Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Saturday night called President Donald Trump a "monster" for threatening to target more than 50 Iranian sites—including some he said are " important to Iran and the Iranian culture"—if Tehran retaliates for the U.S. assassination of General Qasem Soleimani.
"This is a war crime," Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, tweeted in response to the president's warning. "Threatening to target and kill innocent families, women, and children—which is what you're doing by targeting cultural sites—does not make you a 'tough guy.' It does not make you 'strategic.' It makes you a monster."
In a series of tweets Saturday night after thousands across the U.S. rallied against war with Iran, Trump said the U.S. is prepared to strike "52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level and important to Iran and the Iranian culture," if Tehran targets any Americans or "American assets" in response to Soleimani's assassination.
Intentionally targeting cultural and non-military sites is a war crime under international law, as observers hastened to point out in response to the president's threat.
Trump's tweet came hours after the White House formally notified Congress Saturday of the strike on Soleimani, as required by the War Powers Act of 1973.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement that the classified document delivered by the Trump administration "raises more questions than it answers." As Common Dreams reported, the White House has yet to provide any evidence for its assertion that the strike against Soleimani was aimed at preventing "imminent" attacks against Americans in the Middle East.
"This document prompts serious and urgent questions about the timing, manner, and justification of the administration's decision to engage in hostilities against Iran," said Pelosi. "The highly unusual decision to classify this document in its entirety compounds our many concerns, and suggests that the Congress and the American people are being left in the dark about our national security."