Barack Obama has authorised targeted air strikes against Islamic militants in Iraq, as the US military began an airborne operation to bring relief to thousands of minority Iraqis driven to a grim, mountain-top refuge. Describing the threats against stranded Yazidi refugees as holding the potential for “genocide”, the president said he had authorised limited air strikes to help Iraqi forces, to assist in the fight to break the siege and protect the civilians trapped there. ‘We need to act, and act now’ said the US president. Read more >>
The cartoon by Morten Morland from The Times shows President Obama in the Oval Office in the White House. He's holding a piece of paper with the word 'ISIS' written on it in one hand, and the telephone in the other. He has a surprised expression on his face, as he says, "I've decided to act!"
The title of the cartoon 'Shock and Awe' is a military doctrine based on the use of overwhelming power. Before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, officials in the United States armed forces described their plan as employing shock and awe. In the cartoon, however, the phrase is used ironically to describe Obama's surprised reaction to his decision to take action (he has been criticized for his inaction as Islamic militants sweep through Iraq). ISIS is the former name of the Islamic State militant group, who are threatening to massacre Yazidi refugees in northern Iraq.