Sauk Valley: Kinzinger: Killing of Iranian general was 'the right move'

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger has called the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani “the right move,” but his political opponent in November said she is concerned about the repercussions.

Kinzinger, R-Channahon, spoke with CNN’s John Berman during Friday morning’s “New Day” program to offer his support of the decision after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the airstrike was conducted due to “imminent threats to American lives.”

“If anyone is doubting whether there was imminent intelligence of something that was going to happen, just look at the last week,” Kinzinger said on the program.

“Stuff had already happened, right? The breaching of the U.S. base, the attack on American contractors at an American base we know wasn’t directed by Iranian proxies and those militias, so obviously Soleimani had a say in it. So the idea that something would be coming up soon is not really that far fetched.”

Kinzinger said it follows 30 years of “constant” Iranian provocations, which led to many deaths including 600 Americans.

“So when we respond not by targeting 100 people operating a surface-to-air battery but targeting the man that has been driving this agenda with Iran for 20 years in the region, I think it was the right move,” Kinzinger said.

“Mess with the bull, get the horns,” Kinzinger tweeted Thursday night.

Soleimani was killed following a U.S. airstrike near Baghdad’s airport Thursday evening and was the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, according to the Associated Press.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned “harsh retaliation is waiting” for the U.S. after the airstrike while Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called the killing a “heinous crime” and said his country would “take revenge.”

The United States urged American citizens to leave Iraq “immediately” following the Friday airstrike that killed Soleimani and nine others.

Kinzinger acknowledged the attack may result in further loss of American lives.

“Will there be escalation? Yes. But the escalation is not on our part. We’re finally responding to continued provocations by Iran,” Kinzinger said.

He equated it to treating an infected wound, which “stings when you put it on.”

“There could be some inflammation in the short term but if you continue to ignore it, it’s going to be long term far more dangerous than what we’re maybe going to see in the next few hours,” he added.

Democrat Dani Brzozowski, of LaSalle, who is now the lone Democrat running in the 16th District, criticized the decision in a press release saying it further escalates tensions with Iran and will lead to “endless wars.”

“Soleimani was certainly not an innocent man, but the tit-for-tat, revenger-centric nature of President Trump’s approach to a complex situation for which he himself is partly responsible for demonstrates a blatant disregard for the consequences of his ‘foreign policy.’ ”

She said the decision is evidence of Trump’s “contempt” for Congress and he should not have the authority to commit “an act of war” without Congress’ consent.

“Make no mistake: the latest error is a grave one that will continue to implicate the U.S. Military in more endless wars that Trump claims to avoid, resulting in the loss of countless innocent lives and further destabilizing a region.”

Brzozowski was critical of Kinzinger’s stance, noting Soleimani isn’t “a poor victim,” but she is concerned for the possible repercussions.

“At a time when the stakes are extraordinarily high, members of Congress like Adam Kinzinger, who should certainly know better given his military service, choose hawkishness and party lines over cooler heads and the delicate handling that tensions with Iran require,” Brzozowski said.

State Sen. Sue Rezin, running for Congress in the 14th District, also agreed with the decision calling it “strategically brilliant,” in a press release.

“This is peace through strength. Iranians only respect power and the will to use it. No U.S. response to the storming of our embassy in Baghdad would have emboldened Iran to escalate their series of recent attacks,” she said.

Rezin said Trump wisely “turned the other cheek again and again” in the past.

“But there comes a time when the tail of the tiger is pulled and the tiger needs to demonstrate the full force of its power. President Trump wisely did just that yesterday,” she said.

The United States is sending nearly 3,000 more Army troops to the Mideast following the killing of Soleimani.

Note to readers: The Associated Press contributed to this report.



The original article can be found on the Sauk Valley News website here.