Saturday, January 4, 2020

New York State Assemblyman Michael Blake Statement on Iranian General Suleimani

No American or anyone seeking peace and justice is upset by the killing of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard General Qassim Suleimani.  However, the safety and security of Americans around the world are now in danger because President Trump's ordered strike clearly did not take into account the inevitable consequences of escalation and retaliation that will ensue moving forward.

Let me be clear: General Suleimani was ruthless and his reprehensible actions killed countless people, but, Bronxites and the American people do not want war with Iran. Period.  This action will very likely be seen as an act of war by Iran.  Indeed, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has already promised “harsh retaliation” and “severe revenge” in response to the U.S.’s action.

As a member of the New York Assembly Veterans Committee, the youngest brother of an Iraq U.S. Army veteran, and now as a U.S. congressional candidate, it is appalling to learn from public statements that congressional leaders were not briefed on a decision of this magnitude.   It is another example of the Trump Administration's actions destabilizing the world, deceiving Americans, endangering lives, and impairing our foreign relations.  Congressional leaders must remain vigilant to demand answers and information as the Trump Administration's actions accelerate a wider conflict with Iran, since the unfortunate possibility exists that this irresponsible decision was made for political and/or personal gain.  The Trump Administration must immediately answer to its co-equal branches of government and be held accountable.  Leadership matters and decisions have consequences.  

We cannot ignore that top military and policy advisers warned the Trump Administration against the U.S. withdrawing from the Iran Nuclear Agreement as it would lead to instability throughout the region and the world.  Yet, President Trump did not heed their warnings.  Instead, he acted thoughtlessly and recklessly and thus has potentially endangered the lives of millions.  It is also not lost on me that the U.S.’s previous military intervention in Iraq destabilized the region and sparked the creation of new Shiite alliances which in turn helped Soleimani gain unchecked loyalty and power in the region.  Therefore, this attack is not just about how Iran will respond, but, one must wonder how Shiites may retaliate given their allegiance to Soleimani.

The 5,000 Americans currently stationed in Iraq, the nearly 375,000 veterans residing in and around the Bronx, and all Americans deserve transparency about what happened in Iraq and Iran to provoke such an action on January 2nd.  It is also imperative that the Department of State update its travel security alerts to protect American students and residents abroad.

The American people have said it before, and, we will say it again: we do not more war - not with Iran, not with anyone.  President Trump must understand that his decision may give rise to a new wave of unforeseen consequences that will impact us all for generations to come.  Once again, it matters whom we send to Washington. 

Michael Blake


15th Congressional Candidate Michael Blake, why did you ask me who told me about the deal you made (which you said only two people knew about) to have City Councilman Ritchie Torres not run in the February 2019 Public Advocate Special Election, support you for the position, and you would then support Councilman Torres in his bid for the 15th Congressional district? 

When I asked Councilman Ritchie Torres about not running in the Special Election for Public Advocate, at first he said he was never interested in the position, but after I told him that you said only two people knew about the deal, Councilman Torres would only speak off the record very angry for almost twenty minutes. 

So let's be honest Assemblyman Blake, do you even know where Iranian General Suleimani was killed, what city and what country, and why it had to be done after a U.S. embassy was attacked in Iraq where General Suleimani was.

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