Two Utahns whose brothers are trapped behind Iraqi lines are hopeful because of Saddam Hussein's promise to free all hostages by Christmas.
The two are State Rep. Bob Anderton, D-Salt Lake, whose brother is holed up in the besieged American Embassy in Kuwait City, and Kathy Majerek, Ogden, whose brother was captured when a plane he was aboard landed to refuel in Kuwait on Aug. 2, the day Saddam's troops overran the country."We're obviously encouraged," Anderton said Friday of Saddam's pledge to release foreigners. "I hope he doesn't break his promises.
"It sounds very much like it's something that's going to happen. Of course, we're interested in its happening as soon as possible."
Richard Anderton has been able to pass a few messages out of the embassy to his family through the State Department. His wife, Bonnie, and their daughter, Jennifer, also went to the embassy Aug. 3 but were allowed to leave when Jesse Jackson brought some hostages out in September.
Richard has remained for four months in the embassy, which is extremely short on food and, at least until recently, low on water.
"He's apparently lost quite a bit of weight just because they haven't had adequate food supplies," Bob Anderton said. "I think this is going to be typical of all the people over there."
His brother's status to worries him. "It's the kind of thing that's never completely off your mind. Every time the news comes along, every time you pick up the paper, you search for information."
The family is anxiously watching developments, he said. "We're just going to be elated the day we see him clear Iraqi air space."
Majerek's brother, Kevin Bazner, was captured along with his wife, Dawn, and their two children. Dawn and the children were allowed to leave, while Bazner was one of the "human shield" hostages taken to Iraqi military installations.
Majerek said Friday that as a result of the Iraqi announcement, the family is "very happy and we'll believe it when they're actually on safe ground. . . . I'm very optimistic about this."
Dawn Bazner recently traveled to Baghdad with a group of women called "Coming Home," whose husbands are still in Iraq. "The men were taken from the military installation to the hotel to meet with the wives," Majerek said.
The last she heard, Dawn and Kevin Bazner were together in Baghdad.