When the anti-United States crowd rant that Iraq 2.0 is about stealing oil and building empire and whatever other lefty topic du jour manages to penetrate their multi-layered tin foil hats they tend, in their inimical fashion, to overlook the fact that history is against them.
Let's have a look at recent conflicts starting from 1990 (the result is the same if you start with 1980, 1970, 1960, 1950, 1940...) and see how much oil the US has 'stolen' from its major military operations and how much land was added to the US 'empire'.
1990: Protection of Saudi Arabia - George HW Bush builds up troops in the Persian Gulf to help protect Saudi Arabia after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. Oil stolen: Nil; Land acquired: Nil.
1991: Liberation of Kuwait - Gulf War commenced on January 16 and ended on February 28. Oil stolen: Nil; Land acquired: Nil.
1991-96: Protection of Iraq's Kurdish population - Operation Provide Comfort provided humanitarian aid and military protection to Kurds fleeing their homes due to Saddam's oppression. Oil stolen: Nil; Land acquired: Nil.
1992-93: Attempt to end Somali Civil War - Operation Restore Hope ended in failure after a force that was far too small for the task assigned to it attempted to overthrow Somali warlord Mohamed Aidid. Oil stolen: Nil; Land acquired: Nil.
1994-95: Restoration of order to Haiti - Operation Uphold Democracy saw many thousands of troops involved in returning order to Haiti and establishing humanitarian services. Typically, UN troops replaced the US ones after US did the heavy lifting. Oil stolen: Nil; Land acquired: Nil.
1995: Bosnia - Operation Deliberate Force saw the first use of NATO in a military capacity against the brutal regime of Slobodan Milosevic. Oil stolen: Nil; Land acquired: Nil.
1999: Protect Kosovar Albanians from genocide - Operation Allied Force was NATO's second ever (and last) military operation, deployed to deal with mass slaughter of ethnic Kosovar Albanians, estimated at over 100,000 (obviously, Europeans being slaughtered is much more important than when the same thing happens on a larger scale in Africa). Oil stolen: Nil; Land acquired: Nil.
2001: Free Afghanistan from the Taliban - The start of the War On Terror and Operation Enduring Freedom deposes the Taliban and enables elections to be held for the first time. Operations ongoing against Al Qaeda forces. Oil stolen: Nil; Land acquired: Nil.
2003: Overthrow of Saddam Hussein - Second Gulf War successfully achieves its goal of overthrowing the savage dictator but fails to quickly re-establish order and remains in a major conflict with Al Qaeda, Syrian and Iranian opponents. Oil stolen: Nil; Land acquired: Nil.
So, in every conflict of any great magnitude that the US has been involved in since 1990 the sum total of oil stolen is nil and there have been a total of zero square miles added to the US empire - regardless of whether there's been a Republican or Democrat in the White House.
The history of US military interventions also shows that, far from the constant anti-war chanting of trendy lefties, war is indeed the answer.
Why not ask the people of Grenada or Panama whether they should have been left to their own devices in the 1980s or whether it was better to have the US get involved, stealing no oil and annexing no land along the way?
The fact is that in spite of all of the accusations of impropriety from all over the globe, the United States has a stronger moral compass than the rest of the world, as it demonstrates time and time again when pushing to resolve conflicts. The Europeans need to have a long, hard look at themselves. Their approach to the great issues of the world borders on cultural narcissism.