The editors of the LA Times oppose the president’s decision to engage in bomb strikes in Iraq:
We don’t doubt that the president was moved by the suffering the Islamic State has inflicted on the Yazidis and other victims. But the airstrikes can also be interpreted as an attempt to shore up the government of Iraq against an insurgency that Shiite Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has helped to foment by excluding Sunnis from the political process. And the president’s other rationale for the airstrikes — to protect Americans — also would justify military action to protect U.S. personnel from an attack on Baghdad. Will the U.S. be able to say no if the Islamic State continues to advance and Maliki or a successor asks for additional airstrikes — or more military advisors? And what if those measures proved unavailing?
When Obama announced in June that he was considering “all options” to help the government in Baghdad fend off the Islamic State insurgency, we argued against a U.S. air campaign in support of the Iraqi government. Distressing and tragic as recent events in Iraq may be, that’s still our advice.
My own view is that if you do not will the means you cannot will the end. Will bombing alone save the Yezidi?