Around New England

Joe Kennedy III Hits Ed Markey Over 2002 Pro-Iraq War Vote

January 27, 2020

U.S. Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III criticized U.S. Senator Ed Markey for voting to authorize the second Iraq war in 2002 during a candidates’ night in Cambridge.

Kennedy and Markey have similar left-of-center policy stances. Markey is running on his record, while Kennedy is arguing he can be more effective at getting their shared agenda enacted.

But when Kennedy was asked by a member of the audience to name a policy issue that differentiates the two candidates, he zeroed in on the vote in Congress in October 2002 to authorize then-President George W. Bush to take military action against Iraq. Seventeen-plus years later, U.S. troops are still there.

“The consequences of an Iraq War authorization that has absolutely no sunset provision — that was being used to justify the execution of, a strike on, General Soleimani, an Iranian general on Iraq territory back on January 7 — that impact is still being felt today,” Kennedy said, according to The Harvard Crimson.

President Donald Trump authorized a fatal drone strike against the high-ranking Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani, earlier this month. The move has divided Trump’s supporters.

During the event Markey said he regrets the pro-Iraq War vote, and later touted endorsements from peace groups such as Massachusetts Peace Action, of Cambridge, according to The Harvard Crimson.

The event, hosted by Cambridge Democrats, took place at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School on Sunday, January 26, according to The Harvard Crimson.

The Democratic U.S. Senate primary is scheduled for Tuesday, September 1.

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