Senator Tells East Texans War on Terror Must Persevere - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

04/13/04 - Tyler

Senator Tells East Texans War on Terror Must Persevere

While the 9/11 Commission was talking to Janet Reno, East Texans were talking to Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Senator Hutchison gave her opinions on what's happening in Washington and the latest battles in Iraq, during a Tyler luncheon Tuesday afternoon.

"The President is raising this war in Iraq and Afghanistan because that's their turf. We don't want them to come to America and fight them in America, so we want to fight them where they are."

On this election day, Hutchison says choosing leaders from city to country should be based on plans, policy, and perserverance.

"The President is very focused. He has stayed on course since 9/11 wherever the terrorist networks are in the world, and it's a very difficult fight. People must see through the political smokescreen that is now being played out."

Where she says there's a political smokescreen: the 9/11 Commission hearings that have often been combative -- the Senator says especially when those in the Bush Administration take the microphone.

"I don't like a 9/11 Commission that tries to treat our National Security Advisor as a hostile witness. I don't think this is the time to be trying to place blame."

The latest tactic on the war on terror's frontline:  Iraqis taking Americans and others hostage. Often, they're civilians.

"We see these insurgents are not playing by any of the rules of war."

Hutchison says America cannot give in. Neither can the troops, whom she says are doing the impossible -- helping to restore a peace no one has seen, in a country they do not know.

"We're having to adapt. And what I think is troubling is that people will criticize our strategy and our plan when we've had to adapt to a lot of changes that are unexpected." 

Morgan Palmer, Reporting.

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