US launches airstrikes on Iraq. Again.

Iraqis who fled violence in Nineveh Province arrived at Sulaimaniya, in the northern Kurdish territories on Friday. [Reuters]


Iraqis who fled violence in Nineveh Province arrived at Sulaimaniya, in the northern Kurdish territories on Friday. [Reuters]

Déjà vu, guys: "American warplanes struck Sunni militant positions in northern Iraq on Friday, the Pentagon and Kurdish officials said, confirming the first significant American military operation in the country since United States forces withdrew in 2011."

Two F-18 fighters "dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs on a mobile artillery target near Erbil," the Pentagon announced today.

Late last night in a televised late-night address from the White House, President Obama said U.S. military planes had began the current mission by airdropping aid to tens of thousands of Iraqi religious minorities surrounded by militants. The internally displaced were in grave need of food and water.

“Today America is coming to help,” he declared.

And by help, what we really mean is we're going to bomb the fuck out of your country. Again.

The airstrikes began without formal congressional approval. "Lawmakers left town last week for a five-week recess, and there was no sign that Congress was being called back."

* Also: this. From 2003. It was a joke.

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  1. I wonder if any of the hawks are now wishing that Saddam were still around so we could just sell him some nerve gas and a handshake and let him sort it out, like the old days?

  2. The thing is, any sane intelligent person could have predicted this. A power vacuum is a nightmare to deal with.

    Better a stable mass murdering psychopathic dictator than a giant war-torn mess ruled over by warlords and religious fanatics pissed off about just how much war-tearing has been going on in their backyard at the hands of infidel invaders.

    But hey, at least we severed ties between Al-Qaeda and the Husseins, right? Wait, they were never working together? Oh, right! I mean... uh... we sure found those weapons of mass destruction Saddam had! What do you mean we didn't find any? We know Saddam had them - we sold them to him! Shoot... uhh... well... at least we took control of those strategic oil reserves, yeah? ...the wells were all captured and burned by militias and insurgents, you say?

    ...remind me, again, why we invaded Iraq?

    Ah, yes! That's right! Reflexive patriotic hysteria to compensate for our collective societal disempowerment in a time of societal weakness and vulnerability!

    Eight years. Hundreds of thousands dead with the majority being civilians. Iraq's economy and infrastructure devastated. The entire region destablized. Anti-American sentiment at record highs. A power vacuum rapidly being filled by religious zealots so extreme and horrible that Al-Qaeda themselves severed ties because they were too radical.

    MISSION FUCKING ACCOMPLISHED.

  3. The alternative was to let these some 40k religious minorities either starve or be slaughtered by the Islamic State. My understanding is that we basically just held off their would be butchers long enough for them to escape. My information could very well be bad, but this looks like it may be a rare case where we actually do appear to be acting legitimately heroic.

    I'm very opposed to US involvement overseas, but some things are worth fighting for. In this case, we very well may have stopped a genocide with very minimal involvement on our part. This is very different from our occupation of hostile lands.

  4. This is why I supported not intervening in the genocide in Darfur. Sure, 400,000 people died, but think about how bad things could have been if we destabilized the region by killing those guys first? I mean, it wasn't our dispute and neither is this one.

    If ISIS wants to decapitate the children of these Yazidi people and stick the heads of tens of thousands of adults on pikes like they've done in with other minorities they disagreed with, so be it. Because just think about how bad things could be if we intervened. It could truly be terrible.

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