President Barack Obama has said, in defense of his inaction against the current and planned atrocities of ISIS, that there can be no lasting solution in Iraq until the Iraqis have resolved their governmental failures and impasse—a true national reconciliation.
He’s right about the need for political resolution—for Iraqis. What Obama carefully elides, though, is the lasting solution that will occur vis-à-vis Yezidis and Kurds if we continue our inaction.
And continue to do nothing we are. Oh, much is made of our having dropped blankets, water, tents, and tens of thousands of meal rations onto a mountain top for the trapped Yezidis. But British estimates range from 50,000-150,000 Yezidis trapped—all of whom must have food for several days. “Tens of thousands” of rats won’t feed all of them for a single day if the British estimates are anywhere near accurate.
And the American air strikes? We’re continuing to shoot up individual artillery guns, the odd APC, an occasional convoy. There is, though, no deliberate, focused, active air campaign of any sort with a view to destroying ISIS’ forces as they continue to press the Yezidis and the Kurds’ Peshmerga—and then the Kurds themselves.
We’ve begun flying arms to the Kurds? We’ve begun “expediting” arms deliveries from third parties; maybe we’ve authorized the CIA to engage in arms trafficking with the Kurds. But these typically are small arms—of little use against the captured American APCs, tanks(!), artillery, etc being used by ISIS.
The lasting solution that will result from Obama’s reluctance to act absent a lasting solution is the extermination of the Yezidis and the enslavement of surviving Kurds. The lasting solution we should be putting in place is the destruction of ISIS.
By the time we elect a new President, though, it may well be too late.