(Host) The three members of Vermont’s congressional delegation say the death of Osama bin Laden marks a historic moment in this country’s fight against international terrorism.
And, as VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports, they hope that it will encourage the development of democratic forces in the Middle East.
(Kinzel) As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy has been directly involved in this country’s war on terrorism. Leahy says the successful U.S. military raid on bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan sends an important message to terrorists:
(Leahy) "I think in the long term they also know whoever wants to take the mantle of Osama bin Laden, well that person also has a target on their back because the United States is making it very clear: ‘You want to hit us, we’re going to hit back.’"
(Kinzel) And Leahy says the Obama administration was right not to involve the government of Pakistan in this mission.
(Leahy) "There had to be people who knew he was there. And I think that if we had alerted the Pakistani military or intelligence services, there’s a real chance he would have been tipped off."
(Kinzel) Senator Bernie Sanders thinks the death of bin Laden also sends an important message to groups promoting democracy in the Middle East.
(Sanders) "My hope is, is that young Arabs, especially, will see the future for their countries is not this nihilism and destruction of Osama bin Laden, but democracy and economic development for a region of the world that is very, very poor."
(Kinzel) Congressman Peter Welch says bin Laden’s death brings a sense of justice to many people in this country.
(Welch) "What you feel is a sense of closure. That was one of the most devastating experiences that this country has seen and it was very wrenching. And I think the sense of closure and the sense that justice having been done."
(Kinzel) Welch says bin Laden’s death doesn’t change his belief that the United States should begin to withdraw some troops from Afghanistan later this year.
For VPR News I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier