Listen: Iran attacks Iraqi bases housing US troops in retaliation for Soleimani's death
"Breaking news out of Iraq where we have confirmation that Iran has launched missiles missile strikes to Iraqi basis at least two Iraqi basis that also house. US forces we have no confirmation yet of the assessment of damage or casualties around the state media is now saying that Eh. They launched these two rounds of missile strikes. And this is I think important and really actually crucial we think about this moment around saying there's no there's no retaliation for America For the latest attacks. Then they will stop attacking but if America tax than their response will be crushing and widespread. It seems to me that this is a calculation nation here by the Iranian regime. At least and getting to some point that does not further. Climb up the escalatory ladder that we have now been on for quite some time and is threatening to plunged the entire region into valuable war joining me now former Republican congressman from Oklahoma Mickey Edwards. Former chair of the House Republican Policy Committee and former Democratic Congressman from Maryland. Donna Edwards also with me Sam Cedar host the majority were podcast and MSNBC Contributor Angelina Maxwell host of signal boost on Sirius Xm and an MSNBC political analyst. Donna let me start with you the the way that we talk about. This tends to resolve revolve around the president. What decision when will he make? and WHO's influencing but America's democratic nation with the constitution that gives the power to declare war the the Congress United States represents this democratic nation. All of its citizens citizens should not be in the hands of one man particularly one man with the faculties that the current president has it seems to me extremely important that across Democrat and Republican particularly Democratic Party Democrat. Cows come out strongly to say no war with Iran. This is madness and do whatever they can to halt escalation is that a possibility ability as UCLA. I do think that there will be in there. Already have been tonight really strong voices coming from speaker. Pelosi herself that we do not want a war with Iran and very sadly this is so reminiscent of where we've been before and I think it's also important for the American American people to step up and declare that there should be no war with Iran and we are at a place where you know. There's a possibility that there could be some some de escalation but it requires seen voices and cool heads to preside both in the White House which I don't expect but certainly coming out with a strong voice from Democrats in the in the Congress and I would expect others who do not want to continue. You need to put service men and women in harm's way and to jeopardize the safety of of the American People Mickey you know there's been an interesting Fisher Asia and the Republican and Conservative collision on this question We we've seen it sort of break out in the open. Sometimes rampaul was on our air earlier. Senator from Kentucky urging us not to enter into worth around. There are some conservative commentators. WHO HAVE THE president's ear who also said the same? This seems to me kind of testing ground of that. What do you you expect to see from Republicans on the hill? Well if we stay with what they have been saying for. Many many years is that we should be very cautious. Che's about going into war but they're the bigger issue here is what you were talking about Chris. So I would hope that the congress is able to back the president op and not have is go into a major war but it's also important that Congress start reasserting its primacy in the field of international affairs primacy in in terms of deciding when we go to war because it's not just this war but with this man in the in the White House or frankly any president the idea that the congress would step by now. You were the democratic voice. Chris you've been talking about and that the Congress would back off and let any president just on his own whim or any other reason take take the country into war is unacceptable and it's time Republicans and Democrats both came together on that one issue. It just crazy to me to view what's happening right now. Does this thing that just happening out there. In the world like we're we live in a democratic society precisely so that we can exert some control and and that's part of constitutional designed by design the founders constitutional design that there are some democratic control. I mean the idea that regardless of what we have in terms of casualties that we must must respond is absurd. We have agency people are going to call for de-escalation. They're either going to call for now tonight or they're going to do it. Eighteen years from now after after what we've been in Iraq and so the bottom line is every single. Democratic presidential candidate should tonight come out and say no war with Iran every single member of the Democratic Caucus in the house and the Senate should be backing the bills by Tim Kaine am by Sanders and Kana in the House and stopping funding and stopping topping the legal auspicies for this war. Somebody's skills worse than Iraq because at least with the Iraq war in two thousand three there was a reason they put forward a reason season and so an American citizen say while there's WMD's now it turned out that that was a lie right but there wasn't articulated reason that the administration collectively is trying to put forward to tell the American people. This is why we're doing this. I have no idea why this is happening Chris. The American people likely do not understand why we are on on the brink of war with Iran and I agree with Sam. All of the Democratic candidates have a chance to step forward in this moment and show that they can be competent. They can be strong and stand on principle there. There is no reason for this and this moment we need to stay take a step back a giant step back over this cannot be a partisan listen moment the Republicans in Congress have to do the same thing. They took the same oath of office. They swore to uphold the same constitution and adjust having Democrats oppose. What's happening what the war is about without any information here but but they can't do it alone? Republicans have to say in this this case this is American lives at risk and we are going to take back the constitutional power. The Congress has the it can't be just a democratic down the the politics of of this which in some senses seemed secretaries. We await at this moment to find out if there were casualties. Both among the Iraqi against Iraqi servicemembers emmers on these Iraqi bases or American service members but of course the politics matter because the politics are part of what will produce the outcomes that happen and the decision that gets made. I mean again. This is all part of Democratic Self Governance. It does seem to me that the war weariness is very real thing it shows up in the polling. It showed up on the campaign trail. There's very very little appetite. Wait for a war with Iran. If you pull that question and even the airstrike against Sulejmani which a to my mind. Reckless escalation along this trajectory was was essentially partisan split. Like do you trust. The Democrats will have the courage of their convictions about how they navigate this. Well I have to say I mean I do you. I mean I remember you know the lead up to the Iraq war in two thousand and whatever it was three four and you know people believe the evidence that was in front of them. I never believed it. But even in the face of thousands and thousands of people taking to the streets still legislators felt a need to like go right up and march toward war. We cannot afford that to have that outcome again. And I think it's incumbent on members of Congress but the American people have to speak up and we know that they're worried because they wanted to pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan in and out of the region all along now here. We are escalating again. And it's time to put a put the brakes on this coming. Both from the Congress in terms of them exercising their authorities Mickey had said but also coming from the American people saying we do not want another war in that region Gen Party. The ball is in the in the hands of the people themselves the power to declare war being Congress means that the people are supposed to make these decisions and this is what they have to show up a child meetings APP to contact their members of Congress and they have to be hurt and there should be a vote. I mean there's going to be a partner. Solution says there's going to be privileged privileged resolution and there should be there should be a vote in the United States. Senate absolutely not say I am struck by how many democratic politicians look I have very little expectations of Republicans at this point. I'm sorry about that but I am struck. By how few how how little maturation there seems to be when I look at the democratic accredit politicians who are coming out there and equivocating at this point because the American public has grown since two thousand two and to a certain extent I remember that time time vividly millions of people who are in those streets at that time and the fact is there was a lot of people who are shell shocked after nine eleven that Shell shock does not exist amongst the American American public anymore but you look at the eyes of a lot of these democratic politicians and they look like deers. If your headlights they need to lead to fight back against what is off. Obviously an attempt to draw this country into war by. Who's you know what who who's driving this bus? It's unclear but it but we cannot allow the the idea that the president of the United States can Willy Nilly create provocations. That dragged this country into this type of quagmire again. The American people have to understand why why we're entering into a military conflict. They don't know that tonight and that's a really big problem. And the communication here. I mean we just go back to say what the facts are on the ground in terms of the the latest loop. There was an attack outside Kirkuk a rocket attack there have been increasing rocketfire Adam at American forces from Shia militias in Iraq. Starting in October Tober Brett mcgurk said that hadn't happened. Eight years that part that itself was part of a escalatory cycle that started with the withdrawal from the Iran deal that kills an American American contractor back in December outside Kirkuk and killed an American contractor wounded several American service members there was a retaliatory strike by the US. It Killed Twenty five Shia militia militia members in Iraq and then that storm the embassy which was essentially disbursed with no casualties and then in response to that wildly provocative talkative s escalating act of taking out killing Qassem solely money. So that is that is the situation that has bras tonight to these reports of ground-to-ground missile. Fire from the Iranian government directed at Iraqi basis that whole both Amar Iraqi service members and American service members Donald. What do you think is happening right now? We have reports that Vice President Pence has briefed Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer Pelosi tweeted tweeted out. She's closely monitoring the situation falling bombings targeting. US troops in Iraq. We must ensure the safety of our service members including ending needless provocations"