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Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

Representing the 3rd District of Ohio

Ohio lawmakers remain divided in the wake of Iranian general's killing

Jan 6, 2020
News Articles

As the impact of Donald Trump’s decision to kill Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani continues to reverberate across the Middle East, Ohio’s federal lawmakers remain divided on whether the president made the right call.

Republicans praised Trump for “delivering justice” to a known terrorist who had a pattern of striking U.S. interests, allies and even citizens.

″(The) news ought to be welcome relief to Americans, Iranians, the people of Lebanon, and countless others who have experienced the wrath and cruelty of Iran’s Quds military force,” Holmes County Republican Rep. Bob Gibbs tweeted. “Soleimani was a terrorist, plain and simple.”

Fellow GOP Congressman Warren Davidson of Troy agreed: “Rarely have American missiles found a more fitting target than General Soleimani.”

Ohio Democrats, however, worried Soleimani’s death would destabilize the Middle East and pull U.S. forces into another protracted war.

“Soleimani was undoubtedly responsible for the deaths of countless military and civilian personnel, yet retaliation from Iran may end up putting more American lives at risk,” Columbus Democratic Rep. Joyce Beatty said in a statement Monday. “Let me be clear, I want no war with Iran and will work with my colleagues to do everything we can to avoid a military confrontation.”

Republican Rep. Brad Wenstrup, during a Monday morning interview with Fox News, said, “He (Trump) would rather break them than bomb him. There’s no doubt about it. He would rather hurt them economically and bring them to their knees that way. But there comes a time when you have to act.”

Wenstrup sits on the House Intelligence Committee and told Fox he reviewed classified reports about potential strikes against the United States and its interests since returning to Washington.

“I will tell you that the reporting is very clear that there are imminent attacks against the U.S., U.S. interests, U.S. citizens,” Wenstrup said. “I think this president, this secretary of state, this chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said we’re going to nip this in the bud.”

Wenstrup, a combat physician in Iraq, tweeted, “When I was in Iraq, we had forensics to show who was orchestrating attacks and killing our men — and it was Soleimani.”

But Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan tweeted that the fatal drone strike marks a sharp turn in American foreign policy.

“We are now in a very dangerous situation. The president has thrown gasoline on the fires of the Middle East,” Ryan said. “It is time for statesmanship. History tells us that these acts quickly escalate. We need a mature Republican Party to lead.”

Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Toledo, tweeted: “The American people do not want a war with Iran. The people of northern Ohio do not want a war with Iran. The Trump admin must immediately work to deescalate tensions and provide Congress a full briefing on the administration’s strategy. No more endless wars.”

Rep. Anthony Gonzales, R-Rocky River, cheered the Iranian leader’s death:

“The United States delivered justice to a man responsible for the death of hundreds of U.S. soldiers and thousands of innocent civilians across the Middle East. The brutality of this monster cannot be overstated.”

Republican Sen. Rob Portman tweeted shortly after the killing: “Soleimani has been responsible for the deaths of many Americans over the years & directed the recent attacks on US personnel in the region. Iranian aggression must not go unchecked. I look forward to a full briefing by the administration.”

Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown wanted an immediate report to Congress: “With increased tensions in the region, and the likelihood that Iran will respond in some way to this strike, the administration must immediately brief Congress on (the) strike, its apparent lack of coordination with Iraq’s government and any plans it has made to keep Americans safe. We can’t let this administration’s chaotic foreign policy lead to another war in the Middle East.”

Columbus GOP Rep. Steve Stivers seemed almost prescient in a tweet three days before the attack: “Hezbollah and the Iranian government cannot expect an attack on any American to go unanswered.

This article was originally published on January 6, 2020 by The Columbus Dispatch