Members of Michigan’s Congressional delegation in Washington quickly took to Twitter to voice their respective opinions on the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian military leader Major Gen. Qassem Soleimani early Friday morning.
As leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Quds, Soleimani gained notoriety for orchestrating military activities in Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Syria. Also killed at the airstrip outside Baghdad was Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis
“Tonight’s strike took a notorious terrorist off of the battlefield. What comes next is critical for the region and the world,” Sen. Gary Peters, a Democrat, said. "I am focused on ensuring that there is a strategy to protect our citizens, servicemembers, and diplomats, and that advances our national security."
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, was less diplomatic.
"We cannot stay silent as this lawless President recklessly moves us closer to yet another unnecessary war that puts innocent lives at risk at home & across the globe," she wrote. "Congress alone has the authority to declare war, & we must reclaim our responsibility & say no to war with Iran."
In a three-part tweet, Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, wrote: "When Teddy Roosevelt was President, he worked to establish respect for the United States and our strength around the world. The world once again witnessed that strength in taking out an evil man. When our people and our interests are attacked, the United States should swat back."
Upton continued: "I look forward to learning more in briefings when I return to Washington from Michigan next week, but I support the President’s reaction thus far in taking Soleimani out." He concluded: "For some time now, Iran has been poking the bear and had to expect that there would be a consequence. Qassem Soleimani was the ring leader responsible for the deaths of hundreds of U.S. military officials and was likely planning more."
Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint, wrote: “Qassim Soleimani was a brutal Iranian military commander who has killed many Americans and orchestrated countless terrorist attacks. Yet many Iranians and Iran’s hardline leaders will see his killing as a serious provocation that could incite additional attacks against American service members, diplomats and citizens abroad."
"Iran has already vowed ‘harsh revenge’ against the United States and could further escalate violence. It is important to remember that every foreign policy action we take has potential life-and-death consequences, and we must consider the short and long-term repercussions of such actions," Kildee continued.
Justin Amash, who recently defected from the Republican party to become an Independent representing Grand Rapids, wrote: "There’s a reason our Constitution grants Congress the power to declare war: Every American may be intimately affected by a violent conflict. Soleimani was evil. But our system demands consent for war from the people, acting through their representatives and senators in Congress."
Rep. Jack Bergman, a Republican representing Michigan's 1st Congressional District, comprised of the Upper Peninsula and 16 northern Lower Peninsula counties, is a retired Marine Corps lieutenant general who supports the airstrike.
"Qassem Soleimani was responsible for over 600 American deaths and planning further attacks on Americans," he wrote. "Yesterday, this perpetrator of evil was eliminated thanks to our military strength and President Trump’s decisive action.
"While I have no desire for our nation to be immersed in endless wars, it is our duty to ensure those who are working to cripple our country are met with unparalleled force," Bergman continued. "Enemies of the United States must understand that when lives of Americans and our allies are at risk, we will no longer sit back when a line in the sand is crossed."