As the insurgency by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) escalates in Iraq and Syria, US President Barack Obama is considering a range of options to help Iraq combat the insurgents. The Sunni rebels have seized several cities, including Iraq's second largest city Mosul, displacing hundreds of thousands of people. Following the uprising, which started on Monday with the seizure of Mosul, Iraq's government appealed to the US to help fight the militants who want to overthrow the current government. Obama said in a statement on Friday that Washington was considering various options, but that a military intervention was excluded. Other options include air strikes and the use of drones. Read more >>
The cartoon by Schrank from The Independent shows Barack Obama, who is dressed as a cowboy, using a stick to draw a line in the sand, as he hold up his hand to stop the spectre of Isis, holding a machine gun in one hand and a scimitar in the other, from crossing it. The caption "Mission Impossible" says it all.
To draw a line in the sand is to indicate the threshold or level beyond which something will become unacceptable or will provoke a response. • The British government must at some stage draw a line in the sand and say: `The concessions stop here'. Wiktionary has a good article on this expression.
1. The 'line in the sand' image recalls Obama's earlier comments about the use of chemical weapons in Syria, though in that case it was a red line.
2. Chappatte drew a very similar cartoon in February 2013.