Patterico's Pontifications

8/8/2014

Airstrikes Begin

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:01 am

[guest post by Dana]

Targeting militants in northern Iraq, the U.S. military launched airstrikes early this morning:

The strike took place near the city of Irbil, after IS used the artillery to shell Kurdish forces defending the city where U.S. personnel are located, the Pentagon said.

The airstrikes began just hours after the president gave his authorization.

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said Friday that two F/A-18 jets dropped 500-pound bombs on a piece of artillery and the truck towing it. The Pentagon said the military conducted the strike at 6:45 a.m. ET, against terrorists with the Islamic State (IS), the group formerly known as ISIS.

“As the president made clear, the United States military will continue to take direct action against [IS] when they threaten our personnel and facilities,” Kirby said.

Yesterday, the White House outlined the conditions for airstrikes:

A senior administration official described the airstrike authorization Thursday as “narrow” but outlined a number of broad contingencies in which they could be launched, including a possible threat to U.S. personnel in Baghdad from possible breaches in a major dam Islamist forces seized Thursday that could flood the Iraqi capital.

U.S. aircraft also are authorized to launch airstrikes if the military determines that Iraqi government and Kurdish forces are unable to break the siege that has stranded tens of thousands of civilians belonging to the minority Yazidi sect atop a barren mountain outside the northern town of Sinjar.

(Humanitarian aid flights yesterday dropped 72 bundles of supplies, including thousands of gallons of water.)

–Dana

65 Responses to “Airstrikes Begin”

  1. gotta earn that peace prize somehow…

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  2. I guess he’s earning another peace prize by alerting the enemy that we’re coming?

    Patricia (5fc097)

  3. use the opportunity to seriously degrade these bloodthirsty, beheading bastards! Make ‘em an example of the Religion of Pieces.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  4. For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of Michelle Obama’s husband.

    ThOR (130453)

  5. Anyone want to bet Obama does this half-ass? Like the red line in Syria.
    It’ll be a pin prick and he’ll say we routed the ISIS and its no longer a threat.

    I hope I’m wrong and something positive comes out of it.

    Luke Warmwater (b31bee)

  6. Good grief…what have we done to ourselves?

    Even Teh Won’s ‘actions’ are not even a nuisance to those who we ‘attacked’.

    Being prior military, I’m not much on getting involved in every intramural spat everywhere, but when you do, you don’t waste time annoying them.

    You wipe them from the face of the earth, torch their buildings, salt their fields, poison their water, and kill every living thing associated with them (to include their unrepentant women and children). Then you drive across their graves as you go home.

    Do that and you are respected, feared, and left alone. Don’t do it and you are ridiculed, mocked, and attacked.

    MJN1957 (6f981a)

  7. (Humanitarian aid flights yesterday dropped 72 bundles of supplies, including thousands of gallons of water.)

    Not enough, and too late. There are said to be 15,000 people there on the mountain – and they fled there Sunday or Monday or so – and they dropped about 8,000 meals.

    They were only there for 15 minutes, and Obama delayed his announcement until it was over.

    I am not sure what the logic is here. They wanted to take them by surprise? Well, then, will there be more than one air drop, or not?

    And what would you imagine anyway – the attackers have a news feed or get bulletins from teh Associated Press and can turn around on a dime? Would someone have enough time to issue orders and have them carried out? Anyway, after the U.S. planes got away safely, Obama announced the food and water drop.

    By the way, Obama is using the U.S. government name – ISIL (eye-sill) Most reprts still call them ISIS (usually eye-sis) The Wall Street Journal I think refers to it as the Islamic State, with some additional explanation.

    Obama’s whole policy is based on doing as little as possible – and he thinks this is a virtue. U.S/ forces will intervene only if it is demonstrated that nobody else can, and only in the nick of time.

    He’s trying very hard to hit that mark.

    It looks very much like – for the moment – the caliphate will not attack any place that the United States is determined to defend. Or that will give them more to chew on than they want to bite at the current time.

    They haven’t advanaced on Baghdad. Now Erbil (or rather, 25 miles round Erbil) is also in the U.S> security zone. They withdrew from Lebanon.

    As for the people on the mountain, U.S. planes will bomb the marauders if they don’t go away – but Obama will give them some time to go away.

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  8. What U.S. personnel are near Irbil?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  9. 8. Daleyrocks:

    What U.S. personnel are near Irbil?

    Very many of the people who used to be at the embassy in Baghdad were transferred to what they thought was the much safer Erbil after the capture of Mosul – this way they were still in Iraq. (some others were sent to Amman, Jordan.)

    Also special forces training or advising the Iraqi army (or maybe the Kurdish pewsh merga) are in Erbil, and now all planes are booked.

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  10. Thanks Sammy

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  11. OT: remember how we were talking about the 4% GDP rate they were trying to claim a week or 3 ago?

    yeah, not so much

    unexpectedly!

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  12. Lucky Congress did not act on Susan Rice’s request that they repeal the 2002 AUMF from two weeks ago.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  13. ISIS has kidnapped hundreds of Yazidi women. Photos are circulating of TODDLERS who have been beheaded. Thanks, Obama for dithering so long on this one. Good job leaving a “stable” Iraq.

    bonhomme (f31ab9)

  14. Iraq’s problems need to be solved by the Iraqi people.
    Libya’s problems need to be solved by the Libyan people.
    Syria’s problems need to be solved by the Syrian people.

    Israel needs to stop its disgraceful actions toward the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and negotiate a peace agreement with Hamas.

    President Ditherington Bamboozler

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  15. Lookout powdered milk factories.

    mg (31009b)

  16. genocide is just a word for stuff we do together

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  17. 15. He said that about the Congo and Sudan.

    Genocide alone is not enough for him.

    Genocide plus a threat of terrorism in the U.S.A., maybe. Maybe that is, an intervention to stop the genocide even if it not too relevant to destroying the group that’s doing it.

    Genocide plus awareness of it by too many people outside the White House, plus an immediate ability to help, plus nobody else helping or able to, probably.

    And we’re not even talking about a risk to American soldiers.

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  18. let’s face it: the only thing BamBam gives a damn about is himself and whatever vacuous half thought is rattling around inside his empty head at the time…

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  19. 5. Anyone want to bet Obama does this half-ass? Like the red line in Syria.
    It’ll be a pin prick and he’ll say we routed the ISIS and its no longer a threat.

    I hope I’m wrong and something positive comes out of it.
    Luke Warmwater (b31bee) — 8/8/2014 @ 8:10 am

    It’s pretty much a given that were going to do this half-assed because Prom Queen needs to keep claiming “ending wars” as FP achievements.

    For some reason I’ve been thinking of Guadalcanal. Not necessarily our side of the conflict, but the Japanese side. They kept sending troops in piecemeal to get killed. They thought they were up against a “JV” team. By the time they realized what they were up against US forces were too well established for them to do anything about it.

    Oh, yeah, that’s the reason. Apparently Obama thinks who was in charge of the Guadalcanal operation on the Japanese side is some sort of role model. He’s adopted the strategy of underestimating the enemy and doing too little, too late.

    It turns out ISIS isn’t the JV team, we are. Or, rather, we’re the best pro-team in the league with the worst JV coach in high school history.

    Steve57 (ba12a7)

  20. On to the Vineyard for golf. One would think he would do something else on vacation.

    mg (31009b)

  21. Obama’s statement last night:

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/08/07/statement-president

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  22. he’s a very challenging person to take seriously

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  23. Genocide alone is not enough for him. [...]

    Sammy, you’re overthinking it. You’re trying to come up with a consistent theory that will cover all the positions he’s taken on the question, but the obvious truth is that he hasn’t been consistent, hasn’t even tried to be consistent, becuase he has no theory, he just says whatever he thinks will help him at that moment. And he’s not even aware of the contradiction, because he doesn’t remember what he said in 2007. Dude, that was like more than two years ago. Who remembers stuff that old? Whatever he said then is no longer operative.

    Milhouse (2e2c93)

  24. Obama explaining the difference between action in Iraq and inaction in the Congo and Sudan: (he always explains how he is consistent) Emphasis mine.

    I’ve said before, the United States cannot and should not intervene every time there’s a crisis in the world. So let me be clear about why we must act, and act now. When we face a situation like we do on that mountain — with innocent people facing the prospect of violence on a horrific scale, when we have a mandate to help — in this case, a request from the Iraqi government — and when we have the unique capabilities to help avert a massacre, then I believe the United States of America cannot turn a blind eye. We can act, carefully and responsibly, to prevent a potential act of genocide. That’s what we’re doing on that mountain.

    I think I can explain the mandate business. He’s concerned about legality – although in 2011, he accepted the doctrine of responsibility to protect, with regard to Quaddafi’s advance on Benghazi.

    An intervention acquires a “mandate” when there is either a United Nations Security Council resolution, or a request for help from the government of that country.

    “carefully and responsibly” – that’s where “Don’t do stupid s??t” comes in.

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  25. “Genocide alone is not enough for him.”

    Sammy – I thought it worked as an excuse for intervention in Libya?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  26. “Sammy, you’re overthinking it. You’re trying to come up with a consistent theory that will cover all the positions he’s taken on the question, but the obvious truth is that he hasn’t been consistent, hasn’t even tried to be consistent”

    Milhouse – Exactly! Some of the biggest tells that Obama is lying, apart from his lips moving, are when he starts a sentence with “As I have consistently said” or “Let me be perfectly clear.” Lies and/or a blizzard of straw men are about to spew forth from his mouth.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  27. “carefully and responsibly” – that’s where “Don’t do stupid s??t” comes in.

    A little late for that.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  28. I think, actually, there’s an almost inevitable consistentcy – the same sort of things push him into action at different times. Not that the resulting “doctrine” may make too much sense.

    I also think that when he said genocide was not a reason, “if that’s the criteria” for deploying U.S. forces, then “by that argument you would have 300,000 troops in the Congo right now” it means that other criteria, or additional criteria, could give him a reason, and he had in mind the fact that he would, or could, intervene some places.

    And it does look like the threat of terrorism, or danger to Americans present in the country, is a strong differentiating factor for him.

    I think he even actually has said just because you can’t intervene everywhere, doesn’t mean you should intervene nowehere – or was that somebody else?

    http://www.rferl.org/content/feature_on_debate_on_intervention_in_libya_/2347454.html

    Shahshank Joshi, an associate fellow and regional expert at London’s Royal United Services Institute notes…

    …”Just because we can’t intervene everywhere doesn’t mean we have to intervene nowhere,” Joshi says. “So, there is still scope for making these judgments with a combination of both humanitarian and strategic concerns and prudential concerns, and there is no reason why we can’t achieve some sort of balance between these when we formulate foreign policy.”

    That was said by a number of people, I think.

    Michael Crowley in TIME Magazine today:

    http://time.com/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+timeblogs%2Fswampland+%28TIME%3A+Swampland%29#3090600/obama-iraq-isis-genocide-is-islamic-state-sinjar/

    Obama too, maybe:

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2011/03/28/president-obama-s-speech-libya#transcript

    It’s true that America cannot use our military wherever repression occurs. And given the costs and risks of intervention, we must always measure our interests against the need for action. But that cannot be an argument for never acting on behalf of what’s right.

    In this particular country — Libya — at this particular moment, we were faced with the prospect of violence on a horrific scale. We had a unique ability to stop that violence: an international mandate for action, a broad coalition prepared to join us, the support of Arab countries, and a plea for help from the Libyan people themselves. We also had the ability to stop Qaddafi’s forces in their tracks without putting American troops on the ground.

    Of course, this could just be a doctrine, that gives him freedom of action to do something and not to something, with no real waqy to predict when he wll or when he won’t (except maybe news coverage)

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  29. drop bush and cheney on iraq they started it let them finish it!

    iraq is arabic for vietnam (34d0ec)

  30. Of course, this could just be a doctrine, that gives him freedom of action to do something and not to something, with no real waqy to predict when he wll or when he won’t (except maybe news coverage)

    In other words, no doctrine, just ad hoc policy decisions.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  31. drop bush and cheney on iraq they started it let them finish it!

    iraq is arabic for vietnam (34d0ec) — 8/8/2014 @ 3:35 pm

    And as you well know, Vota, it was pretty much complete until President Gaylord stepped in and undid pretty much all the gains up to that point. 5.5 years in, and Preezy 404 still can’t figure that one out. But, al-Queda is beating on our ass again and GM is moribund, so you have that going for you. Smaaaaht Powah!!

    Bill H (f9e4cd)

  32. Scott Pelley interrupted the CBS Evening News on Monday to note – by the weasy, there’s agenocide going on in Iraq. Tuesday and Wednesday he said nothing. Thursday he led with the story, also Friday.

    He still has that stupid idea that it’s a war of religions – ISIS is not really identical with Sunni Islam.

    He started off his story today on Gaza by saying Israel and Hamas were fighting in Iraq and didn’t correct his mistake for the remainder of the broadcast.

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  33. Obama did not intervene in Syria, which is where Baghdadi went for a while.

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  34. What’s a viable game plan for Iraq? Not what should have happened before we left it as a more secure and stable country, but right here, right now.

    Dana (4dbf62)

  35. Information about enemy troop concentrations and movements; intense, around the clock air strikes; destroy their encampments, supply depots, and vehicles; turn them into scattered bands of guerrillas hiding in holes instead of effective combat units; let the Iraqis mop them up.

    nk (dbc370)

  36. 35. What’s a viable game plan for Iraq?

    Dana (4dbf62) — 8/8/2014 @ 4:39 pm

    I vote for designating an enemy and then killing lots of people on their side until they either surrender or are destroyed.

    That’s been a viable game plan for thousands of years. If you can use “viable” to characterize lots of killing.

    Steve57 (ba12a7)

  37. If that fails, send a Terminator back forty years to kill Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s mother.

    nk (dbc370)

  38. 36. Information about enemy troop concentrations and movements; intense, around the clock air strikes; destroy their encampments, supply depots, and vehicles; turn them into scattered bands of guerrillas hiding in holes instead of effective combat units; let the Iraqis mop them up.
    nk (dbc370) — 8/8/2014 @ 4:49 pm

    Details, nk, details.

    Our problem of late (and by that I mean since the Korean War) hasn’t been figuring out the how. The military knows how to do that. It’s been the politicos demonstrating their inability to decide on what it is they’re trying to do. Whose precious sensitivities we’re trying not to transgress.

    Right now in GITMO guards are handing out Korans wearing latex gloves. Why? Because Islam teaches that the filthy Kuffar aren’t supposed to touch the Koran with their vile bare hands.

    The source of the enemy’s zeal to kill the infidel we infidels treat with the utmost respect.

    The mind boggles.

    Steve57 (ba12a7)

  39. 38. If that fails, send a Terminator back forty years to kill Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s mother.
    nk (dbc370) — 8/8/2014 @ 4:52 pm

    Destroying the enemy has rarely if ever failed. Which is why I recommend it. It’s like a recipe for boiling water; it’s hard to screw up.

    Step 1: Designate enemy.
    Step 2: Destroy it.

    Now it’s true that step 2 has a number of sub-components. It’s like that part in the cookbook where they put the asterisk next to the “add taco seasoning” step in the recipe. Then it tells you what page to flip to to learn how to make the taco seasoning.

    Steve57 (ba12a7)

  40. I vote for designating an enemy and then killing lots of people on their side until they either surrender or are destroyed.

    That’s been a viable game plan for thousands of years. If you can use “viable” to characterize lots of killing.

    Steve57,

    We already went into Iraq with a “plan”. I want to know specifics. This administration is always weighing outpossibilities, giving the targeted enemy full notice. Are we in a planning stage? To do what? To what end?

    Convince Americans who are war-weary especially when dealing with Iraq, that we should do more than weighing things out: what and how?

    Dana (4dbf62)

  41. Tell me about it. Are we mothballing the A-10, the perfect plane for this kind of warfare, because of environmentalism i.e. the toxicity of the depleted uranium in the AU-8′s Avenger ammunition, following complaints after Bosnia and Kosovo? Say it ain’t so.

    nk (dbc370)

  42. Dana, with all due respect we didn’t actually have a plan. I could never get a good answer to my question, “What are we trying to do here?” Which seems to me to be the first step in forming a plan.

    We knew a lot about what we weren’t going to do. We knew, for instance, we weren’t going to offend anyone by attacking during Ramadan.

    It’s kind of like saying we’re going to build something, and it’s going to have bathrooms, a kitchen, a command center, seating areas, meeting rooms, sleeping areas, a bar, and a gym and a recreation center.

    Have I just described a building, a ship, or the world’s largest airliner? Dunno. We never figured that part out.

    Steve57 (ba12a7)

  43. That’s sorta my point, Steve57: what the hell are the specifics: how, when, where, what? We are making it up as we go. It’s immensely frustrating. And yet, there are those who are gung-ho to dive back in. We don’t know the scope and sequence of their non-plan and to what end. It’s rather frustrating.

    Also, has anyone seen Germany, England, France, etc., etc., on the scene bringing aid and dropping bombs?

    Dana (4dbf62)

  44. baghdad bob to the rescue.

    mg (31009b)

  45. Dana, again with all due respect we don’t need the specifics. We need one big overarching generality. What are up to here?

    Our highly trained staff can then provide the specifics, once our illustrious leadership figures out what it wants to end up with.

    Steve57 (ba12a7)

  46. the AF is killing the A-10 because it isn’t new, it isn’t glamorous, it’s not a whiz bang fighter jet, and flying CAS can be dangerous.

    the AF hasn’t wanted to do CAS since WW2.

    besides, there is HE ammo for the cannon, so the whole DU excuse is as invalid as all the other BS trotted out to justify this idiotic move by the Pentagon.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  47. In other conflict related news:

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/08/111495.php

    A desperate hamas renews its rocket attacks

    The world wonders if the unprovoked yet murderous Zionists will now violate the ceasefire.

    Steve57 (ba12a7)

  48. iraq burns
    fore

    mg (31009b)

  49. Date: 7 August 1945
    From: Imperial Japanese Naval Staff
    To: The Japanese people

    Subject: Yesterday’s little setback at Hiroshima

    We are deeply concerned about the Americans’ rude and irresponsible behavior, yet would like to remind one and all that “core” US Pacific Fleet was soundly defeated at Pearl Harbor.

    Admiral Toyoda Barack Hussein Soemu announced from his vacation retreat near Nagano that he remains convinced that history will judge the IJN’s defeat of “core” US Pacific Fleet as one of the most enduring achievements of the war.

    Now, can you leave us alone so we can eat our waffles?

    Steve57 (ba12a7)

  50. I wasn’t able to find the cutesie photo of IJN spokeswoman LT Miyoko Jen Psalki Fukuda smiling and holding the handlettered cardboard #WeStandWithHiroshima sign.

    Steve57 (ba12a7)

  51. How can our s.o.b. president play golf, while the world swirls down the drain.

    mg (31009b)

  52. go yourself if you want to intervene so bad and take fox news chicken hawks with you you gutless cowards.

    iraq is arabic for vietnam (34d0ec)

  53. that happened not far from here

    i did not intervene

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  54. i hope that pink bicycle guy Kerry is “reporting for duty”!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  55. i did not intervene

    nor did i, but i did LMFAO when i heard about it.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  56. an internet tough guy calling other people “gutless cowards”…

    pot, kettle, some ignorance required.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  57. Maybe we can drop the Ebola on ISIS and perry.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  58. apologies to Tom Lehrer…

    First you get down on your knees,
    Fiddle with your rosaries,
    Swarthy mooks won’t hear your pleas
    Then… lose yer head, lose yer head, lose yer head

    little girls Mohammed’d bed them
    Ayatollah said it’s okay to wed them
    Convert or die
    it’s one Big Lie
    this is the Religion of Peace?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  59. 58. an internet tough guy calling other people “gutless cowards”…

    pot, kettle, some ignorance required.
    redc1c4 (abd49e) — 8/8/2014 @ 6:45 pm

    Raise your hands if your manhood is threatened by what Perry posts? Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?

    Steve57 (ba12a7)

  60. Obama did not intervene in Syria, which is where Baghdadi went for a while.

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7) — 8/8/2014 @ 4:30 pm

    Maybe not, but we do all know that he drew a bright red line over chemical weapons use there, then proceeded to back away from that line at warp speed when there was “evidence” of use. Putin famously spanked the JEF with that red line, and has been gleefully teabagging Obama ever since.

    Speaking of chemical weapons, we still don’t know who used them, whether it was the Syrian government or certain Syrian rebels with a captured cache. The pics I saw of the attack looked suspiciously staged.

    Bill H (f9e4cd)

  61. the AF is killing the A-10 because it isn’t new, it isn’t glamorous, it’s not a whiz bang fighter jet, and flying CAS can be dangerous.

    redc1c4 (abd49e) — 8/8/2014 @ 5:34 pm

    I’m curious what a pair of Warthogs could do to the standard column formation ISIS seems to use.

    Bill H (f9e4cd)

  62. 62. Bill H (f9e4cd) — 8/8/2014 @ 8:25 pm

    Speaking of chemical weapons, we still don’t know who used them, whether it was the Syrian government or certain Syrian rebels with a captured cache. The pics I saw of the attack looked suspiciously staged.

    Don’t take these accusations against rebels seriously. It was the Assad regime. Of course, I’ve wondered whether a double agent encouraged its use.

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  63. President Barack Obama gave an interview to the New York Times’ Tom Friedman. He said he did the right thing in Syria, but did the right thing in Libya, because otherwise Libya would have become like Syria did later, except maybe he made made a mistake in Libya, and should have not intervened there also because they didn’t plan for the day after (if you read it carefully, seems to be saying that maybe he would have bene perfectly happy not to intervene, if things were not worked out to his satisfaction)

    To paraphrase or quote Ralph Waldo Emerson:

    Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds Barack Obama.

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)


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