Plunder, me hearties! Plunder! Yo Ho Ho and a barrel of oil!


"President Trump wants it known that — despite his recent decision to pull back the U.S. militarily back from previously Kurdish-held territory in Syria — he plans on “keeping the oil” in Syria and using American troops to do it.

If he follows through, he’ll set a dangerous precedent — and might commit a war crime.

Keeping Syria’s oil could well constitute pillage — theft during war — which is banned in Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the 1907 Hague Laws and Customs of War on Land, which states, “The pillage of a town or place, even when taken by assault, is prohibited.” The prohibition has a solid grounding in the laws of war and international criminal justice, and the U.S. federal code, including as a sanction for the illegal exploitation of natural resources such as oil from war zones.'  washpo

"Trump’s more grave rationale is his conception of oil as remuneration for U.S. military investment in the Middle East. In a speech Oct. 29, he said: “We want to keep the oil. $45 million a month? Keep the oil.” It mirrors a sentiment he expressed to ABC News in 2011 about Iraqi oil, saying, “You win the war and you take it. … You’re not stealing anything. … We’re taking back $1.5 trillion to reimburse ourselves.” That argument goes well beyond the notion of securing the oil — it suggests trying to profit from it — and therefore risks triggering responsibility for pillage. Contrary to Trump’s characterization, pillage is a form of stealing.

None of this is a new line of thinking for Trump: As a private citizen in 2011, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, commenting on U.S. military involvement in Libya, he said: “I’m only interested in Libya if we take the oil. If we don’t take the oil, I’m not interested.” Regarding Iraq, he said: “I always heard that when we went into Iraq, we went in for the oil. I said, ‘Ah, that sounds smart.’ ” Indeed, he sounded disappointed during his televised announcement last week of the killing of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, when he returned to the subject of oil and lamented: “I always used to say … ‘If they’re going into Iraq, keep the oil.’ They never did. They never did.”"  washpo

Barry McCaffery has commented on Twitter that if we do this we are becoming pirates.  As he says, the oil belongs to Syria.
I agree.  pl


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23 Responses to Plunder, me hearties! Plunder! Yo Ho Ho and a barrel of oil!

  1. PirateLaddie says:

    I don’t know – “OrangeBeard the Pirate” just don’t seem to cut it.

  2. Fred says:

    We’re watching civil war unfold in the US and these pompous asses are busy trying to sponge up Syrian oil, the trivial amount of stuff that is land-locked hundreds of miles from any territory we control or is friendly to the US? God help us who is advising the tweeter in chief? Can’t Trump read an oil price chart any better than Fauci can read a Covid infection rate? Did his son-in-law tell him what a great idea that would be? Are the warrior generals who wouldn’t defend this nation’s capital against antifa, with the tacit consent at sedition by Esper, in agreement with this line of strategic wisdom too? Maybe Senator Graham, who just yesterday finally cornered Sally Yates into admitting under oath that the FISA warrant on Carter Page was a fraud, is covering his bases in case the left’s “resistance” to the November election results in antifa marching into D.C. to bring Biden’s secret choice as V.P. into power? We have less reason to be in Syria than we do to still be defending Germany and the rest of Europe from the USSR.

  3. Mark Logan says:

    Pirate Laddie,

  4. turcopolier says:

    Mark Logan
    You too had them?

  5. Mark K Logan says:

    No, I’ve never felt a need to have them. What should Trump’s pirate name be?

  6. turcopolier says:

    Mark Logan
    Manhattan Don.

  7. Well, with avarice as the guiding principle of the Trump administration’s foreign policy, at least there’s no hypocrisy. Just pure, unadulterated greed. The honesty is almost admirable. But I don’t know how our Iranian policy fits into the avarice doctrine.
    As far as Trump’s pirate name goes, I do like the sound of “Bonespurs.” I can see the flag flying from the mainmast… a skeleton foot of or on a field of sable.

  8. Yeah, Right says:

    As an army of occupation the US military could requisition the oil, but according to the Hague Regulations it can do so only for its own needs. It can not do so for the fun and profits of the foreign state that sent that army in.
    If you really, really, really squint hard then perhaps there is wriggle room under Article 55 i.e. Trump can claim that he is the usufructuary of the territory, and therefore can benefit from the pumping.
    But arguing that would be a hopeless brief.
    So, yeah, Trump as a medieval warlord. Perhaps he’ll also reintroduce the practice of prima nocta.

  9. turcopolier says:

    I would accept the idea of Trump’s inability to distinguish between government and business, but people like Jeffries and the Pomp are neocon ideologues through and through. Nothing more.

  10. pl,
    True. Avarice is subject to reason and calculation. The neocon ideologues are not and they are rife with unreasonable contradictions and hypocrisies. If Trump wasn’t plagued by the likes of Jeffery and Pompeo, We may have been out of the region by now. That would have been something grand to run on.

  11. Mathias Alexander says:

    All that stuff about The Hague and The Geneva Convention doesn’t matter in the New Rule Based Order. The rule is “we own everything so just obey the orders.”

  12. ked says:

    “ the Fourth Geneva Convention and the 1907 Hague Laws and Customs of War on Land”
    Trump, his monied manipulators, his moralist theocrats, his family gang & all the hangers-on laugh at words written on paper. They laugh harder at the rubes who think written words mean anything at all. It’s an orgy of seizing and applying power by those who have it to their personal satisfaction. I am surprised anyone thinks the Orange Era wouldn’t end up like it has.

  13. turcopolier says:

    I’ll let this be posted as an example of crazed leftist propaganda.

  14. different clue says:

    Mathias Alexander,
    We should really try and get this piratical approach reversed and stepped-back-from, if we can.
    Because if “we own everything so just obey the orders” really does become the New Rule for a new Rules Based Order, and it remains the New Rule for CommuNazi China to inherit the power and the ownership and apply the New Rule, we really won’t like it. Not at all. Not one tiny little bit.

  15. Leith says:

    It’s not just Pom-Pom & Jeffries. While we weren’t looking, Trump has appointed Elliot Abrams to be the US Special Representative for Iran. Abrams is a neocon, a convicted misdemeanant, an israel-firster, and head cheerleader for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

  16. ked says:

    Thank you, Col. I’ve been called worse. Although I don’t see much evidence to the contrary of my assessment. Do you really think the Trump circle worries much about formally established documents when there’s always an Executive Order to be issued (irony alert), or simply ignoring them works so well?
    In other news, I am curious on your take regarding this news;

  17. turcopolier says:

    the al-jabri caper is merely typical of Saudi Arabia and MBS. The rest of your statement is an expression of your hatred of a conservative administration. IOW, that is just your opinion and more propaganda. You do remember I hope how fond of EOs Obama was?

  18. AndreL says:

    Perhaps Trump instinctively follows the Wehrmacht practice of imposing ‘occupation costs’ (Besatzungskosten) on conquered lands in WW2. Hitler sent German industry reps out to see what they could hoover up for the benefit of the Reich. For example, a Krupps employee was happy to report to Berlin that “the entire output of Greek mines of pyrites, iron ore, chrome, nickel, magnesite, manganese, bauxite and gold was obtained for Germany on a long-term basis.“

  19. ked says:

    Col, I don’t view Trump’s to be a conservative administration – not in the American tradition of conservatism. Maybe conservative like the Cosa Nostra. I don’t wish to fill your site with examples of his gangster style & behavior – that would be impolite. And devolve into rock-throwing at sources anyway.
    Yes, I do recall Obama’s fondness for EOs … just as I recall McConnell’s public commitment to stopping anything he attempted to achieve via Legislation. The EO, like most instruments of our governance, has been corrupted in ways never intended (often not even imagined) by its originators. There’s enough blame to go around for everyone. I don’t hate Trump, I don’t think he’s evil. I simply think he is a bad person who has made for a bad presidency.
    I’ve never been convinced his presidency could (or would actually want to) break the Deep State. I have been hopeful his reign would teach us that we’ve granted far too much power in the Office & we might, through experiencing how dangerous unbalanced power can be, turn from Imperial (or Unitary) Presidency to one much more like the Civil Executive that the founder’s devised.

  20. turcopolier says:

    No. You should give us your list of his “gangsta” activities and we will answer them in detail.

  21. ked says:

    Boy, that’s alotta work! Here are a few of the categories of acts that strike me as clearly gangsta-like:
    – $-making deals for personal gain, via gov office.
    “U.S. ambassador to Britain told several people in 2018 that Trump was pushing him to get the British government to steer the lucrative British Open golf tournament to a Trump-owned resort in Scotland.”
    – $-making Biz deals hardwired for cronies & political donors during his presidency,
    – retaliation / revenge against gov officials (like IGs) for investigations that touch on his Office;
    – appointment of incompetent pols to sr gov positions / “pay to play”;
    – use of Federal LE as a politicized secret police;
    For context on Trump’s MO, there’s this on Netflix;
    A decent summation of the style of the Trump State;
    Mob-style operations does not depend upon a legal finding of criminality. Nor do I accept that “everyone does it” is sufficient excuse. All politicians should be exposed for “gangsta” behaviors that touch directly on Constitutionality. It’s unfortunate that it has become a partisan gaming opportunity. It’s a shame that corrective critique rarely arises (or is allowed!) from within a core support group (party, base, family, whatever) anymore – to achieve “a more perfect governance” as the nation strives to form a more perfect union.

  22. turcopolier says:

    Once again, the phrase a more perfect union in the preamble refers to a more efficient fomr of government, not a secular paradise.

  23. ked says:

    And that’s why I referenced it, Col.
    As a realist, I am inclined towards less paradise, less ideology, less partisanship, less theocratic urge, less Q-anon in our Nation’s secular order, and more efficiency, more utility, more pragmatism, more good works of the internal improvements type. Wouldn’t it be nice to revisit the American System fused with an obligatory citizen’s service program to address worn-out / obsolete infrastructure?

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