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James Mattis: America ‘Not in Iraq to Seize Anybody’s Oil’

James Mattis: America ‘Not in Iraq to Seize Anybody’s Oil’

U.S. forces will continue to help Iraq to expel the Islamic State.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis held talks with Iraqi leaders on Monday where he promised them that America has not interfered with the country to take its oil. From The Wall Street Journal:

“I think all of us here in this room, all of us in America, have paid for our gas and oil all along and I’m sure that we will continue to do so in the future,” he told reporters in Abu Dhabi before arriving in Iraq on Monday. “We are not in Iraq to seize anybody’s oil.”

Instead, America remains committed to helping Iraqi officials oust the remaining Islamic State militants. Both sides continue to try to put aside their differences to eliminate the threat the group poses to both.

At the end of the meeting, Mattis spoke with reporters. He admitted that the U.S. will probably keep troops in Iraq as the army attempts to retake Mosul from the militants.

Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, stood with Mattis at the conference:

“I imagine we’ll be in this fight for a while and we’ll stand by each other,” Mattis said.

Townsend, who was standing by Mattis, declined to say how long the U.S. will stay in Iraq. But, he said, “I don’t anticipate that we’ll be asked to leave by the government of Iraq immediately after Mosul.” He added, “I think that the government of Iraq realizes their very complex fight, and they’re going to need the assistance of the coalition even beyond Mosul.”

Townsend also acknowledged that U.S. forces are now operating closer and deeper into the fight with Iraq units as the battle to retake western Mosul entered its second day.

The terrorist group captured Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, in the summer of 2014.

Over the weekend, Iraqi forces began a new ground offensive “to retake the western side of Mosul from Islamic State, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said, breaking a weekslong stall in the battle for the city.”

Iraqi forces dropped leaflets over the city to let the civilians know about the offensive:

“It’s your last chance to drop weapons, to quit Daesh, since Daesh is a stranger in our country and our moderate religion,” they read, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State.

Townsend told reporters that the U.S. forces have started “operating closer and deeper into the fight.” At first, the forces only worked at the headquarters, but now they offer advice and assistance:

More recently they have been moving closer to the battlefront, working with brigade, battalion and sometimes smaller units. But they are generally with command and control units, not in combat on the front lines.

“We embedded advisers a bit further down into the formation,” Townsend said.


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The Iraqis rightly don’t trust us anymore.

They know as soon as a chickenshit Democrat gets elected they’re going to be hung out to dry again.

    Tom Servo in reply to Olinser. | February 20, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    I’d say that trust went out the window the day we bugged out and let Isis overrun half the country.

    Trust is kind of like virginity – once it’s gone, it’s gone.

    MattMusson in reply to Olinser. | February 21, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Reality Check – America cares until it doesn’t. Aside from Special Forces raids we will withdraw from the Middle East. The USA has not imported significant amounts of Middle Eastern Crude for 10 years – (Except California) So, the USA no longer want to spent time, money and blood defending other people’s oil.

Does anybody really believe we’re in it for the oil ?
Back before Obama did his ‘cut and run’, the Iraqis had already made deals with everybody except the US.

    puhiawa in reply to Neo. | February 21, 2017 at 1:18 am

    Few remember that. But I do. I say adios to the lot of these ingrates. They like chaos, rape, torture endlessly. Let them have. And as soon as they cross the border, kill them.

    MattMusson in reply to Neo. | February 21, 2017 at 10:42 am

    USA has not imported significant Middle Eastern Oil in 10 years. North America is functionally energy independent and USA is exporting crude for first time in 40 years.

    (used to be illegal to export crude. But they slipped the change into one of those budget resolutions)

Nothing new in this. From Show and Awe and for the next eight years, the Iraqis made this claim on a daily basis. At first I thought it was Iranian propaganda being cycled through their tools

More silliness.

Next week, they’ll grill the new National Security Advisor on whether he thinks there was a recent terror attack in Sweden. The headlines will all be about how even the NSA disagrees with President Trump’s absurd statement(*).

(* As mischaracterized in the media.)

…. but nope, it was bandied about just as frequently in Sunni precincts. Took me a while to realize that this sort of conspiracy cult is endemic throughout the region.

So… why are we there? Not to rain on things, but, if we are there to “help iraq drive out the islamic state”, how do you do that and leave different islamists in charge? I mean, unless you are willing to push out that entire culture, what is going to be different? Plus, the iraqis don’t seem to have a lot of give-a-crap about fighting for their own country. The kurds do, they get it, but they don’t get a country. The only cohesive cultural group over there fighting for themselves and the world turns their back on them because no one wants to piss off Turkey. The Turks, who are themselves becoming an islamic state hostile to the west. The sunnis fight with the shia and they both hate us but we are in there to punish isis. I’m skeptical of any progress in this at all.

    Anonamom in reply to PaterNovem. | February 21, 2017 at 9:18 am

    I agree.

    Unless and until we can come up with precise, well-defined, and achievable goals, we need to stay out of the Middle Eastern morass(es).

“We” are there because Obama in his rush to win the war against the Republicans decided to lose the battle against Islamic terrorism.

Now “we” are having to go back to clean up the mess Barry and his ignorant harvard graduates made by creating the vacuum Isis needed to exist.

Good luck on waiting for the media to start reporting anything other than the alt truth on this!!


    davod in reply to mailman. | February 22, 2017 at 5:28 am

    I was all for deposing Sadaam. However, just as in Syria, Egypt, and Libya, the unintended consequences of intervention, military or otherwise, was the slaughter, and defilement, of innocents, including religious minorities such as Christians. Isis just made it more public and more Islamic.

My memory may be faulty, but didn’t COngress pass a law against US companies making deals for Iraqi oil during the W administration?

And didn’t Der Donald blow a lot of gas about taking ME oil where we were engaged militarily?

So wasn’t Mattis just cleaning up the boss’ crap? Smoothing over the concerns that T-rump had raised?

    Get a grip.

    As I recall, the new Iraqi government was all set to allow US companies to compete for oil concessions when the Demonrats, and other various ratbags, screamed from the worlds roof tops, no war for oil, no war for oil. The Iraqi government got the message and removed the US companies from the process.

    Talk about not taking partisan political fights outside our own borders.

At this point, I say screw them.
Pump every drop of oil from that 3rd world crap-hole, store it in the U.S. for our own uses, and pull out.
Leave them to their own devices and they can kill each other to their hearts content.

Sorry the man has to be part of the pooper scooper brigade.