I fully and completely support this:
U.S. President Barack Obama said Thursday that he’s authorized “targeted airstrikes” in Iraq to protect American personnel and help Iraqi forces.
“We do whatever is necessary to protect our people,” Obama said. “We support our allies when they’re in danger.”
A key concern for U.S. officials: American consular staff and military advisers working with the Iraqi military in Irbil, the largest city in Iraq’s Kurdish region.
Obama said Thursday he’d directed the military to take targeted strikes against Islamist militants “should they move towards the city.”
Rapid developments on the ground, where a humanitarian crisis is emerging with minority groups facing possible slaughter by Sunni Muslim extremists, have set the stage for an increasingly dire situation.
Thousands of families from the Yazidi minority are reportedly trapped in the mountains without food, water or medical care after fleeing the rampaging fighters of the Islamic State, also known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS.
Throngs of refugees, many of them Iraqi Christians, are on the run — their largest city now occupied by fighters who gave them an ultimatum, “Convert to Islam or die.”
Obama also said he’d authorized targeted airstrikes “if necessary” to help Iraqi forces protect civilians trapped on the mountain as brutal Islamist fighters advance.
“When we face a situation like we do on that mountain with innocent people facing the prospect of violence on a horrific scale, when we have a mandate to help, in this case a request from the Iraqi government, and when we have the unique capabilities to help avert a massacre, then I believe the United States of America cannot turn a blind eye,” Obama said. “We can act, carefully and responsibly to prevent a potential act of genocide.”
I don’t have any qualms with a massive airlift of humanitarian aid, and I have no problem with a much more aggressive air campaign against ISIS. This is, as far as I am concerned, an extremely easy call to make. I’d also probably be in favor of arming the Kurds to defend themselves against these monsters, but I’d have to know more about the extent to which we can trust them.
At any rate, I like the moral clarity with which President Obama spoke, and it was so refreshing to have someone come out and straight up call this what it is- genocide. How many times in the past have we heard world leaders struggle to come up with pained euphemisms like “ethnic cleansing” so we don’t have to seriously address what is clearly happening- genocide.
Not a day goes by that I regret my votes for this man. I’d crawl over broken glass to vote for a third term for him.
On another note, the phrase “targeted airstrikes” pains me- we may not always be accurate or know what we are shooting at, but I am reasonably sure every airstrike is targeted.