See my Friday column on updated commentary from New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, more.
It seemed absurd, at least to me (and maybe to Jon Stewart, see below), yesterday as the US media, including MSNBC, focused overwhelmingly on the defeat of Representative Eric Cantor in Virginia, with all of 65,000 votes cast, just as Iraq—where we have lost 4,500 of our own soldiers, killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and spent more than a trillion dollar—was crumbling.
Today that’s even more true, as Iraq breaks apart even more. Now the Kurds have taken Tirkuk, and in Mosul the insurgents have liberated $435 million from just one large bank, making them, as The Washington Post points out, easily the world’s best-funded anti-American terror group. And that’s before the oil revenues roll in. But hey—as Jon Stewart pointed out after Cantor’s defeat—now there will be no bipartisan action in Congress!
But later today, perhaps, the focus will shift to the question of what the US—which brought Al Qaeda to Iraq in the first place—will do now.
Last night it emerged that Iraq had asked Obama to bomb insurgents’ positions last month, which he refused to do. But that was then and this is now, with Baghdad the next rebel target and the linkage with Syria conflict clear (and Iran, of course, very much in the picture). American bombing may now be a very open question. John McCain may call for another “surge” any minute now.
So we’ll start monitoring here the emerging calls in the media for action or inaction. But note: recall how close we came to bombing Syria just last autumn, with many prominent voices in the media calling for that and Obama, at the last minute, bailing out (thank goodness).
UPDATE Rep. John Boehner claiming Obama took a "nap" while Iraq crumbled. Here's a roundup of Fox hawks calling for bombers or at least drones. Columnist at L.A. Times suggests Bush and Cheney take care of it.