Until now, President Obama's foreign policy appeared to be based more on reason than emotion. However, the rise of ISIL may have cost Obama his equanimity. After promising to strictly limit the mission in Iraq, Washington is preparing to expand the war to Syria. Instead, the administration should push other nations into the lead.
There is little comfort for the displaced people of Qarakosh who see the most recent attacks as perhaps the final act in their expulsion from Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians have left the country in the last two decades. Estimates of the remaining total number of Iraqi Christians are as low as 200,000.
The president was correct in announcing humanitarian action yesterday in Iraq. He will be helping to prevent genocide. But, more than that, his announcement of limited military action, both to overtly protect US troops and installations, and tacitly support the Kurds in their fight against the Islamic State, is the correct move. In fact, today's air strikes against Islamic State forces outside Irbil serves two purposes. First, it protect U.S. interests in a city we cannot afford to lose, lest we see another Benghazi-type situation there. Second it help the Kurds, our best ally in the region, in their efforts to prevent genocide. This kind of action is the right call. Here's why.
Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to meet with Iraq's leadership including Grand Ayatollah Sistani on 24 July. The meeting which is understood, in essence, to have been primarily a consultative one, is potentially a critical turning point in the United Nation's involvement in Iraq's steps towards democracy.