Editorial

Can Trump grasp simple facts?

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

At various times since 2011, Donald Trump has repeated the view that the U.S. should have taken Iraq’s oil. Most recently, during a publicity event at CIA headquarters, Trump said, “If we kept the oil, you probably wouldn’t have ISIS because that’s where they made their money in the first place, so we should have kept the oil. But, okay, maybe we’ll have another chance.”

Trump is probably not aware of how he endangers Americans embedded with Iraqis fighting ISIS when he threatens to steal oil from Iraq, but does he even understand the physical act of taking oil?

Back in September of 2016, a Politifact article addressed an earlier suggestion of taking oil from Iraq, “Legal and ethical arguments aside, there would be massive practical challenges to keeping and holding Iraq’s oil. The experts pointed out that the United States does not have enough troops to protect all of Iraq’s oil fields from ISIS militants, let alone securing transportation routes and pipelines for export. It would take a permanent, massive presence to protect a static target from the tanks and heavy weaponry of an enemy with all the time in the world.”

But Trump gives every indication that he has no concept that oil fields, transportation and pipelines would need protecting for decades or that they’d be needed at all.

When he talks about how we should have taken the oil, he doesn’t say we should be taking the oil right now. We should have just done it and if we had done it, now we would have it. That’s a concept that takes less than 140 characters for Trump to explain.