(Xinhua) In most literary works, robbers are often portrayed wearing masks as an iconic symbol.
The rationale behind donning a mask during acts of plunder signifies that even the most ruthless and malicious one still maintains a basic reverence for social norms, and shows some sense of shame in the face of indignity and disgrace.
However, when describing Washington’s acts of oil and resource plundering in countries like Syria, the traditional image of a masked robber fails to match with its behavior.
Robberies committed by the United States, in essence, differ little from those of conventional bandits: it deceives, steals, and robs. The only distinction is that the United States seldom bothers to operate with stealth. It eschews wearing masks, and even dons uniforms to take spoils and raises its flag to assert dominance.
Were you to find a suitable illustration of Washington’s deplorable behavior, a striking one would be that of a robber unmasked.
The U.S. forces, as Syria’s state news agency SANA has reported, have stolen and illegally transported a substantial amount of wheat bran and oil from Syria’s northeast province of Hasakah to its bases in Iraq.
Still, the U.S. military has long been using truck convoys to pilfer oil and other resources in Syria.
According to official data released by Syria, over 80 percent of the country’s oil production in the first half of 2022 was plundered by the U.S. military and its supported armed forces.
These brazen acts of resource theft in countries like Syria serve two purposes.
To reap colossal profits through the appropriation of valuable resources. According to Syria’s official data released in 2022, direct losses resulting from assaults committed by U.S. forces, militias, and affiliated terrorist entities on Syrian territory totaled 25.9 billion U.S. dollars. Of these, a staggering 19.8 billion dollars can be attributed to the looting of oil, gas, and mineral resources, while an additional 3.3 billion dollars resulted from vandalizing and ransacking facilities.
On top of it, by depriving disobedient governments of vital resources, to dent their endeavor to upgrade infrastructure, improve the lives of their citizens, and pursue national development. This deliberate resource plundering bolsters Washington’s unjustified attacks against these targeted governments, as it typically portrays them as incapable of effective governance due to insufficient resources.
No stranger to the rest of the world is Washington’s self-serving behavior of exploiting other countries for their own gain. Recently, the United States has reportedly authorized the sale of shares belonging to a subsidiary of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, despite opposition from the Venezuelan government.
Fleecing impoverished Afghanistan, the United States has frozen its overseas assets since 2021, and is scheming to redirect these resources for their own purposes. Besides, it has been seizing Iranian oil tankers on international trade routes, surreptitiously bringing Iranian oil back to the United States for sale and attempting to legitimize this act of robbery as “imports.”
As the United States pursues its political agenda through calculated maneuvers, it is the local populace who bears the brunt.
Throughout the protracted Syrian crisis, the loss of life has been horrendous, with at least 350,000 casualties recorded and a significant portion of adults enduring poverty below the breadline. Two-thirds of the population relies on humanitarian aid as a lifeline, while over half lack reliable access to food, leaving them vulnerable to hunger and insecurity.
Standing in front of a mirror, Washington might still balk at fathoming the outline of its vision as a despicable plunderer under the global gaze. As Ali Asta, a Syrian resident, lamented, “America is Syria’s greatest enemy. They came to Syria under the pretext of anti-terrorism, but in reality, they plundered our wheat and oil … America is the enemy of everyone.”