As we reflect on the anniversary of the Iraq War we should take a look back at how one of the most controversial American foreign policy decision in history came about. Massachusetts had 10 congressmen, in addition to its two senators, on Captiol Hill at the time, all Democrats. Half of the delegation that voted on the authorization of the Iraq War is no longer present. Here's how they voted:
NAY D Olver, John MA 1st
NAY D Neal, Richard MA 2nd
NAY D McGovern, Jim MA 3rd
NAY D Frank, Barney MA 4th
YEA D Meehan, Marty MA 5th
NAY D Tierney, John MA 6th
YEA D Markey, Ed MA 7th
NAY D Capuano, Michael MA 8th
YEA D Lynch, Stephen MA 9th
NAY D Delahunt, Bill MA 10th
YEA D Kerry, John MA
NAY D Kennedy, Edward MA
Kerry and Meehan have departed the steps of Capitol Hill for greener pastures but Markey and Lynch are still around, currently jockeying to fill Kerry's old seat. Here's what Markey had to say on his vote:
"Ten years ago, the Bush administration perpetrated a fraud on Congress and the American people and launched an invasion into Iraq even though the administration knew that there were no nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction," Markey said. "As a result, we fought a conflict that cost thousands of lives, billions of dollars, and untold damage."
“Before they had one strongman, Saddam Hussein, who made all the decisions and through force and through oppression he pushed his agenda. They never had the responsibility of sitting down across the table and arguing out their issues,” Lynch told reporters.
“I think our error, which I do regret, is that we moved too quickly,” he said.
The Republicans in the race leave much to be desired, too.
State Rep. Dan Winslow issued a statement saying we're all better off Hussein is gone.
‘‘They ended the reign of Saddam Hussein who was a destabilizing presence in the Middle East,’’ Winslow said in a statement. ‘‘There is no doubt that the world is a better and safer place with the end of this dangerous dictator who was an exporter of terrorism.’’
Sullivan had something similar to say in a statement on his website:
Mike Sullivan supported the goal of helping to build a free Iraq that would respect the human rights of its people and create a more peaceful and secure Middle East -- benefiting not only that region but the world.
Gomez, the only Republican in the race with military experience, was pretty vague about where he stood on the war when talking with the Springfield Republican. He issued a statement, too, where he talked about care for returning veterans.
“You can talk about it differently now, because obviously there’s been evidence that maybe he didn't have weapons of mass destruction,” Gomez said. “But leading up to that point, the right thing to do was to go into Afghanistan, go after al Qaida, its safe haven, and if you really thought there was weapons of mass destruction like a lot of people did…You've got 30 plus Democrats who voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq.”
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