Ret. Lt. General Mark Hertling explained on Wednesday that Donald Trump’s plan to take possession of Iraq’s oil was unworkable because the United States no longer practiced warfare techniques like stealing land and raping women.
During the Commander-in-Chief forum on MSNBC, Trump told host Matt Lauer that the U.S. should have taken Iraq’s oil because “to the victor go the spoils.”
“I cannot wrap my mind around the concept,” CNN host Anderson Cooper later noted. “Just from a military standpoint, all I see is you’re taking the oil of a sovereign nation, which is our ally, under this antiquated notion of to the victor go the spoils. They’re supposedly our ally.”
“Wouldn’t that turn everybody else against the United States if we are stealing Iraq’s oil?” Cooper wondered.
“Not if we were in the 16th Century,” Hertling replied. “But unfortunately we’re not, we’re in the 21st.”
Ret. Col. Cedric Leighton noted that Trump’s words were “something you might expect a Chinese military leader to say.”
“But it is not workable for our particular time and the particular region that we’re dealing with here,” Leighton said. “You want to raise the oil revenue for the countries that are effected by these conflicts and you want to give them a way in which to live their lives.”
“The idea of to the victor go the spoils, it implies that Iraq itself is the enemy,” Cooper observed. “And we have crushed them and now we’re taking their oil.”
“It implies that the U.S. military that’s there is a mercenary force,” Hertling pointed out. “It is not the American way of war to go and occupy land, steal its resources, rape its women and do the kind of things that Mr. Trump is saying.”
“It is a simplistic approach that is appealing to a certain percentage of Americans.”
Watch the video below from CNN, broadcast Sept. 7, 2016.