Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said Tuesday that he is against the use of military force in Syria even as his predecessor, John Kerry, continues to make the case for it. Markey, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called the Senate’s draft resolution authorizing American force in Syria “too broad, the effects of a strike are too unpredictable,” in a statement.
“I believe we must give diplomatic measures that could avoid military action a chance to work,” the statement continued.
Sen. Markey raised eyebrows by voting “present” last week as the Foreign Relations committee approved the resolution. Ten of Markey’s committee colleagues voted “yes,” while seven others, including two Democrats, voted “no.” He was the only “present” vote.
Tuesday on The Daily Rundown Boston radio hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan agreed that Markey’s vote was puzzling. Eagan told Chuck Todd that Markey’s vote “backfired” and Braude says he has “no idea what Markey was thinking” and joked the senator was “under the opinion they were taking attendance” during the committee hearing.
Markey’s statement today goes on to say: “I do not believe that the resolution as currently written is the most effective way for our country to accomplish its objectives in Syria. Moreover, I believe that such a military strike could actually make it more difficult for our nation to achieve its goals in this volatile region of the world.”
Instead, the senator suggested “we should take advantage of this new diplomatic opportunity” developing as the result of a Russian proposal that Syria says it has accepted to turn over its chemical arms to international control for destruction.
“Due to Secretary Kerry’s efforts, the Syrians, Russians, United Nations, and the international community are all coming to the negotiating table,” he said.
Markey was elected to the Senate in June in a special election to fill the seat left vacant by Kerry who President Obama had selected as his new secretary of state.