Washington, DC -- Heavy is the head under the onus of the Oval Office crown. Of late President has been called by his right-wing detractors among things on good days “a lawless despot,” or “a feckless leader” when the Speaker of House John Boehner (R-Ohio) cannot find enough fingers and toes to count the 218 votes necessary to pass any legislation other than another attempt to repeal “Obamacare.” While Congress vacations we should expect Mr. Obama to suffers new remonstrations as he exercises his powers as Commander-in-Chief to save refugees from Islamists with genocides on their minds.
With Marine One in the background, a tieless President Obama from the White House South Lawn addressed the nation before heading to Martha’s Vineyard for a two-week vacation. As the world watched, Mr. Obama gave an update on the crisis in northern Iraq. His words were carefully measured.
“We feel confident” that military efforts can prevent ISIS from slaughtering people on Mount Sinjar, where ISIS has been killing many members of the Yazidi minority, Obama said in remarks at the White House. The Yazidi are Kurdish members of Zoroastrianism, an ancient religion which dominated the Persian Empire long before the advent of Islam.
Obama was reluctant to give a timetable for future U.S. airstrikes and additional humanitarian relief in the form of air drops containing food and water. “Wherever and whenever (U.S.) personnel are facilities are threatened, it is my obligation … to make sure they’re protected,” he said. The U.S. has a consulate in Erbil, Iraq with over 1,000 personnel. Erbil is also the capital of the Kurdish Region, making it a strategic asset in the ongoing civil war that began with the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Yesterday F-18 jets obliterated convoys of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) with the intent of slowing the advance of an army to date better armed and certainly more resolved than the Iraqui defense forces. Meanwhile thousands of Christians and Yazidi refugees huddle on a mountain as their doom waits below.
While it is not likely Congress will return early from vacation to continue doing nothing in Washington, President Obama will be lucky to get a few days of peace with his family before he is forced to return to the White House to resume cleaning up the mess left by his predecessor.