US

Congressman Recommends Striking Iranian Missile Sites to Let Iran Know ‘We Are Not Playing Around’

By Zachary Stieber

A U.S. Congressman is urging the administration of President Donald Trump to strike Iranian missile sites to send a message even as the president said he’s “in no hurry” to strike the country since the United States has a superior military.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said in an op-ed published on Fox News that the United States should be patient but should retaliate in a limited fashion after Iran shot down a U.S. Navy drone this week.

“Iran has crossed a line with their latest attack on the United States over international airspace, and it’s time we let the regime know that these egregiously misguided actions have very real consequences,” Kinzinger wrote.

“We have the ability to execute a proportional response without leading American troops to war. The U.S. could start by taking out surface-to-air missile sites, and let Iran know that we are not playing around.”

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) in a March 2019 file photo. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“It’s time the United States show Iran that their dangerous games will not be tolerated any longer,” he added, writing that the option to deploy troops should remain on the table.

One of Trump’s favorite news personalities, Tucker Carlson, also posted an op-ed on Fox on June 21, calling people who want to go to war with Iran “warmongers.”

“The very people—in some cases, literally the same people who lured us into the Iraq quagmire 16 years ago—are demanding a new war, this one with Iran. The president, to his great credit, appears to be skeptical of this—very skeptical,” he wrote.

Carlson, who hosts a nightly show on Fox, praised Trump for the president’s comments in the Oval Office on Thursday.

iran strike ordered: reports
Head of the Revolutionary Guard’s aerospace division Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh looks at debris from what the division describes as the U.S. drone which was shot down the day prior in Tehran, Iran on June 21, 2019. (Meghdad Madadi/Tasnim News Agency/via AP)

The president suggested the possibility that an Iranian general made a mistake and noted that the drone was unmanned.

“I find it hard to believe it was intentional,” he said.

“We didn’t have a man or woman in the drone. It would have made a big, big difference,” he added.

Trump said on Friday that he had ordered a military strike against Iran but ended up calling it off at the last minute.

“We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights [sic] when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it,” he explained in a missive posted on Twitter.

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on June 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The response would not have been proportional retaliation for an unmanned drone, the president added.

Top Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said that war is “where we’re headed” if things don’t change, suggesting strikes against Iranian naval and oil targets.

Democratic leaders said they’re not supportive of a war with Iran.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters on Thursday that America doesn’t want to go to war.

“I think it’s a dangerous situation. We have to be strong and strategic about how we protect our interests. We also cannot be reckless in what we do, so it will be interesting to see what they have to say,” Pelosi said. “I don’t think the president wants to go to war. There’s no appetite for going to war in our country.”

Top Democrats and Republicans received briefings on June 20 on the situation, including Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

Schumer said that America couldn’t go to war unless Trump received Congressional approval.

“I told the president that these conflicts have a way of escalating. The president may not intend to go to war here, but we’re worried that he and the administration may bumble into a war,” he said, referring to the meeting. “We told the room that the Democratic position is that congressional approval must be required before funding any conflict in Iran.”