The Obama administration seems poised to bomb insurgent-controlled areas of Iraq in another escalation of the deepening quagmire. The administration's reason is "humanitarian", a rationale which could have been given countless times before. Air strikes are unlikely to block the offensive by the extremists of ISIS who are bent on forming a sectarian Sunni Caliphata in the territory they have seized in Syria and Iraq.
If Obama uses U.S air power he will be rejecting a war powers resolution passed by 300 House of Representative members last week which requires a report to Congress and a limited timetable before an authorizing vote is required. Obama already has dispatched several hundred U.S troops as "advisers" to the faltering Baghdad army already trained and financed by US taxpayers. A majority of Democrats oppose executive action without congressional hearings and approval. Rep. Jim McGovern, primary author of the House resolution, predicted that military action might take place during the congressional recess.
The alternative is not "surrendering to terrorism", as the War Lobby claims. In Obama's calculation, apparently, it is simpler to fire bombs and missiles at the war zone than to threaten the authoritarian al-Maliki regime in Baghdad with a cutoff in funds unless they reach a power-sharing accommodation with the Sunni and Kurdish minority communities. Al-Maliki's stubborn insistence on disenfranchising and rounding up thousands of Sunnis in Iraq drove many of them into their present alliance with ISIS in the vast swath of territory linking southern Syria and northern Iraq. As long as al-Maliki remains in power, Iraq's Sunnis will have no incentive to rebuild a power-sharing state.#