Rep. Christopher Shays, in a wide-ranging Westport luncheon talk, said today it is difficult to get Americans to wake up to the terrorist threat.
Christopher Shays: Americans need to wake up to terrorist threat. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
“Americans don’t believe there is a war on terrorism because they are not making any sacrifices,” the Republican congressman told an audience at the Red Barn restaurant of five area Rotary Clubs. “We don’t buy into it. As Americans, I can sense it.”
He said Americans, especially those of his 4th Congressional District, enjoy the highest living standard in the world and this contributes to a sense that weapons of mass destruction are not a serious threat.
But Shays, who recently returned from his eighth visit to Iraq, said the threat is real and the United States must be proactive in meeting it.
“The war on terrorism is to detect and prevent,” he said. “If not, we’re going to pay the price. We need to act preemptively and, Americans aren’t going to like this, unilaterally.”
Shays said a small band of determined renegade scientists producing biological weapons “can wipe out humanity as we know it.”
Asked about his views on stem cell research, Shays said he supports the controversial effort and added, “I don�t think history will be kind to a president who vetoes stem cell research.”
Touching on politics, the congressman said his strong words about House majority leader Tom Delay had produced some unhappy Republican constituents in Westport.
“I had some Westport folks who said they wouldn�t endorse me (for re-election) because I said Tom Delay ought to step down,” Shays said. He then added to some applause: “Frankly, I waited too long.”