Some say to nuke Iraq. On the other extreme, some would rather allow Saddam Hussein to force $10-a-gallon gasoline than to wage war with him.
But letters and calls by Utahns to their members of Congress oppose attacking Iraq by a somewhat surprising 4-1 margin. And calls and letters have been heavier, longer and more thoughtful than usual, congressional staffs say.Other more scientific polls have shown that up to about 60 percent of Utahns favor attacking Iraq if it does not withdraw from Kuwait by Jan. 15. But Paul Smith, press secretary to Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said it is not unusual for letters and phone calls to reflect a different view.
"People who want to complain are the ones who write," he said. "The people who are happy with the president's position don't write as much."
Hawkish members such as Hatch also attract fewer letters from doves wanting to avoid war - with letters to him opposing war by about a 60-40 margin. On the other extreme, calls to dovish Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah, have been 80-20 against war, and letters to him are almost totally against war.
Following are the worries, solutions and advice offered in some of the dozens of letters each member receives daily about the Persian Gulf. Congressional offices asked that names of writers not be revealed:
Rep. Wayne Owens
From a Salt Lake youth: "I think that we should pull the troops out of the Middle East and send them home and then send missiles and bombs over to Iraq and blow them up. I'll illustrate." He enclosed a picture of a missile hitting Saddam between the eyes.
From a Murray woman: "We are not willing to see one person die in this mess. No one supports Saddam Hussein's actions, and we do not approve of the invasion of Kuwait. However, we strongly oppose military action.
"The Persian Gulf crisis must be resolved peacefully. War is simply not acceptable."
From a Salt Lake woman: " encourage you please to try and bring our people home. I am the mother of a 19-year-old son and I do not want him involved in this conflict."
From a man in Sandy: "It took 45 years for sanctions to have an effect on the Soviet Union . . . Waiting one or two years or even longer in Kuwait would be prudent."
From a Salt Lake man: "War is not necessary. The sanctions are adequate. Iraq has insufficient motivation to maintain control of Kuwait if it means no revenues from oil sales.
"When they become convinced that they will never profit from oil sales as long as they hold Kuwait, they will withdraw. It may take a year or two longer."
From a Salt Lake woman: "I was in my teens during the second World War and I understand very well the prices of war. Yet, I believe like most Americans that we are over there because of oil.
"The Arabs fought for hundreds of years, and I cannot believe we can solve their problems. I urge you to support or propose a rational national energy policy so we do not go through this every few years."
From a Salt Lake man: "President bush should be impeached if he stays on the aggressive tack. Bush is so angry that Saddam did not beat a hasty retreat when ordered, it nearly spoiled Bush's golf game, and now his remedy is to rush 500,000 troops to teach the scoundrel a lesson."
Sen. Orrin Hatch
From a man in Sandy: "This is the first time I have ever written any government official . . . I fully support maintaining a strong stance toward Saddam Hussein and not to let the grandstanding by ignorant and self-serving Democrats to divide the unified front we must confront the Iraqis with . . . GO IN TO WIN!"
From a man in Parowan: "Saddam Hussein is a ruthless devil who has no regard for human life. He has murdered many of his own people . . . I believe that a price should be put on the head of Saddam . . . We need to stop a war that would kill thousands of men and women."
From the Logan father of a soldier in the Middle East: "Better for the people of the United States to pay $5 to $10 a gallon for gas rather than spill one pint of our boys' blood . . . "
"I have a son in the military for whom I am pleading with you for peace at all costs. Do you have a son in the military who may soon die for a senseless cause?"
From an ex-Marine in Provo: "I served in the U.S. Marine Corps for almost five years in WWII and the Korean War. I want to register my very strong opposition to any military action by the U.S. in the Persian Gulf.
" . . . I see nothing to justify such a loss (of American lives). An additional objection is that I cannot imagine a condition after military engagement which would be better for the United States than it now is."
From a Salt Lake businessman: "Let President Bush exercise his constitutional authority to the limit on this issue, with the belief that the best prospects for a successful outcome, as was true with the hostages, is unity and firmness."
Rep. Bill Orton
From a seventh-grader in Orem: "The president should pull the troops back and try to avoid war . . . Since we would only be losing 2 percent of our oil source from Kuwait we should probably pull the soldiers back."
From a veteran in Park City: "As a former U.S. Marines officer and fighter pilot, I am against offensive military action in Iraq . . . I am aware that Operation Desert Shield is in place for many reasons. However, I feel all of those reasons boil down to one main issue: oil."
From a veteran in Orem: "We need no more Vietnams. With a united front, there's a remote chance Hussein could be removed from power without a war because he could see there's absolutely no chance for him to win. Squabbling and division in our country is the thing that encourages him."
From a man in Logan: "Congress must challenge the president and take control of its constitutional duty: the ultimate decision on whether or not to commit our troops to war."
Rep. Jim Hansen
From a Salt Lake man: "Going to war in the Persian Gulf would be stupid. By overreacting to Iraq's move in August, President Bush has dug us into a hole that we may not be able to get out of without firing bullets." (The letter was referred to Owens.)
Sen. Jake Garn
His office shared comments from letters, but on the condition that they not be quoted directly or have their authors identified.
The letters generally complained that the United States was going to war for economic reasons, and for oil.