Reason U.S. Stays in Syria Revealed: To Steal Its Oil


Eric Zuesse – TRANSCEND Media Service

19 Aug 2022 – Steven Sahiounie is an exceptionally reliable journalist on the Middle East, and is also the Editor-in-Chief of Mideast Discourse. I have never yet found him to have reported even a single false (or inaccurate) statement, and this is remarkable for a journalist on such a heavily propagandized subject-area. He reported on August 17th that:

Maher Ihsan is a journalist and political expert. He exposes the real purpose the US remains in Syria as occupiers. According to Ihsan, the US is stealing resources and imposing its will upon the political future of Syria. “Look at the situation now, the United States is controlling key gas and oil fields in oil-rich areas in Syria, it’s also controlling key agricultural areas … the United States didn’t come here to help, but to take advantage of the situation and impose their own will,” Ihsan said.

Ahmad Al-Ashqar, a journalist and political expert, echoed Ihsan’s views, that the US occupies and plunders the oil-rich regions in Syria.

On August 8, the Syrian oil ministry said in a statement that the average daily output of Syrian oil in the first half of 2022 is 80,300 barrels, while the US occupying forces and their mercenaries are stealing an average of 66,000 barrels a day, accounting for over 83 percent of Syria’s oil output.

According to the ministry, the prolonged crisis in Syria has cost Syria’s oil sector about 105 billion US dollars in direct and indirect losses.

One might say that stealing Syria’s oil is being done in order to impoverish the Syrian people so much so that they will turn against and overthrow Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, whom even Western-sponsored polls, which have been taken for years in Syria, have shown to be overwhelmingly the #1 person whom they want to be Syria’s President. However, whatever the reason might be as to why the U.S. regime is stealing Syria’s oil, the U.S. regime’s theft is equally illegal, and equally a gangster-operation that it is running there.

This operation has been going on for a decade now, under American Presidents Obama, Trump, and, currently, Biden.

Sahiounie’s report asserts that “President Trump ordered the withdrawal of US troops from Syria in December 2018, but the Pentagon would not agree with the order, and the US troops remain in two locations: one in the oil-rich north east region, and the other in the south east at Al-Tanf.” His source on that might have been U.S. news reports on 19 December 2018, such as “Trump orders rapid withdrawal from Syria in apparent reversal”; but, obviously, it turned out to have been false (like most U.S. news reports about international relations are).

On 9 August 2022, U.S. Colonel Douglas Macgregor discussed this matter in depth in a youtube interview. Two excerpts from it will be shown here. The first excerpt will provide background regarding America’s Military Industrial Complex or “MIC,” in order to explain the second excerpt; the second excerpt will be Macgregor’s historical account of how, when Macgregor personally finally drafted a U.S. withdrawal-order for the President to sign, which was limited ONLY to Afghanistan though Macgregor had tried to get Trump to approve U.S. withdrawals from also Iraq and Syria, Trump actually did sign it but refused to follow-through on it, and simply caved to the uniform opposition against his Constitutional command that came from both of the Parties in Congress, and despite the Commander-in-Chief’s having the sole authority to do this and the Congress having no authority against that order — Trump just didn’t care enough about the matter.

The truth is, the armed forces, especially the Army, the Marines, really exists in order to provide jobs for generals. So, you have this enormous bureaucracy that has built up over time. Today, we have, in the United States armed forces, 40 four-star generals and admirals. Now, to those who don’t understand what this means, in World War II, when we had 12.2 million men under arms fighting all over the world [and before President Truman created the U.S. ‘Defense’ Department in 1947], at the height of that war until the war was nearly over, we had only seven four-stars. Today, we have 1.1 million under arms, and we have forty.

Now, anyone who knows anything about the military knows that this kind of overhead is corrupting, it’s unnecessary, it constipates and slows down decision-making, it makes for bad policy. So, I think, in this sense, we’re banana-republic-like, and we have lots and lots of people running around as generals wearing lots and lots of medals, none of which have anything to do with fighting anybody under fire or killing anybody or being valorous, but having to do with, like, I was in the theater when this happened, and I was here when this happened, and my fellow generals rewarded me with more decorations. It’s embarrassing; this is a terrible mess that needs to be addressed.

[Questioner asks: Let me take you back to just a year or two ago. Did President Trump order the Pentagon to return a substantial number of our troops then in Afghanistan, and did the Pentagon, by hook or by crook, decline to comply with that order?]

[ANSWER:] What happened was as follows: The President, as you know, had first made an attempt in 2017 to extricate our forces from Afghanistan. He convened a meeting in the White House in the summer in July. All of the great men of defense were there, Mattis, his National Security Adviser at the time McMaster, other senior military people, advisors, cabinet, and the President said I think we’ve been there long enough, we are not accomplishing anything, and I think we should get out.

And the entire group stood up and obstructed his wishes, said no you can’t leave, the world as we know it will end, we will have sacrificed and we will have gained nothing, and he said we’ve already got nothing. What are we getting for it? How do we benefit from doing this? Why are we there? Why aren’t the regional actors involved? Of course, nobody wanted to hear that, so he gave up. He tried again a couple of times, and then finally, I was called to the White House, this would have been the 9th of November, and told that they had removed the Secretary of Defense and they were appointing a new temporary Secretary [This was right after the Biden-Trump election.]

He had fired Esper, Esper was always in lockstep with Milley [Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff], who was always running the show anyway. … They wanted no end to the conflict. And you had Mitch McConnell and everyone else on the Hill on the right, and most of the people on the left, who all were 100% onboard with keeping this conflict going and maintaining a presence there in perpetuity. And I was called in and I was asked to arrange a meeting with the new Secretary and John McIntee [Director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office] with a list of tasks for me to perform as the Senior Advisor to the new Secretary of Defense, and I said there’s only one man who can withdraw forces from Afghanistan, and that’s the Secretary of Defense. So I went back and I told the Secretary of Defense the next day, and I said … perhaps [numbers] 1 or 2 on this list [namely] specifically Afghanistan, we could make that happen. We could conceivably also remove forces from Syria and Iraq, that’s relatively easy, you could drive out quickly, but I said beyond that, I don’t think we could do that.

And he agreed. And I said, by the way, Mr. Secretary, I don’t think you could do this without a direct order from the President, that’s written. You’re an Acting Secretary. And he said I think you’re right. And I said I’ll get you an order. And so I left, and I called over to the White House, and we had discussed this the night before, and I said we’ve got to have an order. And they said what does the order have to say? And I drafted it, right then and there over the phone, gave them instructions. And I said let me know if you need anything else. A few hours later, about five in the afternoon, I get a frantic call from one of the NSC staffers, asking what are the legal authorities? And I said go and get a Presidential Decision Memorandum out of the file cabinet. His authorities under the Constitution [are there]. And, in addition to that, it will help you with distribution, show you who needs to receive the order.

So, he said, okay, got it, thanks so much. I never heard anything again, until Thursday afternoon [12 November 2020] and I was told that … the President had signed the order. I had hoped that we would get a draft, I had asked them to send a draft before it went final but it all took off on its own, [they had] changed some of the dates but essentially it said that everything is going to be out by 15 January. And keep in mind that pulling out of Afghanistan in the winter was always a very good idea because in the winter all of the people who might otherwise interfere with you are up in the mountains, next to stones in their caves.

They’re not wandering around in the open. It’s the low ebb in the so-called fighting-season. … Well, unfortunately, what happened was that he wrote this 15 January deadline, somebody [immediately] bootlegged [it] over to the Senate, and I guess Mitch McConnell went berserk, [saying] we can’t just leave, this is impossible, and subsequently Milley gets ahold of this, [and says] this cannot happen!, We are not leaving Afghanistan!! And there was a big pow-wow in the White House and all the principals were there, and the President backed down. That excerpt ends at


Biden came into the White House on 20 January 2021, and set a 1 May 2021 deadline, which was just about the worst season to do it, but the very worst time to do it was when the U.S. regime actually did it, which was 6 July 2021. The problem with America’s Government isn’t only that it is evil (such as by stealing Syria’s oil) but that it is also incompetent — in every way except serving the desires of America’s billionaires in both of its political Parties.

I think that if Douglas Macgregor won’t become America’s President on 20 January 2025, then either something is wrong with Douglas Macgregor (since no current member of Congress nor state Governor is up to the challenge that he clearly has already met — he therefore must now fulfill his unique duty to his nation (just as Lincoln and FDR did), or something is catastrophically wrong with America (since Americans have been keep getting evil and incompetent Presidents such as Bush, Obama, Trump, and now Biden), or else both will be true, and a WW III, global nuclear annihilation, will therefore be likely. That wouldn’t just be stupidity; it would be unimaginably evil, because totally unnecessary global destruction. That’s where things are heading. It’s why he is needed.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, of Christ’s Ventriloquists: The Event that Created Christianity, and of Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 22 Aug 2022.

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