Florida Congressman Brian Mast stood his ground in defense of the targeting of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, claiming he would gladly wait until the opposition could provide the name of one fallen service member whose death did not justify the strike.
Mast, who served with EOD in the US Army before losing several limbs in Afghanistan, wasted no time in driving home the point that Soleimani was responsible for the deaths of multiple Americans.
The Republican used an analogy involving an enemy machine gun nest to justify the strike.
“This is something I have specifically experienced with. Yes, it is a choice to take it out, all day long,” Mast said. “It is not really a choice when you consider that you leave that there and walk around it and ignore it that somebody is going to come across that nest eventually and they’re going to get shot at. You want to ask, ‘Is it wise?’ I think it is probably always defies conventional wisdom to attack a machine gun nest. It does not mean it does not have to be done. You want to ask is it imminent? Just because this machine gun nest may take a moment to reload, that does not mean it is not an imminent threat.”
Mast then challenged his colleagues in an unexpected manner.
“If you walk out this hallway and you take a right and another right and another right, you are going to come to several beautiful walls that have the names of our fallen service members on the War on Terror,” he said. “I would ask, can any of you provide me one name on that wall that does not justify killing Soleimani. I got 2 minutes and 30 seconds, I will be more than happy to sit here and wait. Somebody provide me the name on the wall that does not justice his killing.”
Mast was challenged several times on the matter, and was even accused of being out of order for using the time he had left to wait for someone to actually accept his challenge
Mast had previously come under fire by many of his constituents in Florida during the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, when he suggested several gun control measures- including a temporary ban of semi-automatic rifles such as the AR15.