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Obama vacations in spite of Iraq airstrike launch and Gaza conflict

President Barack Obama is scheduled to return to Martha’s Vineyard on Saturday for 9 days of vacationing in spite of the launching of airstrikes in Iraq and the continuing conflict in the Gaza Strip, according to Boston.com and the Daily Mail on Friday. According to the report, even as the military carried out air strikes in Iraq on Friday Morning, Obama refused to cancel his vacation trip. Last weekend, he spent two days vacationing with friends at Camp David to play golf for his birthday weekend – as his 53rd birthday was last Monday.

President Barack Obama at the White House on August 7, 2014.
Photo by Pool/Getty Images

Obama knows the severity of the situation in Iraq as he said, on Thursday, that the situation was practically genocide. Obama made the comment as he was making a public pronouncement on television. Obama has authorized the first military airstrikes in northern Iraq and they were carried out early Friday. It was previously announced by the White House that Obama would interrupt his vacation for meetings – but then rejoin his family in Massachusetts. He vacations on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts which is an island of some of the nation’s wealthiest people.

Reportedly, Obama will be vacationing from August 8 through 17 and again from August 19 through 24. The return to Washington is for meetings – the agendas of which has not been announced. Josh Earnest, the White House spokesman who replaced Jay Carney about a month ago, said that by returning to Washington, D.C. from Martha’s Vineyard for - a day or two – the president will have an opportunity to do some in-person meetings at the White House before he returns to his vacationing.

In a presidential address on Thursday, it had been announced that the United States has made food and water-drops to approximately 40,000 Iraqi refugees who are trapped on a mountain in Iraq. He also announced that, on Friday morning, the United States military launched the air strike against the Islamic extremists who are causing the troubles in the Middle East.

Quite appropriately, he said that America cannot come to the world's aid every time there is trouble, but the near-genocide situation in Iraq is one of those times we need to assist. Additionally, he justified his move for airstrikes to say that it is designed to assist innocent Americans in Iraq. He most justifiably feels it is his responsibility to do so. These are extremely important situations followed by important actions by President Obama.

Obama apparently does not like to interrupt his vacations – even when grave situations are at hand. He only has interrupted his planned vacations to Martha’s Vineyard during his election year in 2012. He was being strongly challenged by Mitt Romney at the time and, politically, a presidential vacation was off the calendar so that Obama could campaign. ABC News accommodated Obama’s move to vacation at this time by reminding its readers that Obama takes aides with him on vacation and that the president really never stops working. Of course, there are those who will argue that little – if any - work can be conducted during hours on a golf course. Domestically, the president enjoys a wealthy man’s vacation as the unemployment rate notched upward this summer as well.