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WASHINGTON (AP) -- As the war with Iraq commenced Wednesday night, members of Utah's congressional delegation expressed support for U.S. troops and hope that hostilities could be concluded quickly.
"I don't think people ever enter into these situations without having a somber attitude about it," said Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah. "War's serious business. I think our prayers and hearts go out to all those involved in it."
Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, said he supports the president's resolve and decision to use military action to force Saddam Hussein and "liberate the citizens of Iraq and protect the world from the aggression of a brutal madman."
"We now look toward an expeditious conclusion to this conflict, confident in the remarkable skills and state-of-the-art equipment of our armed forces. I pray for their strength and success and for the restoration of liberty to this region of the world."
Military officials said 40 cruise missiles and bombs dropped from stealth fighter-bombers were used when intelligence reported that Hussein was meeting with other Iraqi leaders. It appears the strike did not kill or injure the Iraqi president.
"This will not be a campaign of half measures and we will accept no outcome but victory," President Bush said in an address from the Oval Office.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said the nature of the strike shows that the campaign is intended to oust Hussein, and is not a war against the Iraqi people.
"Saddam Hussein has made his decision. Instead of releasing his tyrannical grip on his country, he has chosen war," Hatch said. "Now that the effort to disarm this dictator has begun in earnest, I am confident that our forces will prevail."
Nearly 4,000 national guard troops and reservists have been called into service, one of the highest levels of service of any state.
"It means there are a lot of Utahns for whom this is a very nervous time, and I hope and pray this is going to be a short war and we can free the Iraqi people from a very sadistic leader and return peace and stability back to the Middle East," Bishop said.
Bennett said those especially aware of the Utah troops serving in the region and his thoughts and prayers were with them.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)