Obama Mulls Airstrikes, Aid to Help Trapped Iraqis
Decision on Yazidi surrounded by Islamic State expected 'imminently'
By Jenn Gidman, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2014 1:38 PM CDT
President Barack Obama speaks at the US Africa Business Forum during the US Africa Leaders Summit, in Washington on Aug. 5, 2014.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(Newser) – Both passive and active options are on the table as President Obama decides how to handle the humanitarian catastrophe developing at Iraq's Mount Sinjar, says a senior administration official who spoke to the New York Times. The passive alternative: Airdrops of food and much-needed medicine to the 40,000 Yazidi religious minorities said to be dying of hunger and thirst, according to the Washington Post. The more active option: conducting airstrikes against the Islamic State extremists who've camped out at the base of the mountain. A decision from the Oval Office is expected "imminently," says a second White House source, adding, "this could be a fast-moving train."

Obama reportedly instructed the Pentagon to draw up a game plan for possible military action during a meeting with his national security team today, notes NBC News. Iraqi airdrops to the refugees earlier this week fell short, with water and milk bottles smashing to bits, according to the Post. "Is help coming?" one of the trapped Yazidi asked the Post when contacted on his cellphone. "I'm standing here next to an old lady and a child lying on the ground. They are not dead, but we fear they are dying." UNICEF says it has received reports that 40 children have perished already on the mountain.

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Aug 7, 2014 7:39 PM CDT
Aug 7, 2014 6:11 PM CDT
GWB and Cheney insanely invaded Iraq on a WMD lie, and lying multiple times by proclaiming the invasion would be over quickly, and paid for with Iraqi oil, and we would be welcomed as liberators... BS. GWB used an intense and extremely expensive shock and awe attack campaign that completely destroyed Iraq's infrastructure and military. Our tax dollars took on one of the largest military powers on the planet and decimated it, leaving the Iraqi people empty in both equipment and personnel with which to protect themselves. Then a few months later when everybody knew the WMD lie was a lie, the lie changed to "displacing an evil dictator who murdered his people," so GWB and Cheney could continue their insane murder/spending spree, continuing to victimize both the Iraqi people and the US taxpayers for another 5+ years. Boehner and Cantor and Ryan and many other current republican legislators GLADLY gave GWB any and all debt ceiling increases, including sending planeloads filled with pallets of US cash (billions of which they lost and cant account for... just evaporated). These same ahole republican legislators that generated trillions in national debt for insane invasions and horrendous mismanagement of our money, ALSO refused to let president Obama make the loan payments on their insane invasion loans unless he gutted ORomenyCare. These same republican extremists shut down the government as extortion to force Obama into capitulation... and Obama stood his ground. To this day these unAmerican aholes blame President Obama for the BS the republicans did and continue to do... They even blame Obama for Iraq. Even though he's the one having to deal with the horrendous mess the republicans made by invading and occupying a country that never did squat to the US... Voting republican is psychotic. A pox on you who vote republican.
Aug 7, 2014 5:13 PM CDT
If only the GOP hadn't created this mess, we wouldn't now have to go fix anything. What a friggin' money pit.