The New York Times ran an article on June 18th entitled, “What the Islamic State Has Won and Lost.” What struck me in the piece is the Times’ statement that, “The group’s (ISIS’) oil and gas revenue is down 26 percent since last year but still adds up to about $23 million a month …”
Here’s my question. Why haven’t we taken out all of the self-proclaimed Islamic State’s captured oil wells and pipelines. We know what cities and towns and other territories ISIS controls. Oil and gas storage tanks, oil and gas pumps, oil and gas pipelines, and all other oil and gas production and transmission facilities are surely fully visible to our satellites and air force. There can truly be no excuse for not eliminating all of this infrastructure immediately.
ISIS is among the most malevolent organizations to ever disgrace humanity. They are inflicting unspeakable horrors on civilians on a daily basis. They are sending or inciting terrorist attacks in our country and in Europe. And we are letting them earn $23,000,000 a month, which is over a quarter of a billion dollars a year via oil and gas installations that we can surely eliminate in the course of a day?
Either the NY Times source is miles off base or something is terribly wrong with the way we are conducting our war on ISIS. Some people have suggested that ISIS’ oil and gas is being shipped through Turkey, which is collecting a piece of the action, and that we are afraid to upset Turkey by destroying their income stream. If that’s the case, the President is making a terrible call. We need to take out this major ISIS revenue source whether doing worsens our relationship with Turkey or not.
For its part, Turkey, which has, itself, experienced ISIS’ terrorist attacks, needs to fully engage its military in defeating ISIS. As it stands from news reports, Turkey is pretending to fight ISIS while attacking the Kurds, our top ally in the fight against ISIS. Indeed, Vice President Biden has, in the past, accused Turkey of financing ISIS. Turkey is also playing an immigration card when it comes to permitting Syrian immigrants to freely travel to Europe.
This may be poorly informed speculation, but Turkey seems to be blackmailing us and the European Union to preserve its ISIS revenue source at the threat of launching more attacks on the Kurds and sending hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees through Turkey into the European Union.
It’s time for the President to come clean with the country on what game he’s playing here and why.