Sunday, April 19, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Feinstein, Boxer buck constituents on Syria strike

By
From page A7 | September 08, 2013 |

By Carolyn Lochhead
WASHINGTON — California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer are providing critical support for President Obama’s proposed strike on Syria, bucking what they acknowledge to be strong opposition from Californians.

The two senior Democrats play an outsized role as Obama asks the nation and Congress this week to support an unpopular resolution authorizing military force against the Syrian government for an August chemical weapons attack in that nation’s civil war.

Obama faces stiff headwinds from both parties and the public going into this week’s vote in the Senate.

Feinstein and Boxer joined the Senate in the early 1990s, giving them two decades of seniority, powerful committee positions and a long history in decisions on war. Both premise their support for a strike on Syria on a need to prevent the United States from being seen as a “paper tiger.”

Feinstein chairs the Intelligence Committee, giving her privileged access to inside information on the chemical attacks and intelligence assessments.

Boxer is a senior member of the Foreign Relations Committee who last week provided a crucial vote for a war resolution that passed the deeply divided committee by a 10-7 vote.

Iraq war votes
The 2003 invasion of Iraq weighs heavily. Feinstein voted for the 2002 Iraq War resolution, a decision that she now regrets, she told The Chronicle last fall. Boxer voted against the Iraq war.

On Thursday, Feinstein asked the Central Intelligence Agency to compile a DVD showing the effects of chemical weapons attacks on victims in Syria.

She said she intends to provide the graphic display to every senator.

“I saw it this morning, and it was horrendous,” Feinstein told reporters. “We are having that DVD multiplied, and we are going to hand one out to each member of the Senate and possibly members of the House.”

Feinstein said she will be “as helpful as I can” lobbying colleagues. “Certainly they can be undecided up to the vote, but there is a moment of truth to all this,” she said.

At a Foreign Relations Committee hearing Tuesday, Boxer explained her position on Syria because “a lot of people have been asking me, including my own constituents.”

Like Feinstein, Boxer cited images of the victims.

“Children gasping for air, young bodies lined up in a row should shock the world,” Boxer said, urging a response to “Syria’s unspeakable deeds to gas its own people to death.”

Failure to respond would give license to Syrian President Bashar Assad to use chemical weapons again, encourage nuclear-armed North Korea and make it more likely that chemical weapons might be used against the United States or its allies, including Israel, she said.

“How many of us have been … where we see thousands of our troops standing … just a stone’s throw away from North Korea?” Boxer said. “Iran will view us as a paper tiger, when it comes to their nuclear program, and that is dangerous not only for us and our friends but for the world.”

Boxer said she voted for the war in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but opposed Obama’s 2009 military surge, urging a speedier withdrawal from what is now the longest U.S. war.

“I approach the Syria issue in the same way I approached those – with a very heavy heart and a very independent mind,” Boxer said. She said drawing parallels between the invasion of Iraq and military strikes in Syria is “a totally false comparison.”

“Sometimes, the easiest thing to do is to walk away,” she said. “I believe we cannot close our eyes to this clear violation of long-standing international norms. I believe America’s morality, America’s reputation and America’s credibility are on the line.”

Senate votes
Boxer said the Senate’s credibility is on the line too, pointing to a 74-26 Senate vote in 1997 on a chemical-weapons-ban treaty, and an 89-4 vote in 2003 on the Syria Accountability Act, a law that says Syria’s weapons of mass destruction threaten U.S. security. She wrote the measure with former Sen. Rick Santorum, a conservative Pennsylvania Republican and former presidential candidate.

“Shouldn’t the Senate stand behind its words and its actions?” Boxer said.

Feinstein said the “deciding factor” for her was the intelligence on Syria’s use of chemical weapons.

Last fall, she told The Chronicle that she closely read the Bush administration’s intelligence on Iraq, only to find out later “it was bad and it was wrong. That’s one of the reasons I want to see that that never happens again.”

She said Thursday she has searched for similar problems with the Syria intelligence and finds it “conclusive on the fact that these weapons were used.”

Given the evidence, “the rest of it is a judgment call,” Feinstein said. “Once the administration made this call, I think that there is a real need for us to back this up.”

Feinstein and Boxer said Obama is requesting a limited engagement, with no troops.

Public opposition
Feinstein spoke openly about public opposition in California.

“It weighs on me, no question,” Feinstein said. “Every day I get a report on the amount of calls, where they are coming from, what the nature of the argument is, and there is no question that what’s coming in is overwhelmingly negative.”

Still, she said, her constituents “have not seen what I have seen, or heard what I have heard. I like to believe that after 20 years that I have some skills in separating the wheat from the chaff. Knowing where we were when Iraq was considered and where we are with this, I don’t want to see nations use chemical weapons with abandon.”

— Reach Carolyn Lochhead at [email protected]

Comments

comments

San Francisco Chronicle

.

News

Aggie Pride on parade at UC Davis Picnic Day

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
City wants a study of sewer rates

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

Hard-of-hearing student needs community’s help

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
KDVS fund drive includes on-air pledging, plus parties and food

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Art helped sell California’s agriculture

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Sign up now for Celebrate Davis!

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4Comments are off for this post

Students, families can get after-hours Internet access

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Lawyers seek resolution to Davis molest case

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4

Garamendi hosts conference for women

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
‘Invaluable public servant’ retires after 20 years

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Your brain’s aging and a new report urges ways to stay sharp

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Injury-proof yourself for effective exercise

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Understanding risks can help women prevent leading health threats

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
Free gardening advice offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

Grad Night tickets on sale online

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

 
Schenker speaks about ‘Magical Mexico’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

 
Yolo County DA honors crime victims at annual tribute

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

Holman offers Publishing 101 seminar

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

 
Radio-controlled airplanes will race April 25-26

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

Woodland bike rides set every Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

 
Get some advice at Connections Café

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

Eyewitness speaks about Israel’s election

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Join the 10,000-vegetable challenge!

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9Comments are off for this post

NAMI group offers family support

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Birding tour will benefit Putah Creek Council

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Watershed Wonders activities return to Putah Creek

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
Yolo County Neighborhood Court seeks new volunteers

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

UCD looks at building a better brain as we age

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
‘Vault’ highlights ‘Kathak’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

Two drought-preparedness water bills pass out of Senate committees

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

 
Picnic Day favorites: dogs, bikes science

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A13 | Gallery

Strike up the band, and the bubbles!

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A14 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

Ready for the parting glass

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
 
John Cole cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: B6

Yolo Crisis Nursery still needs help

By Our View | From Page: B6

 
Drink up, kids, but make your choice a healthy one

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

Leash your dogs; it’s the law

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

 
Speak out

By Debbie Davis | From Page: B7

Let’s not turn our backs on the Earth

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B7

 
This Earth Day, make a pledge to cool your home

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B7

.

Sports

Fast Aggie start negated by 14-0 USC lacrosse run

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Stagnant second-half offense sinks Devil girls

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Over the hump? DHS baseball team wins late

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Lambdin, Marshall lead Aggies at Mt. SAC

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

UCD roundup: Aggies sweep a water polo double dip

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Republic FC gets another win at Bonney

By Evan Ream | From Page: B2

Busy Clancy, Hall spark Devil tracksters at Mt. SAC

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Former DHS star Drexel returns to create havoc for Aggies

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Pro baseball roundup: Oakland blanks Kansas City

By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

 
Sports briefs: Blue Devils split a pair of tennis matches

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B14 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Tucos closes; new Japanese, pizza, subs debut

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
WISH grant funds available to eligible homebuyers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12

Marrone Bio Innovations strengthens its sales team

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

 
New phase opens at Brookfield Cottages

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

.

Obituaries

Jody Zewe

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Herman Timm

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Ruth Rodenbeck Stumpf

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Robert Leigh Cordrey

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Alice Catherine Micheltorena

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, April 19, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8