The decision on whether to support the idea of U.S. intervention in Syria is a sobering one, and U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat whose 9th District includes Evanston, Skokie, Morton Grove, Niles, Park Ridge, Des Plaines, Glenview and Arlington Heights, is gathering information before deciding how to cast her vote.
“I’m still undecided on my decision right now," she said Wednesday through a spokeswoman. "I have received briefing calls from the White House and met with constituents. Today I met with a group of constituents who oppose any military intervention in Syria. This is a very difficult decision and important to consider both sides. The use of chemical weapons should be a red line not just for the President but for humanity and not holding Syria accountable sets a terrible precedent.
“I’m convinced the Assad regime was responsible for the use of chemical weapons and as much as I need to consider the scope and duration of any attack, I have many questions about its efficacy. I want to know to know what evidence the Administration can provide that this strike will denigrate the Assad regime’s ability to use these weapons again, what plans have been made for possible retaliation and a clear sense of the end game.
“I received several briefing calls from the White House today which provided an opportunity for questions and answers that were helpful but still not sufficient.
“As a Jew, I am mindful how the world stood by when millions of Jewish people were gassed to death and feel an obligation to oppose such actions. The question remains what’s the most effective way to make clear to the world that the U.S. will stand against such atrocities. As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I look forward to the classified briefing on Monday.”
U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider, whose 10th District is just to the north of Schakowsky's 9th District, attended a briefing in Washington Sunday and is listening to input from many sources.
Schneider made it clear he is opposed to American “boots on the ground” but considers the use of weapons of mass destruction like chemical arms a different matter. He feels the United States must send a message to the world.
Not yet deciding how he will vote, Schneider wants to see the final resolution first. “I want to study this very carefully. The whole world will be watching, Schneider said. “By the whole world, I mean Iran, North Korea, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah as well as governments who will do us harm.”
As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Schneider has been paying close attention to the Middle East and the Syrian conflict in particular. “Imagine your worst nightmare and that is the best outcome,” he said of the conflict after returning from a trip with 38 other members of Congress in August.