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Thread: Trump’s Baffling Plan to Pillage Syria’s Oil

  1. #1
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    Trump’s Baffling Plan to Pillage Syria’s Oil

    Trump’s Baffling Plan to Pillage Syria’s Oil

    President Trump dropped a stunner during his rambling press conference, on Sunday, after announcing the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State leader, in a U.S. raid. In a major policy flip-flop, the President said that he is not only keeping American forces in Syria to “secure” its oil fields, he is willing to go to war over them. “We may have to fight for the oil. It’s O.K.,” he said. “Maybe somebody else wants the oil, in which case they have a hell of a fight. But there’s massive amounts of oil.” The United States, he added, should be able to take some of Syria’s oil. “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,” he said. The goal would be to “spread out the wealth.” The President was wrong on so many counts. Seizing the oil, after twice ordering all U.S. troops out of Syria, violates a basic international treaty on war. It may amount to pillaging—even piracy, according to legal experts and former senior military commanders. “Bring in US oil companies to modernize the field. WHAT ARE WE BECOMING.... PIRATES?” General Barry McCaffrey (Ret.), who commanded a mechanized Army division in Iraq during the Gulf War, tweeted. Trump’s new policy may also violate the military authorization from Congress which allowed the United States to enter Syria. It certainly violates Syrian sovereignty. “If ISIS is defeated we lack Congressional authority to stay,” McCaffrey tweeted. “The oil belongs to Syria."

    Trump’s suggestion that the U.S. could expropriate a portion of Syria’s oil “sounds like the international crime of pillage,” Ryan Goodman, a former special legal counsel at the Department of Defense who is now at the New York University School of Law, said. Any such move is prohibited by the Geneva Conventions and by the precedents set by the United Nations war-crimes tribunals that the U.S. helped establish in Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone. “U.S. military commanders who engaged in pillaging Syria’s oil would risk criminal liability under the U.S. War Crimes Act,” Goodman said. The international rules of war, he added, were designed “to deter nations from engaging in predatory wars to seize other countries’ natural resources.” What’s particularly baffling is that Syria now produces a piddling amount of oil—about as much as Utah. Senator Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican and staunch Trump supporter, was the chief advocate for the President’s proposal to secure and control Syria’s oil. It fit with Trump’s longstanding position that the United States should seize the oil of other countries to pay for its military campaigns. “In the old days, you when you had a war, to the victors belong the spoils. You go in. You win the war and you take it,” Trump said, in 2011. “You’re not stealing anything. You’re taking—we’re reimbursing ourselves—at least, at a minimum.” The United States, however, cannot legally seize Syria’s oil or benefit from it, a State Department official told me. A further complication is that other international oil companies, including Shell and the Chinese National Petroleum Company, held rights to the fields before the civil war—and could challenge any U.S. claim to the fields.
    The USAF destroyed the largest oil field - al-Omar - used by ISIS. US and SDF forces used the housing compound next to the fields as a forward operating base during the final offensive against ISIS at Baghouz.

    America can't be rid of the criminal Trump too soon.

    Unless some Senate Republicans break ranks, this won't be a trial — it will be a cover-up.

  2. #2
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    Re: Trump’s Baffling Plan to Pillage Syria’s Oil

    Trump should have NEVER gotten near the issue of oil in that announcement, but NOOOOOOOOOOOOO, Mr. Wheel-And-Deals couldn't resist.

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