Slotkin on attacks from Iran: ‘There is nothing that prepares you for the sound of incoming fire’

By: - January 8, 2020 8:07 am

President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks on the death of Soleimani at Mar-a-Lago on Friday, January 3, 2010, in Palm Beach, Florida. | Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead via Flickr Public Domain

After the U.S. airstrike last week that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and others, Iran launched missile strikes Tuesday against two Iraqi military bases housing U.S. forces. No casualties have been reported so far at the Al Asad and Erbil bases.

While President Donald Trump is expected to speak Wednesday on the strikes, the freshman Michigan congresswoman who is leading a resolution limiting his actions in Iran had sober words on the situation.

Rep. Elissa Slotkin and her husband, Dave Moore, at the American Legion in Oxford, Nov. 11, 2019 | Laina G. Stebbins

U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly), a former CIA and Pentagon official with years of experience analyzing Shia militias who has done intelligence tours in Iraq, said, “There is nothing that prepares you for the sound of incoming fire.

“Tonight, I’m watching the coverage and thinking of our service members and diplomats who are in harm’s way, and about their families back at home worried about them,” she added. “While we don’t yet know the full extent of tonight’s military activity, if it’s indeed true that Iranians fired conventional ballistic missiles at U.S. targets, it would be unprecedented.”

Slotkin also warned, “We are now in a cycle of escalation that threatens to draw us into wider war. The President and his team should remember the gravity of their responsibilities and be prepared to explain their strategic plan — to include next steps and possible ways to de-escalate. They owe the American public no less.”

3 Michigan reps. don’t vote to condemn Trump’s Syrian troop withdrawal

The Democratic-led U.S. House is expected to vote on the resolution this week.

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) railed against “Trump’s reckless and dangerous attempt to start a war with Iran.”

“It should not be lost on anyone that lives will be forever impacted, including innocent Iraqis who have been plagued with war and violence for almost two decades,” she added. “While there is still much we do not know about this heartbreaking development, one thing is certain: the United States cannot afford to engage in yet another tragic war with no end in sight and a rising tally of casualties.”

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint) said he’s “closely monitoring the situation in the Middle East after Iran targeted American troops with missile attacks. My thoughts are with our brave American service members serving in harm’s way. Ensuring the safety of American service members and citizens must be our immediate and top priority.”

He added that “the president’s increasingly confrontational approach with Iran is escalating this already grave situation. It is my hope that this situation does not escalate further, which would put more American lives at risk. The President owes the American people a plan on how he plans to prevent this conflict from spiraling out of control.”

Slotkin says war with Iran would be ‘long, entrenched’ fight

The U.S. House’s only independent, U.S. Rep. Justin Amash (I-Cascade Twp.), wrote on Twitter Tuesday night to “please pray for our troops who are in harm’s way and for their families.”

But Amash, a libertarian who has long critiqued presidential war powers, added, “The president has inherent authority to repel sudden attacks, but any military engagement beyond that requires approval from Congress under our Constitution.”

Republicans largely have rallied to Trump’s side since last week, with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) taking to the floor on Monday to chastise Democrats.

“The Senate is supposed to be the chamber where overheated partisan passions give way to sober judgment,” McConnell said. “Can we not at least wait until we know the facts? Can we not maintain a shred, just a shred, of national unity for five minutes before deepening the partisan trenches?”

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) on Tuesday night wrote on Twitter, “Peace in the Middle East has always been the goal, yet never achieved. The fury is as intense as ever. Somehow that fire has to be extinguished – we pray for wisdom and for our troops tonight.”

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 22-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQ+ people, the state budget, the economy and more.