Stealing Syrian oil exposes US nature as a robber
Published: Aug 30, 2022 08:12 PM
US plunders oil in Syria. Cartoon: Vitaly Podvitski

US plunders oil in Syria. Cartoon: Vitaly Podvitski

Last week, the US conducted fresh rounds of air strikes in Syria, and meanwhile, its efforts to steal Syria's oil have come to a new high. The US wants to be the world's police, but its practices expose that the country is merely a global hooligan, bully, and robber.

The US occupation forces on Monday brought out 123 tankers loaded with Syrian oil from al-Jazeera fields toward Iraqi lands, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency. The report said that the US occupation forces on August 21 transported a convoy of 137 tankers filled with stolen oil to their bases in Iraq. On August 8, the Syrian Oil Ministry said that the US and its mercenaries were stealing an average of 66,000 barrels of oil per day in Syria, about 80 percent of Syria's daily oil production.

As a matter of fact, the US has been stealing Syria's oil for several years. But now, in the context of factors such as the ongoing Ukraine crisis holding oil prices near their highest levels in years, the US can gain far more from stealing Syria's oil. 

"By doing so, Washington hopes to use resources obtained in war to support that war - to sustain its military operations and expenditures in Syria and even the entire Middle East," Tian Wenlin, a research fellow at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times, "In this way, the US also wants to weaken the incumbent Syrian government economically."

Syria's economy is now in a state of plight. After more than a decade of war, it has retrogressed to what it was like decades ago, with severe problems such as currency devaluation and shortages of food and energy. The military efforts by the US and the West have not defeated the administration of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but the current economic crisis puts Syria in a quite challenging situation. As oil is a major pillar of Syria's economy, by stealing it, the US is actually attempting to worsen the Middle Eastern country's economy and undermine local people's livelihoods. In this way, Washington intends to overthrow the current Syrian government.

But to a larger degree, the US' violations of Syria's sovereignty and plundering of the Middle Eastern country's resources are for the sake of its own interests, that is, to advance more economic gains.

What does Washington truly care about in the Middle East? Democracy? human rights? or good governance? The answer is none of these, but the access to resources such as oil. The chaos in the region can help the US seize more natural resources and show its influence. Washington's recent air strikes toward Syria and theft of its oil are a vivid demonstration that it is greed and interests that have dominated US diplomacy, not democracy and good governance as it has always claimed. 

For many years, the US has launched countless wars in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, under the banner of "countering terrorism." It now appears that those counterterrorism operations are perhaps a tool to serve US interests. Washington's talk of counterterrorism is only an empty one, because, judging from the results, the US and the rest of the world have not become safer. Instead, more chaos was brought to them because of Washington's wars on terror.

The US claims itself to be the "beacon of democracy" and a "model for democracy." But at the same time, it grossly violates the sovereignty of other countries and grabs the resources of other countries, which is a deliberate violation of the true essence of "democracy" and "human rights." Tian said that the US touts about benevolence, righteousness and morality, but it has never really taken the safety, well-being or survival of people in non-Western countries, including Syria, seriously. It can be seen that in the past decade, the US actions, including stealing Syrian oil, have exacerbated the humanitarian disaster in Syria. In this sense, the US is a destroyer of Middle East stability, rather than a builder.

The US' so-called values such as "democracy" are a fig leaf to cover up US intervention, aggression, plundering of resources and its pursuit of hegemony. Anyone who has a deep understanding of the complexity of international politics will know that "democracy" is just an excuse for the US to intervene in other countries and maintain its own hegemony. The actual intention of the US' series of interventions around the world is to serve its absolute hegemony, to allow the resources of all countries in the world to be used by the US, and to squeeze out all of its competitors.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn