IRVING, Texas — Stating that the faction represents “part of an appropriate range of political representation” in Iraq, ExxonMobil endorsed the presence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria as a viable governmental choice to lead the Iraqi people.
The oil giant’s endorsement was issued despite what the company called a “wave of misleading publicity” about ISIS’ alleged responsibility for a series of atrocities and terrorist attacks.
“Supporting political diversity in the Middle East is good for business, and what’s good for business is good for America,” said ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson in a brief but emphatic statement.
Industry analysts suggest that gas prices rising are likely to rise by 5 to 10 cents a gallon over the coming weeks. ExxonMobil’s internal studies indicate it could be even more.
“The presence of ISIS is a big part of that,” Tillerson added when asked to explain the endorsement. “We think we have a shot at getting back to 4 bucks a gallon here, maybe $5 if we’re lucky. This group can help us get there. It’s part of a broad-based program of give-and-take that will help stabilize gas prices at home—and we anticipate a bump abroad as well.”
ExxonMobil downplayed the recent violence attributed to ISIS, which includes video footage of air attacks on military positions near Baghdad released by the Iraqi government, as well as recent images posted by ISIS showing the massacre of Iraqi soldiers.
“It’s just part of the cost of doing business in the Middle East,” the CEO explained. “These are militants. They believe in jihad. These people don’t necessarily want to do things our way. They’ve been at each other’s throats for a thousand years. Who are we to dictate their choice of government?
This is simply democracy in action. It’s about freedom of choice.”
When asked about the deployment of up to 275 U.S. troops into Iraq to provide security for American interests, Tillerson indicated that ExxonMobil simply takes a neutral business stance.
“We support any patriotic action taken by the American government as correct and necessary,” he stated. “Anything that drives up demand for oil at home and abroad is a plus for ExxonMobil, and troops will need oil to fulfill their mission. We’ll be on alert to supply whatever’s necessary at the maximum price the market will bear.
It’ll be business as usual for us,” Tillerson concluded. “You can count on that.”