Michigan leaders fear reaction to killing of top Iranian general

Leaders react to rising tension between US and Iran

DETROIT – Tensions between the United States and Iran escalated after a US airstrike killed top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani Friday.

Iran has vowed “harsh retaliation” against the United States in response to the killing, which has struck fear of war with the Islamic republic among Americans.

Gen. Qassem Soleimani was killed Friday at Baghdad International Airport during the airstrike.

His death comes on the heels of long standing tension between Iran and the United States.

During his first term President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and imposed sanctions on the country.

Read: Cycle of revenge: What’s next after killing of Iran general?

Read more: Trump says Iranian should have been ‘taken out’ years ago

“Qasem Soleimani was an evil man responsible for the death of thousands of innocent people. However, I deeply fear the consequences of this action, which was made without consulting Congress, or our allies and partners in the region. Congress must be briefed on the Administration’s strategy, and we must be prepared for an almost certain escalation of activities and conflict in the Mideast, as well as the safety of Americans throughout the world. We must act as Americans, not as Democrats and Republicans in understanding the situation, protecting America and safeguarding our national interests, allies and partners. Any escalation of US military involvement requires Congressional authorization, and the Administration must come to Congress for an Authorization for Use of Military Force as required by the Constitution.” -- Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan’s 12th Congressional District

“Soleimani was responsible for the deaths of countless Americans in Iraq & for destabilising the region. He was in Iraq, planning to escalate attacks on the Embassy & elsewhere. He won’t be missed. That said, Iran will respond & managing escalation must now be the priority.” -- Mike Rogers, former republican congressman for Michigan’s 8th Congressional District

“The drone strike in Iraq ordered by the Trump Administration is yet another reckless action made with no regard for the checks and balances set out by our Constitution. Such provocative actions will put even more lives, both at home and abroad, in danger. We have an entire generation of people and children who have only known a United States at war. We cannot stay silent as this lawless President recklessly engages in actions that move us closer to yet another unnecessary war that will undoubtedly result in more bloodshed. The President is not a king and this is not a monarchy, this is a democracy. Therefore, as a co-equal branch of government and the body with the sole authority to declare war, Congress must clearly say no to war with Iran.” -- Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan’s 13th Congressional District

“Soleimani was responsible for the death of many American service members and inciting chaos throughout the Middle East. However, a single action without a meaningful plan will lead to more risk for Americans at home and abroad. The Administration is required to provide a clear rationale to Congress for its actions. They also must consult with Congressional leaders on a meaningful strategy to protect American lives and interests around the world.” -- Democratic US Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan

"As a former Shia militia analyst who served multiple tours in Iraq and worked at the White House under both Presidents Bush and Obama, and later at the Pentagon, I participated in countless conversations on how to respond to Qassem Soleimani’s violent campaigns across the region,” Slotkin said. “If you worked on the Middle East over the past 20 years, you dealt with the growing organization and sophistication of Soleimani’s covert and overt military activities, which have contributed to significant destabilization across the region. I watched friends and colleagues get hurt or killed by Iranian rockets, mortars and explosive devices that were provided to Iraqi proxies and used against U.S. forces under Soleimani’s guidance. We watched as his power increased and he brought strength and capability to groups in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen, and to smaller cells around the Middle East and the world, with devastating consequences. We watched what can only be described as a cool war, taking place quietly under the surface of the public eye.” -- Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin (Read full statement here)

As Commander in Chief, the president’s top priority is protecting American lives and interests both abroad and at home. The safety of our service members is of paramount importance, and we must take every action possible to ensure they are protected in the face of growing hostility. This administration carried out high-level military action without an authorization of military force from Congress. The president must convince this body and the American people, that he has the ability to act and think strategically. I am not convinced that he has thought through the consequences of our military actions. Therefore, there must be an immediate briefing of the full Congress to guarantee the country has a comprehensive plan to address any retaliation, as well as the possible increased deployment of troops to the Middle East.” -- Democratic Rep. Brenda Lawrence

About the Author:

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.