’s war crimes.

      Of course, the Strumpet is clueless about such things as the Geneva Convention. Mind you, even being aware of it doesn’t mean that the US president and admin and Pentagon etc will in fact abide by any of the international laws regarding war. The past 70 years have made that absolutely clear. And so far as I recall the US has refused to agree to any possibility of its politicos, military, secret agency folks being tried for war crimes by any international body. So the whole political, MIC, corporate-capitalist-imperialist set up here feels completely free to destroy, steal, lay claim to, give away, kill, torture – as it pleases anywhere it wants, when and how it wants.

    • October 30, 2019 at 10:28

      The stupidity of Trump may be exaggerated. Keep in mind that he is a businessman who had his key property bancrupted and survived pretty well. Superficially, bancruptcy is a symptom of stupidity, but the trick is to make OTHER people to loose money and yet continue in spite of common wisdom of lost trust etc.

      Exhibit one is “insane” endeavor to bring Iran to its knees by unilaterally breaking a multilateral agreement and imposing sanctions that would be utterly unenforcable because no serious country would cooperate. Initially that was my thinking, all leaders of major allied countries were against and promised measures to resist. And “heroically” petitioned to Washington to be allowed to do so. Washington gave a limited time reprieve and otherwise refused. So that make them sad, although quickly they focused on other troubles. Trump proved that Amercan ability to get away with any s…t imaginable was greatly underestimated.

      Thus Trump’s citizenry can rejoice that America proved better than before that it has unique power to make selected other countries very misreable. Wimps like Obama were dabbling in that too, but now the lives of Venezuela and Iran are worse than before. Not that allies and lap dog countries do well, but not as miserable. And leaders from Equador to Lithuania can be glad that following America is a wise choice, the alternative is worse, even if they are periodically humiliated.

      The issue of “securing oil” makes a lot if sense in this perspective. Syria is not as utterly miserable as planned, but quite miserable indeed, and delaying her access to her own oil will keep it that way.

      To summarise, “admitting to crimes” is not stupid if you can get away with it. But it is evil.

  21. JustAMaverick
    October 29, 2019 at 20:14

    From here on out the rule of law will have very little meaning if any at all…internationally or otherwise. We can’t vote our way out and the corporate fascists and the military industrial machine have assumed virtually total control…of everything. They will not give that power back, nor will they give up one cent of their ill gotten gains without a fight….a fight they have been preparing for, for almost forty years.

    America is truly a Kleptocracy with all the goals and lack of ethics or morals that word implies. We have let them sow an enormous amount of greed, hate and ignorance…while they lobotomized the citizenry with endless programming and propaganda, and that crop is soon to be reaped. It will be……bad. Really bad…Worse, nobody even addresses the real issues let alone unites to defend themselves.

    To my eyes…the daylight is almost gone and all I can see in the future is as Orwell put it: “A boot kicking you in the face forever.”

    • Dale
      October 30, 2019 at 10:17

      On my worst days, that is what I fear.

      On my better days, it isn’t much brighter.

  22. October 29, 2019 at 19:57

    Very informative article. Stealing, by any other name is stealing. Though I still think HRC was even more dangerous, our President is a real piece of work. Sadly, his US targets are too often as bad or worse. When I look at our president, with his jutting jaw, search the archives before WWII. Put a uniform on our President, bedeck his chest with medals, and who do you have. Il Duce.

    • angryspittle
      October 29, 2019 at 20:39

      More like Il Douche’

  23. October 29, 2019 at 19:21

    The problem traces back to the conquest of Iraq. The article implicitly assumes the existence of a sovereign entity named

    That is wrong. There is no such entity. There was one up until 2003. Then U.S. imperialism invaded and destroyed it. Iraq’s oil was taken by force right there.

    What resulted is an occupation political project in place of the former Iraqi state. Then the plan went wrong. Iran seized control of the project entity through elections. The first and second “Iraqi prime ministers” under the conquest represented an Iranian clerical organization called the Islamic Dawa.

    Now, the occupation political entity was granted exclusive control of Iraq’s oil revenues under the terms of the conquest. The U.S. imperialists figured they would remain in control of the entity, but Iran gained control.

    Trump doesn’t want to take Iraq’s oil away not from Iraq. He wants to take it away from Iran.

  24. Jimmy Gates
    October 29, 2019 at 18:58

    Valid call. Include, in the prosecution, all previous executives who are\ were complicit in these crimes. We all know the Presidents etc, but Congress members should be indicted and IC members as well.

    • Nick
      October 30, 2019 at 10:25

      Don’t forget ‘journalists’! Bill Kristol and Judith Miller should be in the dock as well!

  25. lizzie dw
    October 29, 2019 at 18:44

    I agree totally with this author. Taking Syria’s oil is Not A Good Thing. It is blatant thievery to take something from a sovereign country “because you can”, then try to justify it by some lame statement. What additionally bothers me is that this attitude has been present in the USA through many administrations. Look at the Ukraine since 2014. Many long time politicians were involved with getting money from Ukraine – for no reason other than they were American and in charge. Look at Afghanistan and the poppy fields our soldiers are guarding for the CIA. Thieves, all of them. Look at Clinton and the Central American drugs through Mina. We can look at the Turks looting areas of Syria of whole factories(!) while they were occupying the northeast. What about WWII? Politicians took whatever was not nailed down from Germany. Stealing the art. Look at Britain only now returning some artifacts they took out of countries they were administrating decades ago. I am sickened by all of them and I sure am disgusted with President Trump.

  26. rodney lowery
    October 29, 2019 at 18:39

    My circle of friends thought Trump’s speech and actions were refreshing and perfect to reduce these terrorist leaders publicly to nothing. You libs just can’t get it. Trump is not going to give respect and dignity to murderers. We take their life and dress them down publicly, and take away any prestige they may have had towards other terrorists. And since when do democrats and libs care about war crimes? why don’t you go apologize for us.

    • ML
      October 30, 2019 at 09:01

      Your lack of respect for decency, decorum, the rule of international law, statesmanship, diplomacy, etc etc, is simply breathtaking. Many of us here were appalled by Obama’s war crimes too, rodney. And most of us here are not “libs” but free and critically thinking human beings, well apart from your Team Red/Team Blue baloney dichotomous way of seeing the U.S.A.’s role in the world. Now, who doesn’t “get it?” Why, I’d say that would be you!

    • October 30, 2019 at 12:16

      rodney lowery,

      With all due respect, sir … Since there are a good number of Americans who’ve swallowed the obvious psychological warfare “Operation Baghdadi” operation hook, line and sinker, featuring a President of the United States effectively sharing with the American boys and girls a scary bedtime story, – and drenched with a very poor actor’s “tells” or giveaways – the more accurate term might be “My circle jerk of friends…”. We would strongly suggest sobering up – before Phase 2 of this extremely dangerous fairy tale commences.


  27. Joe
    October 29, 2019 at 18:35

    Lot of folks were bit premature giving Trump some credit for pulling troops out of Syria. The MIC waved a dollar sign in front of Trump and showed his true colors once again.

  28. Noah Way
    October 29, 2019 at 18:18

    Just a continuation of oBOMBa’s war crimes ….

    The deep state / shadow government is in control.

    • Nick
      October 30, 2019 at 10:35

      Which were a continuation of Bush’s war crimes, which were a continuation of Clinton’s which were a continuation of Bush’s which were a continuation of Reagan’s which were a continuation of Carter’s…

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