A number of Democratic candidates for president, vying to defeat President Donald Trump in the 2020 election campaign, have come out against the administration’s decision to kill a prominent military leader in Iran, Qasem Soleimani.
Among those voicing discontent with Trump’s actions is South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who served in the armed forces in Afghanistan himself. Speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program Monday morning, Buttigieg blasted the administration’s decision which he said had very little thought involved, in terms of potential outcomes.
“There is no question that Soleimani had American blood on his hands and that he was a bad actor in the region,” Buttigieg said. “But if there is anything that we have learned in the last 20 years about the Middle East, it’s that taking out a bad guy is not necessarily a good idea.”
Trump’s choice to take out Soleimani was rash and came without informing the proper channels. There is “no evidence that there’s been proper consultation with Congress, and more importantly and more dangerously, no evidence that they’ve really thought about the consequences,” the mayor added.
That can result in a lack of trust from servicemembers, Buttigieg added.
"There is no question that Soleimani had American blood on his hands & that he was a bad actor in the region. But if there is anything that we have learned in the last 20 years about the Middle East, it's that taking out a bad guy is not necessarily a good idea."–@PeteButtigieg pic.twitter.com/0lBhQ1LXTx
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) January 6, 2020
“Right now, my mind is with the troops who are moving to the Middle East…you need to be able to trust that everybody up your chain of command has thought through what’s ahead,” Buttigieg added. “We’re just not seeing a lot of indications of that.”
A number of other Democratic candidates for president have also commented on how Soleimani was a terrible human being, but that the administration’s decision to kill him was short-sighted.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren noted that Soleimani was “responsible for the deaths of thousands, including hundreds of Americans,” USA Today reported.
“But this reckless move escalates the situation with Iran and increases the likelihood of more deaths and new Middle East conflict. Our priority must be to avoid another costly war,” Warren said.
Former Vice President Joe Biden voiced similar sentiments.
“No American will mourn Qassem Soleimani’s passing,” Biden explained. “He deserved to be brought to justice for his crimes against American troops and thousands of innocents throughout the region. He supported terror and sowed chaos.”
Nevertheless, Trump’s decision to assassinate the military leader was the wrong course of action to have taken. Soleimani’s death “is a hugely escalatory move in an already dangerous region,” Biden said, adding that Trump “just tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox” with this latest action.