I’m not going to say too much more I hope) about the sideshow (we hope) that is Donald Trump’s presidential bid, but I can’t help responding to his comments on foreign policy in interviews this past week. I didn’t see any of the interviews (that would require me to watch news on TV), but I read this account of them Sunday morning at my mother’s house. Here’s the bit that got my attention.
His Libya policy is simple. … “I would go in and take the oil. … I would take the oil and stop this baby stuff.” …
He holds similar views on Iraq. Trump worries that once U.S. troops leave, as they are set to do by the end of the year, the Iranians will move in. What is his solution? “We stay there, and we take the oil,” he says…
This is Trump’s foreign policy. The U.S. just goes into any country with oil and takes it. He worries that the U.S. “is a laughingstock throughout the world” because we haven’t been tough enough with other countries, so he wants to make us more hated than we’ve ever been before.
What’s the cost of invading, commandeering, and holding Libya’s oil fields? And Iraq’s? Perhaps Nigeria’s, too? Or Iran, Saudi Arabia and Mexico? Let’s not forget Norway and Venezuela. All of those countries produce more oil than Libya. Look out #6 Canada, Trump may have his eye on you, too.
Trump not only appears to be stuck in extended adolescence, where the idea of foreign policy as just going in and kicking ass excites him, but he has a very old-fashioned view of the purpose of war.
“In the old days,” he told Crowley, “when you have a war and you win, that nation’s yours.
But how often did that really work well, compared to just trading with them? And how many American soldiers’ lives is Trump willing to throw away just so the U.S. can control Libyan and Iraqi oil fields, rather than just buying oil from them?