This is not who we are.

Updated: Jan 5, 2020

Using military action to assassinate a political figure in the name of peace is a dangerous tactic for any country to utilize. It becomes even more worrisome when the President neither consulted or notified Congress and the Senate, or at bare minimum the Gang of Eight, of this maneuver. There is a process for dealing with threats and there is a reason we have that process. To veer from that process is not something that should be taken lightly.

There will always be threats to the world. There will always be evil that seeks to disrupt. There will always be ruthless, heartless, dangerous and villainous people that have no ear for the concerns of others, no pause for the destruction they inflict, and no shred of humanity for the pain and anguish their actions cause. Enemies of this sort do not disappear through violence. They feed off it, grow stronger by it. We may be able to remove a threat and defeat an enemy by force, but we do not necessarily gain an ally by it. We need to be different. That's what makes us better. Not that our guns are bigger than theirs. We will never rid the earth of people like Soleimani. For every one remove there is another to take their place. Targeting and assassinating dangerous individuals of foreign governments is a practice below that of the United States. We stand for freedom. We stand for a better world. A world that does not sink to the practices of tyrannical governments. A world that continues to believe that there is good out there, even when bad makes the headlines. A world that doesn’t bend to fear and hatred, instead shows that hope and vision triumphs.

We should not condone violence in the name of peace, force in the name of freedom, destruction in the name of rebuilding. I don’t claim to know all the answers, but what I do know is that putting the safety of more of our brave men and women in jeopardy does not solve the problems we face. Those selfless individuals fighting for their country are not solely there for violent purposes. They should be there to bring hope. They are not only useful when they carry a gun. They can also carry a purpose. They are not only there to intimidate. They can be there to inspire. I do not view the military as merely a weapon of force, as a blunt object to hit those that spread fear around the world. I view the military as a tool to educate, not obliterate; to improve, not eradicate; to build, not destroy. These men and women, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, deserve better than to be sent to dangerous places and in hostile situations without regard for what they and their families are sacrificing.

The decision by the President to act without regard, without consultation, without foresight of the repercussions was selfish and irresponsible. In short, I believe it was wrong. The service men and women who stand for the best of this country should not be treated like pawns in a game of chess. We are, or at least should be, better than this. Regardless of whether you believe the President’s directives were right or wrong, they are done. There is no going back. The only thing we can worry about now is how we move forward. I hope we can proceed from this moment on with some amount of foresight, with proper consultation by the President with Congress, and with respect and regard to those who will be at risk as well as their families.