Just in case there weren't enough potential GDP-boosting war hotzones around the world, Obama is now preparing to go back to ground zero, Iraq, where the NYT just reported he is "considering airstrikes or airdrops of food and medicine to address a humanitarian crisis among as many as 40,000 religious minorities in Iraq who have been dying of heat and thirst on a mountain top after death threats from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, administration officials said on Thursday."
NYT adds that Obama is currently meeting with his national security team (at the White House, not on a golf course) and a decision from Mr. Obama was expected “imminently — this could be a fast-moving train.” The official adds that “there could be a humanitarian catastrophe there."
To be sure the possibility of US-launched airstrikes in Iraq is nothing new, and was reported here previously, and in fact Iraq itself requested US airborne assistance before, but conventional wisdom was that Obama would delay until there is a new Iraq government, and the former US puppet, Maliki, stepped down. "But administration officials said on Thursday that the crisis on Mount Sinjar may be forcing their hand. Some 40 children have already died from the heat and dehydration, according to Unicef, while more than 40,000 people have been sheltering in the bare mountains without food, water or access to supplies."
How does the NYT know all this?
The administration officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. One official said that any military action would be “limited, specific and achievable,” noting that Mr. Maliki’s political party was supposed to announce a new candidate for prime minister on Thursday, but hadn’t yet.
To be sure, there is no mention that the same ISIS extremists which Obama is about to bomb are getting their weapons either directly from the US, via US assistance to Syrian "rebels" whose armaments end up in the Islamic State, or indirectly, by pillaging cities such as Mosul, where among the spoils were such US trophies as BlackHawk choppers and countless Humvees.
As for ISIS, who as we reported over the weekend have now captured the largest Iraq dam, the only question is whether their retaliation to the third US invasion of Iraq, which will surely be to release the dam flood nearby towns, water and leave Baghdad without a water source, will be worse than or equal to the Russian response to western sanctions, neither of which anyone could have possible predicted.
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The White House's John Earnest added some more color:
- *EARNEST SAYS IRAQ IS APPROACHING A 'CATASTROPHE'
- *EARNEST DECLINES TO SPECIFY IF IRAQ STRIKES BEING CONSIDERED
- *EARNEST SAYS NO U.S. MILITARY SOLUTION TO PROBLEM IN IRAQ