Always good to see a response from Capitol Hill! Ed Markey listened!
EDWARD J. MARKEY
218 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING
WASHINGTON, DC 20510
United States Senate
September 13, 2013
Thank you for contacting me about the crisis in Syria. It was good to hear from you.
The civil war in Syria has escalated into a humanitarian disaster. Millions of people have been displaced, and innocent men, women, and children continue to be killed in the violence.
I believe that the Obama administration is right to consult Congress to seek the appropriate effective response to the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons. Their use was a heinous crime and is outside of the bounds of civilized conduct.
However, after fully considering the resolution before the Senate, reviewing the classified intelligence materials, and consulting with experts on Syria and the region, I decided that I could not support the Authorization of Military Force as currently drafted in the Senate. I do not support the resolution because it is too broad, the effects of a strike are too unpredictable, and because I believe we must give diplomatic measures that could avoid military action a chance to work.
The resolution to authorize military force began as surgical strikes, but then was amended to include provisions that explicitly endorsed regime change by calling for changing the conditions of the battlefield in Syria.
I am troubled that the unintended consequences of a strike against Syria could draw America's service members into the Syrian civil war.
I believe we should take advantage of the new diplomatic opportunity now being explored by the Obama administration before we consider military action. Any resolution considered by Congress should include language that anticipates that force would not be used if Syria agrees to and abides by Secretary Kerry's suggestion that Assad put all of Syria's chemical weapons under international control. Without such a diplomatic off-ramp, the current resolution embraces use of military force even as Russia, Syria, France, Great Britain, and the U.N. appear to be moving in the direction of a diplomatic resolution to this crisis.
It is important that we keep pressure on the Syrians and the Russians to follow through with this new diplomatic option. At the same time, it must not be used as a delaying tactic by the Assad regime. I will work with my Senate colleagues and the administration to find the best way to prevent the Assad regime from ever using chemical weapons again.
I understand that President Obama is seeking Congressional approval of his plan to teach President Assad "a lesson." But it is folly to believe Assad and the millions of Syrians loyal to him are merely going to "greet us as educators."
The risk of blow back is significant and has an historical antecedent. Operation El Dorado Canyon in 1986 was supposed to pacify Colonel Qaddafi with no risk to America or her allies. Instead the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 is widely believed to have been the result. Unlike Qaddafi, Assad is no tin pot dictator. And he certainly has vaster resources than the 2-bit operation which attacked us on 9/11. Nor is the situation analogous to the recent Iraq War. A few missiles raining down on Damascus are not going to see Assad fleeing his palace for a desert spider-hole, or certainly not for long.
As such, whether or not there are "boots on the ground" an attack puts the life of every American at risk. We should not be complacent about that simply because of our recent good fortune.
Besides, it's time to stop being the world's police-person. We can not afford it. Syria is surrounded by wealthy and well-armed nations who should take on the burden in their own backyard.
Lock poker advertizing has been "voluntarily withdrawn" from TwoPlusTwo, home to the largest most respected poker discussion forum, following signs that the online poker site is insolvent and unable to make pay outs to either U.S. or Rest-Of-World players.
Ahead of tomorrow's special primary election, I am proud to endorse my Congressional Representative, the Honorable Ed Markey, to be the next Senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
This was at first a hard decision, insomuch as I wanted to give Representative Stephen Lynch a fair shake. After all, he's the son of a South Shore iron worker, and I'm the grandson of a South Shore iron foreman.
But not only did Lynch fail to win my vote, he worked actively to lose it. Behind in the polls, Lynch made a Hail Mary attempt in the final debate, exploiting the recent tragedy of the Boston Marathon bombing, trying to make political hay. And I, like, I suspect, many voters, was duly offended.
Lynch's argument, such as it was, seemed to come down a fine whine that Representative Markey didn't vote in favor of every last possible Department of Homeland Security funding bill that ever came before the House in the years following 9/11. Thus Markey must be soft on terror, and thus, the tragedy which has recently struck our region must, in some small part, be Congressman Markey's fault.
What a reprehensible argument to make. Period.
That does highlight, of course, that Congressman Markey is to my right when it comes to the mess of the military-industrial complex, the militarization of our police, the Federal government spying on Americans, and in an eagerness to see to the funding of, more often than not, the DHS, President Bush's great domestic porcine project. But not by much.
Assuredly, as every other candidate in the race is even further to his right, he's still got my vote.
And, as a long time member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Ed Markey agrees with me on so many important issues it almost feels like quibbling to say that he hasn't somehow single-handedly fixed Washington's over-regard for defense matters. From health care reform, to woman's rights, to climate change, we're on the same page.
I am anxious to cast my vote for him tomorrow. I urge you to do likewise.
Finally, a day long celebrated in song has come! Margaret Thatcher has died! Let the right thinking people of the world rejoice!
From her ceaseless attacks on the unions and the middle class, to her pointless war in the Falkland Islands off the coast of Argentina just to ensure her reelection, to coddling Pinochet, to her attempt to tax people just for breathing oxygen, to, at the last, deciding to be cremated in order to deprive the masses of their dream of some day pissing on her grave, she shall not be missed.
Pete Wylie -- The Day That Margaret Thatcher Dies!
You wanna give her a state funeral?
Well that's just great.
Ironic, 'cause she left us in a sorry state.
I protest it's money wasted Build a school instead The only reason that I'll go is to make sure she's dead!
Hefner -- The Day that Thatcher Dies (Live at the BBC)
We will laugh the day that Thatcher dies,
Even though we know it's not right,
We will dance and sing all night.
Elvis Costello -- Tramp The Dirt Down
Oh I'll be a good boy, I'm trying so hard to behave Because there's one thing I know, I'd like to live long enough to savour
That's when they finally Put you in the ground
I'll stand on your grave And tramp the dirt down.