Utah's congressional delegation and governor all stand firmly behind President Bush's handling of the Gulf crisis.

But their reactions also ranged from warning against euphoria from early successes, to warning that attacks could create long-term problems by making Saddam Hussein appear to Arabs as being a hero struggling in a holy war.Sen Orrin Hatch

"We cannot allow anyone to be euphoric just because of this early, first phase against radar sites, missile sites, communications facilities and anti-aircraft batteries."

"I have been praying all morning that our air approach will be so devastating that they will back off. I don't expect that to happen, but I hope so."

If air strikes were successful in knocking out germ, chemical and nuclear arms facilities, "that alone justifies what happened last night. Biological weapons are even worse than nuclear, and this guy (Saddam) is an absolute animal to even consider using them. . . . He must be stopped now or he could create a world war."

Hatch also warned that terrorists worldwide have been trained by Iraq to use biological weapons "capable of wiping out entire municipalities. So I can't understand why some people don't want to handle this man now, instead of five years from now."

Rep. Bill Orton

"(Saddam) wanted the world to see the attack. Otherwise, why wouldn't he have cut off reports from CNN (in Baghdad)?" Orton said.

"He's trying to be a martyr to the Arab world. And if non-Arabs attack him along with Arab kings, emirs and princes, that plays to the more common Arabs on the street. He wants to create himself as leader of a holy war. I certainly hope he doesn't succeed."

Orton said he was saddened at the beginning of the war, which he had voted last Saturday to help authorize. "The vote I cast was the only one that created any option for peace. I was sad that strategy didn't work."

Sen. Jake Garn

"This is obviously a night that I had hoped and prayed for weeks would not occur. I am mildly surprised that it occurred this soon after the U.N. deadline. But now that it has commenced, I feel we need to unite as a nation."

Garn, a former Navy pilot who also retired from the Air National Guard as a general, said, "I am hoping and praying that it will be quick, and if we are lucky, maybe a matter of a few days or a couple of weeks, and as the president said, `This will not be another Vietnam.'

"I am certain it will not be. We should have learned a great lesson from that - that you don't get involved in a war unless you intend to win it."

Rep. Jim Hansen

Breakout of war was inevitable "considering that the president has exhausted everything as far as diplomatic means . . . and President Hussein wouldn't budge one iota."

"We all literally hate war, but it is a case of fighting him now or fighting him later when his military might was substantially increased. I am very concerned about the welfare of our service people, and we hope and pray that they will get out without casualties."

Rep. Wayne Owens

"I suspect our country is unified tonight like it has not been in a long, long time. There are no Republicans or Democrats tonight. We are all Americans, all hopeful and prayerful."

Although Owens opposed use of force, preferring to have given economic sanctions against Iraq more time to work, he said that debate ended Saturday when Congress voted to back Bush. "I stand behind the president. I don't feel it's appropriate to be critical of the commander-in-chief's military operations" now.

View Comments

Owens added, "I've had two sleepless nights. I feel very empty about what's happening. And I feel a sense of foreboding. I have a sense that war, once unleashed is not containable. I hope my fears about the length and cost of this war are wrong and the president is right," he said.

Gov. Norm Bangerter

"I, along with everyone else in the country, have hoped and prayed that this conflict could have been avoided. I pledge my full support to the president of the United States and encourage him to use every means possible to bring this confict to a swift conclusion.

"I invite all Utahns to join with me in supporting the president and in supporting our women and men serving in the armed forces. Our prayers for the safety of our soldiers, the wisdom of our leaders and the protection of innocent civilians in the Middle East have never been more important."

Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.