Speed Reads

Bin Laden or Hussein?

Congress has two main reactions to Trump's killing of Iran's Gen. Soleimani: Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein

President Trump's order to kill a top Iranian commander, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, an Iraqi militia leader, and others near Baghdad International Airport on Thursday was apparently news to Congress. And Congress had two general responses: Trump has killed a murderous commander with ample U.S. blood on his hands, and Trump might have just launched a major war with Iran.

Soleimani was leader of the elite Quds Force, the foreign wing of the Revolutionary Guards, and he was close with Iran's supreme leader and wielded immense political power in Iran as well as Iraq and Syria. "Just imagine how we’d react if some adversary assassinated a member of the Joint Chiefs, an Undersecretary of State, or the [Director of National Intelligence]," said Harvard international relations professor Stephen Walt. Iranian-American journalist Yashar Ali compared the strike to another country killing the U.S. vice president.

There was a clear partisan split to the reactions. For Republicans, this was more like the killing of Osama bin Laden:

For Democrats, it was more reminiscent of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, but without any input from Congress:

Senators were even arguing over Twitter.

Trump himself has not issued a statement, but he did tweet a photo of the American flag. Peter Weber