Members of Kansas' congressional delegation emphasized that air strikes in Afghanistan are against people responsible for the terrorist attack, not any religious or ethnic group.
"It's really, really important that people understand that," said Rep. Dennis Moore, who is attending a meeting of NATO-member lawmakers in Canada this weekend. "It's not against Muslims."
Moore, D-Kan., learned of the attacks while coming out of a luncheon Sunday. He is part of a 14-member U.S. House delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Ottawa, Canada. NATO has formally invoked its Article five, which says an attack against one member is an attack against all members. And Moore said people attending the conference about security, terrorism and economics, were distracted after the strikes.
"The president, I think has shown great restraint," he said, "and I think his decision was careful and deliberate. He's doing what he promised. Congress is 100 percent behind the president, and I think the American people are as well."
He stressed that the president has consulted with many countries and has the support of freedom-loving nations around the world.
"I just would want to urge people in Kansas to be calm, and I think the president is taking the right action," he said. "I am confident we will win this."
Speaking from Columbia, South Carolina, Sen. Pat Roberts said the nation was in for a long military campaign and that the air strikes were a precursor to using ground troops.
Roberts, R-Kan., said the goal of the attack was to take away Afghanistan as a sanctuary for terrorists.
He said the United States planned to work with the anti-Taliban northern alliance to stabilize the region after the air strikes. The second goal, Roberts said, is to locate and destroy terrorist camps and find members of the al-Qaida terrorist network.
He added that the country would be helping the Afghan refugees with air drops of food and supplies. The refugees also would receive pamphlets explaining the purpose of the strikes and stressing that they have nothing to do with the Islamic faith or the refugees.
"I think without question," he said, "the Afghan public has been terrorized and is frustrated by the Taliban rule."