August 8, 2014

"I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq."

Obama assured the American people, even as he stressed the importance of doing something.

We watched last night. Here's the video. He was speaking in the White House dining room, without an audience, and he used the style of teleprompter reading that has him looking to one side for a while and then to the other, as if he were addressing a roomful of people. I guess there were people in the room, technicians and advisers, but we TV-watchers were the audience, and the side-to-side business felt evasive. He looked and sounded half robotic and half scared.

I don't know what was really going on in his head...
... thousands of Iraqi civilians who are trapped on a mountain without food and water and facing almost certain death.... operations to help save Iraqi civilians stranded on the mountain... hiding high up on the mountain, with little but the clothes on their backs.  They’re without food, they’re without water.  People are starving.  And children are dying of thirst... descend the mountain and be slaughtered, or stay and slowly die of thirst and hunger... on that mountain -- with innocent people facing the prospect of violence on a horrific scale... what we’re doing on that mountain....
The vision of children dying of thirst on a mountain haunts the President, but not unmixed with the nightmare of the looming fall election. 
... the United States of America cannot turn a blind eye.  We can act, carefully and responsibly, to prevent a potential act of genocide.  
Doing nothing is not an option, but we also cannot do too much. Obama is trapped on his own mountain, but what he owes us — we who have put him on the mountain — is to do what is right, without taking any account of the fall elections, but you can see in his face and hear in his voice that he won't do that.
... targeted airstrikes, if necessary.... humanitarian airdrops of food and water... consulting with other countries -- and the United Nations -- who have called for action....
That's not much, and it must cheer the enemy in Iraq. Instead of explaining why he wouldn't do more, he spoke next to Americans he pictured thinking even this is too much:
I know that many of you are rightly concerned about any American military action in Iraq, even limited strikes like these.  I understand that.  I ran for this office in part to end our war in Iraq and welcome our troops home, and that’s what we’ve done.  As Commander-in-Chief, I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq.  And so even as we support Iraqis as they take the fight to these terrorists, American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq, because there’s no American military solution to the larger crisis in Iraq.  The only lasting solution is reconciliation among Iraqi communities and stronger Iraqi security forces.
I picture the enemy watching this video and laughing.

ADDED: "U.S. military jets carried out two airstrikes Friday on Islamist militants outside the Kurdish capital of Irbil, hours after President Obama authorized attacks against the Sunni extremists advancing on the northern Iraq city."


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Birkel said...

Rhythm and Balls:

You supported withdrawal of U.S. and Allied Armed Forces from the Iraqi theater despite warnings that awful things such as are happening would happen. Therefore, it is without question that you were indifferent to the likelihood of genocide in Iraq. Now that genocide is happening, you tell me you are concerned about genocide.

There is a logical disconnect in your professions. That same logical disconnect does not trouble my positions.

We are at an impasse.

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