On Monday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) threw down the gauntlet to Democrats, as he announced he would introduce a resolution supporting the protestors in Iran who are fighting against the theocratic, despotic Islamic regime. The resolution states that it condemns the actions of the government of Iran and supports the protestors’ desire for the government of Iran to respect freedom and human rights. McCarthy thus put Democrats in the position of either supporting the protestors or refusing to do so and thus tacitly supporting the Iranian regime.
The resolution lists various actions the Iranian government has committed, including November 2019, when “Iranian security forces killed approximately 1,500 demonstrators when they rose up across the country in protest”; January 8, 2020, when “the Government of Iran shot down Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752, lied about its responsibility, and then admitted to mistakenly shooting the airliner down, killing all 176 people on board,” and January 11, 2020, when the “government of Iran arrested the British Ambassador to Iran, in violation of the Vienna Convention.”
The resolution then segues to the protestors, noting on January 11 they “gathered across Iran to denounce what they called lying and incompetence by the country’s leadership”; that at Amirkabir University of technology in Iran, “protestors tore down posters of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani”; that on January 13 “video from inside Iran showed protestors chanting slogans including ‘Clerics get lost,’” and that “video appears to show Iranian security forces firing live ammunition at protestors and a woman being carried away leaving a trail of blood on the ground as people shout that she has been shot.”
The resolution notes President Trump’s support for the protestors before it again condemns the Iranian regime.
The people of the United States support freedom and democracy, and we will always stand beside those who seek it.
Here is the full text of my resolution supporting the protestors in Iran. I expect the full House to vote on it this week. pic.twitter.com/nFk25Gjj4P
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) January 14, 2020
Last week McCarthy bluntly criticized the Democrats for their lack of support for the Trump administration as it battles the despotic Iranian regime, tweeting, “Think of the contrast. ↴While Democrats are trying to remove President Trump from office, the President is focused on removing terrorists from the face of the earth.”
Think of the contrast. ↴
While Democrats are trying to remove President Trump from office, the President is focused on removing terrorists from the face of the earth.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) January 5, 2020
This week McCarthy doubled down, saying, “Any time I hear a Democrat talk about him (Soleimani) and say he was ‘bad,’ but then use the word ‘but,’ yes, I question it. There is no ‘but’ when it comes to Soleimani; he was bad ‘because,’ not ‘but.’ He was bad because he killed more than 600 American soldiers; he was bad because of the attacks and the American citizens he killed; he was bad because he went after our embassy. He was bad because he was planning to kill more Americans. So, no: I never use the word ‘but’ when I refer to him, and I don’t think any other America should either, and if they do, I’ll question them on it as well.”
Any time a Democrat says "Soleimani was bad, BUT…" they need to be called out.
Soleimani was bad BECAUSE he was a terrorist who targeted and murdered hundreds of Americans. pic.twitter.com/q6mnDo65aG
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) January 12, 2020
McCarthy’s reference to Democrats using “but” when describing Soleimani has resonance; last week, Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said, “We have some questions to ask of our own president. Look, there is no question that Soleimani had American blood on his hands, that he was a bad actor in the region, but if there is anything that we have learned in the last twenty years in the Middle East, it’s that taking out a bad guy is not necessarily a good idea.”
Fellow presidential contender Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) tweeted, “Soleimani was a murderer, responsible for the deaths of thousands, including hundreds of Americans. But this reckless move escalates the situation with Iran and increases the likelihood of more deaths and new Middle East conflict. Our priority must be to avoid another costly war.”
Then, of course, there’s Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), whose legendary history of cozying up to dictators apparently precluded him from even mentioning Soleimani’s brutal history, as Sanders only condemned Trump’s “dangerous escalation.”