In my continuing output of material inspired by the presidential debate, I must point out that Donald Trump wrongly criticized President Obama for pulling troops out of Iraq. Obama was simply following an agreement settled between President Bush and the then-government of Iraq.
To have broken the signed treaty and to have left troops in Iraq after the agreed upon withdrawal would have been stupid for two reasons.
First, our troops would have continued occupying the country and bleeding excessive taxpayer money, but in greater mortal danger than before because Iraqis would naturally be pissed that our troops were overstaying their government’s welcome. A continued occupation of Iraq would make Americans be seen as neo-colonizers, which would likely be met with mass riots and a sustained insurgency directed at America’s uninvited presence.
The second reason a continued occupation would have been stupid is that the status of forces agreement protecting American troops from being punished by Iraqi courts would no longer be in effect. Without it, the American government would not be able to effectively protect our soldiers from the whims, laws, and punishments of the Iraqi judicial system.
Not only would Iraqi citizens — who are already accustomed to militia fighting after years of civil war — take up arms against American troops, the Iraqi government would offer no assistance. American troops would only be safe on government bases and strictly locked down green zones while America militarily intervenes in Iraqi affairs.
The lesson of the first Iraqi occupation was that an American-dominated military junta government inspires little more than terror attacks. Blowback will naturally strike back against America as long as we meddle, and Obama is treading an intelligent political withdrawal from Iraq by working to build consensus with neighboring Middle Eastern countries to foster stability. This is why the Iran Deal was important. Iran will take over regional stability efforts in Iraq so America doesn’t have to.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump on the campaign trail regularly suggests that America should, and deserves to, steal Iraqi oil. For America to take the Iraqi oil as a spoil of war, America’s military would need tens of thousands of troops deployed again. To profit from the oil, America would need to hijack and protect vast distribution systems across Iraq for refining and transportation purposes. Do Trump voters really want American soldiers to continue to die in Iraq only to make oil companies wealthier, while inspiring Islamic extremists to commit terror attacks against the homeland on account of America’s neo-colonization of Iraqi oil fields?
Does America need to waste itself as an imperial power fighting a third war in Iraq in three decades? No. And who would profit from it? Poor Trump voters are not going to profit from the theft of Iraqi oil. Oil companies are not about to let the Iraqi oil profits trickle down. The profits will instead be spent to continue killing climate change legislation and stalling America’s inevitable conversion to green energy. And the CEOs will continue to quid-pro-quo-bribe the Republican Party to gut social spending so that the rich don’t have to pay for it in taxes. Trump voters aren’t getting a dime of Iraq’s oil money, but they will suffer the blowback consequences of terrorism inspired by America Robber Baron-in-Chief.
It seems Donald Trump has not thought one step beyond his Iraqi plunder. He is correct that America COULD occupy Iraq again and commandeer Iraq’s oil economy, but, really, America shouldn’t. A new occupation would erupt Iraq into turmoil again, turmoil united in its opposition to America’s theft of the only resource Iraq has to rebuild from America last occupation.
Also — as a closing side note — Trump is lying about being against the Iraq war. There is literally tape of him saying the opposite of what he claims now.