Another writer on Blue Mass Group highlighted Ed Markey’s swift and clear condemnation of Trump’s apparently thoughtless and dangerous escalation in Iran, when he unilaterally ordered the killing of Qasem Soleimani. I agree with Senator Markey’s remarks that the move was “a massive…dangerous escalation,” and that it puts US service members and civilians in the region at risk. I also agree with the many other Democrats in and out of Massachusetts, who similarly condemned this escalation. This includes Joe Kennedy’s immediate response, posted on twitter, “We shouldn’t have gone to war with Iraq then. We shouldn’t go to war with Iran now.”
I understand that Congressman Kennedy (for whom I volunteer) didn’t have to make a decision about the Iraq war in real time. (At the time, he was a year away from graduating college, after which he joined the Peace Corps.) But many, many Congressional Democrats did have to make a decision in real time. In my opinion, the majority of them made a better decision that Senator Markey, when they voted against it.
While a little over 96% of House Republicans voted in favor of the 2002 US invasion of Iraq, less than 40% of House Democrats supported it. In 2002, then-Congressman Ed Markey was one of 82 Democratic Representations who voted for the resolution (126 of his Democratic colleagues voted against it.)
In part because of this atypical vote, during the 2013 special election that made him a Senator, Ed Markey got a fair amount of negative attention for his support of the Iraq invasion. At that time, Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics and Coordinator of Middle Eastern Studies, described Senator Markey’s foreign policy record as “…well to the right of the majority of Democrats, both in Massachusetts and nationally.” Professor Zunes also noted that in addition to being “among the right-wing minority of Democratic members of the House of Representatives…” who supported the US invasion of Iraq, that as of 2013, “[Ed Markey’s] belief in the legitimacy of the United States waging war against oil-rich Middle Eastern adversaries has not changed…”
It’s a concerning legacy for a progressive Democrat from Massachusetts.
Worth reading on the topic: