- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Recent editorials from Florida newspapers:

August 14

The Tampa (Florida) Tribune on keeping Iraq out of ruthless hands:

Less than 48 hours ago, it appeared virtually certain that the United States would have little choice but to intervene militarily in Iraq on a scale that President Obama clearly wanted to avoid.

That all changed overnight when American officials reported the thousands of Yazidis, a minority religious sect fleeing persecution by the advancing Islamist extremists rampaging through Iraq, had been safely removed from their vulnerable haven on Mount Sinjar.

Yazidi leaders and some emergency relief officials dispute that assessment. In any event, it does appear American airstrikes - and the dropping of relief supplies - paired with ground attacks by the Kurdish troops did provide some relief to the Yazidis.

The rescue effort is less likely, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel reported late Wednesday.

If his assessment holds true, it will please most Americans, who thought our nation’s lengthy and costly involvement in Iraq had ended. But the situation remains dire and may soon enough require our nation’s involvement, however reluctant, on a considerably larger scale.

The sad truth is that Iraq is like a rudderless ship heading toward the rocks. If Iraq is overwhelmed by the murderous extremists, the entire region will be threatened.

This isn’t how it was supposed to be after the United States and our allies pulled out, believing the Iraqi people were prepared to govern themselves.

But now there’s a good argument for greater involvement by America and her allies. In fact, France, Britain and Germany have all decided to participate in the fight against the extremists, although not, so far, with troops.

There is no undoing past mistakes, but the United States should remain prepared to do whatever it possibly can to keep Iraq out of the hands of these ruthless murderers.




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