President Obama is considering airstrikes or food and supply airdrops to try to save tens of thousands of religious and ethnic minorities who are stranded on a mountaintop in Iraq and dying of heat and thirst, according to reports.
The situation, as described in the Washington Post, is dire and extremely urgent, with refugees exposed to the elements and sturggling to remain alive without the basic means of survival.
According to the New York Times:
The president, in meetings with his national security team at the White House on Thursday morning, has been weighing a series of options ranging from dropping humanitarian supplies on Mount Sinjar to military strikes on the fighters from ISIS now at the base of the mountain, a senior administration official said.
The White House refused to comment.
“I’m not in aposition to discuss those kinds of tactical options,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest. Earnest tried to suggest the president was indeed responding to the crisis by seeking to reform the Iraqi government, which is approximately like a doctor telling someone who is having a heart attack that he won’t treat them until they change their diet.
Of course, this humanitarian disaster and the rise of ISIS – a significant long-term threat to the United States – is the result of Obama’s failure to leave troops in Iraq in order to help maintain stability in the country, as well as his failure to strike ISIS early on when the group was preparing to roll across Iraq.
Hitting ISIS, of course, would have been an admission that Obama had not ended the Iraq war.