- The Washington Times - Monday, October 8, 2001

Members of Congress strongly backed yesterday's allied attack on Taliban military sites and guerrilla training camps in Afghanistan, while some lawmakers said Iraq also should be a target.
"Somewhere down the line, we're going to have to deal with Iraq. Clearly, they do have their own form of terrorism, and they still have Saddam Hussein. So we're going to have to contend with that problem a little later down the line," Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, Mississippi Republican, said on "Fox News Sunday."
He added: "One adviser that we have met with says to remember that revenge is better eaten cold. In other words take your time, have a plan, go after your first target, second target."
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, Connecticut Democrat, told Fox he believes it will be necessary to "go after" Iraq if the trail leads to that country in terms of "contact with the attacks of Sept. 11 or with terrorism generally."
Interviews with members of Congress on Sunday morning news talk shows were conducted shortly before U.S. and British forces began their attacks on targets in Afghanistan. But all were prepared for such action.
Sen. Bob Graham, Florida Democrat and chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said on ABC's "This Week": "This is not a war that we can win by playing on the defensive we've got to go on the offensive. We have got to eliminate these pools of terrorism around the world, and the place to start is with the terrorist who has already indicated his greatest enmity towards the United States, [Osama] bin Laden."
Later in the show, Mr. Graham said, "I believe taking out bin Laden is a very significant step." Asked to define what he means by "taking out," he said, "It probably means death."
Lawmakers' reaction to the military air strikes, once they occurred, was effusive.
The top four leaders of the Senate and House issued a joint statement supporting the action.
"We strongly support the operation the President ordered our military forces to carry out today. We stand united with the president and with our troops and will continue to work together to do what is necessary to bring justice to these terrorists and those who harbor them," said Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, South Dakota Democrat; Mr. Lott; House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, Illinois Republican; and House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt, Missouri Democrat.
House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, Texas Republican, also expressed support.
He said he has the "highest confidence" in President Bush, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and the "men and women risking their lives to defend freedom by striking elements of the international terror network."
"The president can act with patience and deliberation because the American people are united behind our duty to vindicate freedom," he said in a statement.
Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, a member of the Senate intelligence committee and ranking member of the Judiciary subcommittee on terrorism, said: "The goals of this effort are clear: to wrest the Afghan people from the violent and oppressive hands of the Taliban government and to bring justice to those who took the lives of thousands of our fellow citizens. The Taliban government had been warned, and the warnings were not heeded."
Sen. John Edwards, North Carolina Democrat, who is also a member of the intelligence committee, was being interviewed on CNN's "Late Edition" when the first news broke that attacks on targets in Afghanistan were under way.
In a statement he issued later, Mr. Edwards said: "We are prepared to do everything in our power to get bin Laden, and I am confident that we eventually will bring him and his organization to justice. We are prepared to do whatever is necessary to stamp out these terrorists."
Said Sen. Kent Conrad, North Dakota Democrat and Budget Committee chairman: "The terrorists and the regime that harbors them face the resolute forces of a mighty nation and those of our allies throughout the world. They will pay a heavy price for their crimes."
Sen. Phil Gramm, Texas Republican, said, "I don't know exactly how long this war will last, but I do know that America is right, and those who attacked us are terribly wrong, and I know that the storm unleashed today will continue until the evil is eradicated."
Sen. George F. Allen, Virginia Republican, condemned the "vile acts" terrorists "perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children" and hailed military action as the "best strategy" to prevent future terrorist assaults.

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