State of Massachusetts Archives: on War & Peace


Gabriel Gomez: Align with right rebel group and impose no-fly zone in Syria

The two differed on U.S. policy in the ongoing conflict in Syria, with Gomez saying that the U.S. should--at a minimum--immediately impose a no-fly zone over the country and consider sending military aid to the "right rebel group." After the debate, Gomez said he would try to convince U.S. allies to support a no-fly zone but would urge the U.S. to go forward even without a U.N. resolution.

But Markey urged caution in dealing with Syria and in carefully considering any type of military intervention. "We learned this lesson in Afghanistan when we gave the weapons to one group and it came back to haunt us," Markey said.

Source: Boston Herald on 2013 MA Senate debate Jun 6, 2013

Martha Coakley: Bring troops home from Afghanistan

On Afghanistan: Has spoken against the troop increase, saying the president should instead be bringing troops home. She says there are better ways to fight terrorism, saying it is "naive" to think U.S. troops can be dispatched everywhere.
Source: Nancy Reardon, Quincy Patriot-Ledger: 2010 MA Senate debate Jan 14, 2010

Scott Brown: Supports 30,000 more troops in Afghanistan

On Afghanistan: Supports the troop increase ordered by President Obama this fall, saying 30,000 more troops in Afghanistan is the only way to defeat al-Qaida, make sure the Taliban don't gain control of the area and establish secure borders.
Source: Nancy Reardon, Quincy Patriot-Ledger: 2010 MA Senate debate Jan 14, 2010

Martha Coakley: Focus efforts where terrorists are, not Afghanistan

The candidates disagreed on President Obama's decision to send more troops to Afghanistan. Coakley opposes the president's decision, and she explained why to moderator David Gergen.

"I'm not sure there is a way to succeed," Coakley said. "If the goal was, and the mission in Afghanistan was to go in because we believe that the Taliban was giving harbor to terrorists, we supported that, I supported that goal. They're gone. They're not there anymore. They're in Yemen. They're in Pakistan. Let's focus our efforts on where al-Qaida is and not always decide we need to."

"Would you then send troops into Yemen, where al-Qaida is?" Gergen asked.

"No," Coakley replied. "That's exactly the point. This is not about sending troops everywhere we think al-Qaida may be."

Source: WBUR article on 2010 MA Senate debate Jan 12, 2010

Scott Brown: Terrorists are not gone from Afghanistan

Brown challenged Coakley, who opposes Obama's plan to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, on national security and terrorism, arguing that she was wrong to support the administration's decision to try self-proclaimed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed in civilian court. After the debate, he also criticized Coakley for declaring that terrorists "are gone" from Afghanistan in explaining her support for an exit strategy.
Source: Washington Post on 2010 MA Senate debate Jan 12, 2010

Michael Capuano: No funding for Afghan surge; no funding for Iraq war

Alan Khazei kicked off the primary campaign's final debate by saying he would support a special levy to fund the 30,000-troop buildup in Afghanistan outlined by Pres. Obama.

Martha Coakley also said she would consider it, but Rep. Michael Capuano said he would not. "I would vote for a tax for a moral war, if I thought it was right," said Capuano. "I will not vote, not only for taxes, I will not vote for funding for this surge, either, as I have not voted for the funding in Iraq, either."

Source: WBZ-TV on 2009 MA Senate Debate Dec 2, 2009

Scott Brown: Finish the job in Afghanistan: keep Taliban and al-Qaeda out

Q: On the president's speech about Afghanistan [increasing troops by 30,000 and establishing a withdrawal date in 2011], what do you think we should be doing in Afghanistan?

A: I've always felt that we should rely on the generals on the ground, who hav called for an increase in troops. I think we need to provide the resources and tools to our men and women to keep them safe, and the tools to finish the job. That area once again become an exporting area for terrorism around the region and the world.

Q: What do you think the job is?

A: This is very clear: it's to make sure that the Taliban and al-Qaeda cannot once again join forces and take over that area. [If we don't finish that job], they will immediately come back in, and then move on Pakistan--and with its nuclear weapons we'[d have a much larger problem.

Source: NECN Good Morning Live interviews on 2009 MA Senate race Nov 30, 2009

Jeff Beatty: Kerry failed to read vital intelligence reports pre-Iraq war

Beatty accused Kerry of having “blood on his hands” over his vote to send U.S. troops into Iraq during a fiery televised debate last night. A combative Beatty launched a vicious verbal assault after Kerry snorted at Beatty’s claim that he failed to read vital intelligence reports before voting for the war. “Don’t laugh. It’s not a joke,” fumed Beatty, a counterterrorism consultant and former CIA agent. “You knew. You knew when you voted for that war that we didn’t have what we needed for the war... and you didn’t care because it was always about getting elected president. You have got blood on your hands.“

Kerry branded Beatty’s attack ”insulting and frankly disgusting.“ He said his vote was based on intelligence reports presented to him by forme CIA director George Tenet and U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.

The candidates agreed the United States should withdraw from Iraq and concentrate on Afghanistan, while working to ensure Iran does not obtain nuclear weapons.

Source: 2008 MA Senate Debate reported in the Boston Herald Oct 20, 2008

John Kerry: Based vote for Iraq war on CIA’s intelligence reports

Beatty accused Kerry of having “blood on his hands” over his vote to send U.S. troops into Iraq during a fiery televised debate last night. A combative Beatty launched a vicious verbal assault after Kerry snorted at Beatty’s claim that he failed to read vital intelligence reports before voting for the war. “Don’t laugh. It’s not a joke,” fumed Beatty, a counterterrorism consultant and former CIA agent. “You knew. You knew when you voted for that war that we didn’t have what we needed for the war... and you didn’t care because it was always about getting elected president. You have got blood on your hands.“

Kerry branded Beatty’s attack ”insulting and frankly disgusting.“ He said his vote was based on intelligence reports presented to him by forme CIA director George Tenet and U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.

The candidates agreed the United States should withdraw from Iraq and concentrate on Afghanistan, while working to ensure Iran does not obtain nuclear weapons.

Source: 2008 MA Senate Debate reported in the Boston Herald Oct 20, 2008

Jeff Beatty: Evidence for WMD in Iraq was not credible

Beatty sees Kerry’s vote to go to war as a decision based on “personal gain”--for example, in preparation for running for President--instead of national interests. Beatty said his CIA experience makes him believe the evidence for weapons of mass destruction was not credible. As a veteran himself and a friend to families of soldiers killed or wounded in Iraq, he thinks the decision to go to war did not consider the impact on families of the men and women who had to implement that decision.
Source: Hamilton-Wenham Chronicle on 2008 MA Senate Debate Aug 13, 2008

Jeff Beatty: Iraq invasion was a mistake, but we can’t leave now

Q: You said you would not have voted as the Senate did six years ago to authorize the invasion of Iraq. Do you still hold that opinion?

A: Absolutely. I think it was a mistake, I thought it was a mistake at the time. I don’t have to say with hindsight,

Source: Dedham Times Interview on 2008 MA Senate Debate Jul 16, 2008

Jeff Beatty: Leave Iraq with success, by any path

We can’t just turn around and leave [Iraq] because they will recruit like crazy. They will be able to say, ‘We defeated the Americans’. They will bring people to their side. The consequences for us will be severe if we do not leave Iraq with some sort of success.

There’s more than one way to get a success. I’ll support any path that I believe allows us to leave with a success. You almost define success as anything that the terrorists would define as not a success for them.

Source: Dedham Times Interview on 2008 MA Senate Debate Jul 16, 2008

  • The above quotations are from Commonwealth of Massachusetts Politicians: Archives.
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