In the wake of President Donald Trump’s decision to kill a high-level military official from Iran named Qasem Soleimani, the nation has split over whether doing so was a good or bad choice.
Recent polling on the matter shows that most registered voters (47 percent) say it was a good choice, with a high number of Americans (42 percent) saying it was a bad decision. A majority of Americans don’t believe much thought was put into the choice by Trump, however, and confidence in his policy toward Iran is low.
Speaking on “The View” on Monday, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren had a reasoned and cordial debate with host Meghan McCain, the latter of the two being broadly supportive of the assassination of Soleimani. McCain asked Warren, in a respectable way, to explain her position on the decision, and why she was skeptical of it.
While noting that Soleimani was a bad actor, Warren stated her views were based on what was best for America’s interests abroad. “The question is, what is the response that the president of the United States should make [to Soleimani’s actions], and what advances the interests of the United States of America?” she said.
Asked several times by @MeghanMcCain if Gen. Soleimani was a terrorist, Sen. Elizabeth Warren says, "Of course he is. He's part of a group that our federal government has designated as a terrorist. The question, though, is what's the right response?" https://t.co/tmqF9En73W pic.twitter.com/kr7By0AyEl
— ABC News (@ABC) January 7, 2020
Warren compared the choice to assassinate Soleimani to the decision to start a war with Iraq. While recognizing that Saddam Hussein was a “bad guy,” Warren said that war was a mistake.
“Going to war in Iraq was not in the interests of the United States,” she explained. “We lost thousands of American lives, it cost us here at home, it has cost us around the world. It has been a part of this cost in the Middle East that has ended up with millions of people who have lost their lives, who have been injured, been displaced.”
Like what happened in Iraq, Trump’s decision on Soleimani lacked preparation or insight into how it advanced America’s interests, Warren said. “The question for the president of the United States is to understand what’s going on, have an overall strategy, and pick an appropriate response.”
McCain pressed Warren at least three more times to answer the question of whether she thought Soleimani was a terrorist or not. Warren answered, saying he was, but again reiterated her overall point to opposing Trump’s actions.
“Of course he is. He’s part of a group that our federal government has designated as a terrorist,” Warren said. “The question, though, is what’s the right response? And the response that Donald Trump has picked is the most incendiary, and has moved us right to the edge of war. That is not in our long-term interest.”