Local Lawmakers Praise Military Action

Members of the Rhode Island Congressional delegation are voicing support for the military strikes that began in Afghanistan yesterday. Democratic Senator Jack Reed and Congressmen James Langevin and Patrick Kennedy say it?s an appropriate response to the September 11 attacks on the United States. ?These individuals are people that hate democracy and hate America and everything that we stand for. It was not going to stop there. These are people who would continue to attack America given the opportunity. And we are responding, and we are going to dismantle terrorism and terrorist bases wherever they may be. This is an appropriate action being taken by the president,? said Langevin.

While the attacks on Afghanistan have led to increased fears about more acts of terrorism in this country, Senator Reed said that can?t alter American resolve, ?We can't assume that we are invulnerable to any type of attack, but We should draw some comfort and some confidence, because for the past several weeks there have been round the clock efforts to identify potential threats to the country and to eliminate those threats.?

?They were going to continue an assault on America one way or the other. We cannot let these terrorist attacks stand. We have to make sure that they are responded to and that we dismantle terrorism wherever it exists,? said Langevin.

Reed is predicting a protracted military confrontation. ?It will be a process of combined military, diplomatic and economic pressure, and this unremitting pressure is what will force these networks to collapse,? he said.

Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee withheld comment on the day of the first attacks. Today he offered cautious support for military action.

"We're going to probably have some setbacks. I think that's going to be the difficult thing for Americans to come to grips with. With all our power and all our might, to go up against such a low tech army and then possibly not be successful in the early going will be difficult,"Chafee said, "The biggest mistake we could make is under-estimating the anti-American sentiment. That's the danger we have to be careful of, fomenting it. So, we have a difficult path ahead of us."