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article imageObama explains Iraq airstrike operation in his weekly address

By John Presta     Aug 9, 2014 in Politics
Washington, D. C. - At the end of 2011, President Barack Obama announced the end of American involvement in Iraq, a war that he campaigned against during the 2008 Democratic primary and the 2008 General Election. It was this issue that propelled him onto the national scene.
The world is responding to President Obama's invocation of the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148), regarding Iraq. United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, arrived at Downing Street today to chair a meeting of the government's Cobra committee to assess the crisis in Iraq. He was asked whether the UK was doing enough to help, Mr Hammond answered: "We are going to have a meeting to discuss it right now." Sky News reported a British cargo plane has left RAF Brize Norton to deliver humanitarian aid to Iraq. More of the world needs to respond to the crisis and it is a requirement for Obama.
Obama invoked War Powers Resolution regarding Iraq, and declared "These military operations will be limited in their scope and duration as necessary to protect American personnel in Iraq by stopping the current advance on Erbil by the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and to help forces in Iraq as they fight to break the siege of Mount Sinjar and protect the civilians trapped there."
"Pursuant to this authorization, on August 8, 2014, U.S. military forces commenced targeted airstrike operations in Iraq. In addition, I have authorized U.S. Armed Forces to provide humanitarian assistance in Iraq in an operation that commenced on August 7, 2014. These operations will also be limited to supporting the civilians trapped on Mount Sinjar," added Obama in his invocation of War Powers.
It is still an issue today for Obama, but only for humanitarian reasons. In his weekly address, President Obama explained his actions and detailed why he authorized two operations in Iraq — targeted military strikes to protect Americans serving in Iraq and humanitarian airdrops of food and water to help Iraqi civilians trapped on a mountain by terrorists.
"First, I directed our military to take action to protect our American diplomats and military advisors serving in the city of Erbil," said Obama in his address. "Second, we’ve begun a humanitarian effort to help those Iraqi civilians trapped on that mountain."
The Iraq War has been as big a part of Obama's legacy. However, Iraq saw a "significant increase in violence since the U.S. withdrew troops in 2011. Iraq has been under siege for months by Islamic State, an al-Qaida-breakaway group seeking to create an Islamic state in territory it controls in Iraq and Syria and imposing its harsh interpretation of Islamic law. Iraqi government forces, Kurds and allied Sunni tribal militiamen have been struggling to dislodge the Islamic State militants and its Sunni allies with little apparent success."
It is with this backdrop that today's actions come into focus. On the part of Obama, the issue of "mission creep" is the unspoken message, as Obama has said that the "United States will not be dragged into another war in Iraq — that American combat troops will not return — because there is no American military solution to the larger crisis in Iraq."
Obama cited the possibility of genocide as a reason for the actions. "The terrorists that have taken over parts of Iraq have been especially brutal to religious minorities —rounding up families, executing men, enslaving women, and threatening the systematic destruction of an entire religious community, which would be genocide."
Obama added, " The food and water we airdropped will help them survive. I’ve also approved targeted American airstrikes to help Iraqi forces break the siege and rescue these families. Earlier this week, one anguished Iraqi in this area cried to the world, 'There is no one coming to help.' Today, America is helping."
Cautioning against intervening in every single crisis, "The United States cannot and should not intervene every time there’s a crisis in the world." Obama added a set a criteria for action, "But when there’s a situation like the one on this mountain — when countless innocent people are facing a massacre, and when we have the ability to help prevent it — the United States can’t just look away. That’s not who we are. We’re Americans. We act. We lead."
With emphasis he said, "And that’s what we’re going to do on that mountain."
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