MOULTRIE -- U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss used his address to the annual Colquitt County Red Cross volunteer banquet to say that the nation is winning the war on terror.

"It's a difficult, dangerous and complex world we live in," Chambliss told the volunteers in attendance at the Colquitt County Agricultural Complex Tuesday. "The war on terrorism we're fighting today and the war on Iraq is simply that -- an extension in the war on terror."

Chambliss, a Republican from Moultrie, said America is making headway in Iraq, specifically in its effort to nab deposed dictator Saddam Hussein.

"The noose (on Saddam) is getting tighter. We are going to either capture him or kill him. Whichever happens is fine with me."

The senator said it "infuriates" him when critics of the latest U.S.-Iraqi conflict complain about America and its allies having found no weapons of mass destruction. Chambliss said ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction wasn't the impetus for conflict; ridding Iraq's capability to produce WMDs was.

President George W. Bush, with whom Chambliss works closely, has been the target for much of the war's criticism.

The president was heralded by Chambliss Tuesday night, though, as a man who "wants to make sure our children and grandchildren live in that same safe and secure America that we've enjoyed living in."

But, Chambliss said, ensuring America's safety will probably come in spite of another terrorist attack. And the Red Cross, he said, will be integral in helping the country quickly recover. That may mean sending tax dollars the Red Cross's way, he said, something the Red Cross has never requested.

"The American Red Cross since 1905 has carried its banner and has not asked for one dime of your tax money. But if we think something may be imminent -- and as surely as I'm standing here, there will be another terrorist attack on the United States -- we're going to be ready for it."

In addition to commending the Red Cross for its role in emergency preparedness and response, Chambliss lauded the Red Cross for being uniquely American.

Chambliss celebrated the Red Cross as "one of these organizations like motherhood and apple pie. It's an organization that does a great job in emergency preparedness and response."

And it's the only non-governmental organization, Chambliss said, that is a part of the Homeland Security department's Federal Response Preparedness program. One reason for the Red Cross's role in the government's newest cabinet department is that the Red Cross controls half of the country's blood supply.

"Any time we have a natural disaster," Chambliss said, "the first organization that's going to be called on is the American Red Cross."

In an age where cyberterror is a real threat, Chambliss said the government is working with the Red Cross on ways to avoid a virus infecting the computer systems that hold data on the Red Cross's blood supply. The senator also warned the banquet's attendees of the threat of terrorists infecting actual blood.

"The injection of HIV or other disruptive substances could really set in panic or kill people," he said.

Despite the senator's warnings about future terrorist threats, Chambliss beamed about the Red Cross's ability to be seemingly ever-present in time of need.

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