“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Obama hits the right tone in renewed US involvement in Iraq


Obama: Iraq Strikes to 'Take Some Time'

U.S. President Barack Obama said two airstrikes have destroyed arms and equipment of Islamic State militants who have besieged northern Iraq and threatened the Kurdish capital of Irbil.
Speaking at the White House Saturday, Obama said the fight against the group, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, will take "more than weeks."
Friday's targeted strikes fighter jets and drones were essential to prevent the militants' advance on Irbil, where American diplomats and military advisers, among others, are stationed.
Obama explained the intervention in Iraq was needed to aid Iraqi religious minorities, including Christians and Yazidis, who fled after the militants ordered convert or die. For days, thousands have been stranded on Sinjar mountain.
On Saturday, Obama said food and water air-dropped by the U.S. military to the thousands of Iraqi civilians stranded on a mountain after fleeing Islamic insurgents "will help them survive."
The "humanitarian effort continues to help the men, women and children," Obama said Saturday, adding it may take time to provide safe passage for those on the mountain.
On Friday, Obama had explained intervention in Iraq was needed because the U.S. "cannot just look away" when "innocent people are facing a massacre."
The president said the U.S. has stepped up military assistance to Kurdish forces in Iraq. He said he talked with the French and British leaders, and they agreed to provide more humanitarian assistances to Iraqi civilians.
Obama said there was “no particular timetable” for ending military action.
“We’re going to maintain vigilance and make sure our people are safe,” he said, referring to American diplomats and military advisers in the consulate and elsewhere. The effort could take months, he suggested.
But, the president said, “the most important timetable I’m focused on is the Iraqi government getting formed. We can conduct airstrikes, but ultimately there’s not going to be an American military solution to this problem.”
The parliament was elected in April but still must choose its leadership. Support has been waning for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiai criticized for not involving representatives of other religious and ethnic groups.
Specifics of strikes
In one strike, the U.S. military dropped 250-kilogram laser-guided bombs on an artillery unit that was shelling Kurdish forces defending Irbil.
Obama had authorized U.S. military planes to carry out "targeted airstrikes" against the Islamic State extremists and deliver food to the stranded refugees on Thursday.
Islamic State extremists have brutally executed ethnic and religious minorities and others who do not agree with their particular brand of Islam.
The group, which has captured significant amounts of military hardware the U.S. had previously supplied Iraqi forces, now controls a large swathe of eastern Syria and northwestern Iraq. It has declared the area a "caliphate," and is actively recruiting other fighters to join the group.
In Washington on Friday, U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes met at the White House with members of the Yazidi community to discuss the situation in northern Iraq and said the United States will continue to provide humanitarian support.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Friday issued a notice restricting U.S. commercial flights in Iraqi airspace, due to the "potentially hazardous situation" created by the conflict between the Islamic militants and Iraqi security forces.
The International Organization for Migration says the number of internally displaced people in Iraq is now over 1 million.


  1. Watching that video, I see a lot of fine, strapping, young men Not carrying rifles, much less manning the barricades.

    1. I've said it before, there are 6.2 Million Kurdistanis, 1.5 Million of which live in Irbil.

      I don't mind (too much) us knocking out a few ISIL tanks, and sending a few bullets, but I'd feel a whole hell of a lot better about it if I saw a few more of those young men "wearing utilities, and doing something useful for their own defense."

    2. Good point Rufus.

      there are 6.1 million Jews in Israel and they are surrounded by 330 million arabs. if you want to extent the conflict to real numbers there are 330 million arabs, 80 million turks and about 75 million iranians. so about 485 middle easterners in conflict with the Jewish state.

      It's quite unbalanced that 6.2 million Jews should be able to keep 485 million of it's enemies at bay....

      But Israel does. And they do fight for their special human right not to be murdered...

    3. Not at all accurate.

      The Egyptians and Saudi are allies of Israel.
      There is no conflict with either.
      None with the Jordanians, none with the Lebanese, unless Israel invades Lebanon, again.

      You are living in a paranoid Zionist fantasy, "O"rdure, you should seek psychiatric help

    4. The only problem the Zionist really have, they are living on stolen ground, and the owners want it back.

    5. So says who?

      You? A self confessed killer of civilians?

    6. Post this alleged "confession".

      You cannot do it ... you are a fraud, that posts lies

      That is the truth, prove me wrong.
      Post that alleged confession.

  2. WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military says American jet fighters and drones have conducted four more airstrikes on Islamic militants in Iraq, taking out armored carriers and a truck that were firing on civilians.

    U.S. Central Command says the Islamic State militants were firing on Yazidi civilians taking shelter in the Sinjar mountains. In a statement, the military says the militants were firing on civilians indiscriminately.

    Central Command says the strikes near Sinjar were spread out, with three before noon Eastern Daylight Time on Saturday and one about 3 p.m.

    The military says indications suggest that the strikes were successful in destroying the armored vehicles.

    This is the third round of airstrikes against Islamic State forces by the U.S. military since they were authorized by President Barack Obama.