Saddam Hussein will probably not hear about Wednesday's student rally at Brigham Young University in support of Operation Desert Storm.
But, according to Provo mayor Joe Jenkins and others at the rally, these are the kinds of gatherings that the media needs to focus on to show Saddam and the troops that many people support U.S. presence in the Middle East.The media is showing a lot of anti-war activities, Jenkins said. "Instead, they ought to be showing groups like the one at BYU who are proving that we are going to fight until we win."
If they showed things like this, "I think Saddam Hussein would be more likely to withdraw," he said. "I am very much in favor and in support of President Bush and the troops in the Middle East."
Lanny Brown, a member of BYU's Student Service Association, who helped organize the rally, said, "We think we had somewhere between two and three thousand people there."
Jenkins said, "It's too bad that they didn't have the rally in a bigger place because they could have filled it."
"It exceeded our expectations," Brown said.
The students showed a lot of enthusiasm for the United States, he said. "I think we can send a message to the troops through the media that we respect and support them."
BYU communications professor Hartt Wixom has a daughter in the Navy who is serving in the Persian Gulf.
"I am happy to see BYU students come out in support of the troops like this," Wixom said. "We get the other side enough."
Wixom said his daughter has told him that the troops are willing to do anything if they know the country is behind them and supports their efforts in the Middle East.
Wixom's wife, Judene, shared some of her thoughts with the students at the rally.
"There are so many people protesting who have never seen war," she said. "They presume to know more than those who have lived through it."
Wixom said her daughter, Julie, has told her she feels she is in the right place and that is all that is important.
Former congressman Howard Nielson told those gathered that he believes the U.S. presence in the Persian Gulf is entirely justified.
Utah County Commissioner Malcolm Beck shared his feelings about fighting in World War II and how times have changed.
During that time, there were no protesters opposing what everyone else was fighting for, he said.
Brown said the Student Advisory Committee circulated petitions that expressed that support. There are more than 500 signatures, he said. "We haven't gathered them all yet."
He said they plan to send copies of the petitions to President George Bush, the members of the Utah congressional delegation and BYU faculty and administration.