WEB EXCLUSIVE: Virginia senator calls for relief after tragedy

Posted Nov. 19, 10:30 p.m. – The country will use core American principles to defeat terrorism but it will take patience, Virginia Sen. George Allen told about 40 mostly College Republicans Monday night at the University Club.

“Americans are unified from California across the heartland to New York City, and we are resolved to persevere and defeat the terrorists,” Allen said. “The call to our generation has gone out, and we have responded with the courage and bravery that our founders espoused and that the greatest generation embodied.”

Allen, a Republican, said he has faith in the U.S. democratic process, adding that he has never seen the American dream celebrated so widely.

The senator called the war on terrorism a global war that every freedom-loving nation, not only the United States, has a stake in. Allen said the United States is still a symbol and beacon of hope. People from all over the world migrate here in search of a better life for themselves and their families, he said.

To help ease the economic burden around the country caused by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Allen pushed to exempt victims from income tax and eliminate inheritance tax for victims’ families. The House voted to eliminate yearly income tax for people who died in the attacks and cut in half the inheritance tax for victims.

Now, Allen said he wants to extend relief to workers who lost their jobs after the attacks.

“The government should compensate all of the people it forces out of work,” Allen said, adding that displaced workers are primarily concerned with getting health insurance.

Responding to a student’s question about what the United States will do to extend more rights to Afghan women when the war is over, Allen said:

“The future government of Afghanistan needs to be one that includes every language and ethnic group of the country … At least one woman should be placed in a key leadership role at the outset of the new government’s coming to power. I think it will set a tone of equality as well as a break from the oppressive rule of the Taliban.”

Allen said the United States can help rebuild Afghanistan by sticking to the Unites States’ fundamental values.

“I think if we dedicate ourselves to the values of freedom, self determination and education we will make the right choices,” Allen said. “They are the beams on which the democratic system is built. And by working to achieve them as goals, Afghanistan will be destined for peace and prosperity in the future.”

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