Obama has ruled out air strikes
The current Obama policy on Al Qaeda in Iraq is to...
A. Do nothing
B. Do it without Congressional approval
That's the takeaway from Obama's pointless meeting with Congress whose only real purpose is to try and shift some of the blame.
Before the meeting a senior administration official had made it clear that Obama was not going the air strikes route. This is about as surprising as snow in January.
Obama has ruled out an immediate campaign of air strikes against a militant Islamist terror group that is running roughshod over Iraq, senior administration officials told reporters on Wednesday.
When he meets at 3:00 p.m. with congressional leaders from both parties, he will reportedly explain his preference for continued diplomacy and intelligence gathering for Iraq's army over bombing and guided-missile campaigns.
Meanwhile Iraq is asking for air strikes. This isn't the first time the Iraqi government has asked, but they're making it a formal request which embarrasses them and might embarrass Obama if he had any concept of shame.
Iraq has formally asked the US to launch air strikes against the Sunni insurgents who have taken control of large parts of the country.
Since Mosul fell nine days ago, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has been targeting towns on the main highway to Baghdad, edging ever closer to the capital.
Iraq's foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari said US airpower was needed to "break the morale" of the ISIS fighters, and said the request for air strikes was made under the security agreement between the two countries.
He said neighbouring Iran, a Shiite ally of Iraq's government, had not intervened to help so far, but added that "everything is possible".
So Iraq is sending the rather clear signal that either the US helps or they're throwing the doors wide open to Iran. Again, not a problem for Obama who likes Iran better than he likes Iraq, not to mention Egypt, Jordan and Israel.
So what will Obama be doing instead?
Obama decided against immediate air strikes on marauding Sunni extremists in Iraq, opting instead to pursue strategies such as providing intelligence to the Iraqi military, addressing the country’s political divisions and seeking support from regional allies.
Air strikes? Nah. Let's liase with "regional allies" and encourage Baghdad to engage in political reconciliation. And then the same intel chiefs who didn't know this was coming can help out Iraq with intel.
But should Obama decide to switch from doing nothing to something, our emperor won't ask Congress.
Obama believes he does not need authorization from Congress for any steps he might take to quell the al-Qaida-inspired insurgency sweeping through Iraq, the Senate's top Republican said after the president briefed senior lawmakers Wednesday.
Of course not.
Obama never needs authorization from Congress when doing minor things like going to war, implementing illegal alien amnesty or outlawing power plants.