The sudden unannounced arrival of the top US military officer General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at a dusty American base in Syria’s remote northeast on Friday may call to mind a famous quote by Dick Cheney, vice-president in the George W Bush presidency:
“The good Lord didn’t see fit to put oil and gas only where there are democratically elected regimes friendly to the United States. Occasionally we have to operate in places where, all considered, one would not normally choose to go. But we go where the business is.”
According to eyewitness accounts, as recently as last week, on 27 February, US troops transported at least 34 tankers filled with stolen Syrian oil through the illegal Al-Mahmoudiya border crossing to their bases in Iraq. In the estimation of the Syrian foreign ministry, the cumulative losses incurred by the country’s oil and gas sector on account of theft and other US actions were to the tune of $107 billion as of August last year.
Oil is a unique mineral that anaesthetises thought, blurs vision, corrupts. But according to a Reuters report, Milley’s visit was about something else than oil — purportedly “to assess efforts to prevent a resurgence” of the Islamic State militant group and “review safeguards for American forces against attacks, including from drones flown by Iran-backed militia.”
Among the diverse set voting in favor include Gaetz, Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Harriet Hageman (R-WY), Chip Roy (R-TX) Cori Bush (D-MO), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) Ro Khanna (D-CA), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).
Here’s the roll call for the Yea votes. Democratic members’ names are italicized:
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