Deplorable and Illogical

Rudy Giuliani on This Week this weekend:

STEPHANOPOULOS: They do emerge from September 11th. And one of the things that Donald Trump also said on Thursday night, again, is that we should’ve taken the oil of Iraq. Even if you could do that practically, and most experts say you couldn’t, wouldn’t that just be theft?

GIULIANI: Well, no. I — he said take it so that the Islamic State then would not have had it available…

STEPHANOPOULOS: But he said leave a force back there and take it, though.

GIULIANI: Leave a force back there and take it and make sure it’s distributed in a proper way. And —

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: That’s not legal, is it?

GIULIANI: Of course it’s legal. It’s a war.

(LAUGHTER)

GIULIANI: Until the war is over, anything’s legal.

That oil becomes a very critical issue. First of all, if that oil wasn’t there, we wouldn’t have the Islamic State.

First, the notion that “anything’s legal” during war is utterly deplorable.*

Second, it makes absolutely zero sense to state that “if that oil wasn’t there, we wouldn’t have the Islamic State.”  That oil is part of the overall political equation in that region is certainly true, but that is like saying water is wet–it is both true and unhelpful in an of itself in terms of proving some broader point.

The only way “if that oil wasn’t there, we wouldn’t have the Islamic State” works logically is if one is stating that it is unlikely the US would have been involved in the Middle East to the level that it has been over time sans the presence of oil and hence, among other things, likely no First Gulf War, no stationing of US troops in Saudi Arabia, no incensing Osama Bin Laden, no 9/11, no Second Gulf War, no aftermath of that war, no destabilization of Iraq, and (finally) no ISIS.  And yes, even that chain of causality is blatantly simplistic, but is a doctoral dissertation in comparison to what Giuliani is saying here.

Oh, and let’s note again before the post is over the call for war crimes and an utterly immoral, might-makes-right, approach to war fighting.  It is an incredibly disturbing thing for a campaign surrogate to be saying, especially at his level of influence and experience, not to mention someone who would likely serve in a Trump administration at a high level.

Like I said in the title of the post:  deplorable and illogical.

*It is the word of the week, and it just fits.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Quick Takes, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Kylopod says:

    Until the war is over, anything’s legal.

    If there was ever any doubt that Giuliani is a fascist, he’s clearly put it to rest.

  2. Hal_10000 says:

    I always love this “take the oil” business, like we can wave a magic wand the oil would teleport to the US. Taking the oil would have been a huge endeavor taking decades. It would have been easier just to annex Iraq. And what are they saying? We should have occupied the region for decades and stolen all the wealth of these countries. I remember when that was kookoo banana-pants lefty talk.

    Interesting “conservatism” there.

  3. MBunge says:

    I don’t think he knows what the heck he’s saying but it appears as if he’s brushing up against a rational argument.

    If we’re going to be the hegemon, then we should actually be the hegemon.

    Mike

  4. Jen says:

    This is the strangest election year ever. Normally a statement like this would (appropriately) be sending shock waves through every sensible person. This year it’s barely a blip.

  5. reid says:

    If only Steph had continued to press and made Rudy look like the buffoon-snake he is.

  6. grumpy realist says:

    @Hal_10000: And if we took the same effort, manpower, and ca$h that we used on the whole Iraq debacle and used it on energy research, building nuclear power plants, and more green power, we probably wouldn’t need to be worrying about the damn oil in the first place.

    AND we would have a lovely technology base we could sell to other countries.

    The US is becoming too effing stupid to survive, IMHO….

  7. JohnMcC says:

    It almost appears as if the Trumpkins are mired in some era from previous centuries. In addition to the mercantilism implicit in Mr Trump’s approach to international trade they are frank imperialists. Their arguments wouldn’t hold up in a freshman dorm room — until a couple of six-packs had been disposed of. Maybe after enough ethanol colonizing Iraq would seem like a great idea.

    What’s wrong with these people?

  8. gVOR08 says:

    @MBunge: I would have upvoted that comment if it wasn’t you. Most commenters on OTB would have said that meaning that if we don’t have the ruthlessness to act as hegemon maybe we should reexamine our role as half-assed hegemon. Absent evidence to the contrary I suspect you meant we should be a full-assed hegemon.

  9. MBunge says:

    @gVOR08:

    Well, mindless prejudice is alive and well.

    I don’t believe I have ever posted a single thing here that would make anyone think I support hegemony or mucking about in the affairs of other countries. If you can remember one, please let me know.

    But because I have the audacity to criticize Hillary Clinton, even though I’ve been fairly clear how little I think of Trump, you just automatically throw me in that “basket of deplorables.”

    Four legs good, two legs bad.

    Mike

  10. wr says:

    @MBunge: “Four legs good, two legs bad.”

    You know what would be really cool? If there was a right-wing commenter anywhere on the web who had read and could reference a book other than those read in high school.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    sans the presence of oil and hence, among other things, likely no First Gulf War, no stationing of US troops in Saudi Arabia, no incensing Osama Bin Laden, no 9/11, no Second Gulf War, no aftermath of that war, no destabilization of Iraq, and (finally) no ISIS.

    You didn’t go back nearly far enough, Steven. You have to go back to at least the establishment of Israel and more likely WW I.

  12. M.un.ch.bo.x says:

    …Ah the good professer is at it again….

    It is an incredibly disturbing thing for a campaign surrogate to be saying

    …what is disturbing is that you “teach” people your leftist drivel and your pc apologist crap for muslims.

    Instead the bulk of its money comes from oil revenues from fields under its control in western Iraq

  13. @M.un.ch.bo.x: It is telling that you think being opposed to war crimes is “leftist.”

  14. M.un.ch.bo.x says:

    War Crimes??? LOL!

    GIULIANI: Leave a force back there and take it and make sure it’s(oil)distributed in a proper way.

    I am opposed to your deplorable idiotic leftist apologist ramblings.
    Meanwhile you try (and fail) to twist his words into war crimes.
    Thanks to Zero we have the best funded terrorist groups roaming the west.
    When Zero isn’t abandoning Iraq he is giving payments to Iran.

    Oh And i suppose you haven’t heard about pressure cooker bombs in NYC???
    Don’t worry we can wait to hear your spin on that.
    Those poor bomb making muslimes #afterseptember11