‘Take The Oil’: Trump Iraq Position Seen Putting Troops At Risk, PM Vows ‘Property Of The Iraqis’

This past Saturday, in a speech to officials with the Central Intelligence Agency, and several times through his 2016 campaign, President Donald Trump has suggested that the United States should “take the oil” from countries, such as Iraq, that it has intervened in militarily, as reported by Reuters and Haaretz. The president suggested that if the United States had claimed Iraqi oil after the 2003 invasion that it would have prevented ISIS from having access to such a large amount of capital and becoming the ominous presence that it is.

Recently, a coalition of U.S.-backed Iraqi forces, militias, and Kurdistan forces, as featured by the Inquisitr, reclaimed control of the eastern portion of Mosul, Iraqi’s second-largest city, from ISIS, which had ruled the city, originally with a population near 2.5 million, since June 2014. Rachel Maddow with MSNBC reports that children have begun attending classes again in recaptured eastern portions of Mosul, for the first time since ISIS took control.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi held a press conference on Tuesday, where he discussed the success of the allied operation to retake Mosul and was confronted by questions from reporters about Trump’s “take the oil” comments and if that was the reason U.S. forces were really in the country.

“It wasn’t clear what he meant,” Abadi was quoted at the news conference by Haaretz. “Did he mean in 2003 or to prevent the terrorists from seizing Iraq’s oil?”

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi address the United Nations.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi speaks at the United Nations General Assembly. [Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]

The PM went on to describe Iraq’s oil reserves as being the “property of the Iraqis.”

Maddow expressed a view that Trump’s words have created a dangerous situation for U.S. forces currently serving in Iraq. She explained that if Iraqi forces, serving alongside and being trained by U.S. forces, come to believe that the official policy of the United States has changed to one where it plans to claim Iraq’s oil, that “it is very dangerous for American troops.”

Maddow then featured a social media post shared by Iraqi BuzzFeed contributor Borzou Daragahi that features clips of Donald Trump speaking about taking Iraqi oil, translated with Arabic subtitles. The title of the video is reported to read “The politics of the new president of America toward Iraq.”

After describing Iraq as “corrupt,” in one of the clips, President Trump can be seen stating, “If it’s me, we take the oil.” He later states “give me a break” when considering if Iraq is really a “sovereign country” or not.

“There is no Iraq,” another clip of Trump speaking with Anderson Cooper from CNN shows. “There are no Iraqis. They’re broken up into so many different factions.”

President Donald Trump speaks.
President Donald Trump addresses those gathered at the Department of Homeland Security, on January 25. [Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]

Maddow noted that on Saturday, Donald Trump’s “first full day in office,” he restated his belief, seen as official U.S. policy, that the United States should have kept Iraq’s oil after the 2003 invasion. The MSNBC host reported former President Obama administration Deputy Pentagon Spokesman Gordon Trowbridge’s Twitter statement that as long as Trump’s “take the oil” words stand, U.S. troops are at “greater risk.”

Rachel Maddow expressed her thoughts that the reason White House Press Secretary Rob Spicer has not walked back the president’s comments is because taking the resources of sovereign nations appears to be “the policy of the United States” under the presidency of Donald Trump. The MSNBC host continued that the White House needs to address Trump’s statements about claiming Iraqi oil, in order to ratchet down the level of tension that is building in the Middle Eastern nation, or explain “why they don’t care” about the danger the current situation creates for U.S. forces serving there.

[Featured Image by Carl Court/Getty Images]

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