YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

ON THE HOME FRONT : War-Support Resolution Passes : Government: San Diego City Council approves the resolution in a 7-0 vote, despite testimony of protesters who oppose the war.


The San Diego City Council touched off an angry response by a throng of people opposed to the U.S. air bombardment of Iraq Tuesday, when it approved a resolution supporting the efforts of President Bush and American troops deployed in the Persian Gulf War.

About 75 people, many of whom had testified against two proposed resolutions, milled around the council chamber and shouted "shame, shame" at council members after the 7-0 vote in favor of the milder of two statements of support.

Under the watchful gaze of at least four plainclothes police officers, the group gradually dispersed after the council voted and took an afternoon break from its regular Tuesday meeting. One officer stood beside Councilman Bruce Henderson as he debated war protesters after the vote.

The council approved the same resolution passed by both houses of Congress last week, after U.S. warplanes began attacking Iraqi targets. It states that the council "commends and supports the efforts and leadership of the President as Commander-in-Chief in the Persian Gulf hostilities."

Councilman Wes Pratt was absent from the meeting, and Councilwoman Abbe Wolfsheimer left before the vote was taken.

The resolution was a milder statement of support for the war effort than the measure sought by Henderson, who won council support for an emergency discussion of the Persian Gulf War.

Henderson sought council approval of a statement that the "city of San Diego fully endorses the goals of Operation Desert Storm and asks for God's blessing on those who risk their lives to liberate Kuwait and deter Iraq and other aggressors around the world."

Henderson also wanted today declared "Operation Desert Storm Day" in San Diego. His motion failed when no other council member would second it.

About 30 people asked the council members not to go on record backing the U.S. war effort. Some urged them to restrict their actions to local issues such as homelessness, child care, crime and AIDS. No one testified in favor of either resolution.

Noting the more-than-$1 million cost of each cruise missile fired at Iraq, Frank Gormlie told the council that, "I could have served 50,000 people in a San Diego health clinic for less than the cost of that one cruise missile.

"We are the patriots who support the troops," he said, "because we want them home now."

Sara Byrnes, a 28-year-old graduate of Patrick Henry High School and Grossmont College, said Tuesday from her adopted home of Tel Aviv, Israel--90 minutes after a shelling by Iraqi SCUD missiles--that "everyone is shaken" but still coping with the raids.

"Tell my mother that we're fine, that she doesn't have to worry," said Byrnes, the daughter of Dr. Donald G. Byrnes, a San Diego obstetrician, and his wife, Betty, the president of Temple Beth Israel in Hillcrest.

Byrnes is living with Anna Frumansky, a Tel Aviv orthodontist, whose father, Max Frumansky of Oceanside, is the cantor at Temple Judea in Vista. Byrnes said that neither she nor Anna, who has two children, ages 4 and 7, have plans to flee.

"None whatsoever," Byrnes said by phone from the northern outskirts of Tel Aviv. "I've made Aliyah , which, in Hebrew, means going up to Jerusalem, or coming home. I knew that I was in a country that faces war from time to time. Unfortunately, we have a lot of enemies around us. . . . But I've never thought of leaving.

"I feel so bad for my family and for others with relatives here. But we all feel that, somehow, we'll get through this. There is definitely an insecure feeling in the air, but this is a country where people stick together. We trust the government and the military to do the right thing to protect us."

After Tuesday's attack, which left three dead and 70 wounded, including 10 children, Byrnes said the mood was one of anger that called for retaliation. She, like most Israelis, is furious about having her routine compromised by an ugly but compulsory bit of baggage--a gas mask, which she carries to work each morning, without fail.

Forty-five years after Auschwitz, she said, it is the fear of gas and its inherent symbolism that enrages the people of Israel more than any other aspect of the war.

On the school front:

A proposed trip to London, Paris and Moscow for 12 students from the School for Creative and Performing Arts was quashed unanimously Tuesday by a Board of Education worried about terrorism.

Students can still take the trip individually, scheduled for the spring-break period of March 28 to April 6. But, should anything happen, parents will assume full financial liability, since the district has vetoed sponsorship.

Meanwhile, three San Diego school nurses have been summoned for active duty: Knox Elementary nurse Mary Steinman, with the Army; William Vasquez of Morse High School, with the Air Force, and Katherine Fisher of Zamorano Elementary, with the Navy.

Chief school nurse Judy Beck said three more nurses are likely to be called up soon for active duty.

Los Angeles Times Articles