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Idaho’s Risch, Simpson support strikes on Syria

Idaho Senator Jim Risch talks about current topics in the U.S. Senate during a wide-ranging interview Friday, Mar. 8, 2013.  He was sitting at the headquarters of Contractors Northwest.  JESSE TINSLEY jesset@spokesman.com (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Idaho Senator Jim Risch talks about current topics in the U.S. Senate during a wide-ranging interview Friday, Mar. 8, 2013. He was sitting at the headquarters of Contractors Northwest. JESSE TINSLEY jesset@spokesman.com (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Idaho Sen. Jim Risch, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had high praise for the U.S. missile strike against Syria on Thursday night.

“I support it,” Risch said. “This is a pivotal point, really, in our standing in the world.”

Risch said he believes that under the Obama administration, “Our standing on the world stage has been deteriorating, and both friends and enemies have lost respect for our ability to stand up for what’s right, and I think this is a turning point.”

Risch added, “Right now we’re really struggling with countries like specifically North Korea. I guarantee you, in North Korea tonight, they are reassessing whether they want to continue doing what they’re doing, because what you’ve got is a president who isn’t nearly as interested in rhetoric as he is in doing something about it. That is going to cause everybody to recalibrate, everybody.”

Risch, a second-term GOP senator and former Idaho governor and lieutenant governor, said, “No question about it, not only did he make the right move, I think the timing was exquisite. Generally thinking, you want to do these things carefully, you want to do them thoughtfully. But this was not the beginning of a war. This was a kinetic strike that was a one-shot strike right now. But the message was absolutely clear – you’re not going to be able to continue doing what you’re doing, or you’re going to get more of this.”

“The Syrians, they’ve only got six airfields – they’re down to five now,” Risch said. “They can see clearly what American firepower can do, with virtually no risk to American lives.”

Idaho GOP Rep. Mike Simpson issued a statement Thursday night, saying, “I support the president’s action against the Assad regime. The United States of America took a strong stand tonight against the unfathomable act Bashar al-Assad conducted this week by murdering innocent men, women and children with a chemical attack.”

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