House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday responded to Iran’s missile attacks on military bases in Iraq housing U.S. troops by blaming the Trump administration.
Even as U.S. officials were uncertain of the damage done by the roughly 15 missiles that slammed into two bases housing U.S. personnel, Pelosi was tweeting her criticism of President Donald Trump.
“Closely monitoring the situation following bombings targeting U.S. troops in Iraq,” she tweeted. “We must ensure the safety of our servicemembers, including ending needless provocations from the Administration and demanding that Iran cease its violence. America & world cannot afford war.”
Closely monitoring the situation following bombings targeting U.S. troops in Iraq. We must ensure the safety of our servicemembers, including ending needless provocations from the Administration and demanding that Iran cease its violence. America & world cannot afford war.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 8, 2020
“You know, at the time when Americans are having missiles raining down on them, we should actually rally around the flag. There is plenty of time for politics. We have a whole year until the election,” Kinzinger said.
“But, during that, for the speaker to basically — in essence — accuse the president for these missiles coming down on the American soldiers is something I think they are going to regret,” he said.
Kinzinger then addressed the widespread condemnation from Democrats of the drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force.
“They are going to regret their — basically — opposition to this strike. They are going to regret all this stuff when it comes to November,” he said.
Anyone blaming America for Iran’s escalation of tensions does not understand the region’s history, the Illinois Republican said.
“This is what’s amazing to me,” he said, “You know, this idea that this was America’s fault. That it wasn’t our mistake in leaving Iraq that actually led to this in the first place.”
Kinzinger said he was disappointed that politics overshadowed patriotism in the partisan response to the drone strike that killed Soleimani.
“I supported Obama when he took big actions that we needed to. They don’t think that way,” he said. “And, that is why it’s important for us to stand together and also not to leave Iraq. To stand with the Iraqi people who really do want us there and not their puppet government that exists to this day.”
Depending upon what damage was done, the U.S. may have the chance to “kind of walk back from this cliff that Iran has brought us to,” he said.
“So, now is the moment where I think the president — whatever he does — he will have the information. He’ll make the right decision. Hopefully, we are walking back from Iran’s escalation, but we can finish any fight,” Kinzinger said.
House Armed Services Committee member Rep. Michael Waltz, a Florida Republican, told reporters that assessing the damage and Iran’ s intent will guide America’s response.
“What I’m watching for as these missiles fall as we speak are, are they hitting infrastructure or are they specifically trying to target Americans and kill Americans,” Waltz said, as Fox reported. “If they’re hitting infrastructure, that could be a signal that while they had to respond they did so in a way that would lead to future de-escalation. But Trump has [said] if you kill Americans like Iran has done since 1979, there will be serious consequences and he’ll hold Iran responsible, not the proxies.”
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