U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, came out Wednesday against U.S. military action in Syria, saying she would prefer a diplomatic solution to address the country's chemical weapons stockpile, she announced Wednesday.
Citing doubts over the effectiveness of a United States strike to curb the country's alleged use of chemical weapons and saying that the U.S. "must learn from the lessons of recent history or ... repeat its failures," Eshoo stated in a press release that she would cast a "no" vote if President Obama's request for authorization to strike Syria reaches the U.S. House of Representatives.
A number of countries, including the U.S., France and the United Kingdom, have accused Syria of using chemical weapons on Aug. 21 to kill as many as 1,400 Syrians in a strike. The widely televised attack punctuated a civil war in the country that has stretched for more than two years.
"There is no question that striking Syria is an act of war," she stated. "It would be preemptive, unilateral, and contrary to how the U.S. has conducted its foreign policy for decades."
In a Labor Day letter to National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Eshoo and U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, stated that they wanted answers about the effectiveness, possible backlash, scope and allies that would be involved a potential strike, which Obama said would aimed at "deterring and degrading" Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's capacity to use chemical weapons.
Wednesday's statement from Eshoo acknowledged "dangers our nation faces" but, quoting a testimony from General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, it also noted that those dangers couldn't be averted by military action alone.
"Militarily, I can state that we can achieve the goal of deterring and degrading. Take note that I didn't say we can prevent," he said.
Eshoo's statement warned that the United States has learned through "painful and costly lessons that might alone does not get the job done.
"Instead of diplomacy, containment and coalitions, our military interventions, invasions and surges have left countries in turmoil and emboldened jihadists, making the world more dangerous."
Eshoo stated that she believed a preemptive and unilateral strike on Syria would be wrong, "will not reverse the tide on the ground in Syria, and won't make the world safer.
"I believe, as do thousands of my constituents, that going to war against Syria -- regardless of how targeted or limited the strikes -- will implicate the U.S. in a civil war, cause possible retaliations in the region destabilizing it even more, and add to the ill will against our country," she said.