UAlbany political science professor says revenge is imminent after airstrike | WNYT.com

UAlbany political science professor says revenge is imminent after airstrike

Jill Konopka
Updated: January 03, 2020 07:57 PM
Created: January 03, 2020 07:22 PM

ALBANY -  Dr. Victor Asal is a Professor of Political Science at UAlbany. Dr. Asal is the Director at the Center for Policy Research. His research focuses on international relations and political violence, collecting data on terrorists, and insurgent organizations.

Dr. Asal believes revenge is imminent after the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. However, he also says this doesn't necessarily mean war.

"Was this guy a good guy? No, he wasn't a good guy," said Asal. 

Reporter Jill Konopka asked Dr. Asal, "Does this mean war?" Dr. Asal responded, "Not necessarily. So clearly what we've done is going to anger the Iranian government tremendously. So imagine what the response of U.S. government would do if the Iranians had killed the general in charge of Central Command or Special Forces," he explained.

So the Iranians are going to do something. What they end up doing we don't really know and it may also snowball. So I don't think it necessarily means war, but does it mean violence and the Iranians ramping up what they can do to hurt us - and further I think the answer is yes and yes in a fairly emphatic way. I doubt Iran is going to launch a full scale war, though I've heard some people think they're going to, I really don't think it's going get to that point. But making things worse in the Middle East and trying to kill Americans for revenge – I think that is very likely to happen."

Regarding the general, Dr. Asal added, "There's no reason to try to say good things about this person. Responsible for the Quds force of Iran and Iraq which was sponsoring a lot of violent non state actors who were killing a lot of civilians. And by proxy a lot of Americans killed by this force and he supports terrorism and all kinds of awful stuff."

Revenge promised in tweets online. Several too from President Donald Trump before making an unexpected appearance in Florida, to confirm he ordered the death of the leader of Iran's elite Quds force.

"As president, my highest and most solemn duty is the defense of our nation and its citizens. Last night, at my direction, the United States military successfully executed a flawless precision strike that killed the No. 1 terrorist anywhere in the world, Qassem Soleimani. Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him. Under my leadership, America's policy is unambiguous to terrorists who harm or intend to harm any American. We will find you, we will eliminate you. We will always protect our diplomats, service members, all Americans, and our allies. For years, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its ruthless Quds Force under Soleimani's leadership has targeted, injured and murdered hundreds of American civilians and servicemen. The recent attacks on U.S. targets in Iraq, including rocket strikes that killed an American and injured four American servicemen very badly, as well as a violent assault on our embassy in Baghdad, were carried out at the direction of Soleimani. Soleimani made the death of innocent people his sick passion, contributing to terrorist plots as far away as New Delhi and London. Today, we remember and honor the victims of Soleimani's many atrocities, and we take comfort in knowing that his reign of terror is over."

Dr. Asal telling NewsChannel 13, "The impact of this by certain segments of the Iraqi population and Iranians who support them, there's going to be stronger incentives to kill American soldiers."

When asked about the potential for nuclear attacks, Dr. Asal stated "If a dirty bomb or nuclear bomb went off in the US and government traced it to Iran, we'd have full on scale war with Iran and overthrow a regime."

Something not likely to happen he says, but Dr. Asal believes the president isn't putting much thought into foreign policy moves.

"More sanctions against Iraqi's. Killing Iraqi soldiers rather than the leader of the Quds," he added.

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer spoke from the Senate floor about the airstrike in Washington, saying it happened, "Without specific authorization or any advance notification or consultation with Congress." Senator Schumer said there was no briefing prior to the airstrike.  "The lack of consultation and transparency with Congress was put in the constitution, rather the need for advance consultation and transparency with Congress was put in the constitution for a reason, because a lack of advance consultation and transparency with Congress can lead to hasty and ill-considered decisions.  Schumer added, "When the security of the nation is at stake, decisions must not be made in a vacuum. The framers of the constitution gave war powers to the legislative body. And made the executive the commander for the precise decision forcing the two branches of government to consult with one another when it came to matters of war and peace."

Senator Schumer stated there were questions that were never asked nor answered.

"What was the legal basis for conducting this operation and how far does that legal basis extend. Iran has many dangerous surrogates in the region and a whole range of possible responses. Which responses do we expect, which are most likely. Do we have plans to counter all of the possible responses. How effective will our counters be? What does this action mean for the long-term stability of Iraq and the trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives sacrificed there. How does the administration plan to manage an escalation of hostility. And how does this administration plan to avoid a larger and potentially endless conflagration in the Middle East. These are questions that must be answered. It is my view the president does not have the authority for a war with Iran if he plans a large increase of troops and hostility over time, the administration will require Congressional approval and approval of American approval. The President's decision may add to an already dangerous situation in the Middle East. The risk of a much longer engagement in the Middle East is acute and immediate. This action may well have brought our nation closer to an endless war. Exactly the kind of endless war, the president promised he would not drag us into. As our citizens and allies evacuate Iraq and Tripp's prepare for retaliatory reaction, Congress needs answers to these questions and administration immediately and Americans need answers as well."


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