Trump advocates grand theft of Arab oil

Donald Trump’s cavalier attitude about taking natural resources of sovereign nation is very worrying.

2016/10/02 Issue: 75 Page: 6

The Arab Weekly
Claude Salhani

Donald Trump, the controversial Republi­can Party candidate for the White House, advocates stealing Iraqi and eventually Syrian oil if he were to become the 45th president of the United States.

“The world should pay us for defending them,” said Trump during the first presidential debate with Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton.

“We should have taken their oil” were the very words from the man who wants to become the next president of the United States, unbelievable as it may appear.

This was not the first time the New York billionaire businessman has said the United States should simply grab Iraq’s oil as payment for US involvement in the country’s conflicts.

“We cannot be the policeman of the world. We cannot protect the whole world,” Trump said.

Imagine the consequences of taking another country’s oil. Think of the repercussions it would have in the region and among America’s allies.

Trump also said he would revisit NATO agreements, particularly the clause stipulating that member states must come to the defence of any member country that is under attack.

But, as Clinton pointed out, the only time that Article 5 — the section of the NATO treaty in question — was activated was after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

Think of the mayhem it would create if US soldiers were to appropriate oilfields in the Middle East. Very likely there would not be a single US embassy left standing between Rabat and Kuala Lumpur. Hundreds of US diplomats would find themselves in a very precarious situation. Many would probably be taken hostage and some would be viciously executed, with the abominable deeds recorded and played over the internet.

A move by the United States to take Iraq’s oil would lead to a substantial number of countries pushing to sever trade agreements with Washington, in some cases rolling back decades of painstaking negotiations. US businesses overseas would be likely to face boycotts; exports would drop, affecting the bottom line of many firms.

While it may prove difficult to shut out a number of US companies due to the nature of their products and their deep penetration of foreign industries, still, many would find it more difficult to conduct business in parts of the Middle East and Asia after an oil grab. IBM, Microsoft, Apple, AT&T, Google, Nike, Coca-Cola, Ford, General Motors, Dell, Boeing, McDonald’s and Starbucks and others could be affected.

Some countries could decide to boycott US armaments, turning instead to European nations and Brazil. Tens of thousands of jobs would be lost in the United States, triggering quite possibly the worst financial crisis in history.

The mere fact that Trump even remotely pondered such a move on Iraq’s oil is a cause for great concern.

If you think there are people who are angered with the way the United States is conducting its Middle East policy now, imagine how things would be for Americans trying to live and work abroad with Trump sitting in the Oval Office.

Want a small aperçu? Rerun the tape of the storming of the US embassy in Libya in September 2012 and the killing of the American ambassador and members of his security detail. Now multiply this incident several fold.

Trump’s cavalier attitude about taking the natural resources of a sovereign nation is very worrying. His campaign slogan has been — all along — about wanting to make things right for Americans but he has yet to detail exactly how he plans to do that — other than to make matters worse for other countries.

The concerns with Trump and his foreign policies go further than taking Iraqi oil. My concern — shared by millions of others both in the United States and overseas — is his equally cavalier attitude on the possible use of nuclear weapons.

Claude Salhani is the Opinion section editor of The Arab Weekly.

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