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University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame expert: Rushed assassination of Soleimani confirms loss of democratic control of foreign policy

3-Jan-2020 3:20 PM EST, by University of Notre Dame

For stories on growing hostilities between U.S. and Iran, contact Perin Gurel, assistant professor of American Studies at the University of Notre Dame.  

Gurel is an expert on Islam and America, culture and foreign policy, and is the author of the forthcoming book America's Wife, America's Concubine: Turkey, Iran, and the Bounds of Middle Eastern Solidarity. 

Gurel says:  

The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which supposedly justifies this assassination, was passed after 9/11 with the perception that attacks by terrorist networks necessitated a defense policy that differed from the diplomacy/war dichotomy of dealing with states. Here, we see it being used to attack a leading general of a nation-state.  

This transformation was justified by a series of declarations associating Iran with terrorism and claiming it does not act as “a normal state,” without any definition of what this category entails. Ironically, Qassem Soleimani played a big role in overseeing Iran’s regional foreign policy, directly reporting to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, away from electoral oversight.  

This rushed assassination on the orders of the President, without Congressional knowledge or oversight confirms that, much like the people of Iran, people of the United States have lost democratic control over their country’s foreign policy.

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