Each media appearance by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is more demented than the last.
Days after falsely claiming GOP nominee Donald Trump renounced his birtherism “three years ago,” Giuliani appeared on ABC’s This Week to ostensibly discuss the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. However, despite saying he didn’t want to do it, the Trump adviser spent the majority of the time slamming Hillary Clinton and praising his candidate.
At one point, host George Stephanopoulos asked America’s Mayor his thoughts on Trump’s repeated assertions that the United States should have taken Iraq’s oil during the Iraq War. According to the Republican standard-bearer, American forces should currently be in Iraq controlling the oil fields so the United States would be able to sell and profit from the resource. He has also said the same thing about other areas of the world, essentially saying the US should be in the business of raping and pillaging sovereign countries through military force.
When the ABC host asked Giuliani if this was legal, the ex-mayor maniacally laughed and proclaimed that anything is legal during a war.
“Of course it’s legal. It’s a war. Until the war is over, anything is legal. That oil becomes a very critical issue. First of all, if that oil wasn’t there, we wouldn’t have the Islamic State. So when he says things like Obama and Hillary are the founder this Islamic State, he doesn’t mean literally, and he follows it by saying they would get the MVP award. That oil is what makes the Islamic State so rich. Had we held that oil, made sure that it was equitably distributed in Iraq…”
After Stephanopoulos reminded him that Trump specifically said the US should have taken the oil for itself, Giuliani tried to switch Trump’s position to just controlling the distribution of it, perhaps realizing just how much it made Trump sound like a warlord.
“He, uh, said we shouldn’t take it for ourselves necessarily, he said we should secure it so it doesn’t get taken by terrorist forces, and then we can have some say, some control over the distribution of it.”
Mind you, Trump specifically said “to the victors belong the spoils” regarding profiting from the Iraq War. Beyond that, he’s also said other countries should pay America protection money to guarantee their safety in the world. That would include South Korea, Japan and Germany, all countries that have American forces stationed there due to having either lost wars to the United States or being involved in conflicts with America.
As our own Levi Olson pointed out in his column, taking Iraqi oil would be a horrible idea and would likely lead to more widespread violence and greater destabilization of the Middle East.
Suppose, though, that ISIS is defeated, ethnic hatred cools, and Iraq is reassembled. How might Iraq go about reconstruction? Iraq’s economy is tied almost entirely to oil exports, and there is relatively little economic activity outside of oil that the Iraqi government can tax for expanding a national budget because Iraqi cities have been desecrated over 13 years of war. The incredible loss of life and exodus of refugees are substantial handicaps as well. Operation Iraqi Freedom, in hindsight, was very ironically named, but literally the only hope that Iraq has for freedom, national restoration, and economic recovery is in Mesopotamian oil… and Donald Trump wants to steal it.
Trump is factually correct when he explains that ISIS currently uses the oil for economic and political gain, but his idea that the oil should not be given back to the Iraqi government is counter-intuitive for America’s effort in Iraqi nation-building. Without oil money, Iraq’s government will hardly be a government at all, and if the bitter sectarian groups within Iraq cannot lay down arms in order to share the oil wealth there will be no reason for the violence to ever stop. The major sectarian players in The Country Formerly Known As Iraq have been warring for exclusive access and militant control of that oil, so if the US steals it the violence will be aimed at whatever “certain group” Trump would leave in Iraq’s “various sections.”
Beyond all that, though, is the continued descent into madness for Rudy Giuliani. Every interview he gives is more unhinged than the last. Each one is tinged with bug-eyed reactions, crazed comments, inexplicable lies and a demeanor that borders on senility. It almost feels exploitative to have him on for an interview.
Below is video of the exchange, courtesy of ABC News:
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) September 11, 2016