Former Sen. Joe Lieberman called the decision to kill Qassem Soleimani “bold and unconventional” and warned Democrats against partisan opposition to the action.
Lieberman, a Democrat from Connecticut, wrote in the Wall Street Journal that President Trump’s decision to conduct a drone strike against Soleimani warranted a less partisan reaction from Democrats, many of whom have condemned the attack.
“Trump’s order to take out Qassem Soleimani was morally, constitutionally and strategically correct,” Lieberman wrote. “It deserves more bipartisan support than the begrudging or negative reactions it has received thus far from my fellow Democrats.”
Lieberman, 77, drew upon the post-World War II words of Sen. Arthur Vandenberg, who chaired the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee. Vandenberg, a Republican, worked closely with Democratic President Harry Truman on foreign policy matters because “politics stops at the water’s edge.”
Lieberman said that Democrats today should heed Vandenberg’s advice.
“In their uniformly skeptical or negative reactions to Soleimani’s death, Democrats are falling well below Vandenberg’s standard and, I fear, creating the risk that the U.S. will be seen as acting and speaking with less authority abroad at this important time,” he said.
Lieberman, who was in the Senate from 1989 to 2013 and was chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said that Soleimani’s death could lessen the chance of a war rather than increase it — as some, such as Joe Biden, have suggested.
"Some Democrats have said that killing Soleimani will lead us into war with Iran. In fact, Soleimani and the Quds Force have been at war with the U.S. for years," Lieberman argued. "It is more likely that his death will diminish the chances of a wider conflict because the demonstration of our willingness to kill him will give Iranian leaders (and probably others like Kim Jong Un) much to fear."