Rachel S. Heslin
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I received a reply from Barbara Boxer to one of the letters I wrote my reps a couple of weeks ago. Pretty good response time according to the date on the letter, although I didn't get it until yesterday.

Anyway, here's the text:

March 14, 2003

Dear Ms. Heslin:

Thank you for contacting me regarding U.S. policy toward Iraq. Deciding whether the United States should send its sons and daughters to war is the most serious, the most humbling and the most important role Congress has to play. I deeply appreciate your thoughts and comments on this critical issue.

On October 10, Congress approved a resolution authorizing the President of the United States to use force against Iraq in a go-it-alone, unilateral fashion without any guarantee of support from our allies or the United Nations. After careful deliberation, I could not vote for a blank check to give the President such broad authority when so many questions about a unilateral war remain unanswered.

How many U.S. troops will be needed? How long will they stay in Iraq? What will be the cost of the war and reconstruction? Would acting alone turn the rest of the world against us? As a memeber of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, it is clear that these questions have yet to be fully explored.

We do know that the military strength that we possess is awesome. That is clear to the world. But a world leader should make war as a last resort and should try to avoid the harsh devastation of war where it is possible. To me, this is the moral position that will be respected by our friends and allies throughout the world.

That is why I voted for an alternative resolution offered by Senator Carl Levin that stresses cooperation with our allies and the United Nations in disarming Iraq of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) through new U.N. inspections.

While the Levin alternative was defeated in the Senate, please know that I will continue to work for a peaceful resolution that addresses the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and throughout the world. I believe that it is imperative that the U.S. should lead the way toward a path for peace; trying everything to avoid the chaos and destruction of war.

Once again, thank you for contacting me on this important issue.


Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

There is hope. Common sense may yet, one day, prevail. Just keep working at it.

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