US History: Barack Obama's Second Term - Looking for Hope

Yazidi woman in a village near the Sinjar Mountains.
Yazidi woman in a village near the Sinjar Mountains. | Source

Back to Iraq in the Second Term of Office

Many events were major during the years 2012 - 2016, but the possibility of re-entering a War in Iraq was immense.

"We can act carefully and responsibly to prevent a potential act of genocide."

--- President Barack Obama 8/7/2014

Northern Iraq was invaded by the Islamic State of Iran, sending thousands of Christians fleeing their homes.

Their choice was like that of the 50,000 Yazidis trapped on Mount Sinjar without food and water: "Convert to Islam, pay a religious fine, flee their homes, or face death." America first sent food and water supplies by air lift, then considered military action. More humanitarian aid is planned.

The President described what he felt to be appropriate airstrikes, should the Islamic State radicals choose to advance on American troops in Irbil and its US consulate.

Some 800 US troops arrived in Iraq early in 2014 for operation centers in Baghdad and Irbil for intelligence gathering and assessment of the nation and its status.

Congress was on recess when all this occurred, but the President conferred with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

In Washington DC early on the morning of Friday August 8, the Pentagon reported that American fighter planes released bombs onto Islamic militants in Iraq, destroying two pieces of equipment -- The two fighter jets took off from the USS George HW Bush in the Persian Gulf and dropped bombs weighing 500 pounds onto an artillery vehicle and a military truck.

On August 9, the US aimed for two armored personnel carriers that were firing on Yazidis and destroyed one. Twenty minutes later, the US fired on two more such vehicles and an armed truck. Americas used fighter jets and drones in these bombings. During mid-afternoon, another air strike occurred, followed by additional food and water drops via air lift to the captives.

Suggestions have been made that both manned and unmanned American aircraft stand at the ready to attack. Republican Senators. John McCain and Lindsey Graham supported President Obama's recent actions in air strikes, but declared that additional actions are needed as well. France spoke out against the Islamic State in this matter and planned to help in the near future.

Another question to solve is that of under-armed pro-American Kurds in the north of Iraq, who want to purchase American weapons. So far, President Obama has not agreed. Meanwhile, Reuters reported that Kurds purchased AK-47 assault rifles at a local arms bazaar. On August 10, the President decided to furnish arms to the Kurds.

  • By the afternoon of August 8, hundreds of women of the Yazidi group under age 35 had been kidnapped by Sunni militants and taken as hostages to Mosul.
  • By August 10, ISIS forces had killed over 500 Iraqi Christians and Yazidis. Some Yazidis, including women and children, were buried alive.
  • Reuters reported that Sunnis seized a total of five oil fields, several villages, and the largest dam in Iraq by August10, while nearly 200,000 Yazidis had fled their homeland. At the same time, up to 20,000 had been rescued from a mountainside.

Irbil/Arbil, Kurdish Captial Outside Mosul

show route and directions
A markerIrbil -
Arbil, Iraq
[get directions]

B markerBaghdad -
Baghdad, Iraq
[get directions]

C markerMosul -
Mosul, Iraq
[get directions]

D markerMount Sinjar, Iraq -
Sinjar Mountains, Iraq
[get directions]

THE CAPITOL BUILDING PREPARING FOR 1/21/2013
THE CAPITOL BUILDING PREPARING FOR 1/21/2013 | Source

Inauguration Ceremonies On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Differences occurred in the 2013 Inauguration festivities, making them more compact and less expensive. That was a good thing. Other changes were more historic and were also good things.

For the first time that anyone living can recall, a woman and a non-clergy person delivered the Inauguration prayer. Billy Graham had done so through many decades and can no longer oblige in the cold weather at the age of 90+. Another preacher was disqualified over public protests about his beliefs.

This opened the way for Ms. Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of slain civil rights hero Medgar Evers, to deliver a prayer as good as any preacher's. The Bible says that we are all priests and sons (meaning people, male and female) of God, so this historic change is good for us. Evers-Williams in a woman, a lay person, and also a Black and a civil rights worker. Some find opposition to those designations to be a hobby in itself, but her offering of prayer was appreciated by most of the attendees overall.

Another historic note is the use of two Holy Bibles for swearing in - one owned by my favorite president, Abraham Lincoln, and another owned by the late Martin Luther King, Jr. I hope the drive and tenacity for useful accomplishments such as these two men showed, and lost their lives in doing so, will help America, her people, and the world as they find their way into the Inauguration and the final presidential term of Barack Obama.

The Yellow Press

Some rabble rousers felt that in its understated and mostly traditional ceremonies and music, that the Inauguration for Barack H. Obama in his second term was not exciting enough.

Some Internet News Services chose the most mundane aspects of Inauguration 2013 to highlight in hopes of spreading yellow journalism --

One criticizer did not want to see Bill Clinton's face. A first daughter yawned; at age 11, so tired by the end of the day that she shivered with fatigue in the yawn. The First Lady half-way rolled her eyes at a comment no one could hear. Someone(s) didn't show up (irrelevant).

Personally, I hear a few American brains shriveling in the attempt to change the Inauguration into Real Housewives Meet Jersey Shore On the Potomac.

50th Anniversaries in History

Our 2013 is a milestone year, being the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 and the 50th Anniversary of the March On Washington in 1963.

One hundred and fifty years past the Proclamation of Lincoln, we are yet not done with the work toward equality. Obama is criticized for his number of Executive Orders, but so was Lincoln and so was George W. Bush. Were Lincoln alive today, he may have used more EO's than Obama and Bush combined.

I am convinced that of Abraham had not been assassinated in 1865, his health would have taken him from us. He completely drained himself for our country in a way unmet by any president since his time. Every mid-term State of the Union Address is met with public whisperings of , "Doesn't he suddenly have a lot of gray in his hair now." Rightly so.

What would Lincoln, Medgar Evers, John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr. and others say about January 2013's America? I hope they would see some progress among our efforts. If they could read the poem One Day, about working America and dedicated to the Inauguration by Poet Robert Blanco in its hard hitting simplicity and elegance, I think that they would surely see progress among us.

The year 2013 also marks the 150th year after the completion of the Capitol Building in DC, marked by the statue at its dome peak of the Spirit of Freedom. A slave that was soon to be free finished the bronze work on the 16-foot figure when the original crafter died in Europe.

Complete Inauguration, 80 Minutes

Official Photo, First Lady Michelle Obama

Source

2013 Inaugural Parade

Important Points and Aspects of Inauguration 2013

  • Lincoln opened the same Bible that Obama borrowed, at random to choose a verse in 1861. For the second inauguration, near the end of the Civil War, he chose these verses:

Judge not, that ye be not judged. Matthew 7:1

Woe to the man by whom the offence cometh! Matthew 18:7

Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments . Revelation 16:7

More by this Author


Comments 11 comments

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 3 years ago from Western NC

I watched the whole thing yesterday while working. It was historic and beautiful and I did notice the subtle changes: the two bibles, the different people speaking and the singing was unparalleled. Thanks for sharing this. :)


cygnetbrown profile image

cygnetbrown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri

Thanks for reminding me that if we don't learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it. I have to wonder though if Martin Luther King and Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy have not been the demigods we have created them to be if they had not been assassinated. Also I have to wonder if Reagan's popularity might not have had something to do with the fact that an attempt was also made on his life. I know that sounds morbid, but I have to wonder.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Thank you for a great hub to cap the festivities. We must always be ready to celebrate our country as well as criticize it.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 3 years ago from North America Author

cclitgirl - I enjoyed this lower-keyed Inauguration as well. The parade afterwards was very long, though - I think every state had two marching bands at least. But the marching guide dogs were great, as were the horse units, dancers, and Native American groups.

cygnetbrown - I think Lincoln would be revered no matter how he died, but JFK's plans were so wide ranging that I think a portion of America would have balked and criticized him for decades. I don't know about Reagan - he tossed many people off SSI and SSDI that were bedfast, without relatives, and became homeless (one was a patient of mine); his popularity may come more from telling USSR to take down the Berlin Wall than from assassination attempts (?)

Ericdierker - That is a good way of looking at it - celebration and criticism. America deserves both, not only the negative.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Nicely done, Patty. It's nice to read something that points out the positive and even hopeful aspects in a political world often so negative. I'm glad I came across this hub. Voted up and everything else but funny.


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 3 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

Great article Patty, didn't know about the 50th anniversaries and believe them not be a coincidences. Kathi :O)


rightfit4life profile image

rightfit4life 3 years ago from Raleigh, NC

I agree Victoria! How refreshing to have a positive take away from something so historical. Thanks Patty, you always deliver! Nice.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 3 years ago from North America Author

Victoria - Thank you very much! I thought that the Inauguration was enjoyable to watch, no matter what one's political leanings. The campaign was so aggressively negative in Ohio news and TV stories, because we're a swing state, that I stopped watching and even talking to people about it. This telecast was a relief.

Fossillady - It escaped me that Medgar Evers was assassinated also 50 years ago in 1963. Perhaps 2013 will be pretty important.

rightfit4life - I'm happy you enjoyed the Hub. Perhaps we call can take a positive note into the future.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Great work, Patty. I missed a lot of the ceremony due to personal family concerns right now. Glad for the recap with a positive spin.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 3 years ago from North America Author

Hi there Kathleen.

This is the first time I was actually able to make time to see the whole day from Church ceremony to end of parade and clips from the balls. Exhausting! I'm happy Jennifer Hudson sang, though.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

Hope will always be an alluring theme that Obama admin will always carry as a torch of inspiration among American people.

Thanks for this recap and added info for us to ponder on. :)

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working