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by
Rick Moran

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August 9, 2014 - 8:32 am

The president stopped by the South Lawn of the White House before boarding his helicopter for a trip to Martha’s Vineyard and the start of his vacation to make a statement on the situation in Iraq and take a few questions from friendly reporters.

CNN reports:

U.S. airstrikes have “successfully destroyed arms and equipment” that terrorists with ISIS could have used against the Kurdish regional capital of Irbil in Iraq, U.S. President Barack Obama said Saturday.

“We feel confident” that military efforts can prevent ISIS from slaughtering people on Mount Sinjar, where ISIS has been killing many members of the Yazidi minority, Obama said in remarks at the White House.

He declined to give a timetable for U.S. airstrikes and humanitarian air drops in Iraq. “Wherever and whenever (U.S.) personnel are facilities are threatened, it is my obligation … to make sure they’re protected,” he said.

The Iraqi government and military will need to take a series of steps to improve the security situation, Obama said. “I don’t think we’re going to solve this problem in weeks. I think this is going to take some time.”

There’s a lesson in this situation for Afghanistan, the president said: If leadership wants a new government to work, then people of different factions and ethnicities have “got to accommodate each other.”

While the U.S. can assist Iraqi security forces in fighting ISIS with airstrikes, ultimately it’s up to Iraqis to secure their country, the president said. That will take an inclusive government, he said. “All Iraqi communities need to unite to defend their country,” Obama said.

Obama said he spoke with French President Francois Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron about the situation in Iraq, and that both have agreed to join the United States in providing humanitarian assistance to Iraqis endangered by ISIS.

In a scathing editorial, the Washington Post said the president’s Iraq policy “isn’t connected to a coherent strategy” and that it’s “minimalist” and “unrealistic”:

While U.S. airstrikes and drops of supplies may prevent the terrorist forces from massacring the Yazidi sect or toppling the pro-Western regime in Kurdistan, Mr. Obama lacks a plausible plan for addressing the larger threat posed by the Islamic State. In recent weeks, senior U.S. officials have described the danger in hair-curling terms: The Islamic State forces, which have captured large numbers of U.S.-supplied heavy weapons, threaten not only the Iraqi and Kurdish governments, but also Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. With hundreds of Western recruits, they have the ambition and capability to launch attacks against targets in Europe and the United States.

Yet by the White House’s own account, the measures ordered by Mr. Obama are not intended to defeat the Islamic State or even to stop its bloody advances in most of the region. Instead they are limited to protecting two cities where U.S. personnel are stationed and one mass of refugees. The hundreds of thousands of people in Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere threatened by the al-Qaeda forces will receive no U.S. protection. Nor will the terrorists’ hold over the areas they already control, including the large city of Mosul and nearby oil fields, be tested by U.S. airpower.

U.S. officials say that Mr. Obama has refrained from a broader campaign because he believes the Islamic State is “an Iraqi responsibility,” as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel put it. The administration is pushing Iraq’s political factions, sharply divided along sectarian lines, to join in forming a new government; once such a government is formed, Mr. Obama said, “the United States will work with it and other countries in the region to provide increased support.”

The president is probably correct that Iraqi forces will have to take the lead in battling the Islamic State. But can they unify before it’s literally too late?

If the president’s policy is to buy time for the Iraqi government to get their act together by keeping the Islamic State away from Baghdad and Irbil, the Kurdish capital, he may be in for a long wait. The deep-seated resentments of the Sunnis is what’s driving the Islamic State forward, as the terrorist militia is actually quite small. It is augmented by Sunni militias and remnants of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath party. Prime Minister Maliki has shown absolutely no sign so far that he is willing to share power with either the Sunnis or the Kurds. Not even the immense threat from the Islamic State has convinced him to change.

Given that reality, the president’s pinpricks on the Islamic State forces aren’t likely to stop them from continuing their rampage.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.
All Comments   (11)
All Comments   (11)
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He has a coherent strategy.

He repudiates every action, tactic and strategy that his America-loving predecessors enacted.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Of course there is no timetable!!! What were you thinking??? That would imply planning and forethought. This president votes "present" and then requests investigations that go nowhere. To have a timetable would imply an end result. There is no precedent in his world...except cheating to become president!!!
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
so if you don't defeat the terrorist, then what is going happen when the bombing stops and the terror resumes.

Right he expects them to be peaceful, because he ended the war, made IRAQ the shining jewel in his foreign policy fiascos, and will condemn non muslims to be slaughtered because the UN is too busy protecting Hamas' violence against Israel
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Now, if you ISIS think you can creep upon peaceful people, and think nobody will creep upon you, even drop a MOAB on you, even the United States president will not resist seeing the results of that. That is going to be a thousand mile bandaid you will have to patch.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Every time our President talks you have to think politics. How will his decision help them dems? Easy the word humanitarian, pin point, no boots on ground, means that the lefty hollywood elite can sit back down and sip on their daiquiris knowing their fearless leader has everything under control.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Agree, it´s all about "how does this make me look ? Today I want to be a little like Patton a little like Mandela and pitch of Mother Theresa "."
But of course, it´s most of all a matter of doing what his handlers tell him to do although they allow him to satisfy his vanity as well. He looks in his mirror and rehearse his gestures while the handlers write the script.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
In terms of our national security, we currently have aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf that can obliterate any country in that region within 48 hours.

And in terms of threat levels the entire middle east doesn't add up to 1/10 of the threat posed by the former Soviet Union.

The idea that the 2003 resolution for military operations in Iraq applies to new endeavors in this area is beyond absurd.

Whatever new military adventures the President wants to take requires a vote.

7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually all of Obama's policies are completely coherent. You just have to assume that everything he does is meant to weaken America, then it all makes sense.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
the president’s Iraq policy “isn’t connected to a coherent strategy”

Actually, there is. It will just take time to develop the spurious logic for blaming Bush.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
No timetable ?
Does he mean that he is not (yet) ready to tell to the IS when we stop any military operation ?
Strange, he previously alerted the jihadists in Iraq and in Afghanistan about our future moves.
I'm sure he will soon correct this mistake...


/sarc


7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
So....just where exactly did those MANPADS out of Libya wind up?

God help the pilot of any aircraft they manage to knock down.

Because Obama sure as hell won't

7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
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